Vivitrol is a brand name injectable formulation of the medication naltrexone. This medication is used to help people who struggle with opioid or alcohol addiction maintain their sobriety both during and after treatment. While naltrexone is also available in oral pill form, the once-monthly Vivitrol injection is far more popular because it requires less maintenance than daily pills and has no risk for abuse. If you or a loved one are looking for Vivitrol treatment in Louisville, KY, our experts at PAX Riverbend are here to help.
Vivitrol is used to treat both opioid and alcohol addiction after individuals have completed detox. The medication helps reduce cravings and the motivation to use substances, therefore, helping people maintain abstinence. When Vivitrol is combined with our comprehensive treatment program in Louisville, KY, it is a highly effective way to overcome drug and alcohol addiction.
Naltrexone is a substance that belongs to a class of drugs called “opiate antagonists.” Opiate antagonists block opioid receptors in the brain to prevent the euphoric effects that are produced when someone abuses opioids. As such, the drug is also known to decrease the desire to drink or take opioids.
If someone were to drink or take opioids while taking naltrexone, they won’t feel the euphoric or sedating effects so there is no high associated with substance use. Naltrexone does not treat opioid or alcohol withdrawal. Instead, people must remain abstinent for at least 7-10 days before starting Naltrexone or Vivitrol. Physicians may require patients to take a urinary drug test to confirm they are sober before starting the medication. If taken too soon in the recovery process, naltrexone may induce sudden withdrawal symptoms.
The most common side effects of taking naltrexone are:
It’s important to note that naltrexone alone is not a treatment for substance use disorder. Naltrexone and similar medications are more effective when they are used in combination with an addiction treatment program that offers counseling, support, and life skills.
Vivitrol Treatment in Louisville, KY: How it Works
Vivitrol was initially approved in 2006 for the treatment of alcohol use disorder, however, in 2010 it was approved to treat opioid use disorder, as well. Vivitrol is an extended-release form of naltrexone that comes in the form of an injection. Vivitrol injections are administered once a month in the buttocks by a licensed physician. Many people prefer Vivitrol over oral naltrexone because they don’t have to remember or be willing to take a pill every day, thereby increasing medication compliance.
The actual process of getting the Vivitrol shot is fairly low maintenance. In fact, the most important yet tedious part of any addiction treatment program is counseling and peer support. Research has shown that Vivitrol is more effective than medications that require a daily dose since it prevents relapse and reduces cravings on an extended basis.
Trials conducted by the FDA have found that patients taking Vivitrol are more likely to stay in treatment and stay sober longer than people who received substance abuse treatment alone. Patients who participate in Vivitrol treatment must complete detox and undergo a medical examination with their doctor. Throughout treatment, they will get the injection once a month while participating in group and individual therapies in our partial hospitalization program or intensive outpatient program.
After completing drug and alcohol treatment, patients will consult with their doctor and therapist to determine whether or not ongoing Vivitrol injections are necessary. Some people only take the medication for a couple of months, while others remain on it long-term. The good news is that you can stop taking Vivitrol whenever you are ready without worry about withdrawal symptoms because naltrexone is not habit-forming.
Side Effects of the Vivitrol Shot
The most common side effect of the Vivitrol shot is swelling, redness, or irritation at the injection site. This irritation usually subsides within the first week after receiving the shot. Other more serious side effects may include:
- Liver damage
- Allergic reaction
- Depression or suicidal thoughts
If you experience any of these symptoms while taking Vivitrol, it’s important to speak to your healthcare provider immediately.
Patients who attend our Vivitrol treatment program in Louisville, KY will be monitored by physicians and have constant access to their doctor. This way, if any dangerous side effects occur, they can be managed right away. Vivitrol isn’t for everyone, so it’s important to consult with an addiction specialist about all of your options to figure out what is best for you.
How Do Doctors in Louisville, KY Prescribe Vivitrol?
Doctors must complete special training before they can administer Vivitrol and other FDA approved medications that are used in medication-assisted treatment programs in Louisville, KY. Our doctors at PAX Riverbend are able to administer FDA-approved substance abuse treatment medications. When you arrive at treatment, you’ll meet with an addiction doctor who will speak with you about your medical history, treatment goals, and more to determine which medication is right for you.
Get Started With Vivitrol Treatment Today
Unfortunately, there is no single pill, injection, or formula that can completely cure addiction. However, medications like Vivitrol can help. If you or a loved one are suffering from an addiction to drugs or alcohol, contact one of our addiction specialists in Louisville, KY today.
Medically Reviewed: September 25, 2019
All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.