How to Get Vivitrol: Process Explained

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Vivitrol is a medication used in both opioid dependence and alcohol addiction treatment.

While it is a medication that can help many people, not everyone will be able to receive the medication.

In this article, we will discuss how to get Vivitrol. We will explain the process of being prescribed the medication, as well as what you can expect.

Read on to learn about:

  • How Vivitrol is administered
  • Whether you can get Vivitrol over the counter
  • How to get Vivitrol
  • How much Vivitrol costs.

Let’s get into it.

How Is Vivitrol Administered?

Vivitrol is a prescription medication that is given once a month as an intramuscular injection.

The medication is a slow-release form of Naltrexone, which is an opioid antagonist that blocks the effects of opioids. Vivitrol is presented as an injectable medicine, given once every 4 weeks.

The injection is most commonly given in the buttocks, which is known as a gluteal injection.

Can you get Vivitrol over the counter?

No, Vivitrol is a prescription-only medication that must be both prescribed and administered by a licensed medical professional.

As there is a risk of sudden opioid withdrawal symptoms and rare but severe injection site reactions, it is important that the injections are administered under medical supervision.

How To Get Vivitrol

If you suffer from dependence on opioid drugs or from alcohol use disorder, then Vivitrol may help support you in your recovery.

However, the medication requires a medical prescription and may not be suitable for everyone:

1. Schedule an appointment with a healthcare provider

If you are worried about dependence either on prescription opioid pain medicines, opioid street drugs, or alcohol, it is best to start off by making an appointment with your family doctor.

Your family doctor may discuss different Medication-Assisted Treatment programs with you, including Vivitrol.

2. Discuss your suitability for Vivitrol treatment

Your healthcare provider will discuss your history of Substance Use Disorder as well as what treatment goals you may have in mind.

They will also tell you about the common side effects and run other assessments to see if Vivitrol is suitable for you.

During this appointment, it is important to be as honest and open about your addiction, and your goals as possible as the medication may not help everyone.

This is also a great time to ask any questions you may have about the medication and only other concerns you may have before starting the treatment.

3.  Undergo a medical evaluation

Before prescribing the medication, your healthcare provider will ask you a series of questions about your past medical history.

They will ask you about your use of opioid-containing medicines, non-prescription medicines, and opioid street drugs. They will also ask you about your alcohol use, as well as any other drugs.

The next part of the medical evaluation will involve asking you about any underlying medical conditions. They will ask you both about your physical and mental health.

They will likely:

  • Check your blood pressure
  • Run blood tests, looking at your liver function
  • Run a urine test to check for kidney function
  • Ask about any medications you are taking along with herbal supplements
  • Asking about suicidal behavior and depressed mood.

4. Undergo supervised detoxification

Before you take Vivitrol, it is important that you have undergone opioid detoxification, and have no opioids in your system.

Taking Vivitrol whilst having opioids in your body can cause severe and sudden opioid withdrawal symptoms.

Your healthcare provider may do a Naloxone challenge to make sure it is safe for you to take Vivitrol.

This involves giving you small amounts of the active ingredient Naloxone and checking for any severe reactions.

Once they have made sure there are no symptoms of opioid withdrawal or allergic reactions, you may be prescribed Vivitrol.

5. Obtain a prescription for Vivitrol if deemed appropriate

Once your healthcare provider has deemed the medication safe for you to take, then they can prescribe Vivitrol injections to you.

Your healthcare provider will also likely ensure that you are enrolled in drug recovery programs and that you are aware of when to seek emergency medical treatments and other support.

6. Receive the Vivitrol injection at a healthcare facility and attend follow-up appointments

Vivitrol injections are given in medical facilities once every 4 weeks for both opioid dependence and alcohol use disorder.

You will likely need to attend follow-up appointments so that your healthcare provider can check on your progress.

During these appointments, it is important that you let them know if you are experiencing any side effects including:

  • Muscle cramps and muscle aches
  • Painful joints
  • Injection site reactions
  • Cold symptoms such as a runny nose and cold flushes
  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Skin rash.

How Much Does Vivitrol Cost?

Vivitrol is the long-acting injectable naltrexone formulation, which is more often expensive than other formulations of naltrexone.

However, it has the benefit of staying in your body for longer periods – helping with recovery.

The out-of-pocket cost is around $1000-$1300 without health insurance coverage.

However, most health insurance provides some level of coverage for these monthly injections.

There is also often financial support available for people who suffer from alcohol dependence and opioid addiction including Medicare, drug assistance programs, and subsidized Vivitrol treatment programs.

Final Thoughts

Vivitrol is a useful tool for many people who suffer from opioid or alcohol dependence.

If you think the medication could help you, it is important to talk to a trusted medical professional who can discuss the medication with you further. Asking for help is one of the best things you can do for yourself.

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