My experience with naltrexone re same as nalmefene( the Sinclair method)

Posted , 9 users are following.

October 2014 I was put on naltrexone by a reputable doctor/psychiatrist at a private hospital/rehab in Harrogate. I was told to stay on it for 12 months,even though I wasn't drinking. That is how I was able to get from my local gp( though at the time she had never heard of it. I continued to take it for several months but I felt like a zombie, wasn't drinking so stopped. I did still have relapses and could go into why, but that is not the point!

Anyway, I have a big supply of naltrexone, through repeat prescription, I tried it again, correctly a few times on and off but the hangovers and side effects were horrendous and I'm scared to try it again now. Though maybe I will sometime.

My opinion is that it works as it does stop you from drinking because you feel so ill. But it does take away that enjoyment of a binge(at first!) and it takes away any pleasure at all, meaning food, wellbeing etc. But it does WORK if you need to stop.

After reading so much on this forum I've come to the conclusion that it affects us all differently. I have a terrible reaction( sickness etc) if I stop my antidepressants for more than 24 hours. Plus feel like that when on antibiotics. Also had a horrendous reaction from Baclofen, which had me on a life support for several days.

I now realise I'm one of those that react to certain meds. 

If you really want to give up the booze tho you must try these methods for yourself, under the guidance of gp or alcohol team. 

Well hope that helps someone X

0 likes, 20 replies

20 Replies

  • Posted

    That's why I want amcamprosate. I'm off alcohol, I don't want all the enjoyment knocked out of my life, just something to stop the after cravings.
  • Posted

    I wasn't aware that naltrexone and similar drugs stop you from enjoying other things as well. I suppose when you think about it logically, it's bound to affect feelings of pleasure. I really enjoy my food and eating out, and would hate to lose that pleasure.

    I've read loads about it, here and online and it seems to have a lot of unpleasant side effects, mainly nausea. Think I will stick to cider and wine at the weekend


    • Posted

      Hi you too. Thanks for the posts. Do you know anyone who's tried amcamprsate and did it stop the cravings or any side effects? I've heard of it in the past but you don't hear much about it now.

      Well it's back the detoxing myself on lager today. Been drinking the last week after I'd done so well over Xmas/New year. 2 days in bed now feeling rubbish. So depressed and angry with myself sad

    • Posted

      I'll let you know in about two weeks time, when my supplies arrive from Canada. It took a long time to find a reputable outlet that wasn't based in India or Eastern Europe.

      Funnily enough, they will supply you acamprosate but not diazepam or the other benzos.

      Yet acamprosate is okay, no prescription required. If you scroll down the NHS link I will give in a minute it will explain. They recommend four types, for when you have detoxed, i.e. done diazepam, not drinking but worrying that the craving will get a hold of you. You should ideally take acamprosate immediately after your detox so there is no gap.

      Medication for alcohol dependency

      A number of medications are recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) to treat alcohol misuse. These include:





      The first I have explained, the second is antabuse and can be very dangerous. The latter two are similar and have been explained at length here already.

      The full NHS link.

      Emis Moderator comment: I have removed one link directing to a site unsuitable for inclusion in the forums. If users want this information please use the Private Message service to request the details.

    • Posted

      I replied that I have ordered some from Canada, took some time to find somewhere that wasn't Indian or East European based and had decent reviews and that had a number where you could actually speak to someone.

      I put a lot more blurb in it, but because I put a link and also an NHS link about acamprosate it has been modded and will probably get substituted for a link.

      Just put 'nhs acamprosate' into Google and pick the first choice. First it tells you about detox, like diazepam, then when you have stopped, it tells you about the four choices, Acamprosate, antabuse and the two 'N' Nal & Nam. The last two subdue all pleasue and antabuse can be seriously dangerous.

    • Posted

      Hi paper fairy

      Sorry to hear you're having a rough time and feeling horrible.

      Dont beat yourself up, we all do it and say never again. Apart from a few bottles of hubby's beer and a bottle of 8% wine, don't keep any in the house.

      9 out 10 times its not a problem. Out of the blue, I can wake up thinking I'll have a drink today, particularly if oh is away.

      I have about 6 shops within walking distance where I can get alcohol easily. I often wonder what would happen if I couldn't get any.

      Ive taken camprol and found it excellent with no side effects. Took it for two years and was my decision to stop. I must admit to not taking it properly. If I was going on holiday, a special party, then I would stop taking them the week before and then restart 5 days after my last drink.

      Take care


    • Posted

      I've replied to you on RHGBs post. Thanks for getting back to me. I think campral is Antabuse, which I have had in the past, and different to accampresate. A lot of these drugs sound the same. Will have to google it!
    • Posted

      No, Campral is the trade name for acamprosate, which helps to cut down on the craving once you have been detoxed i.e. it helps to stop you falling into the cycle of drinking again and needing to be detoxed.

