Is Vivitrol Treatment Safe?

If you’re addicted to opioids or alcohol and thinking about getting help, you have probably heard about medication-assisted treatment (MAT). This form of treatment is very effective because it combines medication and therapy for best outcomes. One of the medications used in this evidence-based treatment is Vivitrol, which is the brand name for the drug naltrexone. What about the safety of Vivitrol treatment? It’s logical that people might worry about replacing one drug with another. If you want to know if Vivitrol treatment for addiction is safe, reach out to Mile High Recovery Center to find out why we feel confident providing MAT using Vivitrol.

Vivitrol treatment in Denver, Colorado is available in the city center at Mile High Recovery Center, where experienced, highly trained, caring professionals provide medical and therapeutic care, including medication-assisted treatment. MAT is a combination of a medication like Vivitrol and psychotherapy. Call us today at 303-268-2144 for more information and receive answers to your questions, or simply complete this online form.

Vivitrol Treatment for Addiction

As one part of the two-pronged approach to opioid or alcohol use disorders, Vivitrol treatment increases the likelihood that someone who has an addiction to one of these substances can stop using them and live a sober life.

Vivitrol is non-addictive and is called an opioid antagonist, which means it works in the brain to interfere with the euphoric and pain-relieving effects of opioids like Oxy, heroin, or morphine, as well as the effects of alcohol.

Because of its antagonist effects, Vivitrol cannot be administered until someone is completely clean and hasn’t taken a drink or an opioid for at least a week. Making a mistake on this timing can result in severe withdrawal symptoms.

One of the things about Vivitrol that providers and clients like the most is the fact that it’s administered only once a month, via injection. There is no need to remember daily doses or show up every day at a clinic.

Is Vivitrol Treatment Safe?

As with most drugs, Vivitrol has side effects that affect a certain number of those who take it to help them stay sober. Mild side-effects of Vivitrol often fade after a few weeks and include:

  • Stomach pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Sleep problems (insomnia or increased sleepiness)
  • Headache
  • Cramping muscles
  • Joint pain or stiffness
  • Diminished appetite
  • Sinus issues
  • Toothache

Much less common are more severe side effects. Because they are rare, they aren’t considered a risk factor that makes the use of Vivitrol in medication-assisted treatment inadvisable. Some of the possible more negative symptoms are:

  • Reactions at the injection site
  • Liver problems
  • Depression
  • Pneumonia
  • Allergic reaction

If you have a reaction like the ones listed above, report it to your physician or visit an emergency room.

Medication-Assisted Treatment and Vivitrol

Relapse is significantly reduced among people who receive MAT with Vivitrol. Therefore, the mild side effects and small chance of more serious, but treatable, side effects are considered much less dangerous than the substance use disorder itself. Vivitrol, as well as Suboxone, are considered both effective and safe in combination with behavioral therapy and peer support.

Most people who experience Vivitrol treatment for addiction as part of a medication-assisted program find that their drug or alcohol cravings never return to original levels. Some people choose to wean off Vivitrol at a certain point in their recovery. Others, however, stay on it for the long term. The continuing use of Vivitrol should be reassessed by your medical team periodically. However, there’s no maximum duration of treatment that is recommended and it is cleared for long-term maintenance throughout your recovery.

Mile High Recovery Center’s Vivitrol Treatment and MAT

Learn more about Vivitrol and how it works as part of our medication-assisted treatment at Mile High Recovery Center. We are ready to answer questions about this addiction drug as well as Suboxone, another option offered in our rehab facility.

In conjunction with evidence-based counseling and behavioral therapies, Vivitrol offers hope to people with addictions to opioids and alcohol. Call us today at 303-268-2144 or use our online form to connect with us.

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