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What sort of side effects can i expect ?

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29 Replies

  • Posted

    In general restlessnes, problems sleeping, losing appetite, heart beating in your sleep, some panick attacks, pain in the stomach and the feeling you need to vommit.

    Above symptoms are mostly in the first week and slowly disappear in the second week.

    Good luck,


  • Posted

    In case anybody Googles it, it is spelt 'nalmefene' smile Having said that, it has been widely discussed here so most people know, I am just saying for any new members who see this thread first smile

    The most common side effects are nausea and sleep disturbances. Some people also report feeling a little strange, as if they are in a tunnel and detached from the world.

    The issue is that nalmefene blocks endorphins from attaching to the opioid receptors in the brain. While that is good, in the case of alcohol, for those who have a problem with excessive drinking, it also stops more healthy activities (like exercise, extreme sports, going on rollercoasters, sex, cuddling babies and seeing cute animals) producing the same level of pleasure.

    For this reason, although it may be necessary to take a tablet every day because alcohol is being consumed every day, initially, it is important to work towards having days off from drinking (and therefore days off from nalmefene) and doing those other pleasurable activities on those days, so that you can get the usual level of pleasure from them.

    The side effects (nausea, sleeplessness and detachment) subside over the first week or so of taking the drug so it's worth persisting with it.


  • Posted

    Besides all the good info Paul has provided, you might also ask your GP about Naltrexone. Very similar and for myself the side-effects have subsided now.

    Still not too sure if it works yet 'cause I haven't lost my cravings yet. I have a need to Socialize and be around others, even go out of the way to do this, sooooo

    • Posted

      You are right, Tim. The Sinclair Method was developed using Naltrexone. The only thing I would say is this:

      The benefit of Nalmefene which was developed later, is that it is processed differently by the liver. This means that Nalmefene can be given without the need for Liver Function Tests. Naltrexone is not as gentle on the liver, although that shouldn't be a problem if the user hasn't developed any serious liver problems due to heavy drinking.

    • Posted

      Thanks for this Paul. NOW, I just wish professionals such as yourself could convince countries like mine (Canada) to look into the benefits of Nalmefene.

      Not only for the better of it's citizens but for the WHOLE health care system too boot !!!

    • Posted

      Well, it's not so simple here in the UK Tim. Nalmefene is approved for use but for moderate drinkers, basically, those who don't really need it smile Then there is the requirement that a person also has psycho-social support (which isn't easily available in many areas) and then there is the cost of each tablet (£3.50) which means that many of the committees that agree what drugs can or cannot be prescribed in their local area, don't have Nalmefene as one of those allowed.
  • Posted

    At last i was able to pickup a prescription for 14 tablets yesterday and took 1 about an hour ago.  I have my usual 3 bottles of wine lined up so lets see what happens.
    • Posted

      Hi Michael, 

      I do hope Selingro works for you like it works for me.

      Please keep us updated about yuor progress.

      Greetz and good luck,



    • Posted


         Didnt go too well on saturday ;drank the whole lot. cannot remember much .

         MY TYPING IS SOO SLOW ,very frustating as its half an hour behind my mind. have been thinking it would be damn usefull to be able to type at speed . Any  recovered and tryin g ain

    • Posted

      You my friend need some major computer cleanup.

      Try CCleaner, Google it...or is it you ???

      The other thing of importance on this site is to hear what others are suggesting, most helpful. Like the Nalmefene so many are raving about in the UK. Wish I could get it here in Canada.

      Good luck and please give it a chance, I hear it works well.



    • Posted

      *LOL* thats the way to go, doesn't matter, if you want it or not, one day the Selingro will take over ;-), hope youre doing fine after this bender.

      Oh I forgot to tell you, Selingro doesn't get rid of your hangovers, did you enjoy this one ? cheesygrin


    • Posted

      No not happy absolutely dreadfull. will it tho ?  feeling fine now ;bit of led zep.  ,,,,, i have a question
  • Posted

    Thought I would share experiences as have found this very helpful on this forum - I am in my late 60s and drinking every day (over 60 units/week) and finally, got Nalmefene prescription after "chasing" around for many weeks so was afraid that I would take it and not notice!  Anything but!

    Thursday - Took tablet 6 pm.  7 30 felt pain in stomach which went away.  Felt "high" - pleasant/unpleasant a bit dizzy  and restless

    Went to bed and slept for 2 hours (was sleeping irregularly recently  anyway) - Got up and had 3 bottles of beer watching Question Time and This Week - usually have much more when doiing this.

