For Alcohol Dependence Questions and Answers About VIVITROL® naltrexone for extended-release injectable suspension

In clinical trials of people who took Vivitrol for alcohol dependence, 69% of people who received the approved dose (380 mg) had an injection site reaction. In comparison, 50% of people who received a placebo injection had an injection site reaction. While you’re taking Vivitrol, it’s important that you don’t take any opioid medications. And you shouldn’t take any opioids within 7 to 10 days before starting Vivitrol treatment. This is because if you use opioid medications during these times, you may have symptoms of opioid withdrawal.

  • Your doctor will recommend the dosage of Vivitrol that’s right for you.
  • Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for alcohol use disorder.
  • Medicines that interact with Vivitrol may either decrease its effect, affect how long it works, increase side effects, or have less of an effect when taken with Vivitrol.
  • Ahealthcare professional will give you the injections at your doctor’s office.
  • Vivitrol therefore prevents drinkers from feeling pleasure when they drink.

If you have serious side effects from Vivitrol, call your doctor right away. But if you think you’re having a medical emergency, call 911 or your local emergency number. Vivitrol should be used as part of a complete treatment program, along with counseling, education, and support groups. Patients already completely detoxed from alcohol and opioids are candidates for Vivitrol. The recommended dose of Vivitrol is 380 mg delivered intramuscularly (IM) as a gluteal injection, every 4 weeks or once a month, alternating buttocks for each subsequent injection. Results indicated those completing at least six or more months of treatment were less likely to test positive for opioids when compared to other inmates who were released without treatment.

Vivitrol for opioid dependence

You may have questions about Vivitrol and your treatment plan. It’s important to discuss all your concerns with your doctor. Below are answers to a couple of common questions about taking Vivitrol. Vivitrol and Suboxone have some similarities, but they have important differences as well. Talk with your doctor if you’d like to know more about these drugs.

Substance Use Treatment MaineHealth – MaineHealth

Substance Use Treatment MaineHealth.

Posted: Tue, 24 Oct 2023 15:56:23 GMT [source]

You can see how this works in the picture below, which portrays the action of the Vivitrol shot. Our experts continually monitor the health and wellness space, and we update our articles when new information becomes available. The sections above describe the usual dosage provided by the how to stop alcohol cravings drug’s manufacturer. If your doctor recommends Vivitrol for you, they’ll prescribe the dosage that’s right for you. If you need help remembering your Vivitrol appointments, try using a medication reminder. This can include setting an alarm or downloading a reminder app on your phone.

VIVITROL and counseling has been proven to reduce the number of heavy drinking days* in patients with alcohol dependence1,2

Since the emergence of COVID-19, the rate of alcohol use and misuse has worsened. Your health care provider or counselor can suggest a support group. Treatment for alcohol use disorder can vary, depending on your needs. Treatment may involve a brief intervention, individual or group counseling, an outpatient program, or a residential inpatient stay. Working to stop alcohol use to improve quality of life is the main treatment goal.

You’re likely to start by seeing your primary health care provider. If your provider suspects that you have a problem with alcohol, you may be referred to a mental health provider. Your risk for these problems may be higher if you already have liver problems or if you drink a lot of alcohol. Talk with your doctor about any liver problems you have before starting Vivitrol treatment. You should have your Vivitrol injections one time each month, or about every 4 weeks. You should have your injections at about the same time every month so that you don’t go too long without the medication.

What does Vivitrol cost?

Other drugs are available that can treat alcohol or opioid dependence. If you’re interested in finding an alternative to Vivitrol, talk with your doctor. They can tell you about other medications that may work well for you. In clinical studies, about 25% of people who took Vivitrol for alcohol dependence had headaches. In comparison, about 18% of people who took a placebo also had headaches. A safety study was also performed to compare Vivitrol with the drug naltrexone in tablet form.

A healthcare provider may test you for opioid dependence before Vivitrol treatment to mitigate the risk of sudden opioid withdrawal syndrome (SOWS). This test is conducted by administering a low-dose Vivitrol injection to determine if a person has any physical dependence on opioid-containing medications. Individuals will not be prescribed Vivitrol if they experience opioid withdrawal symptoms after the test. However, they may be eligible for Vivitrol treatment after an opioid-free period of 7-14 days before Vivitrol treatment and remain opioid-free after treatment.

Alcohol use disorder

With several levels of addiction treatment available, expert clinicians customize each person’s treatment program to ensure they receive the support they need. When used, it competitively binds to opioid receptors throughout the brain. This receptor blockade results in a decrease in receptor activation by either exogenous (e.g., heroin, prescription painkillers) or endogenous opioids (e.g., natural endorphins). The information we provide while responding to comments is not intended to provide and does not constitute medical, legal, or other professional advice. The responses to comments on are designed to support, not replace, medical or psychiatric treatment.

  • Naltrexone is an opioid antagonist, which means it binds to your body’s opiate receptors without providing any of the usual effects of opioids.
  • Amy Morin, LCSW, is a psychotherapist and international bestselling author.
  • In the past few decades, scientists have concluded that alcohol’s effects are mediated at least partly through the brain’s internal opioid system.
  • Your brain can get used to the substance being in your body.

This system is closely connected to the dopamine system, which is responsible for learning, motivation, and sense of reward. When alcohol is consumed, the brain releases endorphins, which are endogenous opioids that are also released in response to exercise, food, sex, and other pleasurable activities. Vivitrol is a opioid antagonist, meaning that it plugs the same brain receptors as opiates and endorphins (the brain’s natural pleasure chemicals). Instead of producing pleasurable effects, Vivitrol sits in the receptor site and simply blocks pleasure chemicals from entering. Your doctor will determine the correct dosage of Vivitrol for you.

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