Drugs Home > Naltrexone

Naltrexone is prescribed to help in the treatment of alcohol and opioid abuse. This drug comes as a tablet that is taken once daily. Although it is not a cure for addiction, naltrexone can help block the effects of opioids and alcohol that give the pleasurable feelings that may lead to a relapse. Side effects may include headaches, dizziness, and nausea.


What Is Naltrexone?

Naltrexone (Revia®) is a prescription medication approved for the treatment of alcohol dependence. It is also approved to block the effects of opioids (narcotics). This can help people who are addicted to narcotics stay drug-free.
Naltrexone is not a cure for addiction. Addiction treatment typically involves several components. Naltrexone is only one part of a complete treatment program that may include other options, such as counseling and support groups. 
The active ingredient in this drug (naltrexone) also comes in an injectable form: Vivitrol® (naltrexone injection). Naltrexone injection is given monthly into a muscle (an intramuscular, or IM, injection).
(Click What Is Naltrexone Used For? for more information on this topic, including possible off-label uses.)

Are There Side Effects?

Just like any medicine, naltrexone can cause side effects. However, not everyone who uses the drug will experience problems. In fact, most people tolerate it quite well.
If reactions do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or are treated easily by you or your healthcare provider. Serious side effects are less common.
Common side effects seen with naltrexone include but are not limited to:
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nervousness
  • Fatigue.
(Click Naltrexone Side Effects to learn more, including potentially serious side effects you should report immediately to your healthcare provider.)
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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