If you or a loved one is suffering from an opioid addiction, then you may have heard of Vivitrol.
Vivitrol (Naltrexone) is used by those suffering from an opioid addiction and has also been used to help those suffering from alcohol dependency.
In this article we will discuss the pro’s and cons of the controversial drug.
What is Vivitrol used for?
Vivitrol is used by those with an opioid dependency. It is usually taken as an injection and works by blocking the need to use opioids.
It can also be used to help recovering alcoholics.
Vivitrol is by no means a permanent solution and should be used as part of an ongoing treatment program.
Considerations before taking Vivitrol
It goes without saying but you should not take Vivitrol if you are still using opioids. If you do you can suffer severe withdrawals.
You should not use Vivitrol if you:
- Are suffering from opioid withdrawals.
- You have used any medication to treat a cold or diarrhea in the last 7 days.
- You are currently addicted to opioids.
- You have used methadone in the last two weeks.
You should also avoid Vivitrol if you have ever suffered from liver disease, kidney disease or hemophilia.
How can you take Vivitrol?
As mentioned earlier Vivitrol is typically injected into a muscle.
Typically, the injection is administered by a healthcare professional every 4 weeks.
Side effects can occur with the injection so you should look out for bruising, swelling and redness. If this occurs with you then make your medical professional aware of this as soon as possible.
After you have used Vivitrol should you take opioids again your body may react differently you should avoid opioids at all costs after using Vivitrol failure to do so could result in serious injury and even death.
Things to avoid while using Vivitrol
Like any medication there are things you should avoid when using Vivitrol.
The main avoidance should be opioids that should go without saying but you should also avoid driving. Vivitrol can make you experience dizziness so best to play it safe and avoid driving altogether.
Possible side effects
As with any medication side effects are a real possibility although in most people its highly unlikely it is best to be aware of these just in case.
Of course, most side effects are mild, but some can be more severe so being informed about this will help you best prepare for any eventuality.
The common side effects to look out for are sweating, yawning, fever and stomach pains.
These are mild and should pass in a matter of days.
More uncommon side effects are diarrhea, watery eyes and a runny nose. You could also begin to feel anxious experience muscle twitching and begin to feel restless.
There are also in extremely rare circumstances more severe reactions if any of these happen you should contact a healthcare professional immediately:
- A new or increasing cough.
- Difficulty breathing
- Problems in your liver (such as stomach pain or urine discolor oration).
- Symptoms that mimic depression (tiredness, mood changes or lack of motivation).
What happens if you take too much Vivitrol?
As with any medication it’s important to monitor how much you consume taking too much of a prescribed medication can come with a whole host of problems.
Luckily because Vivitrol is taken via an injection the chances of an overdose are very slim.
As above monitor how you feel and consult a healthcare professional should you notice any drastic changes.
Vivitrol is highly effective in helping those with an opioid addiction break free from it.
It has also been proven to help those recovering from an alcohol dependency.
However, it is not an immediate solution and will require will power from the user and the want to change.
Breaking an addiction is never easy and professional medical therapy should be undertaken prior to considering using Vivitrol.
Most of the time Vivitrol is reserved for extreme dependency cases whether you will benefit from using Vivitrol will be determined by a qualified doctor.