In 2019, over 10 million people misused opioids. If current trends are any indication, these numbers have only increased since. Despite this, 80% of people with Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) do not have access to medication-assisted treatments (MAT).
Naltrexone is an effective medication that is FDA-approved for treating OUD, but is it available without a prescription (over-the-counter)? Let's find out.
Why is Naltrexone not Available Over-The-Counter in the U.S.?
Naltrexone is not an available over-the-counter drug in the U.S. This is for several reasons:
- Using Naltrexone while opioids or alcohol are in the system can induce withdrawal
- Naltrexone blocks the effects of opioids. As a result, patients may take increased quantities of opioids to achieve the same effect. This raises the risk of serious injury, overdose, coma, and death.
- Naltrexone has specific dosing requirements, which can vary on a case-by-case basis. Thus, you should always take Naltrexone under the supervision of a trained medical professional.
- Naltrexone use can cause a series of potentially dangerous side effects.