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Naltrexone and aphaty
http://www.thesinclairmethod.com/community/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=2921
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Author:  Joethelion [ Fri May 25, 2012 11:08 am ]
Post subject:  Naltrexone and aphaty

Our psychiatrist told my wife to drop naltrexone because she has developed an apathy (like `nothing matters`) condition for the last several months and he suspects it might be from naltrexone. I personally don`t believe, and haven`t heard anything related to this. I just think this is deep depression. Whatever.. Has anyone had such an experience or heard anything about naltrexone causing apathy as a side effect ?

Author:  CuriousOne [ Thu May 31, 2012 2:28 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Naltrexone and aphaty

Hi,

I had that feeling when I first started TSM (50mg Naltrexone 1 hour before drinking). The side effects of Naltrexone usually disappear after a few weeks. I was very sensitive to Nal and had to reduce the dose from 50mg to 25 and after a while I felt much better.

If your wife is not following TSM and is taking Naltrexone daily, it is quite possible that it is making her feel apathetic as Naltrexone is an Opioid Antagonist which is a drug that blocks the effects of opiates in the brain. The brain contains natural opiates called Endorphins. Naltrexone blocks both the effects of opiates like heroin and morphine as well as blocking the effects of the Endorphins which are the brains own naturally occurring opioids.

So, if your wife is taking Naltrexone daily, her endorphins are constantly blocked/reduced, depending on how sensitive a person is to Naltrexone, you can easily imagine that it could lead to Apathy and depression or make an already existing condition worse.

When people drink alcohol it causes the release of endorphins in the brain. This reinforces the drinking behavior and helps to cause it to become a habit. Naltrexone blocks the reinforcing effect of the endorphins in the brain and leads to the extinction of the drinking habit.

If she is not following TSM it would be worth looking into. The idea is that you take 50 mg of Naltrexone one hour before you start drinking, if you don't drink DO NOT take Naltrexone. If your wife is an evening drinker and she feels apathy, it will have the advantage of making her lose interest in drinking and just going to bed. By the time she gets up the next morning the amount of Nal in her system will be considerably less and she may feel more enthusiastic about things, especially if she doesn't drink every day as she will experience something called Up-regulation on non Nal (drinking) days.

Basically and crudely, up-relugation means that as Naltrexone is blocking endorphins, the body produces more as it notices the lack, but if someone is continually taking Nal, then the endorphins are continually blocked, if however, as on TSM, Nal is only taken a few days a week (depending on drinking habits) then when the Nal leaves the system there is a flood of endorphins, so normal endorphin producing activities like sex, sport, holding a baby etc produce more endorphins and feel better, the down side is that if can have the same effect when drinking alcohol which is why one should never drink without Nal.

I hope this helps.

Curi

Author:  Joethelion [ Thu May 31, 2012 6:28 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Naltrexone and aphaty

Hi Curi,

Thanks for the reply.

Unfortunately she drinks everyday, so giving a break from nal to enjoy other endorphin creating activities is not an option for now (I remember this was advised in the book).

I understand how all this is supposed to work. She might be indeed a bit more vulnerable to nal than me or other people, but I should think, if nal really directly causes apathy then there should have been more testimonies about this, whereas I couldn`t find any on the net. The fact that she gets less pleasure from sex etc is unfortunately a fact though.

Thanks again !

Author:  UKblonde [ Thu May 31, 2012 6:42 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Naltrexone and aphaty

If I take Naltrexone several days in a row, especially when combined with drinking alcohol (which is the usual reason for taking it in the first place), I do find myself feeling flat or depressed. Once I'd gained some control over my drinking this along with the risk of bad hangovers which are prevalent with Naltrexone, just served to encourage me to have AF periods. This can be daunting to a lot of drinkers at first, but some TSM'ers have said they found it not as difficult as it first seemed and once you experience upregulation then that becomes a massive incentive to carry on.

