Started taking Nalmefene (Selincro)

Posted , 10 users are following.


After years of struggling with alcoholism and trying all paths available I have started taking Nalmefene (after eventually it became available 2 years after being shown on Sky News).

This is the end of my first week and I still have consumed 112.8 units of alcohol. I realise this is still scarily high yet the week before taking Nalmefene I had a particularily bad week and had 196.4 units

I am a 49 year old male, very overweight and have extended periods of being down.

There does not seem to much discussions out there and I need to research as much as I can. Does Nalmefene kick in straigh away , for example? or are they like other drugs which take a while to kick in.

I am seeing other councellors for my moods etc and have set myself goals such as not taking a drink to bed and trying not to drink before midday.

If anyone can give any sort of feedback I would be most grateful

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18 Replies

  • Posted

    Paul or Joanna will probably reply to this and they should be able to answer your questions, so keep coming back to see replies. There also a number of other people who visit here and have been taking it for some time.
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  • Posted


    thanks for the swift replies

    I have already found Joanna's C THREE EUROPE site

    Maybe there is a cure that I have been looking for for over 30 years after all

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  • Posted

    Hi Phil

    I found that understanding the principle of how Nalmefene works with the brain and addiction very helpful and encouraging, especially to get through the side effects which can be quite unpleasant for some.

    You sound disappointed with your first week but you have nearly shaved off half of your consumption already, well done! 

    I am on week 3 and feeling much better already. I think it's counter-productive to compare your progress with anyone else. The amount you personally consume will dramatically drop naturally as you continue using Nalmefene when you drink.

    I think your goals to eliminate late night and early morning drinking is an excellent start - Good luck mate!

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  • Posted

    Hello Phil,

    It's great that you have been able to get Nalmefene, many people would love to be able to get the opportunity but can't get their GP (or anybody else) to prescribe it for them.

    It sounds like you have not been given the correct information about how this should be taken.

    The purpose of Nalmefene is to block the opiod receptors before you drink, in order to eliminate that additional 'hit' that you get, compared to people who don't have an alcohol problem.

    In order for this to work properly, you need to allow 90 minutes to 2 hours after taking the pill before you drink. Our experience with our clients has been that 2 hours minumum is best.

    You should also ensure that you only drink while the drug is active in your body, that is 8 to 11 hours (use 8 to be on the safe side). If you drink while not protected by a pill, your opioid receptors will be stimulated and that will slow down the process of reaching pharmacological extenction (this is the point where your addiction has been unlearned).

    Even after pharmacological extinction, you need to always take a pill before drinking because you would still be vulnerable to re-learning the addiction which could happen very quickly.

    You must ONLY take a pill if you are going to be drinking. If you don't plan to drink, don't take the pill. And NEVER drink without having taken a pill beforehand.

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    • Posted

      Hi Paul

      the road to obtain Nalmefene was difficult, neither my GP, Community Addiction Team or #city# Council on Alcohol had heard of it. 'No such thing as a magic pill' was a common answer. I think I just need to take all the advice, stay calm and focused and find the best way to suit my own drinking schedule. I a worried about my 'binges' though, which can go on for over 12 hours and 50 units plus!! in one session. that isnt a brag or anything, more of a 'help'

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    • Posted

      As long as you give a pill two hours to be absorbed by the body, you should find that your desire to drink more will be diminished and those binges with reduce in volume. Good luck! smile
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    • Posted

      thanks Paul

      one of my major issues is is that my first 'drink' is usually a fast combination of various alcohols  totaling around 8-10 units within the first 10 minutes. If I can beat that initial burst I might just beat this

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    • Posted

      Hi Phil,

      Excellent advice from Paul here, as always! biggrin

      I am more than happy to give you one-to-one support if you feel you need it - just contact me through the website.  The contact button is on the top of the page.

      Something that is pretty much VITAL is that you MUST slow down those first couple of drinks.  The reason is that you want your brain to acknowlege that the usual rush/kick isn't there.  By drinking mindfully at the start of a session, you should find it much easier to continue listening to your brain and therefore, be in a position to put the drink down earlier each session.  It sort of becomes a pointless thing to continue drinking when you have first recognised that the usual rush doesn't exist.  The tablet will provide you with the ability to make better decisions about your consumption as the need to drink reduces - you do, however, have to want to, and have the ability, to act on it otherwise little will change.

      The medication does not react in any way with the alcohol.  If you continue to throw those first few drinks down you, you will start to become intoxicated before you are really listening to your brain.  In that case, you will either not 'hear' when you've had enough or even if you do, you will be too intoxicated to act on it.

      It isn't a magic pill and works better if you work with it.

      Paddy48571 also makes a brilliant point about this treatment - fully understanding what the tablets do, what the process is and how to work with it does give an excellent foundation to begin with.  In my experience of supporting many through this, those who begin on a solid foundation of understanding certainly do seem to have a much smoother time with their recovery.

      Those who take the tablet and then continue to mindlessly throw the drink down them like before will not get the maximum benefit, and it does appear to make the recovery much harder for them.

      Lots of information on this forum too, just search Selincro or Naltrexone and do some reading.

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  • Posted

    Hi Phil28427

    I got my first batch of Selincro 2 weeks ago and the last 2 days are my first non drinking days since.

    Initially I had some side effects, mostly insomnia and nausea, but after week it seemed to get better. I felt the pills worked quite well for me, and although I drank more than I should it was less than normal.

    I dont intend to drink until Friday possibly Thursday I will see then if the side effects kick in again.....hope not. 

     I must admit that taking the pill has made me feel more confident about taking control of my drinking.

    I really hope it works for you.

    Good Luck

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  • Posted

    Hi Everyone

    sorry to report , however took the tablet AFTER 6 or 7 units then continued to drink.!

    Now early morning and suffering severe hallucinactions! Waking the household up etc!

    A quick look around shows maybe only 14-16 units caused this!

    Any advice?

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    • Posted

      From what Paul has written before, you must take a tablet 2 hours before any alcohol is consumed and not on any days you don't consume alcohol.

      You would have had two pints before the tablet, and then many more before the tablet had the chance to kick in. I imagine it was too late, because your brain receptors had started to enjoy the alcohol.

      Like all medication, it only works if you follow the instructions.

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    • Posted

      RHGB is absolutely correct.  You MUST take the tablet 2 hours BEFORE starting to drink alcohol.

      This is the only rule associated with this method - but it simply isn't negotiable.

      Establish a plan to always ensure that you do take the tablet and wait the 2 hours - this might be taking the tablet at 3.00pm if you know you are going to drink at 5.00pm.  Set an alarm on your phone - not only to remind you to take the tablet, but also a second alarm for when the 2 hours has passed.

      Compliance to this rule is an absolute must, otherwise it won't work for you. 

      Resolve to do this from now on!


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    • Posted

      Hi Phil

      I hope things are beginning to settle down for you.

      I am not sure you could have done anything more than you did, as the patient information form supplied with the pills, tells you that if you have started drinking without taking the pill, then take a pill as soon possible..........

      Sometimes it is an episode like this that reinforces what we need to do.

      Hopefully this lesson wasn't too distressing.

      Good Luck going forward.

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    • Posted

      Hi sil99

      it was a painful lesson. Fortunately for me I had a councelling session the next day and also followed the advice of taking my pill 2 hours in advance.

      I took only 8 units last night and feel ok this morning.

      Early days and very up and down but ill am determined

      thanks againfor your reply and support

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