How It Works and Is It Safe?
First approved by the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in alcohol treatment in 2006 and then for opioid addiction treatment in 2010, Vivitrol is a prescription medication that utilizes an extended-release version of naltrexone. Naltrexone is an opioid-antagonist that was first approved by the FDA in 1984 for use within opioid treatment programs. When prescribed and taken under the guidance of a medical professional within a medication assisted treatment program, Vivitrol is an extremely safe and effective route for patients to take.
Given monthly via injection, Vivitrol is used to aid individuals struggling with an addiction to opioids. Since the risk for liver damage does increase with the use of naltrexone, individuals must complete a full examination prior to beginning Vivitrol. Vivitrol is not safe for women who are pregnant, nor can it be used if a patient has consumed an opioid seven days prior.
Like all prescription medications, side effects can take place with the use of Vivitrol. By discussing the use of Vivitrol with your healthcare provider, you can decide if Vivitrol is the best route of treatment to take.
The Effectiveness of Vivitrol Treatment
Multiple studies have proven the effectiveness of Vivitrol. In one study, patients who were prescribed Vivitrol reported an average of 99.2% more opioid-free days than those who were not prescribed this medication. Patients have also reported fewer cravings for opioids than those patients who did not have Vivitrol as part of their treatment.
Another study confirmed that patients who received Vivitrol within a medication assisted treatment program continued a successful recovery while remaining on Vivitrol for at least 1 year. Half of the patients continued to remain opioid-free, experienced no serious reactions at the injection site, and the majority of patients reported a reduction of drug cravings, lower use of opioids, and an improvement in quality of life.
Benefits of Vivitrol Treatment plus Counseling
The use of Vivitrol is only one piece of the comprehensive treatment that patients will receive at a Sandhills Comprehensive Treatment Center. Our highly trained counseling staff provides patients with both individual and group therapy sessions as well as additional support services if required. Understanding the following can be extremely beneficial for both patients and their loved ones when embarking on the recovery journey:
How You Can Be Successful in a Medication Assisted Treatment Program: Patients must understand that receiving treatment is just the first step in a long-term commitment to maintaining sobriety. The recovery process will require dedication and effort in order to maintain sobriety. In order to maximize treatment, patients must understand that the dedicated team of professionals at Sandhills Comprehensive Treatment Centers is there to help them to accomplish their goals. Patients will be required to open up and face the choices that led them to where they currently are. By gaining an understanding of what caused them to struggle with addiction, patients are able to understand what is required to achieve a healthy life once again. Although the road to recovery may be far from smooth, patients who are committed to the treatment process will find success and long-term recovery.
How to Support Your Loved One during Medication Assisted Treatment: When someone you love is struggling with an opioid addiction, you may find yourself frustrated, saddened, and heartbroken by their struggles. By educating yourself about addiction as well as what treatment may involve, you will be able to brace yourself for the changes that your loved one may be making, as well as what will be required out of him or her while going through treatment. Since addiction affects everyone that it touches, seeking family and group support will provide you with the tools necessary in order to recover as well. Sandhills Comprehensive Treatment Centers provide patients and their loved ones with the information and assistance required to properly educate themselves about addiction and recovery. By ensuring that your own physical, mental, and emotional health are taken care of, you will be able to assist your loved one in their journey to recovery.
The Side Effects of Vivitrol
The following are among potential side effects associated with Vivitrol use:
- Dental pain
- Liver damage
- Pain, swelling, or scabbing near the injection site
- Shortness of breath, persistent cough, or other respiratory problems
- Runny nose and watery eyes
- Decreased appetite
- Muscle cramps
Please contact a Sandhills Comprehensive Treatment Center to learn more about Vivitrol and the treatment options available. Our dedicated and compassionate staff is available to answer any Vivitrol-specific questions you may have. We look forward to speaking with you.