Author:  Joethelion [ Thu May 31, 2012 7:31 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Naltrexone and aphaty

UKblonde wrote:
If I take Naltrexone several days in a row, especially when combined with drinking alcohol (which is the usual reason for taking it in the first place), I do find myself feeling flat or depressed. Once I'd gained some control over my drinking this along with the risk of bad hangovers which are prevalent with Naltrexone, just served to encourage me to have AF periods. This can be daunting to a lot of drinkers at first, but some TSM'ers have said they found it not as difficult as it first seemed and once you experience upregulation then that becomes a massive incentive to carry on.


Hi UKblonde. We, to the contrary, seem to have experienced much less hangovers after starting naltrexone.

Author:  UKblonde [ Thu May 31, 2012 8:07 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Naltrexone and aphaty

Joethelion wrote:
UKblonde wrote:
If I take Naltrexone several days in a row, especially when combined with drinking alcohol (which is the usual reason for taking it in the first place), I do find myself feeling flat or depressed. Once I'd gained some control over my drinking this along with the risk of bad hangovers which are prevalent with Naltrexone, just served to encourage me to have AF periods. This can be daunting to a lot of drinkers at first, but some TSM'ers have said they found it not as difficult as it first seemed and once you experience upregulation then that becomes a massive incentive to carry on.


Hi UKblonde. We, to the contrary, seem to have experienced much less hangovers after starting naltrexone.


Is that because consumption is lower in general?I had a couple of very bad ones but don't drink enough now to get any!

Author:  CuriousOne [ Thu May 31, 2012 9:36 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Naltrexone and aphaty

Joethelion wrote:
Hi Curi,

but I should think, if nal really directly causes apathy then there should have been more testimonies about this, whereas I couldn`t find any on the net. The fact that she gets less pleasure from sex etc is unfortunately a fact though.

Thanks again !


Interesting you should say that, if you read back over my progress you would't find the word Apathy either, it wasn't a word I thought of using but it was what I was feeling after taking Nal. I dropped from 50 to 25mg and then down to 12.5, I am very sensitive to Nal, maybe your wife could try breaking the tablet in half? if her drinking increases she can go back up to 50 again. It might be worth a try.

Best of luck to both of you!

Curi

Author:  Joethelion [ Thu May 31, 2012 12:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Naltrexone and aphaty

UKblonde wrote:
Hi UKblonde. We, to the contrary, seem to have experienced much less hangovers after starting naltrexone.


Is that because consumption is lower in general?I had a couple of very bad ones but don't drink enough now to get any![/quote]

Not really, my wife drinks a lot, a lot. And before she couldn`t stop with wine but had to go on to vodka and such after several days of binge drinking, and later used to have bad hangovers. After she started nal, I don`t recall her having any at all. Also she goes to sleep every night after she started nal, before she would go to sleep and wake up, and back and forth throughout the day (including night) during the binges.

Author:  Joethelion [ Thu May 31, 2012 12:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Naltrexone and aphaty

CuriousOne wrote:
Joethelion wrote:
Hi Curi,

but I should think, if nal really directly causes apathy then there should have been more testimonies about this, whereas I couldn`t find any on the net. The fact that she gets less pleasure from sex etc is unfortunately a fact though.

Thanks again !


Interesting you should say that, if you read back over my progress you would't find the word Apathy either, it wasn't a word I thought of using but it was what I was feeling after taking Nal. I dropped from 50 to 25mg and then down to 12.5, I am very sensitive to Nal, maybe your wife could try breaking the tablet in half? if her drinking increases she can go back up to 50 again. It might be worth a try.

Best of luck to both of you!

Curi


For 2 weeks now, thank God she only drinks after 6pm and until maybe 10pm (still around 2 bottles of wine) but this way the apathy got less. I still believe it was a loop of drinking+depression. I think your point also makes a lot of sense though and I`ll keep that in mind, and if she goes back to apathy as bad as before we`ll try that. Thanks :)

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Post subject:  Re: Naltrexone and aphaty

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