What is Vivitrol?

Vivitrol is a brand name for naltrexone, an opioid antagonist medication that was approved by the FDA in 2006 to treat alcohol dependence and to treat opioid dependence in 2010.

Vivitrol, in particular, is different from other forms of naltrexone because it comes as an intramuscular injection. It is administered in the buttocks or gluteal muscles. Unlike the pill form of naltrexone that must be taken every day, Vivitrol is a monthly injection, eliminating the need for a daily medication regimen.

As an opioid antagonist, Vivitrol blocks the effects of opioids by binding to opioid receptors in the brain. It does not produce a high, but it does help ease cravings for opioid drugs and alcohol. Additionally, if someone who is taking naltrexone takes an opioid drug, they won’t experience any euphoric effects. This is thought to help reduce the potential for relapse.

Vivitrol is intended for use alongside a complete treatment program that includes behavioral therapy, counseling, and aftercare support.

Does Vivitrol Cause Side Effects?

The most widely reported side effect of Vivitrol is injection site reactions including pain, swelling, redness, itching, or irritation at the injection site. These reactions typically subside within a couple of days and are rarely serious. Although injection site reactions including tissue death and allergic reactions have been reported, they are extremely rare.

Other common side effects of Vivitrol include:

  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Sleepiness
  • Vomiting
  • Decreased appetite
  • Joint pain
  • Muscle cramps
  • Cold symptoms
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Toothache

What to Expect from a Vivitrol Treatment Program in Pompano Beach

Vivitrol is most effective when used as a part of a complete treatment program. This approach, which combines medication with behavioral therapy and counseling, is known as medication assisted treatment or MAT. Medication assisted treatment has been proven to increase patient outcomes, improve client retention in treatment, and reduce risky behaviors associated with substance abuse.

Here is what you can expect at a Vivitrol treatment program in Pompano Beach, Florida.

Assessment & Detox

Treatment begins with a thorough assessment of your situation. The clinical team will evaluate the extent of your substance-abuse, your physical health, your mental health, and more. Using this information they will create a treatment plan designed to meet your needs.

For most people, their treatment plan begins with detox. You must detox completely before starting Vivitrol whether you’re detoxing from opioids or alcohol. The best approach is to do so under medical supervision, especially if you require hospitalization. Medical detox centers can provide the support and guidance individuals need to get through withdrawal safely.

After detoxing, clients must transition to an inpatient or outpatient treatment program where they will continue their recovery.

Medication Management

You may receive your first injection of Vivitrol after you complete detox, usually 7–14 days after your last dose of opioids or drink of alcohol. Your doctor will discuss the medication with you, go over any potential side effects, and answer any questions you may have.

The injection is administered as a deep gluteal intramuscular injection. In the days following your first injection, you can expect minor injection, site, irritation, but your body will get used to the medication, and these symptoms will subside.

After 28-30 days, you may return to your healthcare provider for your next injection. Shots can only be administered once a month throughout your treatment. Your healthcare provider will constantly reassess your needs, adjust your dose if required, and monitor your progress in your treatment program.

Counseling and Behavioral Therapy

Vivitrol reduces cravings for alcohol and opioids so you can focus on getting better. In order to avoid relapse, it’s essential to participate in therapy at a substance abuse treatment program.

Therapy aims to address the lifestyle factors, behavioral patterns, and underlying issues that contribute to substance abuse. It can also address any co-occurring disorders like anxiety or depression. Once the root causes of substance abuse are addressed, counseling can help you develop healthy coping skills that will help you stay sober.

Types of therapy that may be used include:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
  • Motivational interviewing
  • Contingency management
  • Rational emotive behavioral therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Individual therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Relapse prevention therapy
  • Holistic therapies (yoga, meditation, art, and others)

Long-Term Support

Addiction recovery doesn’t happen overnight, even with the help of Vivitrol. Long-term support is essential to guarantee continued sobriety. This support usually comes in the form of outpatient rehab, support groups, medication management programs, or sober homes.

Individuals may take Vivitrol for various lengths of time depending on their needs. Your clinician and addiction specialist will help you determine when the right time is to stop the medication.

The good news is there are no withdrawal symptoms associated with naltrexone because it is not habit-forming. You don’t have to worry about tapering off the medication or getting sick when you stop taking it. The most important thing is to make sure you have the skills, resources, and support that you need to stay sober before quitting Vivitrol.

Is Vivitrol Covered by Insurance?

Vivitrol, like other medications, may be covered by your insurance plan. Some plans may require a pre-authorization whereas others will cover the medication right away. The extent of your coverage depends on your plan, your benefit level, co-pays, and deductible.

Find Vivitrol Treatment in Pompano Beach, Florida Today

If you’re addicted to opioids, including street drugs, prescription pain medicines, and fentanyl, or have a drinking problem, a Vivitrol treatment program may be right for you. At First Step Behavioral Health, our comprehensive addiction treatment programs can support clients who receive Vivitrol by providing individually tailored and evidence-based care. To learn more about our complete continuum of care and compassionate staff, please contact us today.

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