We all know that the process of weight loss is far from being an easy task, it is a long journey, painful and difficult to maintain, especially if the results are slow in coming.
We understand that faced with the despair resulting from this unbearable situation, some of us are tempted to divert a drug, initially prescribed for other disorders, to use it for weight loss purposes.
This is precisely the case of REVIA, a drug sold in pharmacies on prescription.
What is Revia
Revia, whose international non-proprietary name (INN) is Naltrexone, is a medicine that is part of the following ATC classification: nervous system/other nervous system medicines/medicines used in the phenomena of dependence/medicines used in alcohol dependence/naltrexone.
Revia is an opiate antagonist, presented in the form of a scored film-coated tablet packaged in a box of 28, which must be associated with psychological care.
Its mechanism of action consists in temporarily blocking the centers of the brain which are stimulated by opiate substances. Revia is mainly used in the context of alcohol withdrawal, because the euphoric effects of alcohol are, in part, linked to stimulation of opiate receptors.
You may be thinking: “But what does that have to do with losing weight? “.
Well it turns out that the drug Revia is also used and prescribed by some doctors to fight against bulimia and anorexia, and could help treat overweight problems.
We give you more details in the following chapters.
In fact, this is not the first case of misappropriation of a drug that we have been able to record during our research and tests, we have already spoken of a similar product in one of our previous articles, baclofen , a drug to fight against alcohol dependence, which was diverted from its initial use to be used by several patients, to achieve weight loss. (read our article on this subject).
Revia – the manufacturer
Bristol Myers Squibb pharmaceutical laboratories are the owners and hold the right to use the drug Revia.
This recognized global biopharmaceutical company has made it its mission to discover, develop and market innovative drugs to combat serious diseases.
Bristol Myers Squibb laboratories were founded in the USA in 1858, and established themselves in France very early, with a first subsidiary in the 1950s. The company is at the origin of drugs such as Nifluril or Efferalgan Vitamin C.
Revia is manufactured by Bristol-Myers Squibb SRL in Italy or Aesica Queenborough Limited in the UK.
The ingredients present in Revia
The active substance of the drug Revia is NALTREXONE HYDROCHLORIDE (50mg).
It is therefore a specific opiate antagonist, which acts on the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system, by blocking the access of the receptors to exogenous opiates (that is to say coming from outside) .
In fact, and this is where naltrexone hydrochloride becomes interesting for overweight people; the molecule acts on the area of the central nervous system involved in addictions. This is the reason why this drug is used not only to stop alcohol addiction, but also to stop addictions of all kinds, including food addiction.
This substance has the ability to cause a feeling of disgust in the face of certain foods, which gives it interesting properties to fight against cravings, food compulsions or overeating.
The other ingredients of Revia are: Lactose monohydrate (FAST FLO), microcrystalline cellulose (AVICEL PH102), crospovidone (POLYPLASDONE XL), colloidal anhydrous silica (CAB-O-STL), magnesium stearate, pale yellow opadry (YS-1- 6378-G).
Scientific studies on the drug Revia
Given the classic prescription of the drug, which aims to fight against relapses and alcohol withdrawal, it is clear that the clinical studies having focused on Revia concern alcoholic subjects, and not overweight subjects.
These studies have shown the effectiveness of Revia in preventing relapse and alcohol withdrawal, especially when it is already well underway.
It is thanks to the observations made during these clinical studies that Revia has proven to be interesting for people suffering from overweight. Indeed, Revia has caused side effects in patients who use it, such as weight loss and loss of appetite. It is precisely for this reason that this drug has been given a new function, since we are beginning to see its prescription by some practitioners as a remedy for addictive disorders linked to food!
Returning to the studies carried out on Revia, you can consult the opinion of the HAS (high health safety), an independent public authority, whose field of activity is the evaluation of health products, professional practices , the organization of care and public health; about Revia by herewhich draws up a complete evaluation report.
Still within the framework of the scientific and clinical studies of which revia has been the subject, we would like to cite this study which consisted in comparing naltrexone with acamprosate (calcium acetylhomotaurinate), in the context of the treatment of alcoholic dependence for a duration of one year.
