What is the Vivitrol Shot? Everything You Should Know


If you’re researching ways to stay sober from drugs or alcohol, you might have come across Vivitrol. Vivitrol is an FDA-approved drug that’s used to treat alcohol use disorder and opioid dependence.

Vivitrol is typically administered as a monthly shot by a healthcare provider. It’s used alongside other forms of treatment such as therapy and counseling to help patients maintain sobriety for longer.

Today, we’ll be discussing everything you need to know about the Vivitrol shot. In this article we’ll cover:

  • The benefits of taking the Vivitrol shot
  • Some serious and common side effects from Vivitrol.

What is Vivitrol Used For?

Vivitrol is currently used to treat opioid dependence and alcohol use disorder. It’s typically used as part of a treatment program for recovering patients.

Studies have shown that Vivitrol is highly effective when used alongside drug recovery programs. Vivitrol treatment can involve a mix of therapy, counseling, and other mental health care alongside regular appointments for Vivitrol.

Vivitrol works by blocking the effects of opioids in the brain. This makes it a great treatment for opioid dependence, as it prevents patients from experiencing cravings for the drug that might otherwise occur when not taking Vivitrol.

Benefits of the Vivitrol Shot

If you’re trying to get sober, there are plenty of benefits to taking the Vivitrol shot.

Firstly, Vivitrol is a very convenient form of naltrexone. Taking monthly Vivitrol injections is a straightforward treatment process as it avoids the risk of forgetting to take daily medication.

Having the shot administered by a healthcare professional also helps ease concerns about severe reactions to the drug.

It can also help make life easier for recovering addicts who want to stay sober in the long run, as it creates an easy routine for them to follow that doesn’t concern taking drugs themselves.

Another benefit of Vivitrol is that it’s not an addictive substance. This means you won’t experience any withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking it.

The injection is also slow-release, so you’ll feel the effects nearly instantaneously and they’ll last for around four weeks.

Furthermore, lots of studies have shown that Vivitrol is highly effective at curbing opioid dependence. Patients who have been treated with Vivitrol are more likely to stay sober in the long run.

This means that starting a Vivitrol treatment program is a great way to achieve long-term recovery goals.

Vivitrol Side Effects

Like any drug, there are plenty of potential side effects that can come from taking Vivitrol. From injection site reactions to opioid withdrawal symptoms, there’s a long list of side effects.

Luckily, most side effects are mild or very rare. Some common mild side effects of Vivitrol include:

  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Mild injection site reactions
  • Disrupted sleep (insomnia or tiredness)
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Reduced or loss of appetite
  • Toothache
  • Common cold symptoms (runny nose, sore throat, watery eyes, sneezing, etc.)
  • Muscle cramps or pain in joints.

However, there are also plenty of more serious side effects you can get when taking Vivitrol. These can include:

  • Risk of opioid overdose from increased sensitivity to opioids
  • Sudden opioid withdrawal which can cause flu-like symptoms
  • Other symptoms of opioid withdrawal such as diarrhea, sweating, muscle aches, nausea and vomiting, high blood pressure, trouble sleeping, fast heartbeat
  • Severe injection site reaction
  • Liver damage or hepatitis
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Serious allergic reactions.

How Is The Vivitrol Shot Administered?

The Vivitrol shot is administered as an intramuscular injection, typically into the buttocks. It must be administered by a healthcare provider and you must have a prescription for Vivitrol before starting treatment.

Before taking Vivitrol, your healthcare provider will have you complete a naloxone challenge test.

This is to make sure you’re not still dependent on opioids when beginning your treatment with Vivitrol.

Vivitrol is a slow-release injection, which means it disperses the drug throughout the body gradually for around four weeks. This means you’ll have to attend monthly injection appointments alongside other treatments.

Final Thoughts

The Vivitrol shot is a good treatment option for opioid use disorders and alcohol addiction. Vivitrol helps create an easy path to recovery for addicts who wish to achieve their long-term sobriety goals.

Whether you’re looking into options for yourself or a loved one, it’s always best to discuss with a healthcare professional first. They’ll be able to discuss what’s right for you and get you started on a path to recovery.



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