Lucemyra (Lofexidine): A New, Non-Opioid Medication for Opioid Withdrawal Treatment

taking Lucemyra (lofexidine) for opioid withdrawal

If you struggle with opioid addiction, you may know just how difficult it is to cope with the symptoms of withdrawal that appear when you suddenly stop taking an opioid. These flu-like symptoms can be so painful and uncomfortable that many people would rather continue using opioids than proceed with detoxification.

There are several FDA-approved medications that can alleviate symptoms of withdrawal and help treat opioid use disorder. Two of the most popular are Suboxone (buprenorphine/naloxone) and methadone. However, there is a downside to these medications. 

Both Suboxone and methadone are considered opioids and can be physically habit-forming. People who take Suboxone or methadone for extended periods of time will have symptoms of withdrawal when they stop taking their medication.

Fortunately, a new, non-opioid prescription medication has been approved to help adults cope with the symptoms of opioid withdrawal. This medication is called Lucemyra (lofexidine).

What is Lucemyra (Lofexidine)?

Lucemyra is a brand name prescription drug for the medication lofexidine. It was initially approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in May 2018 as the first non-opioid drug approved to treat opioid withdrawal.[1] 

According to the brand’s official website, “LUCEMYRA is a non-opioid prescription medicine used in adults to help with the symptoms of opioid withdrawal that may happen when you stop taking an opioid suddenly. LUCEMYRA will not completely prevent the symptoms of opioid withdrawal and is not a treatment for opioid use disorder.”

Lofexidine works by blocking the release of norepinephrine in the body, a neurotransmitter that is partially responsible for opioid withdrawal symptoms. Norepinephrine is very similar to adrenaline and causes the central nervous system to function in an overactive state. While in withdrawal, people have high levels of norepinephrine, but when those levels are decreased, withdrawal symptoms become less severe. Lofexidine balances norepinephrine levels.

Symptoms of opioid withdrawal that Lucemyra reduces include:

  • Body aches and pains
  • Stomach cramps
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Chills
  • Teary eyes
  • Yawning
  • Insomnia
  • Muscle spasms
  • Increased heart rate

Lucemyra does not treat opioid use disorder–it helps reduce symptoms of withdrawal, and should always be combined with a complete treatment program involving compliance monitoring, behavioral therapy, and lifestyle changes.

Lucemyra (Lofexidine) Side Effects

Like all prescription medications, Lucemyra may cause side effects, but it has fewer reported side effects than other opioid treatment medications. The most common side effects include:[2]

  • Dizziness
  • Low blood pressure
  • Dry mouth
  • Slowed heart rate
  • Drowsiness
  • Fainting

The medication should not be combined with alcohol, benzodiazepines, or barbiturates as respiratory depression and other adverse side effects may occur. You should also drink plenty of water while taking this medication to avoid becoming dehydrated.

How is Lucemyra Used During Opioid Detox?

If your doctor prescribes lofexidine to help you cope with opioid withdrawal, you should take the medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. You should follow the directions on the label and read the label in its entirety.

Lofexidine can be taken with or without food and is taken on a daily basis for up to 14 days (two weeks). The initial dose typically starts at 0.54mg orally 4 times a day, every 5-6 hours during peak withdrawal. Your doctor may adjust your dose or even stop treatment early based on the severity of your withdrawal symptoms. 

In clinical trials, Lucemyra provided the most symptom relief on Day 2 and Day 3 of opioid withdrawal, when symptoms were often the most severe. And, 40-41% of people who took the medication remained in treatment after 7 days while only 28% of the placebo group did. This means the medication can not only reduce your withdrawal symptoms but also help you stay in treatment longer so you’re more likely to stay sober in the long run.

You should not stop taking lofexidine abruptly. Suddenly stopping the medication may cause a rapid increase in blood pressure and unpleasant opioid withdrawal symptoms. Instead, your doctor will slowly reduce your dose over a period of 2-4 days so you don’t have any side effects of discontinuation.

How Do I Know if Lucemyra is Right For Me?

If traditional addiction treatment involving just behavioral therapy or other medications like buprenorphine has not worked for you in the past, Lucemyra may be able to help you recover. Speak with your doctor or an addiction specialist to see if Lucemyra is right for you. Anyone who is planning on abruptly stopping the use of an opioid may qualify.

