Vivitrol

8 comments

Vivitrol is an extended-release formulation of naltrexone.

Naltrexone is not an opiate, but it has the ability to occupy opiate receptor sites in the brain.  This blocks the effects of opiates and opioids like heroin or Oxycontin.

Naltrexone is non-narcotic and does not result in physical dependence.

Other formulations of naltrexone are already used to treat addiction to opiates.  But Vivitrol is different in that Vivitrol is a once-monthly treatment.  Monthly dosing has the potential to greatly improve treatment success for people living with opiate addiction.

Formulations of naltrexone that require daily dosing are often not effective because many patients simply skip doses or stop taking the medication as part of a relapse.  Since a single dose of Vivitrol is effective for one month, patients are less likely to be able to circumvent the treatment in a weak moment.

Vivitrol is a form of medication-assisted treatment for opiate dependence.  But Vivitrol is not an opiate replacement therapy.  Opiate replacement therapies are treatments that address problematic use of fast-acting opiates like heroin by prescribing therapeutic doses of longer-acting, less euphoric opiates like methadone or Suboxone under medical supervision.

Vivitrol patients must not have used opiates within 7-10 days of taking Vivitrol.  In other words, an opiate-dependent person must detox from opiates before starting treatment with Vivitrol.  Detox is a very uncomfortable process for most people.  The need to detox before starting treatment with Vivitrol is a barrier to treatment for some patients.

Vivitrol is administered by injecting the medication into muscle.

Patients who try to overcome the blockade effect of Vivitrol by taking large amounts of opiates in an attempt to feel the euphoric effects of opiates may be at increased risk of fatal drug overdose.

Vivitrol is FDA approved for the treatment of opiate dependence (2010) and alcohol dependence (2006).

Learn more about Vivitrol treatment for addiction to heroin or other opiates:

Vivitrol on FDA Fast Track to Treat Heroin Addiction

Half Remain Heroin Free for Full Year in Vivitrol Treatment Study

Recovery Essay Contest Winner Talks About Naltrexone

Could Vivitrol Before Release Prevent Prisoners From Returning?

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 madyson February 27, 2011 at 4:09 pm

Just thought you would like to know Tom, that J is doing VERY well on the pill form of Naltrexone. We have not found a doctor to give the shot yet. Do you think he should just call his family doctor?

This is the thing that is most interesting to me. 1) He noticed chocolate doesn’t taste the same or give any satifaction. 2) He says he has less of a desire to smoke. 3) He says that he has no cravings since he has been taking it. When he was still in rehab he even tried to make himself crave using his usual thought triggers and he couldn’t do it. It was a huge relief to him.

Now I know that they say that it does not help with cravings but for him it does. He is calm and normal…nothing unusual which is sooooooo unusual. I refuse to tell him that actually this isn’t for craving help because he believes it is. I won’t even write about it on my blog because I know he reads it sometimes. LOL

NALTREXONE WORKS!

2 recoveryhelpdesk February 27, 2011 at 8:16 pm

Nice to hear from you Madyson and I’m really glad to hear J is doing so well.

I’m really interested in hearing about people’s experience with cravings while taking Vivitrol or other forms of naltrexone, so thanks for this information.

Vivitrol costs something like $1,000 per injection, so if the pill form is working well for J I’d stick with that!

3 Sandy June 14, 2013 at 2:33 pm

Where can you get the pill ? Will my family doctor prescribe the pill ? Is it monthly prescription. Why is it so hard to get the shot and what is the reason besides money does your doctor does not prefer the shot over the pills.

4 recoveryhelpdesk June 30, 2013 at 5:39 pm

Hi Sandy, You can get the pill prescribed by your family doctor. Your doctor can prescribe it monthly. Doctors often want to start out with pills before offering the shot. They may want to make sure the patient isn’t allergic to the medication, and to see if this less costly and less physically intrusive alternative is effective before offering the shot. Tom

5 T0715 original August 9, 2013 at 4:52 am

It’s a shame you don’t have a donate button!
I’d definitely donate to this fantastic blog! I guess for now i’ll settle for book-marking and adding your
RSS feed to my Google account. I look forward to fresh updates and will
talk about this website with my Facebook group.
Chat soon!

Leave a Comment

{ 3 trackbacks }