Is Revia safe?

Revia is a brand name medication for a Rx drug containing naltrexone. While Revia is generally a safe medication, what precautions should you take when considering this med? More here, with a section at the end for your questions.

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Yes, Revia is generally a safe medication.

Revia is medication specifically prescribed for the treatment of opioid and alcohol use disorders. In this article, we will provide you with information about the safe use of Revia and its commonly reported side effects. Plus, we’ll review the safety precaution for long-term treatment with Review.

More here. Then, we invite your questions about the safe use of Revia at the end. In fact, we try to answer ALL legitimate questions personally and promptly.

Revia safety

Revia (naltrexone) comes in a pill form and belongs in the class of medications called “opiate antagonists”. It works by decreasing the cravings for alcohol and blocking the effects of opiate medications and opioid drugs.

Revia is a medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for people diagnosed with an alcohol dependence disorders who want to use this medication as part of a comprehensive treatment plan. It is also prescribed to block euphoric effects of opioid drugs such as hydrocodone, oxycodone, morphine, or codeine.

To take Revia safely, you need to be opioid-free before treatment is initiated and show no signs of significant liver or kidney disease. Further, Revia is most effective when used in combination with a program of cognitive, behavioral, or psychotherapeutic treatment.

Can taking Revia cause side effects?

Yes, taking Revia can cause some side effects. Here is a list of the possible side effects when using Revia:

  • abdominal cramps
  • anxiety
  • sifficulty sleeping
  • headaches
  • joint and muscle pains
  • nausea

Revia can be contraindicated in the following cases:

1. If you are receiving opioid analgesics.
2. If you are currently dependent on opioids, including those currently maintained on opiate agonists (e.g., methadone) or partial agonists (e.g., buprenorphine).
3. If you are in acute opioid withdrawal.
4. If you have failed the naloxone challenge test or who has a positive urine screen for opioids.

How much Revia is safe to take?

Revia comes in 50mg pills and can be taken by several different schedules:

  • 50mg once a day
  • 100mg every other day
  • 150mg every third day

NOTE: Be sure to define your dosing with your prescribing doctor and use it only as prescribed.

How to use Revia safely

It is important to know that if you are using Revia you SHOULD NOT:

  • use any other opioids or illicit drugs
  • drink alcohol
  • take sedatives, tranquilizers, or other drugs

In case of a relapse, when the person goes back to heavy drinking or using the problem drug, Revia prevents them from feeling high on the substance.

Safety recommendations when using Revia:

1. Revia blocks the effects of opioids, so self-administering heroin or any other opioid drug in small doses will have little effect and increase your chances of overdose.

2. You may not experience the expected effects from opioid-containing analgesic, antidiarrheal, or antitussive medications.

3. You must be off all opioids (including opioid-containing medicines) for a minimum of 7 to 10 days before starting Revia in order to avoid precipitated withdrawal.

4. Revia may cause liver injury. You should immediately notify you doctor if you develop symptoms and/or signs of liver disease.

5. You may experience depression while taking Revia. It is important to inform family members and the people closest to you that you are taking Revia and ask them to monitor your mood symptoms.

6. Dizziness may occur with Revia treatment, and you should avoid driving or operating heavy machinery until you have determined how Revia affects you.

Notify your doctor:

  • If you become depressed or experience symptoms of depression.
  • If you become pregnant or intend to become pregnant during treatment with Revia.
  • If you are breast-feeding.
  • If you experience other unusual or persistent side effects while on Revia therapy.

Which patients CANNOT take Revia?

Although Revia is regarded as a fairly safe medication, there are some individuals that SHOULD NOT start using Revia or discontinue treatment if they are already taking it. Your doctor will do adequate testing before you get clearance to start taking the medications. Also, regular check-ups will help you doctor determine if/when you will need a change in dosing or will need to discontinue use. Revia should not be used in individuals who:

  • are experiencing opioid withdrawal and are dependent on opioids
  • are pregnant, planning to conceive, or nursing mothers
  • fail a naloxone challenge test
  • have acute or severe kidney disease
  • have acute or severe liver damage
  • test positive on a urine drug screen for opiates
  • were taking opioid medications until recently (must be off all opioids for at least 7-10 days)

Is Revia safe for long term use?

Yes, Revia is relatively safe for long term use.

Revia does not cause addiction or physical dependence and treatment can be discontinued at any time without experiencing withdrawal symptoms. In addition, available findings regarding cessation do not show a “rebound” effect after stopping Revia. This means that when treatment ends, people can resume to be alcohol and drug free.

If your doctor started you on Revia and you achieved success in reducing or stopping drinking or taking drugs, then the recommended duration of treatment is 3 months. After this period passes, you and the clinical staff should evaluate the need for further treatment. You will be evaluated based on the degree of improvement, degree of continued concerns about relapse and level of improvement in areas of functioning without alcohol or drug use.

Revia safety questions

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

Reference Sources: FDA drug safety info for Revia
SAMHSA: Naltrexone
Medline Plus: Naltrexon
Accedd Data: Revia
Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS): Naltrexone (Revia)
US.Food and Drug Administration (FDA): Revia (naltrexone HCl) tablets
Adapted from the pamphlet Guidelines for the Use of Naltrexone in the Treatment of Alcoholism by Bruce J. Rounsaville, M.D., Stephanie O’Malley, Ph.D., and Patrick O’Connor, M.D. The APT Foundation, 904 Howard Avenue, New Haven, CT 06519.
About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.
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