How It Works and Is It Safe?
Vivitrol is a prescription medication containing extended-release naltrexone, an opioid antagonist that is used for the treatment of opioid addiction and alcoholism. In 1984, naltrexone received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in opioid treatment programs. In 2006, Vivitrol was approved for use in alcohol treatment, and then for opioid addiction treatment in 2010. This medication is administered once monthly via injection.
In general, when Vivitrol is taken under the watchful eye of a qualified medical professional within a medication assisted treatment program, it is proven to be safe for both short-term and long-term use. Naltrexone does have potential to increase an individual’s likelihood for liver damage; therefore it is important that he or she receives a full physical examination prior to starting on Vivitrol. Additionally, all problems should be reported to an individual’s prescribing physician.
Vivitrol is not approved for use by pregnant women, nor is it approved for those who have abused opioids in the past seven days.
Like almost all prescription medications, Vivitrol can cause side effects. Your provider can speak with you regarding both the safety and the side effects of Vivitrol in greater detail, as well as help you determine if this is the appropriate medication for you.
The Effectiveness of Vivitrol Treatment
Numerous studies have proven the effectiveness of Vivitrol. For instance, one study recently conducted showed that individuals who received Vivitrol injections had more opioid-free days. Additionally, drug cravings were decreased, as individuals prescribed Vivitrol had 10 times less drug cravings than those who did not receive this medication.
Another study of Vivitrol demonstrated that most patients who obtained Vivitrol within a medication assisted treatment program had continued success 12 months after the study. Half of these patients were able to stay opioid-free, no patients reported any significant reactions at the injection site, and almost all patients reported decreased drug cravings, less opioid use, and improved quality of life.
Benefits of Vivitrol Treatment Plus Counseling
Vivitrol is merely one aspect of a more complete comprehensive medication assisted treatment program. At Temecula Valley Comprehensive Treatment Center, each patient will be privy to group and individual counseling, as well as other support services that meet their treatment needs.
How You Can Be Successful in a Medication Assisted Treatment Program: Above all else, it is critical that you understand that your treatment is merely just one part of a long-term effort that is needed to help you recover. The entire process of recovery requires you to commit to your health and wellbeing, as well as make changes that will allow that commitment to become a reality. To obtain the most benefit from your experience in treatment, understand that those individuals who you will be working with are devoted to helping you achieve each one of your goals. You will be asked to look at your life honestly, and address the negative decisions that you have made. Prepare yourself to make changes, and be ready to do so without making any excuses so that you can work towards a healthy future. The path to recovery will not always be easy, however if you remain committed to the process and stay focused on your goals, your efforts will be worth it.
How to Support Your Loved One during Medication Assisted Treatment: Seeing a loved one go struggle with an opioid addiction can be upsetting, overwhelming, and sad. Do not doubt for one minute that the support you have provided your loved one has not helped. In fact, your support might have played a pivotal role in your loved one accepting help. When your loved one begins a medication assisted treatment program, the best thing you can do is obtain as much information as possible about what treatment will require from your loved one. Additionally, be ready to support the changes he or she will be making, and seek support for yourself through support groups, family therapy, or more. Understand that your life has been impacted by your loved one’s addiction, too. To be able to be effective during his or her recovery, you must tend to your own personal emotional wellbeing. The treatment center that your loved one is attending can be a helpful resource as this time, as they can help lead you towards the appropriate information and guidance to help yourself.
The Side Effects of Vivitrol
Below are the possible side effects that can occur through the use of Vivitrol:
- Dental pain
- Liver damage
- Muscle cramps
- Pain, swelling, or scabbing near the injection site
- Decreased appetite
- Shortness of breath, persistent cough, or other respiratory problems
- Runny nose and watery eyes
For more information regarding the side effects of Vivitrol, as well as how this medication might affect you, speak with your provider or reach out to Temecula Valley Comprehensive Treatment Center right now.