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Vivitrol Treatment Used to Help with Opioid Addiction

What is Vivitrol?

Vivitrol is a drug that was approved in 2010 by the FDA for treating people dependent on heroin, morphine and other opiate drugs. After the patient has gone through their detoxification process, Vivitrol can be administered by a physician via injection once a month to help prevent relapse. Vivitrol is an extended release formula of naltrexone and helps the patient from craving opiate drugs while they're recovering from opioid addiction.

Why is Vivitrol Administered After the Detoxification Process?

According to the FDA, patients can't have opioids in the system once they start taking Vivitrol. If they do, they will experience opioid withdrawal symptoms.

What are the Symptoms of Opiate Withdrawal?

In the beginning stages of opiate withdrawal there are several symptoms that can be experienced depending on the person and the intensity of their addiction. Withdrawal symptoms start out with agitation, anxiety, achy muscles, watery eyes, trouble sleeping, sweating, and sinus drainage.

Opiate withdrawal symptoms increase after a while and a person can start having abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Even though withdrawal symptoms experienced from opioid addiction are not deadly, they are extremely uncomfortable.

Are There Side Effects Associated with Vivitrol?

There are side effects that people have experienced according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration when they used Vivitrol. Side effects included nausea, vomiting, headaches, fatigue, dizziness, joint pain, muscle cramps and decrease in appetite. More serious side effects include hives, rashes, face swelling, depression, liver damage, pneumonia, suicide, and suicidal thoughts and behaviors.

Does Vivitrol Treatment Cure Opiate Addiction?

There is no 'cure' for addiction of any kind, Vivitrol treatment just alleviates withdrawal symptoms and helps the patient to focus on their recovery because they're not experiencing opiate cravings. Once opiate detoxification is completed and a person starts receiving Vivitrol monthly injections, it's crucial to their recovery that they receive other forms of treatment such as behavioral therapy and counseling so that they can work through issues and learn successful ways to manage their recovery in the future.


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