Vivitrol: An Alcohol Addiction Treatment Drug

Alcoholism, the official name for alcohol use disorder, affects an estimated 7.6 million individuals in the United States, according to writing from the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug dependence.

Every year, more than 85,000 deaths are attributed to excessive alcohol use. Rising rates of drug addiction and alcoholism have led to the expansion of drug and alcohol rehabilitation facilities and drugs, like Vivitrol, for alcohol treatment.

In this detailed-oriented article, we will learn how Vivitrol functions as an alcohol treatment drug.

Key Takeaways

The opioid medicine Vivitrol, also known as naltrexone, blocks the effects of opioids, such as pain relief or feelings of well-being.

  • SAMHSA states that patients shouldn’t be physically dependent on alcohol or drugs.
  • Vivitrol modifies how your brain reacts to the alcohol in your bloodstream.
  • The folks most motivated to stop consuming alcohol see the best outcomes with Vivitrol.

Vivitrol reduces opioid medication side effects. You can reduce your dependence on alcohol thanks to The Recovery Team.

Vivitrol: What is it?

To prevent opioid dependence, Vivitrol, also known as the drug naltrexone, suppresses the consequences of opioid drugs, such as pain alleviation or sensations of well-being.

A drug or alcohol addiction treatment of alcohol dependence programs may include using Vivitrol.

When someone has been dependent on opioid medications and then stops using them, Vivitrol is used to control relapse.

The opioid receptor antagonist naltrexone comes in the extended-release version known as Vivitrol. The Food and Drug Administration approved this drug in 2010 to best treat opioid dependency.

For up to a month, it binds to receptors of opioids in the brain to produce its desired effects. Currently, it is the only approved opioid dependence treatment that is not a regulated substance.

How Vivitrol Works

It is an opioid antagonist (inhibitor) that reduces alcohol cravings during withdrawal by blocking the consequences of alcohol on the brain. Vivitrol does not stop someone from drinking, but it does lessen the effects of alcohol when they are taking medicine.

As a result, this medicine assists in reducing binge drinking until people recover.

Vivitrol modifies how your brain reacts to the alcohol in your bloodstream, unlike Antabuse, which causes you to feel sick when you drink. Vivitrol achieves this by blocking the binding of alcohol-induced endorphins to their receptors.

Vivitrol takes time to work as a treatment for moderate alcohol use disorder (MAUD), as it doesn’t eliminate urges for alcohol right away. To reap the maximum benefits of Vivitrol, you mustn’t skip any shots.

Vivitrol works best with other components of an all-encompassing treatment plan to help recovering addicts lower their potential risk of relapse, lessen desires, and sustain long-term abstinence.

Using Vivitrol For Alcohol Addiction

When starting Vivitrol treatment, a patient shouldn’t be dependent physically on drugs or alcohol, according to the SAMHSA. As a result, physicians only begin Vivitrol after the alcohol detox is completed to avoid significant side effects, including nausea and vomiting.

Vivitrol Administration

A healthcare professional must prepare and deliver Vivitrol monthly in a clinical environment. The only syringe that can be used to administer Vivitrol is the one that is generally packed with a specific needle.

Each Vivitrol container contains the following:

  • A fluid that is used to suspend Vivitrol microspheres.
  • Vivitrol microspheres in a vial (sterile powder).
  • A syringe in packaging.
  • Two 20G administration needles, each 1.5 inches long, with a transparent protective cap.
  • A set of two 20G administration needles that measure two inches long.
  • 20G preparation needle measuring one inch (not for administration).

A 380-mg dose will be administered intravenously during treatment into muscles in the buttocks. Most medical professionals alternate between the thighs and buttocks for successive injections.

Rotating injection sites is a method to decrease the chance of scarring and adverse injection site reactions by getting shot in the exact location.

Side Effects

Vivitrol is considered safe to use. However, all drugs have an index of potentially serious side effects. Although consequences from Vivitrol usage are pretty rare, they happen in some examples.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) lists the following as typical side effects of Vivitrol:

  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Aches and spasms in the muscles
  • Stomach pain
  • Nausea and diarrhea
  • Aching joints
  • Tiredness

Call your doctor immediately if the adverse effects last longer than expected or worsen over time. Your medical specialist will lower your dose or recommend a different drug.

Additional Vivitrol adverse effects that could be very harmful include:

  • Feeling down
  • Allergic severe symptoms such as hives, rashes, and swelling of the face
  • Damage to the liver, liver illnesses including hepatitis, or variations in liver role tests (liver damage)
  • Pneumonia
  • Severe responses at the injection site

Most injection site responses are calm and go on their own. However, some adverse effects, such as tissue death, can need surgery.

Vivitrol-induced depression can occasionally get very bad, resulting in suicidal thoughts or actions.

As a result, you should get medical attention and care if you’re feeling down, hopeless, powerless, or thinking about harming yourself or others.

