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How Long Does Naltrexone Stay in Your System?

by Will Long

July 20, 2023
doctor prescribing naltrexone

Naltrexone may linger in the body for around eight hours. The half-life is four to five hours (depending on how it was taken), and the metabolite 6β-Naltrexol has a half-life of around 13 hours. It may take several iterations of the medication’s half-life to completely clear from your system, metabolites and all.

Vivitrol, the injection form of the medication, has a half-life of around a week. This means that the injection form can be administered to patients much less often and lasts longer in the body.

At Landmark Recovery, we’re committed to providing comprehensive, evidence-backed addiction treatment. Our options may include medication-assisted treatment using medicines such as Naltrexone. For those battling alcohol or opioid addiction, Naltrexone can pave the way to recovery.

Key points in this blog:

  • Naltrexone’s Role and Effect: Naltrexone is an opioid antagonist for treating alcohol and opioid addiction. It works by blocking the effects of these substances at the receptor level in the brain, thus reducing cravings and the pleasurable effects associated with these substances.
  • Drug Duration and Half-Life: Naltrexone’s half-life is about four hours, while its metabolite, 6-beta-Naltrexol, has a half-life of around 13 hours. This means the medication and its metabolites may remain in the system for around 20 to 78 hours, depending on individual factors such as age, weight, metabolism, overall health, liver function, medication dosage, and usage frequency.
  • Testing and Detection: Standard drug tests typically do not check for Naltrexone as it is a prescribed medication for addiction treatment, not a substance of abuse. However, some specialized tests can detect it but are often not used.
  • Naltrexone in Recovery and Treatment Programs: Landmark Recovery utilizes Naltrexone as a part of its comprehensive addiction treatment program. When combined with counseling and behavioral therapies, the drug can be a crucial component of the recovery journey, significantly improving the likelihood of successful recovery. Landmark Recovery emphasizes personalized treatment plans tailored to each patient’s unique needs.

What is Naltrexone?

Naltrexone, an opioid antagonist, blocks the effects of opioids and alcohol at the receptor level in the brain. Medical professionals routinely prescribe it for individuals grappling with alcohol and opioid addiction because it minimizes cravings and dampens the substances’ pleasurable effects.

Naltrexone’s Mechanism of Action

Opioids and alcohol, when consumed, activate certain brain receptors, leading to euphoria. Naltrexone binds to these same receptors, blocking the effects of opioids and alcohol. This process diminishes the desire for these substances and reduces the risk of relapse.

What is the Half-Life of a Drug?

To comprehend the duration Naltrexone stays in your system, we need to consider a drug’s half-life. A drug’s half-life indicates the time required for the body to eliminate half of the drug. Naltrexone’s half-life is relatively short, about four hours. Nonetheless, Naltrexone metabolizes into 6-beta-Naltrexol, which has a longer half-life of approximately 13 hours.

Duration of Naltrexone in Your System

Given that the medication’s half-life is around four hours and its metabolite’s half-life is approximately 13 hours, the drug and its metabolites can linger in the system longer. Generally, a drug is regarded as cleared from the body after about 5-6 half-lives. Therefore, the medication might be detectable in the body for around 20 hours, and 6-beta-Naltrexol might be detectable for up to 78 hours.

Factors Influencing the Duration

Various factors can affect how long Naltrexone stays in your system. These include a person’s:

  • Age
  • Weight
  • Metabolism
  • Overall health
  • Liver function
  • Medication dosage
  • Usage frequency

As each person is unique, the duration Naltrexone stays in one’s system can differ.

Testing for Naltrexone in the Body

Standard drug tests usually don’t check for Naltrexone as it’s a prescribed medication for addiction treatment, not a substance of abuse. According to a Translational Psychiatry study, specialized tests can detect the medication and its metabolites in the body. These tests require a specific medical, scientific, or legal need for administration.

Start Your Recovery Journey With Naltrexone at Landmark Recovery

Naltrexone can be integral to your recovery journey from alcohol or opioid addiction. This valuable medication can significantly enhance your chances of successful recovery when paired with other treatment methods, such as counseling and behavioral therapies.

At Landmark Recovery, we focus on designing personalized treatment plans that meet the unique needs of every patient. If you or a loved one are wrestling with addiction, we’re ready to help.

Take the initial step towards a healthier, substance-free life without delay. Call us at 888-448-0302, and let us guide you on your recovery path.

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About the Author

Will Long

Will Long

A graduate of Middle Tennessee State University, Long has been a writer for Landmark Recovery since 2021. He specializes in research and writing about substance abuse from a scientific and social perspective. Unearthing information from underexplored, far-flung corners of the Internet, Long’s passion is finding emerging trends in substance use and treatment that the public should know about.