Revia and addiction recovery are synonymous in that they are designed to mitigate the harmful effects resulting from the abuse of alcohol and narcotic substances like heroin, methadone and oxycodone. In fact, Revia is recognized as one of the most effective non-addictive treatment interventions for opioid addiction and alcoholism. It has received the Federal Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval for this purpose and status as an “orphan” drug to treat autism in children and individuals struggling with other behavioral problems. Revia is also co-administered with drugs like morphine to prevent physical dependence when these opioids are needed to provide relief for people suffering with severe chronic pain.
In essence, Revia is pure naltrexone hydrochloride that is available in a film-coated tablet. It is also in the same category as naloxone, with the difference that unlike Revia, naloxone is safe in limited doses for use during pregnancy.
How Revia Works
Revia is an opioid antagonist that works by suppressing the way the individual experience and respond to alcohol and opiates. In Revia and addiction clinical studies; administration of 50 mg of Revia was able to successfully block the pharmacologic effects of 25 mg of intravenously administered heroin for up to 24 hours. Revia side effects were also marginal even in cases where doses were increased. Doubling or tripling the dose also coincided with increase in the length of time the drug was able to provide euphoric respite. For instance; at 100 mg Revia provided 48 hours of relief and at 150 mg blockade lasted up to 72 hours.
By removing the sought after “high” that drives addiction, Revia has the potential to eliminate this primary reason most people abuse drugs. Patients who are receptive to the positive effects of this drug are given an opportunity to restore balance to brain functions hijacked by addiction. Scientist at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) commenting on Revia and addiction express the opinion that the use of Revia can improve the odds of achieving full recovery and significantly lower relapse rates. They also caution that Revia does not prevent or diminish the withdrawal symptoms associated with these opioids. The primary function of the blocking effects of Revia is to provide a pharmacological tool to relieve the psychological entrapment of these highly addictive substances and to make abstinence possible.
Although Revia is not on the FDA’s list of controlled substances, it is a prescription only drug. Use of Revia should only occur after habituated opioid consumption has been halted. Although Revia side effects are usually nominal, the drug has the potential to be deleterious to fetal development and is therefore not recommended for use by women during pregnancy.
Revia and Drug or Alcohol Abuse
Revia and addiction recovery is highly effective for drug and alcohol abuse because it does not contribute to tolerance development or dependence. As such, this medication actually work by gradually diminishing interest in the use drug and alcohol by removing the desirable euphoria sought after by people in addiction.
In addition to Revia’s ability to block the euphoric effects of opioids, it lowers tolerance levels and heightens sensitivity to these mind-altering substances. As a result, patients who engage in drug or alcohol abuse after being treated with Revia should be aware that resuming drug use at previous dosages may cause dangerous adverse reactions. It is not uncommon for individuals who begin a course of treatment with Revia to reengage in drug and alcohol abuse activities. When they do and the blocking effects of Revia are still active, it is not uncommon for drug users to try to override the blockade by increasing the amounts of drugs or alcohol with the hope of getting high. This practice can quickly increase consumption to risky and in some instances; lethal levels.
Revia Side Effects
Within one hour after oral administration of Revia, over 90% of the drug will be absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. This rapid assimilation means any adverse reactions from the drug will be experienced fairly quickly. The most common Revia side effects include:
- mild to moderate nausea
- abdominal cramping
- bone and joint achiness
- muscle pain (myalgia)
- Watery eyes
- Stuffiness, runny nose or postnasal drip.
The following side effects have been reported by alcohol dependent patients being treated with Revia:
More serious side effects for opioid and alcohol abusers include depression and suicidal ideation or attempts. In addition, Revia used at any dose can quickly trigger opioid-like withdrawal symptoms. These can range in discomfort from mild to severe. The level of risk for the patient experiencing Revia precipitated withdrawal symptoms is based on a number of variables such as the type and severity of the symptoms as well as the individual’s mental and physical condition at the time.
Revia and Addiction Treatment for Drug and Alcohol Abuse
Some significant issues must be addressed before Revia treatment for drug or alcohol abuse can begin. Although this drug achieves high rates of success as is demonstrated by long term sobriety maintenance in some patients, there is a gene variant receptivity issue that must be considered. As a result, patient receptivity is a critical component that should be determined prior to administering treatment with this addiction support drug. Once patient receptivity is established, patient motivation for recovery and full adherence to medication compliance will influence the success of the trivia and addiction recovery process.
The Revia and addiction rehabilitation treatment process typically occurs in stages over a period of time and may include…
- A period of detoxification to eliminate accumulated toxins from the body and treat withdrawal symptoms.
- Regulated doses of Revia that is based on the specific needs of the patient. Revia in pill form may be taken once a day or every other day.
- Evaluation and counseling to address the underlying cause of drug and alcohol abuse and potential threats to sobriety maintenance after rehabilitation has been achieved.
- Monitoring to ensure appropriate drug use compliance.
- Active participation in behavioral modification therapy as well as group and family counseling if they are found to be relevant to the patient’s recovery process.
- Relapse prevention training and development of new coping skills that will support long term sobriety.
- Aftercare support that may include continuous use of Revia for a specified period of time. This is usually required to prevent relapse in the early stages of recovery.
To help address medication compliance issues, the FDA has also approved a once-a-month injectable form of Revia (naltrexone hydrochloride) that is marketed under the brand name Vivitrol. Studies show the use of an opioid antagonist along with lifestyle changes aid in drastically reducing relapse episodes.
Our addiction experts at White Sands Tampa also agree that the use of pharmaceutical remedies like Revia in combination with behavioral therapy and active participation in support groups after recovery is the most effective way to sustain long term sobriety.