A monthly treatment for those struggling with alcohol and opioid dependence addiction

In 2010, the FDA approved the Vivitrol Shot, a once-a-month injection to treat opioid dependence. Vivitrol is a long-acting formulation of naltrexone (ReVia) and is already approved to treat alcohol dependence. Vivitrol joins other pharmacologic treatments for addiction including Suboxone.

Vivitrol is an opioid antagonist that blocks the brain’s opioid receptors, leaving the patient at a loss of feeling if they attempt to abuse opioids. Methadone, on the other hand, is an opioid agonist which acts as an opioid, and gives an opioid “high.” Suboxone is a partial agonist giving the patient just a taste of the opiod.

Jade Wellness Center is the premier drug addiction facility in Pittsburgh to prescribe Vivitrol and Suboxone.

The American Psychological Association found that 90% of patients on Vivitrol have opioid-free urine screens over a six-month period, compared with only 35% of those on a placebo injection. Also, 13% more patients stayed on the treatment.

10,000 patients per year currently use Vivitrol Shot to treat alcohol dependence since its approval in 2006.

Vivitrol Shot is best used in conjunction with a well-balanced treatment plan including counseling, group counseling, and 12-step work.

Monthly Shot Preferable to Daily Oral Doses

Daily oral doses of Vivitrol allow for human error and can end in relapse much more easily than a monthly injection.  The injection (into the person’s hip) leads to a slow release of the drug over the course of the ensuing month.

Vivitrol Shot side effects

Do not use narcotic drugs or alcohol while you are being treated with Vivitrol, nor attempt to overcome the effects of it with larger quantities of opioids or alcohol to avoid fatal risks. Consult your physician about over-the-counter cold, cough, and diarrhea medicine during your treatment.

You may notice a slight irritation, or bruising at the injection site. You should consider wearing a medical alert tag indicating that you’re currently being treated with a Vivitrol Shot.

Before taking the Vivitrol Shot

Consult your physician if you have an addiction to narcotics or a history of alcohol if narcotic drug use was in the past 7 to 10 days or drug or alcohol withdrawal symptoms. For receiving the Vivitrol shot tell your doctor if you’re allergic to any drugs or if you have kidney disease liver disease or bleeding disorders such as hemophilia.