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Vivitrol (Naltrexone) Injections

Douglas A. Brown, MD, FAAFP -  - Addiction Treatment Specialist

Addiction Recovery of VA

Douglas A. Brown, MD, FAAFP

Addiction Treatment Specialist located in Williamsburg, VA

Patients at Addiction Recovery of Virginia can receive Vivitrol (Naltrexone) injections if their treatment plan requires it. Those who live in or around Williamsburg, Virginia struggling with addiction should contact our clinic for an assessment with Dr. Brown to see if this treatment will help.

Vivitrol (Naltrexone) Injections Q & A

What is Vivitrol?

Vivitrol is sometimes also known by the name naltrexone, as that is its active ingredient. Vivitrol is an injectable medication that falls into the group of medications called opioid antagonists. This medication acts as a blocker. It impacts the opioid receptors in the brain, blocking the feelings of pleasure that come from taking opioids. It is also used in alcohol treatment programs.

When can Vivitrol be taken?

Vivitrol can only be administered after a patient has completed detoxification. If opiates remain in the system when the Vivitrol is injected, withdrawal will immediately set in. Ideally, patients will have no opiates for one to two weeks prior to their initial Vivitrol injection. Patients should also stop drinking prior to their first injection.

How does Vivitrol impact patients?

Vivitrol makes patients less likely to crave opioids because it blocks the high that these medications provide. The Vivitrol injection can stop the feeling of needing the medication constantly. Vivitrol injections work in a similar way for alcoholics. The injection can significantly reduce alcohol cravings, and may therefore help alcoholics stop drinking.

What are the possible side effects of Vivitrol?

There are some potential side effects with Vivitrol injections, however most patients feel that the addiction help is well worth the small potential of side effects. Some of the more common side effects include nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, insomnia, and congestion. More serious side effects could include breathing problems, allergic reactions, liver problems, or a severe cough.

How long is Vivitrol treatment?

The length of Vivitrol treatment can vary depending on the needs of the patient. While some patients do receive only short-term treatment, a longer treatment course is usually most effective. Regular monthly injections of Vivitrol can allow a patient the time they need to get psychological and behavioral treatment as well.