Vivitrol for Opioid Abuse: Information For Medication-Assisted Treatment
What is Vivitrol?
Vivitrol (Naltrexone) can be an alternative to Methadone or Suboxone; it is an antagonist blocking medication used to block the effects of opiates on the body and is used to treat both opioid and alcohol addiction.
Vivitrol is an injectable prescription administered once every 28 days with strict medical supervision in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies. It is a non-narcotic medication-assisted treatment (MAT).
- Before starting Vivitrol you must be opioid free for a minimum of 7-14 days to avoid sudden opioid withdrawal.
- Patients should not be actively drinking at the time of initial VIVITROL administration.
If you are being treated for Alcohol Use Disorder but also have a Substance Use Disorder and are actively using opioid drugs, it is important to tell your provider before starting Vivitrol to avoid having sudden opioid withdrawal symptoms.
Benefits of Vivitrol:
- Takes away the physical cravings for the addictive opiates
- Extended release, aids compliance
- No need to come into the clinic daily for treatment
- Ideal choice for those released from jail or residential treatment
- Can be successfully tapered from Methadone or Suboxone to Vivitrol
If you need medical treatment, you must tell your healthcare provider that you are receiving Vivitrol treatment and the date of your last injection. This is very important as Vivitrol can block the effects of opioid containing medicines that may need to be used in an emergency.
It’s important to note – If a person stops using Vivitrol, they will be more sensitive to lower doses of opioids than previously, putting them at greater risk of overdosing.
You should always know the medications you take. Keep a list of them to show your healthcare providers and pharmacist when you get a new medication.
Vivitrol is not suitable during pregnancy.
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