Drinking on Vivitrol

Alcohol use while taking Vivitrol does not pose any significant dangers to users.

However, they might go through the following:

  • Reduced alcohol-related cravings.
  • Feel less pressure to consume more alcohol.
  • Little few indications of drunkenness, such as impaired judgment and motor coordination.

Additionally, drinking alcohol while on Vivitrol won’t:

  • Make someone more or less drunk.
  • Cause the same severe bad feelings in the person as disulfiram.
  • Reduce the short-term harmful effects of alcohol usage.
  • Reduce the long-term consequences of persistent alcohol abuse (substance abuse), including liver, cardiovascular, and renal damage, as well as the likelihood of developing neurological diseases like seizures, stroke, or even dementia.

Vivitrol helps to lessen binge drinking and promotes sobriety in individuals who still consume alcohol.

Things to Know About Vivitrol for Alcohol Addiction

If you are considering medicated-assisted treatment for alcoholism for your loved ones or yourself, here are the three things to learn about Vivitrol.

Addiction Can’t Be Cured by Medication

For many of our visitors, the beginning of a new recovery typically means realizing that alcohol and drugs are instruments that have been abused and exploited to treat a three-part disease: body, mind, and spirit.

Alcohol-related medications like Campral, Antabuse, and Vivitrol won’t make an alcoholic sober up. When taken as a part of a larger recovery strategy, these medicines may help motivate people fighting to maintain any level of sobriety and build the groundwork necessary to become more busily involved in all aspects of their recovery, such as a 12-step program.

Medication-assisted treatment is readily available if needed at The Recovery Team.

Vivitrol Won’t Make You Sick

The daily pill form of Antabuse, also known as disulfiram, prevents the enzyme responsible for the metabolism of alcohol. The side effects of drinking while taking Antabuse include severe vomiting, nausea, headaches, disorientation, and chest pain.

It’s worse than a hangover. A minor response may even occur if aftershave is in touch with the skin. Antabuse users only need to stop taking medicine and wait for about five days before they can resume drinking.

Vivitrol is an opioid antagonist, sometimes known as naltrexone. Vivitrol helps to inhibit the opioid receptors, or fun centers, in the brain when taken orally daily or as a monthly injection.

Alcohol can’t get to them, and the reward center isn’t turned on. It lessens the desire to drink and eliminates the euphoric or rewarding feelings that come with it. Vivitrol, unlike Antabuse, is not intended to deter alcohol consumption through the induction of unpleasant side effects.

Acamprosate calcium, often known as Campral, is intended to lessen the rewarding effects of drinking and reduce cravings. Drinking is still permitted while using this medication.

Similar to Vivitrol for alcohol and Antabuse, Campral only works when taken. Although it may seem obvious, it’s important to remember that these drugs work best when a person is truly motivated to stop drinking, not just cut back or moderately.

It is important to remember because many family members or loved ones look to drugs as a possible lifeline for the drunk in their life. Although it is doubtful that an active alcoholic will be privately motivated to alter, there are appropriate ways to support an alcoholic.

Alcoholism is Complex

Alcoholism cannot be treated with a pill or a shot. The Recovery Team uses spiritual principles to treat the mind, body, and spirit (honesty, willingness, humility, and courage). We provide guys with the framework necessary to achieve and maintain long-term sobriety.

Ideal Nominee for Vivitrol Treatment

The best results with Vivitrol come from people motivated to quit drinking alcohol. Before administering Vivitrol, medical professionals do several tests to check for liver disease and any indications of allergic reactions to polylactide-co-glycolide (PLG), carboxymethylcellulose, naltrexone, and Vivitrol components.

If a person satisfies all requirements and circumstances, they are deemed qualified for a Vivitrol shot.

Vivitrol is advantageous since it can be used for as little or as long as is necessary, depending on the patient’s treatment objectives. It is secure and beneficial for both short- and long-term usage.

Others might only require Vivitrol injections for a few months, while some individuals will continue and remain to take them for a very long time.

Vivitrol is a successful MAUD treatment, but it’s not the best solution for everyone.

Therefore, the following individuals should not use Vivitrol:

  • Physically reliant on drugs with opioids.
  • Allergic reaction to Vivitrol injection’s components.
  • Diagnosed with hepatitis or a severe form of liver disease.

Before starting Vivitrol therapy, a medical professional may perform an opioid dependence test on you to reduce the possibility of a sudden opioid withdrawal episode (SOWS).

A low dose of Vivitrol injection is given to find out if a person has any physical reliance on opioid-containing drugs.

The naloxone challenge test is the name of this test. If a person displays signs of opiate withdrawal after the test, they will not be given a prescription for Vivitrol.

They might, however, be qualified for Vivitrol treatment if they have gone 7–14 days without using opioids and continue to do so following treatment.