What is Vivitrol?

Learn more about what Vivitrol is, how it works, its side effects, and if it’s the right treatment option for you.

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What Does Vivitrol Do?

Addiction is a serious problem that many people struggle with every day. If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, it is extremely helpful to be aware of the treatment options available. One such treatment is Vivitrol. Vivitrol is a medication that is used to help people overcome addiction. It is a powerful drug that can have serious side effects if not taken correctly. If you are thinking about taking Vivitrol or are already taking it, it is crucial that you be well-informed about the drug.


What is the Generic Name?

The generic name for Vivitrol is naltrexone. It is a medication that the FDA originally approved in 1984 to treat alcohol dependence. In 2010, the FDA approved Vivitrol to treat opioid addiction.1

The substance is manufactured by Alkermes and is currently only available as an injection. The injectable form of Vivitrol is given as a once-monthly intramuscular injection.

How Does it Work?

Vivitrol works by blocking the effects of opioids. It does this by binding to opioid receptors in the brain and preventing them from being activated. This reduces cravings for opioids and helps to prevent relapse.2It is important to note that Vivitrol is not a substitute for opioids and will not produce the same effects as opioids, meaning that it will not make you feel high or relieve pain.

Various Treatment Uses

Alcoholism is a severe problem that affects millions of people worldwide every year. If you or someone you know is struggling with an addiction to alcohol, Vivitrol may be a viable treatment option to consider. Vivitrol has proven to be effective in treating alcoholism. Participants who received Vivitrol were found more likely to abstain from alcohol consumption than those who received a placebo.

Vivitrol Treatment for Opioid Addiction

Opioid abuse and addiction is a severe problem that has been on the rise in recent years. Vivitrol has proven to be effective in treating opioid addiction. Participants who received Vivitrol found that those who received the medication were more likely to stay in treatment and less likely to use opioids than those who did not.

Vivitrol Side Effects

As with any medication, Vivitrol comes with its own list of possible side effects, ranging from mild to severe. These side effects will be detailed below.

Common Side Effects 

The most common side effects of Vivitrol include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness

These side effects are usually mild and go away on their own.

Serious Side Effects 

Some of the more serious side effects of Vivitrol are rare but can occur. These include:

  • Liver problems
  • Increased risk of suicidal thoughts or behaviors
  • High blood pressure

If you experience any severe side effects, it is crucial to seek medical help immediately.

Severe Injection Site Reactions

After receiving a Vivitrol injection, a severe reaction of inflammation or tissue damage can occur at the injection site. There are two injection site reactions: local and flare allergic reactions. If any of these symptoms occur, it is essential to seek medical attention immediately, as this could indicate a more severe reaction. The symptoms of a local reaction are:3
  • Itching
  • Pain
  • Redness
  • Swelling at the injection site

Flare Allergic Reaction Symptoms

Symptoms of a flare allergic reaction include:

  • Hives
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Feeling faint

Serious Allergic Reactions

It is essential to know that Vivitrol can cause serious allergic reactions. Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction include:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Swelling of the face, tongue, or throat
  • Hives

If you experience these symptoms after taking Vivitrol, seek medical help immediately.

Vivitrol Interactions

The following are the drugs that may cause adverse reactions when taking Vivitrol:

  • Acamprosate
  • Aripiprazole
  • Asenapine
  • Chlordiazepoxide
  • Clozapine

On the other hand, the following drugs may interact well with the substance:

  • Warfarin
  • Enoxaparin
  • Dalteparin
  • Tinzaparin
  • Heparin

It is extremely important to let your doctor know about all the medications you are taking, including over-the-counter drugs and supplements, before starting treatment with Vivitrol.

Overdose and Withdrawal

As with any substance that is taken regularly, there is the risk of an overdose if not administered correctly. There is also a risk of experiencing withdrawal symptoms if the use of Vivitrol stops.

Naltrexone Overdose Symptoms

If you or someone you know has overdosed on Vivitrol, seek medical help immediately. Overdose symptoms include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Dizziness

Vivitrol Withdrawal

If you or someone you know is struggling with Vivitrol withdrawal, medical assistance may be required. Withdrawal symptoms include:4

  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headache

How Long Does Vivitrol Last?

Vivitrol is typically administered via injection once a month. The medication can stay in your system for up to four weeks. The substance can be an effective treatment for both alcoholism and opioid addiction. Taking this medication has some risks and side effects, but these are typically mild and rarely life-threatening. If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, it is essential to seek medical help.

Vivitrol Treatment

Treatment Opportunities at Soledad House

At Soledad House, we offer Vivitrol treatment for alcoholism and opioid addiction. Our team of experts will work with you to create a customized treatment plan that meets your unique needs. Contact us today to learn more about our Vivitrol treatment options.

How Can Vivitrol Help in Recovery?

Vivitrol can help in recovery by doing the following:

  • Reducing cravings for alcohol or opioids
  • Blocking the effects of alcohol or opioids
  • Helping you stay in treatment

Vivitrol Treatment Program

The Vivitrol Treatment Program is an FDA-approved, non-addictive treatment for alcohol and opioid dependence. The program involves a monthly injection of Vivitrol, a naltrexone brand that blocks the brain’s receptors from responding to alcohol and opioids.The injection is given in a doctor’s office or clinic, and patients must abstain from alcohol and opioids for seven to ten days before starting the program to avoid serious side effects. Once in the program, patients attend regular counseling sessions and support groups to help them stay on track.

Logistics of Vivitrol Treatment Program

The Vivitrol Treatment Program is typically completed in twelve months, though some patients may stay in the program for longer if needed. The cost of the Vivitrol Treatment Program varies depending on the individual’s insurance coverage. However, the average price of the program is $1,465.85-$2,127.16.

Get in Touch

If you or someone you know is struggling with alcoholism or opioid addiction, we encourage you to reach out for help. The Vivitrol Treatment Program can be an effective way to achieve sobriety, but it’s essential to understand that treatment is different for everyone. 

Soledad Recovery is here to guide you if you or your loved one is ready to pursue long-term health and wellness.