Medications PDF Print E-mail

pillsThere are a number of prescription medications available to help maintain abstinence from alcohol and drugs.


Antabuse (Disulfiram) causes an acute reaction of nausea, vomiting, headache, shortness of breath within 15 to 60 minutes after drinking.  he threat of illness acts as a deterrent to drinking.

Revia (Naltrexone) lessens the desire for alcohol in the brain by blocking the opiate pain receptors that trigger the brain dopamine pleasure circuits.  It also lessens the feeling of intoxication if a person does drink.

Antiseizure Medicine. Although not approved by the FDA for addiction, research has shown that some of these medications can lessen cravings and inhibit drinking behavior.  These medications include: depakote, tegretal and topamax.


Revia (Naltrexone) blocks the opiate receptors and prevents all opiates from causing either a "high" or providing pain relief.  If unable to get high, drug seeking behavior quickly stops.  Naltrexone also decreases the desire to use opiates in the same way it lessons alcohol craving.  Naltrexone comes ether as a daily pill or a skin implant, which lasts for two months.


Suboxone is a combination of buprenex and narcan.  Suboxone is taken under the tongue and serves as an opiate replacement treatment by stimulating opiate receptors without the "high." There is also a loss of craving for other opiates such as heroin and oxycontin.

Methadone is currently available at state and federally regulated clinics a an opiate replacement treatment.


Neurontin (gabapentin), an antiseizure medication, although not approved by the FDA for cocaine dependence, has shown to lessen the desire for cocaine.


Nicotine replacements come in the form of a patch, gum or inhalant.

Welbutrin (bupropion) is an antidepressant that decreases cravings for tobacco products

Chantix (varencine) blocks nicotine receptors.