It’s also important to note that Lucemyra is most effective when combined with a comprehensive treatment program, which may include individual and group counseling, behavioral therapy, support groups, and other treatment medications. If you aren’t prepared to commit to a recovery program, this medication may not be right for you.

The most important thing to remember is that no single medication can cure addiction. Lucemyra is not addictive and not an opioid, so it may be safer than some other opioid withdrawal medications, but it won’t keep you sober forever. Recovery is an ongoing journey that requires personal dedication and commitment. It can’t be cured overnight, but by embracing healthy lifestyle changes and relying on a sober support group for guidance, anyone can achieve long-term sobriety.

Start Your Recovery Today

Opioid withdrawal is typically not life-threatening, but it is extremely challenging to endure. Medications like Lucemyra, combined with comprehensive treatment, can alleviate withdrawal symptoms and make it easier to embark on the road to recovery.

If you or a loved one are struggling with opioid addiction, please contact us today. Our team of admissions counselors is available 24/7 to answer any questions you may have, verify your insurance, and help you find the right treatment program for you. Call now to get started.



Related Posts

How Do I Find an Alcohol Detox and Treatment Center in New Jersey?

Making the decision to get help for a drinking problem is a major accomplishment, but admitting that you have a problem and that you need help is only the beginning. Next, you have to make some important decisions regarding your treatment and recovery. If you’ve never...

Complications That Can Happen During Alcohol Withdrawal and How a Detox Center Can Help

Alcohol slows down brain function and changes the way your nerves send messages back and forth. When you drink alcohol frequently for a long period, your central nervous system adjusts to having the substance in its system. This causes your body to work hard to keep...

Understanding How Adventure Therapy Promotes Resilience and Trauma Recovery

Adventure therapy is a therapeutic process that helps you overcome mental health issues like substance use disorder and trauma by having you take part in various “adventures'' in a safe environment. This form of therapy became popular in the 1960s and continues to...

5 Myths About Trauma and Addiction

Trauma and addiction are strongly linked with one another. When you experience something traumatic, you experience emotional reactions that can be difficult to cope with. For example, feelings of exhaustion, confusion, sadness, anxiety, numbness, confusion, and...

Can I Get Fired For Going to Rehab?

Deciding to attend treatment for a substance use disorder is the best decision you can make for yourself. However, this choice can be a great source of anxiety and fear. You may be worried that you will lose your job or get fired if you take time off to attend...

Abilify (Aripiprazole) Withdrawal: Signs, Symptoms, Prevention, and Treatment

Abilify is the name brand for a medication known as aripiprazole. This medication is used to treat the symptoms of mental health conditions like bipolar, schizophrenia, Tourette's, and irritability associated with autism disorder. People who take Abilify may also take...

How Can Attachment Style Affect Substance Abuse and Addiction

Millions of people across the United States live with substance abuse and addiction. These conditions put people at risk of severe mental, physical, and social harm. Without treatment, the effects of the addiction are likely to worsen or become life-threatening....

How Can Adventure Therapy Improve Mental Health?

Mental health is vital to the addiction recovery process. Many people who struggle with addiction also suffer from co-occurring mental health conditions. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), “approximately 9.2 million...

5 Myths About Drug and Alcohol Rehab

Addiction is a chronic and progressive disease that must be treated with the help of a professional rehab program. However, many people are intimidated by the thought of going to a residential treatment facility. The myths about drug and alcohol rehab perpetuate this...

Stereotypes About Addiction and Why They Are Dangerous

Addiction is a common disease that affects about 10% of Americans.[1] Despite addiction being so prevalent in our country, the attitude around this condition is not always supportive or understanding. Many people still believe in stereotypes and the stigma surrounding...

Take The First Step to a New Life

Transform daydreams into realities

Moving Mountains takes a whole-person approach to recovery by offering a continuum of care, clinically proven treatments, and holistic healing. We work closely with you to identify your unique needs, facilitate individualized treatments, and help you establish a foundation upon which your recovery--and the rest of your life--can grow. Our compassionate, friendly staff is available 24-hours a day to take your call and help you begin your recovery journey.


Combatting the ever-growing drug epidemic that this country faces begins with you. Make the most of our vast knowledge of addiction treatment and our proven ability to change lives. Let's Move Mountains together.  Take the first step towards a new, better life by giving us a call today.

Begin RecoveryVerify Insurance

Get Addiction Help Now
(973) 315-6121
Representatives available now.