Substance Abuse Medications

These medications are used for the treatment of alcohol, opioid and nicotine addiction/ dependence


(Dolophine, Methadose*Used for opioid addiction/ dependence

Usual Daily Dosage Range: 40 mg (Detoxification), 80-120 mg (Maintenance)

Possible side effects include asthenia, abdominal pain, biliary tract spasm, constipation, dry mouth, glossitis, thrombocytopenia, weight gain, hypokalemia, hypomagnesemia, agitation, confusion, disorientation, dysphoria, euphoria, insomnia, seizures, pruritis, urticaria, hallucinations, visual disturbances, amenorrhea, urinary retention and hesitancy, edema, headache, hypotension, syncope, dependence, respiratory depression, QT prolongation, arrhythmias (torsades de pointes), bradycardia, cardiomyopathy, T wave inversion, ventricular fibrillation, and death.

Buprenorphine/ Naloxone

(Suboxone*Used for opioid addiction/ dependence

Usual Daily Dosage Range: 8 mg/ 2 mg- 16 mg/ 4 mg

Possible side effects include oral hypoesthesia, glossodynia, oral mucosal erythema, headache, nausea, vomiting, hyperhidrosis, constipation, signs and symptoms of withdrawal, insomnia, pain, peripheral edema, repiratory depression, dependence, hepatitis, allergic reactions, orthostatic hypotention, impairment of ability to drive or operate machinery,  neonatal opiod withdrawal syndome, elevation or cerebrospinal fluid pressure, elevation of intracholedochal pressure, neonatal opiod withdrawal syndrome, and may obscure the diagnosis of acute abdominal conditions.


(Probuphine*Used for opioid addiction/ dependence

Usual Daily Dosage Range: Four (74.2 mg) implants every 6 months

Possible side effects include headache, depression, vomiting, constipation, nausea, back pain, toothache, mouth and throat pain, withdrawal symptoms, dependence, liver problems, hypotension, abuse, misuse, respiratory depression, hepatitis, hepatic events, neonatal opiod withdrawal syndrome, and adrenal insufficiency . There are additional risks with minor surgical procedure including itching, pain, irritation, redness, swelling, bleeding, bruising or scaring at the insertion or removal site.


(Revia, Vivitrol*Used for alcohol dependence and blockade of effects of exogenously administered opioids

Usual Daily Dosage Range: 50 mg (Revia), 380 mg every 4 weeks (Vivitrol)

Possible side effects include nausea, vomiting, decreased appetite, dizziness, injection site reactions (pain, tenderness, pruritus, induration, swelling, erythema, or bruising), eosinophilic pneumonia, and hepatocellular injury.


(Zyban) *Used for nicotine addiction

Usual Daily Dosage Range: 150-300 mg

Possible side effects include dry mouth, constipation, nausea, weight loss, anorexia, myalgia, insomnia, dizziness, headache, agitation, anxiety, tremor, abdominal pain, tinnitus, sweating, rash, hypertension, rare seizures, hypomania, rare induction of mania, and rare activation of suicidal ideation and behavior.


(Chantix, Champix) *Used for nicotine addiction/ dependence

Usual Daily Dosage Range: 0.5-2 mg

Possible side effects include nausea, vomiting, constipation, flatulence, insomnia, headache, abnormal dreams; rare activation of agitation, depressed mood, suicidal ideation, and suicidal behavior.


(Campral) *Used for maintenance of alcohol abstinence

Usual Daily Dosage Range: 666 mg three times daily

 Possible side effects include anorexia, diarrhea, flatulence, nausea, dry mouth, vomiting, dyspepsia, constipation, taste perversion, abdominal pain and increased appetite, anxiety/nervousness, dizziness, insomnia, paresthesia, somnolence, decreased libido, amnesia, tremor, palpitations, hypertension, syncope, heart failure,  cardiomyopathy, impotence, peripheral edema, weight gain, myalgia, arthralgia, pruritus, sweating ,rash, hepatitis, depression, suicidal ideation, hostility, agitation, abnormal dreams and hallucinations. 


(Antabuse*Used for alcohol dependence

Usual Daily Dosage Range: 125-500 mg

Possible side effects include nausea, vomiting, halitosis, metallic or garlic-life aftertaste, stomach upset, drowsiness, headache, lethargy, altered liver function tests, hepatic cell damage, hepatitis, hepatic failure resulting in transplant or death, jaundice, cirrhosis, peripheral neuritis, encephalopathy, polyneuritis, peripheral neuropathy, seizures, skin eruptions, allergic dermatitis, maculopapular rash, optic neuritis, eye pain or tenderness, changes in vision, decreased libido, psychotic reactions, mood changes, disorientation, and memory impairment.

Usual daily dosage range is for adults.  The above information is meant as a general reference only and should not be used as a guideline for prescribing of medications or medical advice.  Please check the manufacturer’s product information sheet or the P.D.R. for the most accurate information, including dosage schedule, side effect profile and contraindications.  Please consult a physician for medical advice.  Brand names are registered trademarks. Disclaimer