Vivitrol is a medication that is prescribed to patients who have been addicted to certain drugs, such as opiates, to prevent them from taking them again. Also referred to by its generic name naltrexone, Vivitrol is an opiate antagonist which prevents patients from feeling opiate effects like feelings of well-being and pain relief. Naltrexone also has the potential to decrease addicted patients’ desire to take opiates and prevent people experiencing alcohol abuse from drinking as much or entirely. Usually, naltrexone will take effect two days after it has been administered and its effects will be felt for the next 30 days. It is common for naltrexone to be taken in conjunction with other therapy options such as inpatient and outpatient opioid addiction therapy programs.
Like any other medication, taking naltrexone can produce side effects. More common side effects of Vivitrol treatment are nausea, headache, dizziness, anxiety, tiredness and trouble sleeping. Talk to your doctor if these side effects persist or worsen. At times, patients may experience opiate withdrawal symptoms within minutes of taking Vivitrol. These effects include abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, joint aches, mood changes and runny nose. Talk to your doctor promptly if you experience any of these effects.
In rare cases, some naltrexone patients can develop liver disease from their Vivitrol treatment. Stop taking naltrexone and tell your doctor right away if you experience liver disease symptoms such as persistent nausea and vomiting, severe stomach pain, dark urine, and yellow skin or eyes.
To detox from Naltrexone, you must stop taking it. Unless you experience liver disease symptoms, do not stop taking Naltrexone cold turkey. If you are interested in discontinuing your Vivitrol treatment, talk to your doctor about gradually tapering off your Naltrexone dose. A safe detox is an important step in living a happy, Vivitrol-free life.
Typically, it is uncommon for patients to experience severe Vivitrol withdrawal symptoms.
Usually, the detoxification timeline for Vivitrol is short, though every patient experiences withdrawal differently. Your unique physiology also influences how quickly naltrexone can be removed from your system. Certain factors like your age, metabolism, organ functions and Vivitrol usage frequency will also affect how quickly naltrexone is removed from the body.
If for any reason you are having extreme difficulty managing naltrexone withdrawal symptoms, it is recommended you enter a medically assisted detoxification program. In this type of program, patients can safely get the naltrexone out of their system while also accessing medical staff while they are experiencing any possible Vivitrol withdrawal symptoms and learning skills on how to handle the Vivitrol withdrawal symptoms properly.
Be sure to keep an updated list of your medications to share with your doctor. This should include any herbal products, nonprescription medications or drugs you take recreationally, as these can interact with Vivitrol. Specifically, notify your doctor if you are taking any of the following medications: buprenorphine, butorphanol, codeine, hydrocodone, hydromorphone, levorphanol, meperidine, methadone, morphine, nalbuphine, naloxone, oxycodone, oxymorphone, and propoxyphene.
Do not start any new medications without consulting your doctor while you are undergoing Vivitrol treatment.
The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.