A Controversial API with Plenty of Promise: Naltrexone

A Controversial API with Plenty of Promise: Naltrexone

Anti-Obesity Product, Chemotherapeutic / Anti-Neoplastic, Drug Research & Development API

Naltrexone is typically administered to those who have a history of substance abuse, namely opiates or alcohol. The drug works to block the intensity of the drugs, so people are less likely to associate them with euphoria or pain relief. Because drug use in this country is still so stigmatized, it’s difficult to separate public sentiment from governmental policy. Naltrexone has been proposed as a potential solution for a number of other issues, including obesity and autism, but it’s full capabilities are still not clear to researchers.


Naltrexone was first patented in 1967 but it wasn’t approved in the US for medical use until 1984. There was a lot of controversy over this drug, with many believing it didn’t have a marketable value for the public. It wasn’t until 1971 when public policy started to shift away from incarceration for drug abusers and more toward rehabilitation. Proper recovery includes giving people as many resources as possible, which is why the API ended up being a high priority for government regulators to push through when the pharmaceuticals refused to put their weight behind it.


Naltrexone is typically administered either orally or via injection into the muscle. It’s not clear exactly how it works, but it’s thought to combat certain receptors in the central nervous system that respond to opioids. By binding to these receptors, the immediate reaction is blocked. Short-term effects only take about 30 minutes to kick in, though it may take several weeks before the patient stops desiring the intended substance. This API should not be given to dependent people prior to detox because it may induce withdrawal symptoms.

Studies and Outcomes

This API is one of several that can be given to addicts, but it has a few key differences. It doesn’t actually suppress cravings like methadone will — addicts have to first take the drug in order to receive any positive effects. And because it takes several days of complete abstinence before addicts should use naltrexone, most addicts are unwilling to go that long before giving into their psychological addiction. Because many of the studies had unwilling participants coupled with strict criteria to participate in the study, few were able to meet the rigorous standards. It may have skewed the results so it looked as though naltrexone was less effective than it was.

New Experiments

From breast cancer to fibromyalgia to autism, naltrexone could potentially help with a variety of conditions, though there will need to be more evidence before official treatments are approved. For example, when used in combination with bupropion, it does seem to reduce cravings in those who are overweight. And while this treatment has not yet been approved by the FDA, it may still become a viable treatment in the coming years. In patients with depression, researchers may be able to use the API to reduce the euphoric effects created by certain treatments such as ketamine. Finally, research on autistic children in Europe seemed to indicate that the right dose of naltrexone could potentially curb harmful behavior.

Side Effects

In low doses, the side effects of naltrexone tend to be mild. Most doctors will recommend 50 mg for alcoholics and 25 mg for narcotic users, followed by an additional 25 mg dose an hour later. Nausea, insomnia, anxiety, and headaches are all potential side effects that may occur, and the API is not recommended for those who may be suffering from liver failure. It is still unclear as to whether or not pregnant females can receive the drug, though it should be noted there were no adverse effects in pregnant rats who received it.

LGM Pharma

LGM Pharma is an innovation-driven API company, involved in the distribution of quality cGMP pharma ingredients to leading pharmaceutical companies. We specialize in streamlining the API supply chain management throughout all development and commercial stages while providing complete technical capabilities, expert regulatory support as well as other value-added services.

LGM Pharma supplies both the Naltrexone (BASE) CAS: 16590-41-3 and the Naltrexone (HCl) CAS: 16590-41-2 API for Drug Research & Development purposes.



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