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Vivitrol

Sounds Like: viv.vi.TRAWL

Classification: Opioid Antagonist

Controlled Substance Act Schedule: N/A

Other names for Vivitrol

  • Naltrexone

Vivitrol Addiction

What is Vivitrol?

Vivitrol is a brand-name drug prescribed to block the effects of opioids, such as heroin or pain relievers. It contains the active ingredient naltrexone, which belongs to a class of drugs known as opioid antagonists. Vivitrol works by binding to opioid receptors in the brain and spinal cord, for example. Opioid receptors are responsible for the “high” people experience when they drink alcohol or take opioids. 

Vivitrol is often used for long-term opioid and alcohol addiction treatment. It’s known to reduce cravings and treat withdrawal symptoms in people diagnosed with opioid use disorder (OUD) or alcohol use disorder (AUD).

Vivitrol Addiction

Vivitrol and naltrexone alternatives are most commonly used to treat people with opioid use disorder or alcohol use disorder. It only activates in the presence of opioids. Therefore, it’s rare to develop a tolerance without opioids in your system. It’s also given in a medical setting by a healthcare professional at a hospital, detox center or addiction treatment center, so the potential for abuse or an overdose is unlikely.

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Intended Use of Vivitrol

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Vivitrol for the treatment of alcohol dependence in 2006. It’s one form of naltrexone, a medication used to treat people with alcohol and opioid use disorders. Vivitrol is prescribed to reduce alcohol or drug cravings and can help prevent relapse. It’s not viewed as a cure for substance use disorder, as addiction is a lifelong condition for people who develop physical or mental dependence to drugs or alcohol. 

Addiction experts believe Vivitrol is most effective when a person is no longer using drugs or alcohol, has gone through the initial stages of detox and is involved in different forms of therapy.

How Vivitrol Is Taken

Take Vivitrol exactly as directed by your doctor or pharmacist.

Vivitrol is taken intramuscularly (into the muscle) via the buttocks. One adult dose for opioid or alcohol dependence contains 380 milligrams of the drug. Doctors recommend an adult dose of Vivitrol every four weeks or once a month.

Patients are recommended to be opioid-free for seven to 10 days prior to the use of Vivitrol. The injection must be prepared and administered by a medical professional.

Side Effects of
Vivitrol

If any of these side effects become severe, immediately call a doctor.

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headache
  • Muscle and joint aches
  • Anxiety
  • Nervousness
  • Irritability
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Tooth pain

Signs of an
Addiction to Vivitrol

Vivitrol doesn’t produce any type of “high” for users. It blocks the effects of opioids, which means it won’t activate without the presence of opioids in the body. This makes the chances of developing tolerance and dependence slim to none.

Vivitrol
Abuse Facts

Vivitrol costs nearly $1,000 per shot without insurance