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Hi all

          I have just joined this forum and have battled alcohol adiction for over 35 years. In desperation, the last 2 years i have been going to AA which has served a purpose but i am so over it, During this time i have busted 3 times and i feel No 4 isn't far away. I am about to try Selincro and understand there can be side efects early that hopefully won't last long. My questions are, Is it possible to take one selincro then go out and not actually drink or is that not a good thing, Also does it help with the mental obsession of craving alcohol all the time. Cheers Chris

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6 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Chris, there are some side effects (some people get worse than others) so it is recommended that the first few times you take it at home so if you feel rough you are not out and about coping with it.  You must not take it and not drink, that is not how it works, if you take it and find one drink is more than enough then great but the idea of the medicine is that you take it, wait 1 to 2 hours then have a drink.  Once it kicks it it does help with cravings, I have been taking it for about 10 months and never crave a drink like I used to in fact a lot of the time I am just not bothered at all.  Great for my hubby as I now offer to drive on days/nights out where I never would have offered before Selincro!!  I wish you the best of luck !
  • Posted

    Hello Chris,

    Not everyone gets side effects, but those that do have side effects can rest assured that as bad as they may appear to be initially, they do lessen with each tablet and eventually pass within the first 6-10 tablets.  To help, each a good meal about 30 minutes before the tablet and drink lots of water.  What can also help is to take the tablets fairly regularly to allow your body to adjust.  What I mean by that is don't take a tablet, then wait a week and take another.  As best you can, try work through the first few tablets on a regular basis.

    Take the tablet 2 hours before you anticipate drinking.  The tablets are not curative on their own, they only work in conjuction with alcohol.  If you take a tablet, it will get you a step nearer your ultimate goal if you do have even ONE drink.  One drink will release the endorphins that the tablets block.  There is no need to drink any more if you don't wish to.  Taking a tablet and not drinking will not harm you, but it won't help your progress either, if that makes sense.

    When you do drink, drink slowly and appreciate that the usual 'kick' that you got from drinking, and that caused you to drink more, is missing.  Between drinks ask yourself if you really want another - will it satisfy you any more than the drink before.  By listening to your brain, you should find that it is much easier to recognise that you are done drinking and so put the drink down.  Get up and do something else.

    Selincro does not interact with the alcohol.  If you ignore the messages in your brain that you are done, then you will overdrink and get drunk.  View the Selincro as a tool in your toolbox that will help you make better decisions with regards to your drinking.

    As the kick of the drink is gone, over some months you will find yourself thinking about drinking less.  At the first sign of a craving, take the tablet, wait the time and then drink mindfully, as above.  The idea is to short circuit the reward mechanism that you got from drinking.  Answer the craving with a drink, recognise that it actually isn't doing that much for you, and then over time your cravings will naturally lessen.

    On days that you don't drink, be sure to do something that releasing endorphins as they are not being blocked since you haven't had the tablet.  You want to be aiming to be learning to enjoy activities that do feel rewarding, over the drinking that no longer feels rewarding.  In time, your brain will start to lean towards the enjoyable activities.

    One last thing, view the Selincro as a door.  When you take the tablet and wait the 2 hours, the door is shut and locked.  Endorphins cannot get through at all.  That is what you want EVERY TIME you drink.  Do not skip a tablet and do not drink until the time has passed.

    The door is locked shut for around 10-11 hours.  During this time you can drink safely knowing that the endorphins are not getting through and it is unrewarding, though of course you want to be aiming to have stopped drinking long before the time is up.

    After that time, the Selincro will start to wear down a little and the door will begin to slowly open again.  DO NOT drink after that time as even a few endorphins getting through the crack in the door may well affect your progress.

    Hopefully, you have got some additional support to get the best out of the tablets as this is part of the prescription.  You should also have received a validation code to be able to access the manufacturers website ReduceYourDrinking.  This website gives you some great suggestions and will also help you get the best out of the tablets, and help you monitor your progress.  It's well worth following that website as you progress.

    • Posted

      Hi, Joanna, you always give such informative and well reasoned advice and from experience. Just a couple of questions. This is the first time I've heard to have a meal before taking the tablet. But a meal is a time to drink - for me anyway - wine. And that if you take a tablet you must drink (actually I think I've heard that before but not realised). I took one tablet, nearly a year ago now, advised by my alcohol worker and prescribed by my GP, about 2 hours before expecting to drink. Made me feel so ill that I had no desire to drink or eat or do anything and just went to bed. Started a flare up of vertigo that I'd had a few years before. Didn't take another tablet. On medication still for the vertigo. Didn't fancy a drink for about 2 weeks (had about 27 units in 2 weeks rather than the 80 I'd got down to). But then back to "normal". Questions are, should I have forced myself to drink that first time, even though I didn't in any way want to and should I have continued to take the tablets even though I felt so frighteningly ill? Bear in mind that no one even my husband knew I was taking them or even that I was trying to cut down on the booze.

      Thanks for your thoughts.

    • Posted

      Thank you, H!  I appreciate your kind words. 

      The need to eat, and drink water, first is only for the first few times until the side effects have passed.  Having something in your stomach actually helps prevents the worst of any nausea.  I know, I thought that was a little strange at first, too!   biggrin

      I am not sure whether if you had had a drink it would have prevented the vertigo, but the combination of the entire 'package' of a meal, lots of water and then at least one alcoholic drink MAY have changed things a little for you.  I guess there might be the chance that you not drinking, plus everything else, may have caused some kind of withdrawals too.

      Just to clarify also, that when you took the tablet, you had not (in the previous 5 days or so) taken any medication that may have contained opiates?  This can include some cough medicines and diarreah tablets, as well as some painkillers, even a few that are 'over the counter' have traces of opiates in them.  That would have caused quite a violent reaction too.  I really would have expected your doctor to make that clear to you before prescribing, but it is a fact that some doctors are quite stunningly unaware of the ins and outs of the medication.

      Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but the tablet is designed to be taken with alcohol a couple of hours later.  So, if I had to say one way or the other, then yes perhaps you should have forced yourself to have had one drink at least, but there really isn't way to be sure if that would have actually changed the onset of the vertigo, which in itself is quite a horrible thing.

    • Posted

      Hi Joanna

                Thankyou so much for that information, It will really help my knowledge now, such a great explanation. Many thanks Chris

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