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What are the Side Effects of a Vivitrol Shot?

Vivitrol is a viable option when it comes to the process of addiction treatment. Specifically, as part of a Medication-Assisted Treatment protocol, clients can use Vivitrol with other psychotherapy to maintain sobriety.

At Evolve Indy, we work with our clients to offer the most innovative and supportive treatment programs to support the development of healthy coping skills and self-management techniques while using the most supportive treatment opportunities available. 

Contact us today to see how our multiple treatment options can provide you support today.

What is Vivitrol?

According to the FDA, “Vivitrol (naltrexone) is a prescription injectable medicine used to treat alcohol dependence and to prevent relapse to opioid dependence, after opioid detoxification.” 

Vivitrol or Naltrexone is a medication used to assist individuals in staying clean and is often part of most MAT, Medication Assisted Treatment programs. Vivitrol is an injected prescription medication that should be used alongside psychotherapy as part of a treatment program.

Vivitrol is a slow-release, long-acting prescription medication used to eliminate the euphoric feeling of using opioids or alcohol.

How is a Vivitrol Shot Used?

A Vivitrol shot is used to help individuals maintain sobriety by altering how drugs interact with the system. Naltrexone, the active ingredient in Vivitrol, acts as an opioid antagonist and prevents individuals from getting the euphoric high that comes with use. This is extremely helpful for individuals who have a lapse in an outpatient program. Without the euphoric feeling of the drug, individuals are less likely to continue using. 

What are the Side Effects of a Vivitrol Shot?

While this prescription medication might seem like a miracle, it does have some side effects and risks that impact how the drug is used and monitored.

Vivitrol, like any prescription medication, can have significant side effects, especially as the body returns to “normal” after chronic drug use. While a majority of the side effects are common and don’t impact an individual to a great extent, some can be extremely dangerous.

This prescription comes with eight specific warnings and precautions, as well as five contraindications that indicate Vivitrol should not be prescribed. The specific warnings indicate that individuals are vulnerable to opioid overdose, may experience injection site reactions, the drug may precipitate opioid withdrawal, individuals may develop hepatotoxicity, depression, and suicidality, eosinophilic pneumonia, and hypersensitivity in extremes to anaphylaxis. Lastly, when used as a block for opioids, clients require alternative pain management techniques because Vivitrol blocks the opioid receptors and prevents other opioid narcotics from working as well.

The first indicated warning can be the most life-threatening. Individuals who take Vivitrol without having stopped use 7-10 days prior to their shot can be put into instantaneous withdrawal. Similar to the lifesaving drug Naloxone, used in the event of an overdose, Vivitrol will immediately block the opioid receptors causing pain and other more extreme withdrawal symptoms. 

Additionally, as Vivitrol works to return the body to a stable state, individual tolerance lowers. This means that if a client lapses or relapses, there is an increased possibility of overdose if a client uses the same amount of the substance they used pre-prescription Vivitrol. 

Clients should not use Vivitrol if they have any opioids in their system or have hypersensitivity to Naltrexone.

Possible Symptoms of a Vivitrol Shot

According to the FDA, some symptoms of a Vivitrol shot are very generic and non-life-threatening. Use of the Vivitrol shot comes with a possibility of developing: 

  • Blood and Lymphatic System Disorders
  • Cardiac Disorders
  • Eye Disorders
  • Gastrointestinal Disorders
  • General Disorders and Administration Site Conditions 
  • Hepatobiliary Disorders 
  • Immune System Disorders
  • Infections and Infestations
  • Metabolism and Nutrition Disorders
  • Musculoskeletal and Connective Tissue Disorders
  • Nervous System Disorders
  • Pregnancy, Puerperium, and Perinatal Conditions
  • Psychiatric Disorders
  • Respiratory, Thoracic, and Mediastinal Disorders
  • Skin and Subcutaneous Tissue Disorders
  • Vascular Disorders

Evolve Indy – A Trusted Recovery Community

At Evolve Indy, we help adults to work through the recovery process in a healthy, innovative, and structured manner. A top drug addiction treatment center in Indiana, Evolve Indy has a partial day program, intensive outpatient, and outpatient therapy opportunities with personalized recovery treatment provided by expert clinicians and counselors. 
Contact us today to see how our various treatment programs can support you through your journey of addiction treatment.

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