The Serious Vivitrol Side Effects You Must Know

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If you’re looking into treatment for alcohol or opioid dependence, you might have heard of Vivitrol. Being treated with Vivitrol is a safe and effective way of helping prevent relapse in addiction patients.

However, you may have heard of the serious side effects related to Vivitrol. These can include factors like liver damage, injection site reactions, and other unpleasant severe reactions.

Today, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about Vivitrol’s side effects. We’ll cover:

  • What Vivitrol is and how it works
  • Common and severe side effects you might experience
  • Some tips for managing these reactions.

Let’s get into it.

Common Side Effects of Vivitrol

Taking a new drug comes with the risk of side effects, and Vivitrol is no different. Some common side effects include:

  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Mild injection site reaction (more below)
  • 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.).

Other mild side effects include:

  • Vomiting
  • Pain in joints
  • Muscle cramps
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Anxiety
  • Sleepiness.

Serious Side Effects and Risks

Other, more serious side effects include:

  • Risk of opioid overdose if you try to bypass the block Vivitrol causes
  • Severe injection site reaction (more below)
  • Opioid withdrawal symptoms, including symptoms such as:
    • Diarrhea
    • Sweating
    • Muscle aches
    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Troubling sleeping
    • Fast heartbeat
    • High blood pressure.
  • Liver damage or hepatitis
  • Depressed mood, which can lead to suicidal thoughts or behaviors
  • Serious allergic reaction, which can cause:
    • Skin rash
    • Swelling of face, eyes, mouth, or tongue
    • Difficulty breathing
    • Chest pain
    • dizziness/feeling faint
    • dark urine
    • stomach pains.
  • Pneumonia is another allergic reaction. This includes symptoms such as:
    • Cough
    • Wheezing
    • Shortness of breath.

Injection Site Reactions

As mentioned earlier, injection site reactions are another common side effect of taking Vivitrol.

Thankfully, these reactions are typically mild. You might experience symptoms such as pain, tenderness, swelling, hardening of the skin, redness or darkening, bruising, and itching.

However, in some rare cases, these reactions can end up being severe. These reactions include severe swelling, infection, abscess, and dead skin at the injection site.

If you experience any of the following symptoms, you must contact your healthcare professional right away, especially if they don’t get better quickly:

  • Intense pain
  • A large area of swelling
  • Lumps
  • Blisters
  • Bleeding
  • A dark scab
  • Hardening of the injection site.

In extremely rare cases, patients have needed surgery to remove dead skin at the site of the injection. However, this is highly unlikely and only occurs in the most extreme cases.

There are a few things you can do to avoid or minimize injection site reactions when taking Vivitrol:

  • Make sure that your injection is administered by a healthcare professional. This helps lower the chances of a reaction at the injection site, as they’ll be able to give it properly.
  • Talk to your doctor straight away about concerns you have with injection site reactions.
  • Also, talk to them if you experience any symptoms that don’t go away after a few days.
  • To alleviate mild symptoms, you can do things like applying a cold compress to the injection site or taking painkillers to help with discomfort.

Final Thoughts

Vivitrol is an effective treatment for alcohol and opioid dependence. Like starting any new drug, it comes with many side effects – some mild, and some severe.

Thankfully, if you take the drug correctly and follow advice from healthcare providers, you’re less likely to experience any severe reactions.

Make sure you talk to your doctor directly about any concerns you have before starting treatment.

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