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What Is Vivitrol?

Medication-Assisted Treatment: Vivitrol

Vivitrol is an injectable medication that treats opioid and alcohol dependence.

Call Tampa Bay Recovery Center today to begin medication-assisted treatment.

what is vivitrol
what is vivitrol

What Is Vivitrol?

Medication-Assisted Treatment: Vivitrol

Vivitrol is an injectable medication that treats opioid and alcohol dependence.

Call Tampa Bay Recovery Center today to begin medication-assisted treatment.


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Are you currently thinking about the best way to stop abusing alcohol or opioids but don’t know all of your options? Vivitrol may be the missing key in your recovery plan. What is Vivitrol? It’s a groundbreaking drug that helps people who have entered treatment for addiction to alcohol or opioid drugs. Using Vivitrol can mean the difference between feeling unable to continue healing and learning to stay sober for life. Many modern treatment facilities like Tampa Bay Recovery offer this life-changing medication as part of their programs, including outpatient plans.

What is Vivitrol?

Vivitrol is a form of medication-assisted treatment. It is also an opioid blocker approved by the FDA in 2006 to help people in alcohol rehab. In 2010, Vivitrol was approved to also aid in the treatment of opioid addiction. Vivitrol is the brand name for a drug called naltrexone and requires a prescription to be purchased. Vivitrol is non-addictive and can be a valuable part of an overall plan for someone in treatment for alcohol or opioid addiction.


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How Does Vivitrol Work?

Answering the question, “What is Vivitrol?” begins with understanding how it works. Vivitrol is given via a monthly intramuscular injection by a healthcare professional who has a license to dispense it. Vivitrol binds itself to the opioid receptors in a person’s brain. When this happens, it effectively blocks the person’s ability to feel the effects of alcohol or opioid drugs, should they use them again. 

As a result, when someone who is in recovery from addiction to those substances and currently takes Vivitrol has a slip-up and drinks or uses an opioid drug, they will not get the desired effect. Vivitrol keeps the person from feeling drunk, high, or euphoric, thus removing their payoff for using addictive substances. This helps people avoid further temptations to relapse and keeps them focused on staying sober. Vivitrol can be an important part of Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT), which also includes talk and other types of therapy used to treat substance use disorders.

Vivitrol Side Effects

Any prescription medication can potentially cause side effects, which makes it important to take note of any that happen and report them to the person administering Vivitrol. It is generally considered a safe drug but does have some side effects that commonly happen to many people. Most side effects are short-lived and should stop happening soon after a person starts taking Vivitrol. The common side effects include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Joint or muscular pain
  • Dizziness
  • Restlessness or anxiety
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Reactions at the injection site

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Tampa Bay Recovery Center is a premier leader in the provision of addiction treatment services. If you or someone you love is in need of professional care to address a substance use disorder, reach out to us right now at (813) 733-8774 to speak with an admissions specialist who can get you started on the road to recovery.

How Long Does Vivitrol Last?

Vivitrol is a slow-release medication administered on a monthly basis. It begins to peak about two hours after the shot is given and again two to three days later. Its impact lasts for one month.

Vivitrol for Opioid Addiction

Three million people in the U.S. suffer from opioid addiction. In fact, over 150 people die each day as a result of an overdose related to synthetic opioids such as fentanyl. Someone who has become reliant on illegal or prescription opioid drugs can benefit from using Vivitrol as part of their recovery program. The person should be free of taking opioids for seven to fourteen days before beginning to take Vivitrol. At that point, should they use an opioid drug, they will not feel the high they crave. Vivitrol blocks their ability to feel the usual effects they used to get from using opioids. In turn, this reduces their cravings to abuse these drugs again. This allows them to focus more easily on their treatment program.

Vivitrol for Alcohol

Someone in recovery from alcoholism may want to know, “What is Vivitrol treatment for alcohol addiction like?” One of the hardest things about becoming sober from alcohol is the desire to drink again. Because Vivitrol blocks the ability for a person to feel drunk or buzzed, they feel less of an urge to start drinking again. When those cravings are minimized, it makes it easier to focus on therapy sessions and other parts of a treatment program.

What Happens If I Drink on Vivitrol?

If someone taking Vivitrol drinks alcohol, they will not be able to achieve a feeling of being inebriated. They will not become sick from drinking as a result of using Vivitrol at the same time but may feel the same kind and amount of sickness that comes with consuming a lot of alcohol. 

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Is Vivitrol The Same As Naltrexone?

Vivitrol is the brand name for naltrexone. Naltrexone is available in both a pill form and as an injectable, while Vivitrol is given only as a monthly injectable. Many people find it more convenient to take a shot every month as opposed to daily oral dosages.

Where Can I Get Vivitrol?

Vivitrol can only be administered by a healthcare professional licensed to dispense it. Vivitrol is often used as part of an overall treatment plan at facilities that treat substance use disorders. This includes both residential programs, which require a person to live in a facility, and outpatient programs. Partial Hospitalization Programs, Intensive Outpatient Programs, and Outpatient rehab programs can provide the monthly shot when the individual arrives at the facility for treatment sessions that take place during the day.

Find Drug Rehab in St. Petersburg Today!

Are you interested in finding out if Vivitrol should be part of your recovery plan? Tampa Bay Recovery offers Vivitrol as part of our drug rehab in St. Petersburg to help people fight the temptation to relapse. This approach can help those dealing with an addiction to alcohol or opioids to avoid needless suffering. What is a Vivitrol treatment plan like? It includes not only this highly effective medication but also addiction-related therapies that help people understand the nature of their addiction and how to overcome it.

For more information, visit our admissions page now. Our friendly staff can answer your questions and tell you how to get started healing.

Our Philosophy

We believe that getting help for substance use disorders is about much more than just trying to get through another day of not drinking or using drugs. Our mission is to help people reclaim their lives by teaching them how to effectively deal with the stress, trauma, and anxiety that contribute to their addictions. 

Meet Our Team

Our staff has over 60 years of combined experience in treating behavioral health disorders. Our compassionate and empathetic approach has helped hundreds.

Medically Reviewed by
Jennifer Strong, LMHC

Jennifer Strong, LMHC is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Master’s Level Certified Addiction Professional. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the University of South Florida and a Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling from Argosy University.