      Antabuse is the brand name for disulfiram, which reacts badly if you drink alcohol and can give some very severe reactions in some people, even requiring hospitalisation.

      Naltrexone & Nalmefene are similar and are to help people cut down on the amount they drink.

    • Posted

      Thanks for letting me know. I've tried antebus in the past which doesn't stop the cravings. Going to look into getting campral. It's just insanity..I love the weeks, months when I'm sober, can sleep, drive, meet friends, kids, shopping etc but I always mess up and think I will be okay. And am for a day or two then back to binging and day time drinking. And then withdrawals and wasting my life ill in bed. Anyway have to keep trying 
    • Posted

      My son was just put on vivitrol shot thev25th for herion. He states that he has no side effects but dosnt crave the drug. He did drink, didnt get suck, but saud didnt get drunk. I could tell he drank but wasnt violent as he has been before when he drank. Si bottom line im ecstatic that hes 93 days clean if herion. Im sure everyone is different

      Releivef mom for today

  • Posted

    Hi Paper Fairy. I totally agree it' s a rubbish solution-whatever it's called possibly U .S .A .Maybe Finlland (Naltrexone) what a lot  of gushing thoughts come into  your head-This could be Magic. ? No it's another Total waste of time and money-Actualy it's cheaper to drink Lemonade rather than feel like a Zombie.
    • Posted

      Susan60053 -

      It's actually a drug that's been around for 30 years, originally marketed for opiate addicts. The market opened up and it became available to treat alcoholism. A US doctor went to do some research on it in Finland back in the 90's as they have a terrible problem with binging over there. One discovery lead to another and the Contral Clinics were opened in the early 2000's. I belive there are 3 of those clinics in Finland now, it's a fairly popular treatment for the problem. Using Naltrexone per The Sinclair Method eventually allows people to decide whether they want, for instance, to drink socially or to abstain entirely. It restores their choice in the matter. In the UK, there's a drug that does the same thing but it's metabolized via the kidneys rather than the liver like Naltrexone is. The UK/EU version is called Selincro. Taken per NICE guidelines, it typically results in a 60% reduction in alcohol consumption. Selincro (per NICE) is only taken on those days that a patient drinks. In terms of side effects, some people never have them, some have them for a week or two and some people just can't get along with the drug. That being said the Contral Clinics (using Selincro) have an 85%  or better success rate. The other 15% fail to take the drug (won't or can't) or they take it as directed and it just doesn't work for them. 

      Of course, what's best for you is between you and your physician. Some get along better with Acamprosate, some with Antabuse.

      As far as I have seen, the real problem is when an alcoholic relies on AA or similar abstinence-based practices alone. The problem lies in the "Alcohol Deprivation Effect". There's plenty on the web about this, but you've probably seen it in others. People go through detox or swear the stuff off, only to return to drinking. And they drink more than they ever did before, often with catastrophic results. Then, it's back in to detox and abstinence. They hold out as long as they can, then the Deprivation Effect kicks in and they again drink even more than before. This keeps on till they find some other solution or they simply kill themselves with the booze. Every time they return to drinking, they ruin not only their lives, but often the lives of those around them, not to mention the damage to society in general because it's not just one person, it's a large portion of the 17 million people with Alcohol Use Disorder (in the US alone). Oh, and by the way, it's their fault because it's a character or personality problem, right? WRONG!!!!

      Naltrexone, used the same way as Selincro (only on drinking days) will have basically the same effect. As I said, it won't work for everybody, but it will (and has been demonstrated to) work for the lion's share. It works so well that Drug Courts in the US are instructing repeat offenders to get a depot injection of Natrexone (marketed as Vivitrol) which lasts for a month. This has reduced the caseload from relapsed alcoholics considerably. UCLA has recently tested Naltrexone with Meth addicts and found that it effectively quashes their desire for Meth as well. Where it's tolerated by the patient, it's largely effective in the short term and also in the long term when used as Selincro is, per NICE guidelines or per The Sinclair Method. 

      In the short term does it also quash other desires? Yes, it may or it may not, depending on which one. But used as I mentioned, on an "as-needed" basis, the long term payoff far outweighs the short-term inconveniences by a long shot. Under proper medical guidance, of course (which may include choosing Campral or Anatabuse instead of Selincro or Naltrexone, per the patient's needs and the doctors guidance). 

      For the bigger picture, pick up a copy of Dr. Eskapa's "The Cure for Alcoholism" or look about on the net for a PDF copy, Dr. Eskapa seems to be more concerned that people read the book and doesn't begrudge the electronic copies floating about. Once you know the science of this, you can see the potential for the use of Naltrexone or Selincro go far beyond Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD). For those that would like more info on the application of these drugs to AUD, visit CThreeFoundation and feel free to also visit the OptionsSaveLives link on CThree's website.

      In any case, Susan, best health to you, your countrymen and the world!