    Friday - woke up still a bit zonked - lay in bed but could not get back to sleep, went out walk, not dizzy now but not "right" - decided not to have another pill today as I did not feel like drinking anyway - gradually feeling more normal

    Saturday - felt more normal and went out to concert in the evening - had decided not to have pill in case of reactions - had 2 pints at concert - drunk this less rapidly than normal - had decided to take pill if I still fancied a drink when I got home but just had a snack and am now going to bed - Plan to take second pill tomorrow (Sunday) evening and have a drink - a bit apprehensive but happy very happy that the pill is having an affect as I was worried that after all my pushing to get on it that it might have no effect so I still plan to take regularly


    • Posted

      Thanks for sharing your experience Davy. The one thing you need to be careful of is drinking without the pill which I think will be less likely when the side-effects subside after a few days of use.
    • Posted

      Thanks Paul

      You are right about drinking without the pill - just to continue my diary


      Still a bit woozy but trying to keep functioning with hobbies

      Took pill and had two beers


      I wanted something substantial in my stomach before taking Nalmefene.

      My wife and I went out for a meal - we had some snacky type food in house but I wanted something more substantial - I ended up with a steak so had a meal with one pint then came home and took pill, watched football (don't know about me but United certainly haven't got it together biggrin), did some work on computer so functioning a bit better and watched Newsnight and had two beers

      I am writing this at 5 30 in the morning - so happy that I slept through this long - I had been having sleep difficulties before starting Nalmefene treatment

      I still have a bit of vagueness but, I hope, I am approaching "normality".

      My plan now is to take Selincro/Nalmefene daily on a full stomach so that I have a routine and don't drink before treatment - I don't want to get over hopeful but despite side effects I am very happy with way things are going.  I will post later on general background and support issues and Nalmefene availability in my area.  I am glad to finally be on it.


    • Posted

      Hi Davey,

      Thank you for sharing this with us.

      The restless nights and waking up after two hours or so, are exactly the things I was feeling.

      Also the pain in the stomach is one of them, this Is highly uncomfortable and a little painfull, but It takes about three four day's (in my situation)

      Just like you I play'd a little with Selingro, like eating before, ajusting the time of intake etc.

      Good luck, and keep on taking it, it's worth it.

      So are you.




    • Posted

      Hi there.

      I just wanted to share with you my experience with Selincro, (Nalmefene) which sadly has been very unpleasant but think I am simply an exception to the rule.

      I have undergone 4 medical detoxes and been involved heavily with the amazing local alcohol service by way of attending support groups and assessments.

      At my last assessment it was deemed that the biggest problem I have is maintaining abstinence... I keep relapsing; at my worst 3 bottles of wine every day, starting in the morning and severe withdrawals without it. The doctor thus suggested trying Selincro as at least when drinking the opiate receptors would be inhibited as you have all discussed in these very informative forums.

      I got the pills on St Patrick's Day, took the prescribed dose; one tablet, had two large glasses of wine, then had a deep, acute pain in my stomach and had to tale myself off home, (was out with friends). The following hours were awful; I could handle the diarrhoea but was being very sick and had dreadful stomach cramps - my husband nearly called an ambulance as I was rolling around on the bed in agony.

      It transpired that the reason for such an acute reaction was that I inadvertently had some codeine left in my system, (had taken2 tablets days before and assumed it was out of my system). Had the doctor been aware she would never have let me have the prescription as codeine and Nalmefene react very badly. So it took two days before I could keep water down and five days to feel brighter and eat properly.

      I went back to the assessment doctor yesterday where she took a urine sample to make sure I had nothing in my system which would react with the pills so I could try again. Then she suggested a half dose just to see how my system would cope. I'm sorry to say that just the half dose gave me terrible stomach cramps again and bad diarrhoea so I didnt take the other half and can't even think about taking any more of them as it obviously just doesn't agree with me. It's really such a shame as had thought it was a great way to moderate better.

      I also don't want people to be nervous of taking this medication as it is very rare for someone to have such an extreme reaction but do feel it helps to hear of everyone's different experiences.

      Good luck with your journeys. I see someone has suggested Kudzu so will look into that now.


    • Posted

      It is true that the side effects can be quite severe. However, they do subside over a period of about a week (if you take it daily) or around 7-10 doses. For many people, this is way better than the longterm effect of alcohol or the horrible life some people have coping with craving for years and years.

      You were right in your assumption that it is a better way to moderate drinking, but it can be a real trauma getting your body accustomed to it.

    • Posted

      Thank you for your reply....I have seen many interesting and important posts from're doing such a great job and inspiring/informing many.

      Sadly I defy anyone to stick with the symptoms I was displaying both over the last couple of days and last week. I hope noone else has to go through it. I have a very high pain threshold, (have had lots of broken bones, operations, acute food poisoning, tonsillitis and major spinal surgery including the removal of ribs, bone grafts and metal parts inserted into the lumbar region), so I know this was a majorly unnatural reaction that noone should not have to endure.

      Just a heads up to anyone else who thinks it's odd that they've had problems.

      All the best


    • Posted

      Thank you for your nice words hturner smile I'm sorry that Nalmefene didn't work out for you.
    • Posted

      I meant to add ... with my clients, we give other medications to help with the side effects and I wish that all people prescribing this were aware of how horrible they can be and help their patients get through them.

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