Opiate inhibitors, also known as opiate antagonists, are drugs that attach to the opioid receptors in the body to block the effects of certain drugs. This means that the “high” or sense of euphoria caused by substances such as heroin, morphine, oxycodone, methadone, and many others will be blocked or reversed. When used correctly, these medications can save lives. Naloxone, commonly known by the brand name Narcan, is often used in emergency situations for quick reversal of life-threatening symptoms associated with opiate overdose, including drugs like heroin and fentanyl. Naltrexone is more often used for people recovering from alcohol or drug addiction because it blocks the sense of euphoria or other rewarding effects associated with drug or alcohol use.
Commonly Used Opiate Inhibitors
Naloxone is often used for the reversal of severe effects caused by opiate overdose. This drug is generally considered to be safe, as it does not affect people who do not have opiates in their system.
Naltrexone is used to reduce cravings in people recovering from alcohol or drug abuse. However, naltrexone is intended to be used in combination with behavioral therapy and not as an exclusive method of treatment. Naltrexone drug testing may be necessary to monitor a person’s use of this medication in treatment programs.