  • Posted

    Hi guys, thanks for replies. When I was in rehab there were 2 dr/psychiatrists you saw. One put her patients on acampresate( tho don't know how to spell it,!). The other on naltrexone and I ended up on the latter, I don't know, we just go round in circles and yes we are all looking for a miracle cure that isn't there unfortunately. Feeling very crap and very sorry for myself sad 
    • Posted

      As we've all said to ourselves a million did it all come to this???
    • Posted

      I don't need to ask myself, I can remember the exact time line from 25 years ago, when I was just an odd night down the pub for a few pints of Fosters each week, never drank at home, never even gave it a moment's thought.

      To when one day after a row with the missus, I went down the pub and starting drinking Super Tennants (they use to do them in pubs those days in half pint bottles), two bottles in a pint glass and enjoyed the buzz it gave me. That was the start of the slippery slope.

      Then I got a very good but highly stressful job, so money was no object, I drank to forget and be able to sleep at night. In the local village pub until 3:00am in the morning (this was whilst pubs were still meant to shut at 11:00pm, but village pubs don't care). Sunday afternoons, drinking a gallon of stella with me mates and then on to the whisky when we couldn't fir anymore beer in (never came back with change out of £40).

      I was a happy drunk, never got nasty, always jovial, never blacked out or forgot what happened the night before or ever became a pain, I just got tired and the homing device kicked in.

      I realised I was heading for an early grave, so I packed the job in, I had money so I didn't need to sign on or look for something, but was suffering from depression, so started going down the pub at lunchtime and having beer in the house.

      Only I didn't pack the job in soon enough, the alcohol and stress had taken its toll on me and the hemorrhagic stroke came along, it was pretty much the same thing that killed Charles Kennedy, only I was lucky because I wasn't on my own when it happened and I got rushed straight to hospital. They detoxed me because I was jaundiced and obviously I had two months where there was no way I could get access to alcohol, so I managed about a year without it.

      Stupidly I thought I might keep it light, I don't miss it at home, but I do miss the social life at the pub. I found detoxing easy this time around, it only took me four day, I could have done it in three, but thought I may as well finish the packet off. Just waiting to get my hands on Campral to see if that helps, which should be two weeks.

      Personally, I think I've now come to terms with no alcohol, that doesn't mean I like the idea, I've just accepted that is my fate and I need other things to keep me busy in life.

    • Posted

      hi RHGB, I like your story and you are doing much better. Myselft jsut 3 yrs no drinking and was well beyond normal levels and always hiding vodka and much more and all is fine or pretending to be fine. Very small children around and my wife and parents nagging me at Xmas 3 yrs ago was the end..stop or loose everything and I did stop. Do not miss it and doing very well indeed. Good luck to all of us! Regards Robin
    • Posted


      RHGB is correct. The generic name for Antabuse is disulfiram, and the generic name for camprol is acamprosate.

      I've had both and IMO camprol is by far the best. It somehow stops you thinking about alcohol, therefore reducing the cravings. I was told by a psychiatrist that it shouldn't be taken for longer than a year as it can cause liver problems. You should have at least 10/14 alcohol free days and an LFT test before starting it, and regular LFTs whilst taking it. Well that's what I was told, but another doctor could say differently.

      Hope you're withdrawals aren't too bad.

      take care


    • Posted


      I think you are right accepting that alcohol is not for you. If I'm truly honest, I would be better without it.

      Ive had a really hectic weekend socially, starting with lunch out on Friday. Had two large glasses of wine out with 'ladies that lunch'. Often I would have had a couple of glasses at home beforehand. I would certainly have bought a bottle home with me.

      Friday night was drinks with friends, who when out often get through a couple of bottles of wine each. It was a long night and us girls got through a bottle each. Saturday morning I felt dreadful and didn't get up till 12.30pm. Went for a family meal Saturday night with drinks beforehand, but just had 3 large glasses of wine and two with my meal. The wine with meal was complimently, but I struggled to drink it.

      Had Sunday lunch out, two strong ciders before and half a bottle of wine with meal.I couldn't even manage a brandy coffee, which was also free. Determined not to drink anything this week.

      Ive also started to cut down on sleeping tablets, and have gone from 2 X 5mg tablets to one 5mg tablets each night, then next week will be half a tablet at night. The aim is to stop completely before next GP appointment.

    • Posted

      Paper fairy, are you Strailya? I've been looking for some resources/contacts for others and might be able to give you some leads to chase down a private consult that could help you cut through the red tape. Maybe if you could get the initial script, then the regular docs would be more willing? Don't know how things work over there, but I do like people to have choices. I'm a naltrexone guy myself, but if Acamprosate is what gets you to freedom, I'm all for it. 

      Now, c'mon... keep your chin up! You're doing it right, one connection leads to another, you'll get there!

Report or request deletion

Thanks for your help!

We want the community to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the community are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the community is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.