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Anti craving medications

  • #1
    Closed Accounts Posts: 167 ✭✭ dubdev


    Hi there

    I was recently discharged from an inpatient mental health/substance abuse programme and I'm having a review meeting with my psychiatrist who I'm thinking of asking for a prescription for anti-craving medications. I haven't had a drink since I came out but I do get cravings and heading into Christmas could make it very hard. I was wondering if anybody had tried Campral, Nalmefene or Naltrexone and if they found them useful.

    Thanks


Comments



  • I'm on Naltrexone, my psychiatrist says it works very well in combination with Sertraline, which I'm also on. I'm sober a year, only on Naltrexone the last 3 months, it's hard to say if it's helping but, the way I see it, it certainly can't hurt! Oh and it makes you drowsy, I take it at night and I think it helps me sleep.

    I've been on Campral in the past and was drinking same as usual on it, so I guess that didn't work for me anyways. Also frustrating how you've to take it (I think) three times a day.




  • Thanks. I started Campral on Wednesday and so far feel cravings are reduced - why that is I'm not sure, whether it's the Campral, the placebo or my cravings diminishing naturally with time as I've been sober for a little over two months. From what I read I think it works best when you've already been abstinent for a few weeks whereas Naltrexone is better at getting you abstinent.

    Im definitely feeling a bit nauseous so am having to take Motilium with it. Hopefully that'll ease because otherwise I'm not sure I can continue with it.




  • dubdev wrote: »
    Hi there

    I was recently discharged from an inpatient mental health/substance abuse programme and I'm having a review meeting with my psychiatrist who I'm thinking of asking for a prescription for anti-craving medications. I haven't had a drink since I came out but I do get cravings and heading into Christmas could make it very hard. I was wondering if anybody had tried Campral, Nalmefene or Naltrexone and if they found them useful.

    Thanks

    Well done on getting to this point :) Are you going to meetings/one on one support as well? Medication can help to a point but support is so important too




  • Well done on getting to this point :) Are you going to meetings/one on one support as well? Medication can help to a point but support is so important too

    Meetings three times a week. I'm considering going to an addiction counsellor as well, but I went to one before being hospitalised, and the advice I was given was questionable to say the least, so I'm a bit wary.




  • dubdev wrote: »
    Meetings three times a week. I'm considering going to an addiction counsellor as well, but I went to one before being hospitalised, and the advice I was given was questionable to say the least, so I'm a bit wary.

    That's great! With the one on one I guess like anything you might need to try a few till you feel one you are comfortable with.


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  • Naltrexone, Campral and Selincro are the three that I can think of off hand.

    During my struggles with King Alcohol, I tried all three. I found Naltraxone (which has very unpleasant side effects and is also used to treat opioid cravings) gave very bad stomach cramps, diarrhoea and vomiting. :( Campral I didn’t find effective in any way at all and Selincro, whilst quite effective, gave me headaches and was very expensive.

    The best way is total abstinence from alcohol in my humble opinion.




  • Campral works a treat. You are on the right medication. I've tried it in the past, was quite easily abstinent for 6 months, assumed it was all me and stopped it...was drinking again within two weeks- cravings came back with a bang.

    They recommend staying on it for a year, however, be very vigilant when you come off it. Gastro side effects will settle down. It can lower your mood slightly but if you're under the mental health team you should be well looked after ;)




  • The thing is the severe cravings and withdrawal take a lot less than six months to kick in if you go the de tox route under medical supervision or three month rehab. Medication is great for controlling withdrawal to avoid seizures and take them down gradually. But after that it's sheer willpower and determination. If you're on an anti craving drug and three to six months later you're still on it then you haven't got to the root of the problem. Physically it's not needed if de tox is done correctly and obviously if support is being given. If there are mental health issues underlying which is common then they also have to be dealt with through counselling and sometimes milder medication depending on what the issue is. Obviously there can be other mental health issues that need more work and management like no polar or whatever but I'm talking about in general. At the end of the day if someone wants to get sober then there's no magic pill or easy route. Taking the bull by the horns, de toxing correctly and safely, meetings, counselling, routine and work and self care are all as important. It can and has been done. No point putting a plaster on a gaping wound.


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