Vivitrol is the brand name for the injectable form of the generic drug naltrexone. It is used in treatment programs for those addicted to opioids and is given once a month. A simplified explanation of how it works is that it occupies the receptors in the brain that would normally be affected by the opioid. Since space is filled up, the drug has no place to go, so patients do not feel the pleasurable effects of the drugs that they are expecting.
It is imperative that Vivitrol is used only by those who have already gone through detox and are 100 percent opiate free. Furthermore, anyone who has taken any opiate or opioid of any kind within the previous 10-14 days should not use Vivitrol.
In most cases, the benefits of Vivitrol outweigh the risks; when used as recommended and under medical supervision. It takes away the physical craving for the addictive opiates. This makes the recovery process easier by preventing relapses. If used by those who are not ready for recovery and who are still using opiates, it can be dangerous or even life-threatening.
Vivitrol is not intended for a stand-alone treatment for opiate addiction. It is most effective when used in conjunction with counseling and other aspects of a comprehensive recovery program.
Opioid Addiction Treatment
Medical Opioid Detoxification in an accredited hospital offers a higher level of treatment, detox success and flexibility. These programs might be more appropriate than the standard drug rehab because they reduce relapse risks during the withdrawal phase. If you are considering using Vivitrol as part of your addiction treatment program, talk with your doctor about whether this medication is right for you. This drug has several significant advantages to the oral form of Naltrexone, but there are also risks to be considered.
As part of Waismann Method of Treatment, initially, patients are recommended a daily dose of oral naltrexone. This way, the patient can be more closely monitored for any side effects, and the dosage can be adjusted if necessary. It also gives patients time to be sure they are committed to receiving the monthly injections of Vivitrol. This personal commitment minimizes the risk of adverse consequences.
For more information about opioid treatment options with the use of injectable Vivitrol, contact us at the Waismann Center at 1-800-423-2482 and speak confidentially with one of our experts.
The main benefit is that it eliminates, or substantially reduces, the craving for opiates. It is particularly suited for those who travel a lot. They do not need to concern themselves with taking a daily dose of the oral medication, naltrexone. Many who use Vivitrol report having more peace of mind as they work toward their recovery free of constant cravings for an opiate.
Read our article addressing the question, Is Vivitrol the solution for the opioid crisis?
When taking any medication, there are risks and side effects. Some of the most common risks include, but are not limited to:
- Opioid overdose- The most significant risk of using Vivitrol is an opioid overdose. This can occur in one of two ways;
1) The medication blocks the effects of opiates and some patients who decide to use again think they can overcome the blocking effect by taking large amounts of an opiate as they try to reach their “high.”
2) If they stop their use of Vivitrol, for a period of time, they are more sensitive to the effect of a lower dose of opiates and, even if they take a small amount of their drug, an overdose can occur.
- Liver damage- Your health care provider will monitor your liver function while you are taking Vivitrol. Also, be sure to report any stomach pain lasting more than several days, unusual fatigue or dark urine.
- Reactions at the injection site- Inform your physician if you have swelling, redness, lumps and/or pain at the injection site that lasts more than a few days or gets worse instead of better as the days pass.
- Opioid withdrawal symptoms- Using any opioid medication while on Vivitrol, including some types of cough syrup, other treatments for the common cold, over-the-counter medications or herbal supplements, can cause your body to experience opioid withdrawal symptoms. This can be dangerous and requires immediate medical attention.
You should not receive a Vivitrol shot if you still using opioids, or you could have immediate and severe withdrawal symptoms.
Vivitrol Side Effects
Although not everyone experiences side effects, you may experience some of the following symptoms:
- Allergic reactions
- Nausea, which usually subsides within several days after the first injection
- Decreased appetite
Get immediate emergency medical assistance if you have signs of an allergic reaction to Vivitrol. Some of these symptoms can include hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
This is not a complete list of Vivitrol side effects; others may occur. For more accurate information, call your prescribing doctor for medical advice and possible side effects.
Finding the Best Treatment Facility
Opioid addiction is a complex condition subsequently affecting the lives of so many people and in so many different ways. The physician should consider various aspects of a person’s life before prescribing medications for craving control. Also, several forms of treatment may need to be combined in order to achieve success. If you need help in choosing the best detox program with a Vivitrol shot option, don’t hesitate to call us today at 1-800-423-2482.