Nalmefene and other drug interactions

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Hi,

I am continuing my research into Nalmefene and have read the patient leaflet and am reading Roy Eskapa's book. My main concern is that I am already on around seven other medications and from all accounts not a lot of research has yet been done on interactions with Nalmefene.

Some medications I am on are mentioned. I take Co-codamol pretty much daily for lower back pain - although I have to confess some days I take it without the back pain because guess what? yep it makes me feel good. I do realise I would have to be free of Co-codamol for around two weeks before taking Nalmefene and don't think I would have too much of a problem weening myself of it.

The second medication mentioned which I also take is Omeprazole or the version I take Esomeprazole. This is for stomach acid and I've taken it for years. There is an interaction listed on the Nalmefene patient leaflet but I don't understand it.

The third one which concerns me is Venlafaxine which is an antidepressant. This drug managed to get me out of a major depression when I could just tell my brain was 'broken' despite a counsellor telling me my thought patterns were making me depressed. Everything was great in my life and yet I felt dreadful until around six weeks after beginning Venlafaxine. One problem though, it practically doubled my craving for alcohol and made me 'give in' much more than normal. I Googled this side affect and I'm not alone. I am slightly concerned what mixing Nalmefene with this antidepressant would do.

So, I am just wondering if anyone has any experience of being on any of these medications or similar ones, when beginning Nalmefene.

I have a feeling that when I do see my doctor he won't know any more than I do about this.

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  • Posted

    Hi. I too have taken Omeprazole every day for years. When I started Nelmafene I stopped and switched to Zantac, No joy, didnt work very well  .and suffered with stomach acid. I called my GP and explained the situation and he switched me to t Lanzoprazole, which works in exactly the same way as Omeprazole, but doesnt contain actual omeprazole.  I find taking 15mg of Lanzoprazole works just as well as 20mg pf Omeprazole. So there you go....sorted ! The reason there is a contra indication about Omeprazole is that there is an enzime in it which may make the Nalmefene less effective. However I have spoken to the manufactures and this is not fact, but possibility. But if you are serious about taking Nalmefene, you want it to work at its best, so why chance it ! Hope that helps.
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    • Posted

      Thanks for the reply and yes that helps greatly! I already take Zantac additionally of an evening so finding an alternative to Esomeprazole would be needed. Sounds like Lansoprazole may be the solution. Although I guess if that's the case I should check with the manufacturer that Esomeprazole could cause an issue as it is different to Omeprazole.

      Hope the Nalmefene is working for you.

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    • Posted

      You need to find out for sure if what you take contains omeprazole, if so switch to Lansoprazole which does not. I found that even though I am drinking less I still suffer with acidid stomach from food etc. I am prone to this and have been from an early age.

      The Nalmefene is amazing. On week 7 now and have gone from drinking a bottle to a bottle and a half a night drunk very quickly and blacking out to average 2 glasses of prossecco over an evening ! After the first initial two and a half weeks of hellish side affects am now feeling very well, sleeping better then ever ( no waking up throughout the night needing pints of water from too much booze) and no hangovers ! Wonderful. How are you getting on and where are you on your nalmafene journey ?

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    • Posted

      At the moment I'm waiting to see my doc as can't get an appointment until the 14th April as he's away. Am going to use that time to read the book on The Sinclair Method and to get myself off the Co-codamol.

      Good to know it's working for you and important to know how long the side effects lasted. I had horrible side effects with the anti depressants I'm on but if you know they subside you can stick with it.

      I currently drink between one and two bottles of wine a day so would be good if Nalmefene helped to curb that.

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    • Posted

      I have tried all sorts of things over the years to cut down but nothing really helped. I thought I would eventually have to stop drinking altogether as didnt seem to be able to control it, which i really didnt want to do. Nalmefene has done the trick for me, Still enjoy having a few drinks, but i now drink like a 'normal' person and dont feel the urge to get drunk. Where do you live ? I may have some advice about actually getting it prescribed .
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    • Posted

      Good to hear it is working well for you, Boo, and I hope those people who are put off by the reports of side-effects are encouraged to use Nalmefene (or continue to take it), knowing that the side-effects DO subside.
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    • Posted

      ok. When I went to the GP to ask about getting Nalmafene I was told they couldn't just prescribe it, until I had gone through another alchahol related body. So I had to go to an organiztion called HAGA, who are based in North London (they are an alchahol organisation for people with problems in that area)  I had to see a councilor from there every week for about a month and then when they were satisfied that l was serious and the right type of person for the medication, they made the recomendation to my GP, who then prescribed it. You may not find that your GP is the same, but I suspect you will as it's an expensive drug for the NHS to pay for, so they don't just hand it out willy nilly. You may also find that many GP's really know very little about Selincro. Are you in North London by any chance ? If so HAGA (google it) would also see you and I can give you the cintact number of the person I see.
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    • Posted

      Thanks Paul...I cannot stress strongly enough to people how much it's worth going through the first rough 2 or 3 weeks of side effects (not everyone will have the same symptoms ) when you come out the other side, life is so much better without the guilt, dependance, hangovers, black-outs, being drunk. Yet still being able to enjoy a couple of drinks...and be normal ! Also feeling much healthier due to drinking less of-course.
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    • Posted

      Thanks, that's useful information to have. I'm under the Lambeth borough so am sure there will be a similar body there.
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    • Posted

      Yes there is bound to be, You havn't written anything about yourself (not sure if I have actually). Are you male or female, what sort of age ? Do you have family or support behind you ? Keep in touch if there is anything I can help with,
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    • Posted

      Thanks. I'm a 45 year old male in a civil partnership. My partner is incredibly supportive and really as interested as I am about me trying this approach.

      Also have a really close group of friends who all talk openly about everything. I'm very lucky.

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    • Posted

      That's good. It is always much easier if you have support and don't need to be secretive about everything. It's a shame that so many people have to go through it alone.
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    • Posted

      I guess if someone has gone through a lot with a problem drinking partner with constant relapses and broken promises it's hard for them to imagine that their partner being told to drink is a good thing.

      I'm lucky that I've hopefully caught my problem before things get that bad so my partner is very understanding. I could see it being a very different story in ten years time if I did nothing.

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    • Posted

      I agree, Odishon, but the problem is that, for many years, everybody has been told that alcohol problems are behavioural and very few recognise that they are a medical problem. That makes guilt a massive issue and results in lying and sneaking around. If people were properly educated (including health care professions, many of whom have a disgusting attitude towards people with drink problems) then a great deal of the problem would be relieved, honesty would be easier and treating alcohol problems would be many times more straightforward.
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    • Posted

      Yes I have to say reading Roy Eskapa's book is the first time I've recognised myself in a book on the subject.
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