Rivia is the brand name for Naltrexone Hydrochloride used in the treatment of alcoholism and opioid dependence. As an opioid receptor antagonist, Revia blocks the euphoric effects of narcotics opioid alkaloids and in some cases reduce the cravings that perpetuate substance abuse. When test subjects received 50 mg of Rivia, it was shown to block the effects of 25 mg of injected heroin for up to 24 hours and significantly more if incremental doses are administered.

As pure naltrexone hydrochloride salt, this drug appears as a white crystalline powder that is soluble in water. It is also formulated in 50 mg white, orange, yellow and round or oval tablets that may include other ingredients such as colloidal silicon dioxide, synthetic red iron oxide, titanium dioxide and synthetic color, to name a few. After oral administration of Rivia, the body absorbs approximately 90% of the drug through the gastrointestinal tract within an hour after a 50 mg dosing.

History of Rivia

A small pharmaceutical company in New York City was the first to synthetize Rivia (Naltrexone) in 1963. It was patented as “Endo 1639A” in 1967 and came under the umbrella of DuPont Drug Company after it acquired Endo Labs in 1969. Although the potential for the drug was dubious, it was of significant interest to the Nixon administration’s Special Action Office for Drug Abuse Prevention (SAODAP). Director Dr. Jerome Taffe, stated that development of the drug for the use in heroin treatment was a high priority for him. Due to his efforts, Congress passed the Drug Abuse Office and Treatment Act in 1972 that called for the development of drugs that could treat heroin addiction. This initiative provided the funding to support research that would bring Rivia to market.

Clinical trials for the Rivia (Naltrexone) as a Heroin addiction treatment option officially began in 1973. Later, after the SAODAP transitioned into the National Institute of Drug Abuse Administration (NIDA) in 1974, DuPont agreed to assist the newly formed administration to complete the development of drug. In 1984, the Food and Drug Administration approved the use of Rivia (Naltrexone) to treat Heroin addiction.

As research of the drug continued, its effectiveness in the treatment of alcoholism was recognized. In 1991, in a test study of over one hundred alcohol-dependent men and women, Rivia (Naltrexone) in conjunction with psychological therapy was successful in facilitating recovery and relapse prevention in over 50% of test subjects. As a result, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism ( NIAAA) and the FDA amended regulations governing the Rivia (Naltrexone) to encourage continued research and development of this drug by the DuPont company. Rivia (naltrexone) continues to be studied for use in opioid and alcohol addiction as well as for its beneficial effects in the treatment of other medical conditions such as for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, obesity, schizophrenia and to stop smoking.

Drug Classification

Rivia is not currently on the FDA’s controlled substance list and is available by prescription only.However due to the potential danger to fetal development this drug not recommended for use during pregnancy. The FDA has also awarded this drug an “orphan” status allowing it to be used in the treatment of childhood autism and as a therapy for self-injurious behaviors.

Rivia Side Effect

The following adverse effects were reported by patient’s using Rivia such as:

  • Muscle aches and joint aches and pains
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Nausea,
  • Anxiety
  • Feeling tired
  • Dizziness
  • Allergic reactions such as trouble breathing, rash, itching and swelling of the face, throat or tongue.

People halting use of this drug may experience withdrawal symptoms such as runny nose, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, mood shifts leading to anxiety, confusion and visual hallucinations. Withdrawal symptoms are unpredictable and can escalate rapidly. Get medical attention if these symptoms occur and or persist. Liver damage is also a rare but possible effect after long term use at high dosages of Rivia.

Treatment with Rivia

Patients who are treated for alcoholism with this drug have been shown to dramatically decrease their cravings and use of alcohol leading to low recidivism rates. Concurrent studies of alcoholic patients treated with Rivia under strict medication compliance in combination with psychotherapy, behavioral and lifestyle changes confirmed the drug’s effectiveness.

Opioid addiction treatment with Rivia has also achieved success when administration of the drug occurred under strict medication regulation by medical personnel. Patients with opioid addiction may experience heightened sensitivity to narcotic drugs after being treated with Rivia. As a result, people who have been treated with this drug should be aware that even small doses of opioid substances can result in a drug overdose following treatment with Rivia (Naltrexone). Hospital records indicate that individuals who try to self-medicate away alcoholism or opioid addiction with Rivia without medical attention and while still indulging in substance abuse often require emergency medical attention due to spontaneous withdrawal symptoms. Studies also show that treatment with this drug should only commence after halting drug or alcohol use for seven or more days.

If you or a loved one is suffering from alcohol or opioid addiction, it is unsafe to try to recover using Rivia (Naltrexone) without medical supervision. Call our Drug Rehab Treatment Centers today at 877-855-3470. Our call center representatives are available 24/7 to help you to find your way into a recovery program that is right for you.