Does Naltrexone Cause Mania?

Medically Reviewed by Johnelle Smith, M.D. on March 17, 2022

Mania, or manic episodes, is an uncommon side effect of naltrexone. The medication does not cause mania in most people. Mania while taking naltrexone may be a sign of a co-occurring mental illness, or indicate an adverse drug reaction.

Does Naltrexone Cause Manic Episodes?

Naltrexone is an opioid antagonist medication that is commonly used to treat alcohol use disorder and opioid use disorder. Mania from naltrexone is not a common side effect.

Naltrexone is also sold under the following names:

  • Vivitrol (naltrexone injections)
  • Revia (naltrexone tablets)
  • Depade (naltrexone tablets)

Mania, or manic episodes, with naltrexone use has been reported in a small number of people with a history of major depression or bipolar disorder.

Learn more about the side effects of taking Naltrexone

Naltrexone And Bipolar Disorder

Naltrexone is a medication that can affect the levels of dopamine and serotonin, two neurochemicals, in the brain. However, it’s not believed to commonly induce mania.

Manic episodes are a common feature of bipolar disorder, formerly known as manic depression. This type of disorder commonly co-occurs with substance use disorders.

Mania may occur as a rare but serious side effect of various medications, including some antidepressants, steroids, and stimulants.

Can Naltrexone Treat Bipolar Disorder?

Naltrexone has been studied for its potential use for treating mood disorders like bipolar depression. However, this is not one of its primary uses.

Some research indicates that naltrexone may help stabilize mood in people with bipolar disorder. However, additional research has disputed this.

Bipolar disorder, and symptoms of mania, are primarily treated through the use of other pharmacological and behavioral treatments, such as behavioral therapy.

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Signs Of Mania While Taking Naltrexone

Mania is a symptom of certain mental health disorders and can be a rare side effect of certain prescription and illicit drugs.

Signs of mania might include:

  • unusually elevated mood
  • sleeping very little or not at all
  • talking very fast
  • easily distracted
  • very high level of energy
  • impulsive or reckless behavior
  • rapid and intense mood swings
  • grandiosity
  • extreme agitation or irritability

Mania can manifest in a number of different ways. This state of mind is associated with an increased risk for suicide, accidents, and unsafe sexual activity.

Is Mania A Common Side Effect Of Naltrexone?

Mania is not a common side effect of naltrexone. If a person does show signs of mania after taking naltrexone, contact the prescribing physician as soon as possible.

Risk Factors For Mania While Taking Naltrexone

Certain factors may increase the risk of experiencing a manic episode after taking naltrexone for a drug or alcohol use disorder.

Risk factors may include:

  • history of mania
  • personal or family history of mental illness
  • taking a high dose of naltrexone
  • history of chronic substance abuse
  • drug or alcohol abuse
  • periods of high stress

Naltrexone-induced mania is not common. If manic episodes do occur during naltrexone treatment, a doctor may recommend a thorough psychological and physical assessment.

Call Today To Learn More About Naltrexone Treatment

Naltrexone is a safe and effective medication when taken as directed. It can effectively block alcohol and opioid cravings and help individuals maintain sobriety.

Millions of people in the United States struggle with alcohol abuse, prescription drug misuse, and co-occurring disorders. If this describes you or a loved one, you’re not alone.

Call us today for more information about naltrexone and how to find naltrexone treatment options for drug or alcohol addiction at a treatment center near you.

This page does not provide medical advice. See more

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Medically Reviewed by
Johnelle Smith, M.D. on March 17, 2022
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