What is "Vivitrol"?
Currently, alcohol and opioid dependence are among the greatest threats to health in the United States. iTrust Wellness Group is proud to offer a pharmacological option to alcohol and opioid dependence which is different from traditional methods of relapse prevention, such as methadone.
Vivitrol is a prescription injectable medicine used to:
• Treat alcohol dependence. You should stop drinking before starting Vivitrol.
• Prevent relapse to opioid dependence, after opioid detoxification. This means that if you take opioids or opioid-containing medicines, you must stop taking them before you start receiving Vivitrol.
To be effective, treatment with Vivitrol must be used with other alcohol or drug recovery programs such as counseling. Vivitrol may not work for everyone.
How does Vivitrol work?
Vivitrol is an "antagonist" or "blocking" medication. Antagonists attach to opioid receptors, but do not cause the release of dopamine. They are non-addictive and do not lead to physical dependence. Antagonists create a barrier that blocks opioid molecules from attaching to opioid receptors. Vivitrol blocks opioid receptors in the brain for one month at a time, helping patients to prevent relapse to opioid dependence, following detox, while they focus on counseling. Patients must detox before starting Vivitrol (Kolsten, George, 2011).
VIVITROL is an antagonist that blocks opioid molecules from attaching to opioid receptors.
How often do I need to receive Vivitrol?
Vivitrol injections are given once monthly at our office location by a trained practitioner. Monthly injections can be combined with your regular follow-up office visits.
How much does Vivitrol cost?
This largely depends on your insurance carrier. However, there are co-pay savings programs and discount cards available from the manufacturer. Information about billing and savings programs can be found below:
Is Vivitrol safe?
All pharmacological treatment methods are not without the risks of adverse reactions or side effects. While Vivitrol is generally well tolerated, common side effects include nausea, sleepiness, headache, dizziness, decreased appetite, and muscle cramps. Serious side effects include increased risk for opioid overdose, injection site reactions, sudden opioid withdrawal, and liver damage. A full explanation of common side effects, serious side effects, and other pertinent information related to Vivitrol is available for reference HERE.
We cannot cover all information related to Vivitrol on our website and encourage our clients to schedule a consultation with one of our providers to see whether or not Vivitrol is an appropriate and safe treatment option.
We also encourage clients to reference reputable online sources for additional information about Vivitrol, including a medication guide published by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) which is available HERE.
More information about how Vivitrol works can also be found HERE.
1. Kosten TR, George TP. The neurobiology of opioid dependence: implications for treatment. Sci Pract Perspect. 2002;1(1):13-20.
2. VIVITROL [prescribing information]. Waltham, MA: Alkermes, Inc; rev December 2015.