How It Works and Is It Safe?
Vivitrol is a prescription medication that is taken once monthly via injection. It features an extended-release version of naltrexone, which is an opioid-antagonist. This medication is currently utilized for the treatment of alcoholism and opioid addiction. Naltrexone, the main ingredient in Vivitrol, received U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval in 1984 to be used in opioid treatment programs. By 2006, Vivitrol was approved for use in alcohol treatment, and then in 2010 for opioid treatment.
In general, when Vivitrol is taken as recommended and under the watchful eye of a medical professional, it is perfectly safe for short and long-term use. However, naltrexone can cause an increased risk for liver damage, therefore individuals must receive a physical exam prior to taking it.
Pregnant women should not take Vivitrol, and neither should those who have taken opioids within the past seven days.
As with all medications, Vivitrol can cause side effects. Individuals can review the safety of the medication, as well as all potential side effects of Vivitrol with his or her healthcare provider.
The Effectiveness of Vivitrol Treatment
Various studies have recorded the effectiveness of Vivitrol in the treatment of opioid addiction. One recent study in particular showed that those who took Vivitrol had approximately 99.2% opioid-free days. In addition, individuals also reported a drop in drug cravings, as Vivitrol recipients experienced 10 times less drug cravings than those who were not taking Vivitrol.
Another study proved that those who were in medication assisted treatment and receiving Vivitrol were able to continue on in their recovery for an additional 12 months. Half of those who were taking Vivitrol said they had no reactions to the injection at the site, remained opioid-free, had decreased cravings to use, and an improved life.
Benefits of Vivitrol Treatment plus Counseling
Vivitrol is just one aspect of an individual’s recovery. At East Wisconsin Comprehensive Treatment Centers, our patients will not only receive medications such as Vivitrol, but also therapeutic services to help them move along in their recovery. Additional support services can be offered based on the needs of the patients. Both patients and loved ones can benefit from understanding the following:
How You Can Be Successful in a Medication Assisted Treatment Program
Treatment is just one step of many that will make up your journey towards recovery. The entire process will ask that you commit to yourself and your wellbeing, as well as be ready to make changes to help restore your overall health. To obtain the most benefit from your treatment experience, understand that everyone who you are working alongside of has your best interest at heart and wants you to achieve your goals. You will be asked to be very honest with yourself about how you have been living, what decisions you have made, and what changes you would like to make. Maintain the mindset that you are ready to get sober and stay sober so you can begin making changes that are meaningful. Recovery is never easy, as it comes with its challenges and obstacles. However, if you remain committed, your goals can be accomplished.
How to Support Your Loved One during Medication Assisted Treatment
Watching your loved one battle with opioid addiction can be frustrating, scary, anger-provoking, and sad. However, do not think for one second that the efforts you have made to help your loved one have not been recognized. In many cases, it is the efforts made by the family that gets individuals to finally accept help. As your loved one starts his or her journey in a medication assisted treatment program, learn about this kind of treatment, understand what it is going to entail from both you and your loved one, support your loved one as he or she makes important changes, and find support for yourself. The best way you can be of effective service to your loved one is by taking care of yourself, which is why obtaining support for yourself can be an excellent means of self-care. Your loved one’s treatment center can help connect you to those who can address your needs at this time.
The Side Effects of Vivitrol
Listed below are a number of possible side effective associated with Vivitrol use:
- Pain, swelling, or scabbing near the injection side
- Shortness of breath, persistent cough, or other respiratory problems
- Runny nose and watery eyes
- Liver damage
- Dental pain
- Muscle cramps
- Decreased appetite
To obtain more information on Vivitrol and its side effects, as well as how it can it can be effective for you, reach out to East Wisconsin Comprehensive Treatment Centers today.