The study consisted of treating 157 alcohol-dependent and recently detoxified men with moderate dependence by randomly administering 50mg of naltrexone or 1665-1998mg of acamprosate per day. Follow-up was provided by a psychiatrist.
It resulted from this experiment that the group under naltrexone accumulated a higher number of days of abstinence and a lower number of drinks consumed than the group under acamprosate. It should also be noted that adverse effects were more frequent in the case of the group receiving naltrexone.
(Source : NCBI. Psychiatric Service, 12 de Octubre University Hospital, Madrid, Spain. Rubio G., Jiménez-Arriero MA., Ponce G., Palomo T. Alcohol Alcohol. 2001 Sep-Oct;36(5):419-25).
Revia Side Effects
We know that among the side effects of Revia, there is loss of appetite and weight loss, since it is precisely this effect that is sought for people who are overweight.
But in truth, Revia has other side effects, as well as interactions, which are really to be taken very seriously.
Very Common Side Effects:
- Insomnia, anxiety, nervousness;
- Cramps, abdominal pain;
- Nausea, vomiting;
- Fatigue, joint or muscle pain;
- Headache, feeling weak.
Common Side Effects:
- Affective disorders, irritability, dizziness;
- Increased lacrimal secretions;
- Palpitations, very rapid heart rate;
- Chest pain;
- Diarrhea or constipation, skin rash;
- Delayed ejaculation, erectile dysfunction;
- Decreased appetite;
- Feeling of thirst, increased energy, chills, excessive sweating.
Uncommon Side Effects:
- Disease of the lymph nodes;
- Hallucinations, confusional state, paranoia, depression, disorientation, agitation, nightmare, libido disorder, abnormal dreams;
- Tremors, drowsiness;
- Eye irritation, pain or swelling, blurred vision, increased sensitivity to light;
- Hot flushes, change in blood pressure;
- Nasal congestion, nasal discomfort, runny nose, sneezing, oropharyngeal pain, increased expectoration, sinus disorder, difficulty breathing, voice disorder, cough, yawning;
- Flatulence, hemorrhoids, ulcers, dry mouth;
- Liver disorder;
- Oily skin, itching, acne, hair loss;
- Groin pain;
- Frequency of urination increased, urination disorder;
- Pain or abnormal sensation in the ear, tinnitus, vertigo;
- Oral herpes, fungal infection of the foot;
- Increased appetite, weight loss or gain, fever, pain, coldness in extremities, feeling hot.
Rare Adverse Effects:
- Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (severe skin disease);
- Suicidal ideation, suicide attempt.
Very Rare Side Effects:
- Rhabdomyolysis (severe damage to the muscles).
- Severe liver failure or acute hepatitis, severe liver disease;
- Severe kidney failure;
- Addiction and dependence on opiates;
- In combination with analgesics containing morphine and related substances (fentanyl, hydromorphone, oxycodone, methadone, buprenorphine).
Interactions with other Medicines:
- Substitution treatments containing methadone or buprenorphine: risk of withdrawal syndrome;
- Analgesics containing morphine or a similar substance (fentanyl, hydromorphone, oxycodone, pethidine, nalbuphine): risk of cancellation of their effect;
- It may interact with painkillers containing codeine, dihydrocodeine or tramadol;
- Also inform your doctor if you are taking a drug from the benzodiazepine family or other sedative drugs.
Testimonials from Revia users
People who have tested Revia are unanimous in saying that, indeed, this drug causes a dislike of certain foods, at certain times. Revia also seems to help stop food cravings.
On the other hand, it seems that Revia is only effective on certain people. In some, the drug reduces compulsive eating, without stopping it completely, and causes many bothersome side effects like those we mentioned above.
Price and warranty
As Revia is a prescription drug sold in pharmacies, it is partially covered by health insurance (65%).
Of course in the case of this kind of medicine, no guarantee is applied.
Our opinion on Revia
We have always been against any drug diversion.
Revia is a drug that has an action that affects the nervous system, which can cause many side effects, sometimes serious, and the most important thing is that it is not a drug for weight loss.
Using it to lose weight is too risky an adventure.
Last update: September 14, 2022.