How It Works and Is It Safe?
The prescription medication Vivitrol is an extended-release medication that includes naltrexone, which is an opioid-agonist, and is utilized within medication assisted treatment programs for the treatment of alcoholism and/or opioid dependence. In 1984, naltrexone obtained approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in opioid addiction treatment programs. In 2006, Vivitrol was approved for use in alcohol treatment programs, and then approved once more in 2010 for opioid addiction treatment. Vivitrol is injected once monthly.
For the majority of patients, when Vivitrol is taken as prescribed and under the watch of a medical professional, this medication is proven safe and effective for short- and long-term use. The active ingredient in Vivitrol is naltrexone, which can increase the potential for liver damage to develop. Therefore it is imperative to complete a full physical exam before taking Vivitrol and to tell your physician about any issues you might be having while on this medication.
Vivitrol is not safe for pregnant women to consume, and should not be taken by those who have consumed any type of opioid within the past week.
Similar to all prescription medications, Vivitrol can cause side effects. Your physician can inform you of the potential side effects that can develop when taking Vivitrol and can work with you to determine if this is the appropriate medication to meet your treatment needs.
The Effectiveness of Vivitrol Treatment
Numerous studies have proven the effectiveness of Vivitrol. For instance, one study conducted over recent years showed that those patients who received Vivitrol reported approximately 99.2% opioid-free days. Additionally, drug cravings were also reportedly decreased, as patients reported them being 10 times less than those who did not obtain Vivitrol.
A separate study demonstrated that the majority of patients obtaining medication assisted treatment while utilizing Vivitrol continued to have success 12 months after the study was completed. Fifty percent of the patients stayed opioid-free, none of them reported any serious reactions at the site of injection, and the majority reported positive results that included less opioid use, decreased drug cravings, and a better quality of life.
Benefits of Vivitrol Treatment Plus Counseling
Vivitrol is only one part of a complete medication assisted treatment program, and we, at Baton Rouge Comprehensive Treatment Center, recognize the need for truly all-encompassing care. Our patients also receive group and individual therapy, as well as other support services that will benefit them while taking Vivitrol.
How You Can Be successful in a Medication Assisted Treatment Program: For you to be successful in a medication assisted treatment program, you must understand that your treatment is just one aspect of a total long-term effort to obtain and maintain recovery. This process requires your commitment to your wellbeing, as well as your dedication to make the changes necessary to turn your goals into reality. To obtain the most out of your experience in treatment, understand that those who are working alongside of you are also dedicated to your success. You will be made to take an honest look at how your life has been impacted by your addiction, recognize the unhealthy decisions you have made, and begin making changes that will help you achieve recovery. When you enter into a treatment program, you must be dedicated to improving your life and health on the whole. The journey you will take to get there will not be easy, but if you remain committed, your objectives can be achieved.
How to Support Your Loved One during Medication Assisted Treatment: Seeing your loved one go through the challenges of opioid addiction can be frustrating, painful, and devastating. But do not think for one second that the support you have provided your loved one has gone to waste. In fact, your support might have triggered your loved one to begin treatment. Additionally, it might also help him or her stay in recovery and avoid relapse. When your loved one begins a medication assisted treatment program, obtain as much information as you can about what treatment will entail, prepare to provide the support that will help your loved one through the changes he or she will be making, and begin looking into attending a support group or therapy of your own. Your life has also been impacted by your loved one’s addiction, and for you to be the most effective in offering support, you must ensure that you are caring for your own mental, physical, and emotional health. Your loved one’s treatment program can be an exceptional resource to obtain the information and help needed to further support your loved one.
The Side Effects of Vivitrol
Below are some of the possible side effects linked to 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 detailed information on the side effects of Vivitrol and how this medication can benefit you, contact Baton Rouge Comprehensive Treatment Center today.