How It Works and Is It Safe?
Vivitrol, a prescription medication that is extended-release, is an opioid-antagonist and used in medication assisted treatment programs. Naltrexone, the primary ingredient in Vivitrol, was first approved by the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1984 for use in opioid treatment programs. In 2006, it was approved for use in alcohol treatment, and then for opioid treatment in 2010.
When taken as prescribed and under the watchful eye of a medical professional, Vivitrol is effective and safe in treating opioid addiction for a long period of time. This medication can put individuals at risk for developing liver damage, so a physical exam must be completed before an individual begins taking this medication. In addition, an individual should always disclose any health issues to his or her physician prior to beginning treatment with Vivitrol.
Vivitrol is not approved for use in pregnant women, and should not be used by individuals that have abused opioids within the past seven days.
As with most prescription medications, Vivitrol can cause side effects to occur. Speak with your physician regarding the safety and potential effects of Vivitrol before you determine if this medication is appropriate for you.
The Effectiveness of Vivitrol Treatment
Numerous studies have shown that Vivitrol is effective in treating opioid addiction. One study proved that those who obtained Vivitrol in treatment had 99.2% opioid-free days, as well as 10 times less of an urge to use opioids again.
A separate study revealed that the majority of patients who received medication assisted treatment with Vivitrol kept experiencing success for the 12 months following the study. Fifty percent of these participants remained free of opioid use, zero reported any reactions at the injection site, and the majority stated that withdrawal symptoms were decreased, drug cravings were lessened, and quality of life was improved.
Benefits of Vivitrol Treatment plus Counseling
Vivitrol is only one aspect of a medication assisted treatment program. At Inland Empire Comprehensive Treatment Centers, patients will engage in both individual and group therapy, as well as services that can help improve upon their specific situations.
It is imperative to understand the following in order to help enhance the treatment experience:
How You Can Be Successful in a Medication Assisted Treatment Program: Above all else, know that treatment is just once aspect of a complete, long-term journey towards obtaining and maintaining sobriety. Throughout this process, you must be prepared to commit to your health and wellbeing, as well as make the changes needed to make your commitments a reality. To obtain the most from your treatment, lean on those individuals in your life to help encourage you to keep going. You will be asked to really look at the life you have been living, recognize the mistakes you have made, and be ready to make positive changes. Upon entering into treatment, come in with the mindset that you are prepared to end your addiction and commit to a healthy life going forward. Know that there will be challenges, but that if you remain committed, you can achieve your goals.
How to Support Your Loved One During Medication Assisted Treatment: Seeing your loved one go through an opioid addiction can break your heart and make you feel upset and frustrated. However, never let yourself think that your efforts to help him or her get treatment have gone unrecognized, as your dedication and support could have easily contributed to your loved one getting help now. Once your loved one begins the program, begin obtaining an education on the disease of addiction, prepare to learn how to properly support your loved one, and participate in a support group or family therapy. Understand that your life has been impacted by your loved one’s addiction, so pay attention to your own physical, mental, and emotional needs. Utilize your loved one’s treatment center as a resource for these connections.
The Side Effects of Vivitrol
Below are a handful of possible side effects that can occur when taking Vivitrol:
- Dental pain
- Muscle cramps
- Decreased appetite
- Runny nose and watery eyes
- Shortness of breath, persistent cough, or other respiratory problems
- Pain, swelling, or scabbing near the injection site
- Liver damage
For more information regarding the side effects of Vivitrol, as well as how this medication can treat opioid addiction, contact Inland Empire Comprehensive Treatment Centers today.