How It Works and Is It Safe?
Vivitrol is a prescription opioid-antagonist that includes an extended-release version of naltrexone to help aid in the treatment of opioid addiction. First approved for use in opioid treatment programs in 1984 by the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Vivitrol is given via injection to patients once monthly. Vivitrol was also approved by the FDA in 2006 for use in alcohol treatment, and then again for opioid addiction treatment in 2010.
When taken as directed under the supervision of a medical professional within a medication assisted treatment program, Vivitrol is an extremely safe and effective option for both short- and long-term use. Since naltrexone does increase the risk for damage to the liver, it is important for patients to receive a complete physical examination before incorporating Vivitrol into a treatment regimen. Vivitrol is not safe for use by women who are pregnant or individuals who have utilized opioids in the past seven days.
As is the case with most prescription medications, side effects can take place while taking Vivitrol. By discussing potential side effects with your prescribing physician, you can determine if Vivitrol is the appropriate medication to incorporate into your treatment plan.
The Effectiveness of Vivitrol Treatment
Multiple studies have confirmed the effectiveness of Vivitrol. One study reported that patients who received Vivitrol reported an average of 99.2% days without opioids and that drug cravings were 10 times lower than those who did not take this medication.
Another study stated that the majority of individuals who incorporated Vivitrol into their mediation assisted treatment plan continued to experience success 12 months following the end of the study while continuing to receive Vivitrol. Fifty percent of the patients in the study remained completely opioid-free, no patients reported any serious reactions at the site of injection, and the majority of individuals reported a reduction in opioid cravings, lower use of opioids, and an improvement in their quality of life.
Benefits of Vivitrol Treatment Plus Counseling
The use of Vivitrol is only a portion of the treatment available within our medication assisted treatment program. For individuals struggling with opioid addiction, Claymont Comprehensive Treatment Center also offers patients the opportunity to seek treatment for the emotional component of addiction through the use of both individual and group therapy.
How You Can Be Successful in a Medication Assisted Treatment Program: It is important for patients to understand that treatment is just one portion of a long-term commitment to achieve and maintain long-term recovery. The process of recovery will require patients to commit to their health, as well as the changes that are required in order for individuals to achieve recovery. To gain the most out of the treatment process, patients must understand that the qualified staff at Claymont Comprehensive Treatment Center is there to help aid in their recovery process. Patients will be required to take an honest look at their lives as well as the choices and actions that may have led them down the road of addiction. Once patients enter treatment, they must do so with the mentality that they are finally ready to start making the changes necessary to achieve and maintain long-term recovery. While the path to recovery may be full of setbacks, it is important to remember that the journey is worth the effort and dedication.
How to Support Your Loved One during Medication Assisted Treatment: Although watching someone you love suffering through an opioid addiction can be difficult, it is important to remember that your support was not wasted. Your support and dedication could be the reason why your loved one decided to enter a treatment program and receive the professional help required to overcome his or her addiction. It is important to educate yourself about what will take place during treatment, understand the changes that your loved one will be making, and involve yourself with a support group or family therapy. Since your life has also been affected by addiction, it is imperative that you also receive the support that you need as well.
The Side Effects of Vivitrol
The following are potential side effects associated with the use of Vivitrol:
- Pain, swelling, or scabbing near the injection site
- Liver damage
- Shortness of breath, persistent cough, or other respiratory problems
- Runny nose and watery eyes
- Decreased appetite
- Dental pain
- Muscle cramps
For more information about Vivitrol, as well as the other treatment options available at Claymont Comprehensive Treatment Center, please contact our dedicated intake team today.