Naltrexone Uses in Animal Care
Naltrexone, or Naltrexone hydrochloride (HCL), is an opioid receptor antagonist that has primarily been used in veterinary medicine to block receptors and reverse reactions to opiate agonists such as etorphine and carfentil. Naltrexone HCL is also used for the treatment of recurring, compulsive or self-injurious animal behavior disorders, which may include weaving in horses and over-grooming in dogs, cats and birds.
Overview of Naltrexone
A number of opioid receptor antagonists were developed in the 1960s and 1970s — among them was Naltrexone. Of all the opiate antagonists produced, Naltrexone HCL was the choice medication due to its extended metabolic half-life.
In humans, Naltrexone has chiefly been used as a form of treatment for humans with alcohol and opiate dependence. The drug has been available for use in veterinary medicine since the early 1990s.
Naltrexone — Contraindications and Possible Reactions in Veterinary Medicine
No factors have been identified that may increase the risk of using Naltrexone. Additionally, no significant reactions or side effects have been reported. If opiate treatment is to resume within 24 hours following administration of Naltrexone HCL, effectiveness of the opiate medication may be temporarily reduced.
Naltrexone Dosage and Administration
As with all veterinary drugs, a variety of factors must be carefully considered by a specialist in veterinary medicine in order to arrive at the best possible form of treatment. Consult with your veterinarian to determine the correct dosage, strength and form of Naltrexone.
A reputable veterinary pharmacy can compound prescriptions of Naltrexone according the indications of your animal health care specialist. Diamondback Drugs can formulate the necessary dosage and concentration into capsules, liquid solutions and suspensions or injections.
When used as a reversal agent in the reaction to sedative opiates, it can take approximately 3 to 10 minutes for Naltrexone to take effect. However, the timeframe ultimately depends on the veterinary patient and the dosage and strength of the opiate agonist in question. Some patients may only need a couple of minutes, while others may need longer than 10 minutes. In addition, certain opiate associated side effects, such as huffing and muscle tremors, may take longer to subside.