Frequently Asked Questions

What is Vivitrol®?

Vivitrol® is a non-addictive, once-monthly treatment to help prevent relapse in alcohol and opioid dependent patients by blocking opioid receptors in the brain. Vivitrol must be used following detoxification and in conjunction with counseling.

How does Vivitrol® work?

Vivitrol® is an antagonist or blocking medication. Antagonists attach to opioid receptors, but do not cause the release of dopamine. They are non-addictive and do not lead to physical dependence.

Is Vivitrol® FDA approved?

Yes. Vivitrol® is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Are there risks to using Vivitrol®?

Vivitrol is not right for everyone. There are significant risks from Vivitrol treatment including allergic reaction, risk of opioid overdose, severe reaction at the injection site, liver damage, sudden opioid withdrawal, as well as others. If an individual is still consuming opioids or is in the throes of withdrawal, he or she will not be prescribed Vivitrol.

Are there side effects from using Vivitrol®?

Yes. Possible side effects of Vivitrol include:

  • Depressed mood. Sometimes this leads to suicide, or suicidal thoughts, and suicidal behavior. Tell your family members and people closest to you that you are taking VIVITROL.
  • Pneumonia. Some people receiving VIVITROL treatment have had a type of pneumonia that is caused by an allergic reaction. If this happens to you, you may need to be treated in the hospital.
  • Serious allergic reactions. Serious allergic reactions can happen during or soon after an injection of VIVITROL. Tell your healthcare provider or get medical help right away if you have any of these symptoms:
  • skin rash
  • swelling of your face, eyes, mouth, or tongue
  • trouble breathing or wheezing
  • chest pain
  • feeling dizzy or faint
  • nausea and vomiting
  • sleepiness
  • headache
  • painful joints
  • decreased appetite
  • muscle cramps
  • cold symptoms
  • trouble sleeping
  • toothache

These are not all the side effects of VIVITROL. Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.

Will Vivitrol® show up on a drug screening?

Like other medications that are used within a medication assisted treatment program, Vivitrol will not show up on a standard drug test. There are specialized drug tests that can detect Vivitrol, however they are not commonly used.

Does Vivitrol® interact with other drugs or medications?

Yes. Vivitrol can cause negative interactions with other drugs and substances. You should avoid the use of alcohol or other opioids during treatment. Always disclose all over-the-counter medications, herbal supplements, and vitamins that you are taking to avoid any dangerous interactions.

How long will I need to be on Vivitrol?

Vivitrol has been proven to be safe and effective for both short- and long-term use, which is a plus because individuals can stay on Vivitrol for as little or as long as they need based on their treatment goals. For example, while some individuals will continue to receive Vivitrol injections for a long time, others might only use it for a few months. Most medical professionals will recommend that Vivitrol be used for at least one year.

What is the cost for treatment?

Vivitrol is one important part of our complete treatment program for opioid or alcohol dependence. The total cost for our treatment program will vary by patient, and since many of the costs are not commonly covered by insurance, the patient will be responsible for these charges which are usually less than $4,000 including the BRIDGE and Vivitrol.