Vivitrol For Addiction and Alcoholism

Vivitrol is an extended-release preparation of naltrexone which is approach by the United States Food and Drug administration (FDA) to treat both opioid use disorder and alcohol use disorder.  It helps people who are in recovery to avoid relapse and to maintain abstinence by reducing the cravings that arise with these substances.  A Vivitrol detox active ingredient is naltrexone and it falls into the opioid antagonist class of medications.  It is not addictive and is administered in the form an an intramuscular injection once a month, by professionals.

How does Vivitrol work for addiction and alcoholism?

Vivitrol detox works by blocking the sedation and euphoria which are generated by Central Nervous System (CNS) depressants like opioids and alcohol.  The medication attaches to receptors in the brain to block drugs like alcohol and opioids from attaching.  This prevents the drugs from generating.  This in turn motivates the person using opioids or alcohol to reduce or even stop the use of these substances.

Vivitrol, however, is not a cure for alcohol or opioids dependence.  It is instead a medication which helps patients to reduce the risk of relapse by reducing cravings.  Effective recovery from Alcohol Use Disorder or Opioid Use Disorders requires that patients complete a comprehensive treatment program which involves using medications with counseling and therapies.

Side effects from Vivitrol

Vivitrol sometimes causes physical reactions in some people, that range from mild to severe.  These include nausea, diarrhea, constipation, stomach cramps, headaches, anxiety, irritability, chest pain, depression, joint pain, muscle cramps, skin rash and symptoms of jaundice.

Depression from Vivitrol or Vivitrol detox can lead people to have suicidal thoughts and behaviors.  If symptoms of depression persist while on this drug, you should consult your doctor immediately.

Patients might develop reactions at the injection site of a Vivitrol shot.  This includes swelling, bruising and pain at the injection site.  Such reactions tend to be mild and disappear by themselves.  However, injection site reactions might sometimes need surgery.

Talk to your healthcare provider immediately if you have an allergic reaction to the above symptoms during treatment, so that your healthcare professional can help to stop these reactions from worsening.

Vivitrol for alcoholism

The FDA have also approved Vivitrol for the treatment of alcoholism.  Since 2006 it has been proven to be a solid aid to treat alcohol use disorder.

Vivitrol uses another mechanism to reduce cravings from alcohol.  Unlike disulfiram, which can make you sick when you drink alcohol, Vivitrol alters the way that your brain reacts to having alcohol.  It in effect blocks endorphins from attaching to receptors in the brain, and so blocks the effects of the alcohol.

Vivitrol for addiction to alcohol takes time.  It doesn’t get rid of cravings for alcohol straight away.  TO get the full benefits from Vivitrol, it is vital that you take it how it is prescribed.  Forgetting even one injection can reduce the effective of the following dose.  Vivitrol is the most effective during treatment for alcohol addiction, and when combined with a treatment program which includes counseling, therapy and a 12-step program.  All of these can be available at a detox center.  Try searching Google to find a detox center near you that can help provide you with these.

Vivitrol for opiate addiction

The FDA approved Vivitrol as a medication to help prevent relapses from opiate use disorder following an opiate detoxification program.  This came after studies indicated prolonged recovery from its use.

Vivitrol works better for opioid use disorder than it does for alcoholism.  It attached to the opioid receptors in the brain and blocks any exogenous opioids from interacting with them, and by doing this reduces cravings for opioids.  People who have OUOD and use Vivitrol combined with counseling have a 90% opportunity to achieve abstinence.  Individuals who take Vivitrol during a detox center program are 17 less likely to relapse than those who are not taking the medication.

Vivitrol should, however, only be used after the person wishing to take the medication has a period of complete abstinence, as if there are any opioids present in the system while on Vivitrol, it can cause withdrawal symptoms.  

These withdrawal symptoms are known as precipitated withdrawal, and happen when Vivitrol effectively kicks out the opioids which are currently sitting in the receptor sites in the brain, this causes an immediate cold turkey reaction, resulting in an extremely unpleasant withdrawal.  To avoid this, you should wait at least 24 hours after the last use of a short-lasting opioid to administer the drug.

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