To be effective, VIVITROL must be used with other alcohol or drug recovery programs such as counseling. It is not known if VIVITROL is safe and effective in children. There were 53 patients who had stopped drinking alcohol completely one week prior to their first injection.

This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor’s approval.


This medication is also used to prevent relapse to opioid abuse, after opioid detoxification. This medication must not be used in people currently taking opiates, including methadone. You must be opioid-free before receiving Vivitrol unless your healthcare provider decides that you don’t need to go through detox first. Instead, your doctor may decide to give your injection in a medical facility that can treat you for sudden opioid withdrawal. When you use alcohol and narcotics, parts of your brain make you feel pleasure and intoxication.

  • In 2010, the FDA also approved the use of Vivitrol to treat people with opioid dependence.
  • VIVITROL® and Suboxone can help reduce cravings and protect against relapse.
  • Here’s a comparison of how Vivitrol and naltrexone are alike and different.
  • Unlike many other medications used to treat opioid dependence, Vivitrol does not cause addictive qualities or dependence.

Your doctor will perform an evaluation of your health and needs to determine if a monthly naltrexone injection is right for you. The Food and Drug Administration approved the once-a-month naltrexone treatment—marketed as Vivitrol—for use as a treatment for alcohol dependence in 2006. This form of naltrexone could be injected once and be slowly released into the system for a month. In 2010, the FDA also approved the use of Vivitrol to treat people with opioid dependence.

What are the ingredients in Vivitrol?

In clinical studies, about 33% of people who took the approved dose of Vivitrol (380 mg) for alcohol dependence had nausea. In comparison, 11% of people who took a placebo also had nausea. In clinical trials of Vivitrol, people couldn’t be part of or remain in a study if they used opioid medications. Therefore, there are no statistics on the number of people who may have had withdrawal symptoms. Most of the serious side effects that can occur while you’re taking Vivitrol can happen whether you’re taking the medication for alcohol or opioid dependence.

  • During treatment, a healthcare provider will inject a 380-mg dose of the medication into a muscle in one of the buttocks.
  • You’ll receive an injection once every 4 weeks at your doctor’s office.
  • Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is currently the third leading preventable cause of death in the U.S.
  • A safety study was also performed to compare Vivitrol with the drug naltrexone in tablet form.
  • Selected from data included with permission and copyrighted by First Databank, Inc.

In addition to improved abstinence, those in the naltrexone group also reported decreased drug cravings and had fewer drug relapses. Studies also indicate that people who are given Vivitrol injection get variable blood levels and those who get higher blood levels experience fewer cravings. If your doctor determines that this approach might be appropriate, your doctor will give you an intramuscular injection in the gluteal muscles every four weeks.

Vivitrol uses

Naloxone works for only a short period of time to reverse an overdose that already occurred. Naloxone acts very quickly (within minutes) to help reverse an overdose. However, the active drug in Vivitrol (naltrexone) is sometimes used along with another medication called bupropion for weight loss. This combined drug (naltrexone/bupropion) is called Contrave, which helps decrease cravings for food and reduces hunger. Keep in mind that the effects of Vivitrol decrease over the course of 1 month. So you may be more sensitive to opioid medications right before your next dose of Vivitrol, if you miss a dose, or if you stop treatment.

shot for alcoholism

Naltrexone’s indications, mechanism of action, pharmacokinetics, administration methods, significant adverse effects, contraindications, monitoring, warnings, and toxicity are discussed. The Provider Locator is searchable by ZIP code or by city and state. Inclusion in the Provider Locator does not imply referral, recommendation or endorsement nor does omission in the Provider Locator imply Alkermes’ disapproval. The information from the Provider Locator is provided on an “AS-IS” basis. Alkermes disclaims all warranties, either express or implied, including but not limited to the implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for particular purpose.

Generic Name: naltrexone microspheres

Vivitrol, as a medication for alcohol use disorder (MAUD), takes time as it doesn’t instantly reduce cravings for alcohol. Therefore, it’s critical not to miss any Vivitrol shots to gain the full benefits of this medication. Missing a scheduled injection can dramatically impair the effectiveness of the next dose. While some addiction treatment medications are prescribed through an opioid treatment program (OTP), others are provided by trained healthcare practitioners in non-OTP medical clinics. Because of the ease of access and availability, many people can acquire critical medications to aid them in their rehabilitation during the pandemic.

By keeping you from looking honestly at your behavior and its negative effects, denial also exacerbates alcohol-related problems with work, finances, and relationships. Drinking to relieve or avoid withdrawal symptoms is a sign of alcoholism and a huge red flag. When you drink heavily, your body gets used to the alcohol and experiences withdrawal symptoms if it’s taken away.