What To Avoid When Taking Low-Dose Naltrexone (LDN)

Naltrexone, sometimes sold under Revia and Vivitrol, is a medication commonly used to treat alcohol and opioid use. 

It works by blocking the high sensation you get from alcohol and drug use. 

As a result, it blocks the sensation of wanting to pursue that high. 

Now, while the medication is not a cure for addiction, it can be part of a recovery program to help users stay alcohol or drug-free. 

Naltrexone comes in pill or tablet form. 

While it can be taken safely, it’s essential to be aware of potential side effects, including skin rash, stomach pain, blurred vision, chest pain, fever, hallucinations, and the possibility of weight gain.

If you are taking Naltrexone, it’s important to know about potential interactions. 

Here, we’ll review everything you need to avoid when taking Naltrexone. 

Foods To Avoid When Taking Low-Dose Naltrexone

One of the possible side effects of Naltrexone is weight gain. To manage potential weight gain, consider limiting or avoiding high-calorie foods such as: 

  • Fast food
  • Pastries
  • Cookies
  • Candies
  • Ice cream
  • Sweets

Also, their high-fat content can also increase the risk of liver disease, which is another possible (but rare) side effect of Naltrexone. 

Can You Drink Alcohol While Taking Low-Dose Naltrexone?

Since Naltrexone is primarily prescribed to assist with alcohol withdrawal, it is advised to abstain from alcohol consumption.

Taking Naltrexone along with alcohol can increase withdrawal symptoms, such as: 

  • Anxiety
  • Sweating
  • Stomach pain
  • Nausea
  • Hot or cold flashes

Also, since Naltrexone doesn’t reduce the side effects of alcohol consumption, you might over-drink and get side effects such as vomiting, dehydration, nausea, and headaches. 

If you are having alcohol cravings while taking Naltrexone, make sure you reach out to a friend or someone who can guide you on better alternatives. 

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Avoid Opioid Medications

If you are taking short-term opioid medications, you should wait seven days before you start taking Naltrexone. 

But, if you take long-term opioid medications, you should wait at least 10 to 14 days before starting Naltrexone. 

But why should you stop taking opioids when taking Naltrexone?

Naltrexone works by blocking the reward effect of opioids and alcohol. If you take opioids along with Naltrexone, it can increase the risk of withdrawal symptoms, such as: 

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach cramps
  • Sweating
  • Irritability

If you happen to take an opioid when taking Naltrexone, make sure you stop Naltrexone and talk with a healthcare provider to determine what is the best action to take. 

Also, if you are going to have surgery, make sure you inform your doctors that you are currently taking Naltrexone. 

Medication and Drug Interactions with Low-Dose Naltrexone

Some medications might contain alcohol or opioids, so it’s best to avoid them. That is why you may want to avoid some antidiarrheal medications (Lomotil and Loperamide) since they contain opioids. 

If you need to take an antidiarrheal medication, you can take options like Pepto Bismol, but it’s better to consult with your doctor. 

Some cough medications, like Hydromet and Hycodan, contain opioids and alcohol, which you should avoid when taking Naltrexone. 

There are some options available, such as Mucinex, that are suitable to have when taking Naltrexone, but it’s best to consult with a health professional. 

Herbal Supplements To Avoid With LDN

Just because something is natural, it doesn’t mean it’s safe. There are some herbal supplements that are best to avoid when taking Naltrexone. 

It’s advisable to consult with a healthcare professional before taking herbal supplements like St. John’s wort, ginkgo biloba, or echinacea alongside Naltrexone.

doctors office image

Can You Take Naltrexone With Food?

Yes, you can take Naltrexone with or without food. If you get an upset stomach after taking Naltrexone, it’s best to take it with food or an antacid. 

You can also take Naltrexone in the morning and in the afternoon. Some people seem to get improved mood and better sensation after taking Naltrexone, which can promote a good night’s sleep

Precautions And Warnings For Low-Dose Naltrexone

Before taking Naltrexone (or any medication), make sure you consult with a health professional to determine if you are a good fit to take the medication. 

There are some serious side effects you need to consider, such as liver disease. So, a doctor will determine if it’s okay to take with your current health status. 

Also, one of the side effects of Naltrexone is increased suicidal thoughts. If you experience this, make sure you talk with a professional. 

Keep in mind that Naltrexone is just a part of your treatment for alcohol and drug abuse. You should still follow a structured program to help you. 

Also, having a support group can make things easier and prevent you from relapsing. 


Naltrexone is a medication that can help treat alcohol and drug use. It works by blocking the “pleasure” sensation you get from alcohol and drugs. 

While you can eat anything with Naltrexone, there are a couple of things you might want to avoid. 

Taking alcohol, opioids, certain medications, and some herbal supplements might affect the function of the medication. 

Also, since Naltrexone can increase the risk of weight gain, you may want to avoid high-calorie foods and have a balanced diet to avoid sudden weight gain. 

Keep in mind that Naltrexone is just part of the process to help you deal with alcohol and drug abuse. You still need other interactions and programs to help you. 

Always consult with a doctor to determine what is the best course of action. 

Explore More


How to Detox from Alcohol Safely.


  1. Toljan K, Vrooman B. Low-Dose Naltrexone (LDN)-Review of Therapeutic Utilization. Med Sci (Basel). 2018 Sep 21;6(4):82. doi: 10.3390/medsci6040082. PMID: 30248938; PMCID: PMC6313374.
  2. Drugs.com. Naltrexone.

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