Wednesday December 7th 2016

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Is Depade safe?

Yes, Depade is relatively a safe medication.

Depade (naltrexone) is a medication used to help people stay sober and continue to avoid drinking or using drugs. Here, we’ll review some basic safety information about Depade and its side effects. Plus, some may be wondering if Depade is safe for long-term treatment or how it should be taken.

More on these questions and answers here. Then, we invite your questions about the safe use of Depade in the comments section at the end of the page. In fact, we try to answer ALL legitimate questions personally and promptly.

Depade safety

Depade is a medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In fact, Depade is used to treat opioid/opiate use disorders and alcohol use disorders. While effective, this medicine is available only through your doctor’s prescription.

How does it work? Depade is a brand name for naltrexone, an opioid antagonist. Antagonists are types of medications that block certain nerve receptors in the brain and interfere with the rewarding effects of opiates or opioids. In other words, naltrexone helps you manage cravings and not want to get high.

Can taking Depade cause serious side effects?

No, Depade infrequently causes serious side effects.

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There are some common side effects that may occur when taking Depade. For your convenience, we have listed them below and recommend known ways to reduce them. If you experience any of these symptoms, or other unusual effects that are uncomfortable or last a long time, tell your doctor ASAP:

  1. For diarrhea – Drink plenty of water or juice. Also, ask your doctor to recommend an over-the-counter medicine.
  2. For fatigue- Take the pill in the morning. Avoid naps. Go to bed at the same time every night. Exercise. Do not drink caffeine after lunchtime.
  3. For headache- Use over-the-counter headache medicines according to package instructions.
  4. For joint or muscle pain – Use over-the-counter pain medicines according to package instructions.
  5. For nervousness – Take a walk, take a hot bath, or take deep breaths.
  6. For vomiting or upset stomach – Take the pill with food or after a meal. Take an antacid product as directed by your doctor.

For extreme stomach pain, vomiting, or diarrhea, you should contact your doctor right away. Also seek help if the following side effects appear, because they may indicate serious liver problems:

  • bad stomach ache
  • dark or tea-colored urine
  • light-colored bowel movements
  • yellowing in the whites of the eyes
  • yellow skin

NOTE: If side effects occur, you should NOT discontinue the medication. Instead, report the unwanted effects to your doctor or substance abuse treatment provider. An adjustment in dosage or a change in medication might help. Further, euphoric effect does not occur with naltrexone and you cannot get high on Depade.

How much Depade is safe to take?

The usual adult dosage of Depade is 1 (one) 50-mg tablet daily. However, your doctor may instruct you to go for a visit every 2-3 days and take a higher dose of 100-150mg to keep you stable until the next scheduled dosing.

NOTE: You must be opioid-free for a minimum of 7 to 10 days before Depade treatment is initiated.

Safety recommendations when using Depade

1. Do a urine test for opiates and a naloxone challenge test before starting Depade treatment. You should be opiate-free for at least 7-10 days.

2. Inform your doctor about any allergies. Depade contains some inactive compounds that may cause allergic reactions.

3. Do not take opiate drugs when using Depade. It will block their effects and can lead to sudden withdrawal symptoms, overdose or death.

4. Go to your doctor for regular tests on your liver if you have a pre-existing liver condition.

5. Do not take any opiate medications such as some pain killers, cough syrups, and diarrhea medicines. Depade will block the effects of these meds.

6. If you are pregnant or thinking about conceiving, discuss the possible risks with your doctor. Depade should be used by pregnant women only when the benefits outweigh the risks, otherwise methadone is a safer option.

7. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding your baby while on Depade. Medicine still hasn’t concluded whether Depade is excreted via breast milk.

8. Before undergoing any medical treatment, tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking Depade. Also, for medical emergency situations carry a medical identification stating that you are taking this medication.

Is Depade safe for long term use?

Yes, Depade is generally safe for long term use. In fact, you will not become physically dependent on it at all. You can stop taking Depade at any time without experiencing any withdrawal or craving. Furthermore, Depade has NO addictive potential, so you can keep taking it for as long as you need it or benefit from it.

However, you should never stop regular use on your own. If you feel you no longer need this prescription medicine and want to discontinue treatment, consult your doctor to prevent any setbacks to the other aspects of your addiction recovery process.

Depade safety questions

If you have additional questions about Depade safety use, feel free to post them in the comments section below. We are happy to help answer your questions personally and promptly. If we do not know the answer to your particular enquiry, we will refer you to someone who does.

Reference Sources: SAMHSA: The facts about Naltrexon for treatment of opioid addiction
SAMHSA: Substance abuse treatment advisory
NCBI: Naltrexone extended-release injection: an option for the management of opioid abuse
NIH: Prescribing Medications
DRUGABUSE: Pharmacological Treatment (Medications)

Photo credit: Aban Nesta

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