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Is Naltrexone a Narcotic?

Available by prescription only, naltrexone (Revia®) is a medication licensed for the treatment of alcohol dependence. It is also approved to block the effects of opioids (narcotics). Naltrexone is not a narcotic medication. It is also not addictive and does not cause dependence.
 
Naltrexone is a type of opioid receptor antagonist. It works by binding to opioid receptors, but it does not produce any effects. Instead, it blocks the receptors, preventing other substances like narcotic pain medications and other opioids from binding to and activating the receptors. This medication prevents people from getting that "high" feeling that can reinforce opioid abuse, which can help prevent relapse in people who have stopped using opioids.
 
It is not entirely clear how naltrexone works to treat alcohol dependence. It is thought that by blocking opioid receptors, the drug also helps prevent the rewarding effects of alcohol use, which can reduce the desire to consume alcohol.
 
(To learn more, click Naltrexone. This Web selection explores several topics associated with this medication, including how to take it, possible side effects, and safety precautions.)
 
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