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Vivitrol/Naltrexone Treatment

Vivitrol is a prescription injectable used to treat both alcohol and opioid use disorder. It is useful to both prevent relapse after a successful detox from other opioids and can be used as an alternate to Suboxone and Methadone.

One of Vivitrol’s key benefits is that it can be used on a monthly basis, making it a convenient option for those struggling to travel to an Opioid Treatment Program on a more regular basis.

Vivitrol is a complete opiate antagonist which has no psychoactive properties other than to bind to an opiate receptor in the brain and block the superimposed opiate.  If a patient uses either heroin or an opiate based pain medication while taking Vivitrol, they will feel no effect from that opiate.

There are several applications for this opiate blocker.
  • An individual may want medication-free treatment. They can be tapered from the opiate they are using and after 10-14 days of opioid abstinence, they may begin the Vivitrol treatment which will cover them for a 30-day period.
  • If a patient has been stable for several months or years on Suboxone or methadone and are seeking to detox, they can be tapered from these medications and after 14 days, may switch to Vivitrol and again have a degree of protection from opiate relapse.
  • Another potential application is to provide a safety net for patients recovering from alcohol treatment as Vivitrol will partially block the affects of alcohol if a recovering individual uses, thus preventing a more dangerous relapse.

Differences between Naloxone, Naltrexone and Vivitrol:

Naloxone (Narcan) is a short acting drug which will bring a patient out of an opiate overdose by stripping the opiate from the opiate receptor and is a life saving drug.

Naltrexone, a short acting opiate/alcohol blocking agent has been used for the last 30 years.

Vivitrol is an extended release form of Naltrexone. The extended release properties of Vivitrol helps patient compliance as it does not have to be used every day.

Parenthetically these medications will also blunt the effect of alcohol so they are often used after discharge from a residential treatment program to prevent an alcohol relapse.


Vivitrol Facts:

  • Some agitation and soreness at the site of injection may occur.
  • You may not take Vivitrol if you are pregnant or if you are actively using opiates.
  • You must be 10-14 days opiate free before starting Vivitrol treatment.
  • For more information you may contact any of our listed clinic sites.

Community Medical Services offers a number of different payment options for our patients. We offer both oral Naltrexone and Vivitrol at each of our clinics. Call us today to speak with a qualified treatment specialist and to make an appointment. 

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