Author: James Anderson

VIVITROL® & Counseling for Opioid Dependence

how long does vivitrol block alcohol

Therefore, naltrexone may control other cravings for food as well. Weight gain is probably not a side effect of Vivitrol use because naltrexone is also used for weight loss. Naltrexone tablets are also FDA-approved to treat opioid dependence and alcohol dependence. In another study that compared Vivitrol to Suboxone, there was no significant difference between the effectiveness of the two drugs. People who received Vivitrol remained in the study for about 69 days, compared to people who received Suboxone, who remained in the study for about 64 days. Remaining in the study meant that people continued to take the medication for 12 weeks, as opposed to dropping out of the study.

  1. Speak to your doctor about how drug interactions should be managed.
  2. If you have opioid dependence, your doctor may suggest treatment with Vivitrol.
  3. Adderall is a stimulant medication that works in a different way than Vivitrol.
  4. In clinical studies, these levels were often increased for only a short period of time, and they didn’t cause any side effects.
  5. However, the tablet form of the active drug in Vivitrol (naltrexone) has been studied in animals.

Blocking dopamine release helps you have fewer cravings, which can help keep you from drinking alcohol. It’s used to treat alcohol dependence in adults who have stopped drinking and aren’t in the hospital for treatment. With dependence, your body needs a certain substance for you to feel comfortable.

Side effects and risks

The Food and Drug Administration has approved Vivitrol to treat opioid dependence and alcohol dependence. People who drink alcohol while taking Vivitrol tend to have the same side effects as other people who drink alcohol. This includes loss of coordination and a slower response time. Reactions at the site of injection were a common side effect that occurred in people who received injections of Vivitrol.

how long does vivitrol block alcohol

The entire carton that contains Vivitrol should be stored in the refrigerator between 36°F and 46°F (2°C and 8°C). Vivitrol can be stored at room temperature for up to 7 days before use. However, the medication should never be stored at temperatures higher than 77°F (25°C). Vivitrol should be used along with psychosocial support as part of a comprehensive treatment program.

Patients should be opioid-free for 7 to 14 days prior to starting treatment with Vivitrol. Vivitrol is a type of medication called an opioid antagonist. Antagonists are medications that block certain receptors (proteins on the outside of cells that act like docking stations). Vivitrol blocks molecules from attaching to opioid receptors so dopamine can’t be released. Vivitrol works for both opioid and alcohol dependence by blocking these receptors in the brain for 1 month. This helps you have fewer cravings and helps prevent relapse (going back to taking opioids or drinking alcohol again).

These lists contain examples of more common side effects that may happen with Vivitrol, with naltrexone, or with both drugs (when taken individually). Side effects can occur with Vivitrol, with naltrexone, or with both drugs (when taken individually) when the drugs are used to treat alcohol dependence. These lists contain examples of more common side effects that may occur with Vivitrol, with naltrexone, or with both drugs (when taken individually). The use of Vivitrol and Suboxone in treating opioid dependence has been directly compared in a clinical study.

The results showed that opioid relapses (taking opioid medications again) occurred in 65% of people who took Vivitrol and in 57% of people who took Suboxone. Symptoms of opioid withdrawal can be mild or severe, but usually withdrawal symptoms aren’t severe. However, if you’ve recently taken an opioid medication and then start Vivitrol treatment, you can have sudden opioid withdrawal symptoms. In such cases, you may need to stay in a hospital or be monitored for symptoms such as a fast heart rate and high blood pressure.

What should I tell my doctor before receiving Vivitrol?

Naltrexone medication works by blocking the brain’s endorphin receptors, indirectly limiting the release of dopamine after alcohol consumption. This can help individuals cut back on drinking because it makes drinking less pleasurable. When drinking on naltrexone, it’s less likely that dopamine levels will ramp up and that you’ll continue drinking to excess once you’ve started. As you take naltrexone over time, the brain’s association between alcohol and pleasure weakens, which allows alcohol cravings to subside. You don’t have to commit to abstinence in order to begin naltrexone treatment.

If opioid pain medications are needed, doctors may first give you another type of drug that reverses the effects of Vivitrol. They’ll also carefully monitor your breathing and other vital signs such as heart rate while you’re getting opioid pain medications. This is because taking opioids with Vivitrol can increase the risk of serious side effects. These include sudden opioid withdrawal or opioid intoxication (overdose). Dependence can occur when you take opioids or drink alcohol repeatedly. Your brain can get used to the substance being in your body.

The release of dopamine makes you want to take the drug or drink alcohol again. Vivitrol is approved to treat alcohol dependence and prevent opioid dependence after opioid detoxification. It’s also important that you don’t take Adderall with opioid medications or alcohol. Because Adderall is a stimulant medication, it increases your brain activity and heart rate. Alcohol and opioids, on the other hand, are depressant medications, which slow down your brain activity and heart rate. Taking Adderall with opioids or alcohol can cause serious effects such as heart attack, overdose, loss of consciousness, or death.

how long does vivitrol block alcohol

Vivitrol is recommended to be used along with psychosocial support. This means that you should be going to support groups or counseling sessions while you’re taking Vivitrol to treat alcohol or opioid dependence. Vivitrol is meant to be used as a long-term treatment for alcohol or opioid dependence. If you and your doctor determine that Vivitrol is safe and effective for you, you’ll likely take it long term. The only conditions both Vivitrol and naltrexone are used to treat are opioid dependence and alcohol dependence.

What should I avoid while receiving Vivitrol?

To learn about other mild side effects, talk with your doctor or pharmacist, or you can see this article for details about its side effects. To learn more about how Vivitrol is used for these conditions, see the “Is Vivitrol used for alcohol dependence? Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances. Tell your healthcare provider if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Naltrexone, the active ingredient in Vivitrol, can cause liver damage or hepatitis. To be effective, treatment with Vivitrol must be used with other alcohol or drug recovery programs such as counseling.

What are some frequently asked questions about Vivitrol?

Once you’re dependent, your brain can’t work like usual without the opioids or alcohol. When you stop using opioids or alcohol, you may have withdrawal symptoms such as nausea and vomiting. Sometimes you may have symptoms so severe that you need to go to a hospital. In clinical trials, 14% of people who took Vivitrol at the approved dose for alcohol dependence experienced decreased appetite. In comparison, only 3% of people who took a placebo (no treatment) had these side effects. In clinical trials of people who took Vivitrol for alcohol dependence, 69% of people who received the approved dose (380 mg) had an injection site reaction.