Vivitrol is an extended-release, injectable version of the drug naltrexone and is commonly prescribed to those in recovery for alcohol or opioid addiction. The drug is designed to:
- Cut down the alcohol cravings of those who have already quit drinking.
- Minimize the risk of opioid drug relapse by blocking some of the effects of opioids.
Where Do You Get Vivitrol?
Not every healthcare provider is familiar with Vivitrol – and how or when to prescribe it to patients in recovery. Because Vivitrol is most effective when used in conjunction with a comprehensive drug and alcohol addiction treatment program, few primary care physicians will prescribe the drug without first recommending that you seek treatment at a full-service drug rehab.
The best way to locate a Vivitrol provider is to contact us at 1-888-744-0789. We would happy to discuss your recovery options as well as the possibility of incorporating Vivitrol as a part of your addiction treatment or maintenance program. The provider near you will be able to better assess how Vivitrol might increase the effectiveness of your particular addiction treatment plan.
Vivitrol Quick Facts
Here are a few basic facts about Vivitrol that can help you better understand this drug1:
- Vivitrol is an injectable version of naltrexone that is administered intramuscularly every four weeks.
- Vivitrol is used to help prevent relapse among those recovering from alcohol or opioid dependence.
- You need to be drug- and alcohol-free for at least 7-10 days prior to starting a Vivitrol prescription.
- Vivitrol may induce acute opioid withdrawal in patients who still have opioids in their system at the time of administration
- The risk of opioid overdose may be higher in those who have used Vivitrol, as their opioid tolerance levels decrease during the therapeutic interval.
- Vivitrol lowers risk of relapse by reducing some of the pleasurable effects of opioids and alcohol.
- Vivitrol is not a cure for alcoholism or opioid dependence. It is best used as part of a well-rounded addiction treatment program that includes therapy and support services.
Benefits of Taking Vivitrol
Vivitrol can be extremely helpful to some individuals in recovery. Some benefits of taking Vivitrol include:
- Vivitrol can help diminish the appeal of alcohol and opioid drugs.
- Unlike medications that require taking pills every day, Vivitrol’s monthly injection makes it easier to consistently take the medication as prescribed – without skipping a dose.
- Vivitrol blood levels may remain more stable than those of oral naltrexone.
- Vivitrol is not habit-forming. You won’t have to worry about developing a secondary addiction to naltrexone while trying to get out of your primary alcohol or opioid addiction.
For alcoholics, Vivitrol can help to mitigate cravings and allow those in early recovery to turn their attention to the psychotherapeutic healing that is so crucial to the development of their new life without alcohol. For those struggling with opioid addiction, Vivitrol can block the effects of opioids taken during relapse.
Sometimes all it takes to stop people from using drugs is simply the knowledge that shooting up heroin or taking certain painkillers will not elicit pleasurable effects.
Risks of Taking Vivitrol
Risks of taking Vivitrol may include2:
- Fatal drug overdose.
- Jeopardized recovery if you skip a dose.
- The potential for severe liver damage, if taken in excess.
- Injection site reactions: irritation, redness, swelling, lumps, pain or tissue death.
- Higher costs, relative to oral naltrexone.
Because Vivitrol blocks the feelings of euphoria from opioid drugs for a time, many individuals try to “override” its capability by overloading the system with a huge amount of opioid drugs. However, taking this excess amount of opioid drugs can lead to an overdose that can be deadly.
Possible Vivitrol Side Effects
Be aware that you may experience any of the following common side effects when taking Vivitrol:
- Joint pain, muscle cramps.
- Sleeping problems.
- Cold symptoms.
- Loss of appetite.
The nausea you may feel after taking Vivitrol usually only occurs after the first injection dose. Many people do not feel nausea after subsequent injections of the medication.
Other possible side effects you may experience include:
- Allergic pneumonia.
- Other allergic reactions: breathing difficulties, wheezing, chest pain, dizziness, skin rashes, facial swelling.
- Severe depression.
Is Vivitrol Right for You?
Vivitrol is not right for everyone, but for some people it can be an integral part of their successful recovery. The best way for you to determine if Vivitrol is right for you is by speaking with a healthcare professional or a Vivitrol provider who more fully understands your unique circumstances and needs. To be connected with such an individual, you may call us at 1-888-744-0789 today, and we will be happy to find a provider in your area.
Who Should NOT Take Vivitrol
Certain conditions do clearly indicate that Vivitrol is not the right drug for you. You are advised against using Vivitrol if2:
- You have not remained sober from opioids for at least 7-10 days.
- You are still experiencing opioid withdrawal symptoms.
- You are allergic to naltrexone or any of Vivitrol’s ingredients.
- You are pregnant or breastfeeding. However, depending on your circumstances, your healthcare provider might decide with you that Vivitrol should still be administered.
- You are under 18. Vivitrol hasn’t been thoroughly studied in those under age 18.
Before taking Vivitrol, you should also discuss with your healthcare provider if:
- You abuse any street drugs.
- You take any medications, vitamins, or herbal supplements.
- You have bleeding problems or hemophilia.
- You have any problems with your kidneys.
- You have any problems with your liver.
- You have any other health conditions.
- You are planning to become pregnant.
Addiction Treatment Facility Types
Since Vivitrol is usually recommended in the context of an addiction treatment center, it will be helpful for you to review the types of rehab facilities that will be available to you as you choose to seek treatment.
Luxury rehab programs offer a wide range of luxurious, resort-like amenities in addition to providing residential addiction treatment.
Executive rehab programs offer residential addiction treatment with many of the same high-end amenities as luxury programs – only they tailor their resources and program structure for business professionals who want to stay involved at work during the course of rehab treatment.
Traditional rehab programs offer the same high-quality addiction treatment as luxury and executive programs – but at lower prices that may be more affordable for your budget.
Learn More and Find a Vivitrol Provider
Contact us now at 1-888-744-0789 to speak with someone who can help you determine whether or not your drug rehab plan should include Vivitrol. We would be happy to help answer your questions and connect you with a Vivitrol provider in your area. Your recovery and wellbeing are worth the investment. Call us today to get started.