Everything You Need to Know About Vivitrol Withdrawal


If you have been taking Vivitrol for a few months and have decided that it is not right for you, you may be wondering what the future will look like.

You will likely also be wondering about Vivitrol withdrawal.

In this article, we will do our best to put your mind at ease when it comes to Vivitrol withdrawal.

We will discuss what you need to know about taking, and stopping Vivitrol, along with other options for substance abuse treatment.

Read on to read about:

  • What Vivitrol is
  • The side effects of Vivitrol
  • What Vivitrol withdrawal looks like
  • The timeline of Vivitrol withdrawal
  • If Vivitrol should be tapered off
  • Other treatment options.

Let’s get into it.

Side Effects Of Vivitrol

Like any medication, some people may experience some side effects when taking Vivitrol.

Although most of the time these are not severe, they may be uncomfortable for the people that do experience them and may result in people discontinuing the medication.

Some more common side effects include:

  • Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms in people who have not detoxified properly before taking the medication
  • Cold symptoms such as a runny nose
  • Insomnia
  • Injection site reactions
  • Muscle cramps and muscle aches
  • Painful joints.

Some more rare, but serious side effects of Vivitrol injections include:

  • Intense pain from lack of opioid pain medicines
  • Severe injection site reactions
  • Severe and sudden opioid withdrawal symptoms in people who have not undergone opioid detoxification before starting the treatment
  • Allergic reactions
  • Increased risk of overdose in people who try to ‘overcome’ the block with large amounts of opioids.

 What is Vivitrol Withdrawal?

Vivitrol withdrawal describes the process of stopping to take the medication.

There is currently no evidence to suggest that stopping to take Vivitrol results in withdrawal symptoms.

However, it is important to always discuss the discontinuation of the medication with your healthcare professional as they will give you the best advice.

One of the biggest risks with the discontinuation of Vivitrol is the risk of opioid overdose.

This is because our bodies naturally become more sensitive to opioid drugs while taking the medication. If someone uses opioid-containing medications or drugs, they may be at risk of overdose and require emergency treatment.

How Long Is Vivitrol Withdrawal? Timeline and Duration

Most people can safely continue to take Vivitrol for longer periods of time.

However, some people may develop liver damage, which is regularly ministered by a medical professional.

These people may wish to stop taking the medication. If you decide to do so, it is important to plan the withdrawal process with your doctor.

The medication stays in your system for just over a month. It is designed to be released into your body slowly, and it is important to note that for some people this process happens over longer than a month.  

Tapering Off Vivitrol

Although for most people tapering off Vivitrol is not necessary, your doctor may suggest that you take a low dose of the oral Naltrexone if you still want to be taking an opioid blocker.

Being put on a lower dose of oral Naltrexone may help people during challenging periods (such as before they go on vacation or during personal losses) to help support sobriety.

If you are experiencing side effects from taking Vivitrol, it may mean that Naltrexone is not right for you.

Your doctor will be able to suggest another medication that can help if you suffer from opioid dependence or alcohol use disorder.

Other Treatment Options

If you find that Vivitrol is not working for you, there are many other treatment options that your healthcare provider may suggest.

These include:

  • Naltrexone tablets: This is the active ingredient of Vivitrol, but unlike this prescription injectable it is given in tablet form and lasts in the body for a couple of days
  • Buprenorphine: This medication is used as part of medication-assisted treatment for opioid dependence. Unlike Vivitrol, it weakly activates the receptors. This means that it can cause dependence
  • Antabuse: This medication is prescribed to people who suffer from alcoholism and works as a deterrent, helping people maintain sobriety
  • Psychological and behavioral therapy: These treatments should not be underestimated, and are regarded by many people as better treatments than medication for substance abuse.

They help to treat the underlying cause of addiction, as well as educate and help people identify and manage triggers.  

Final Thoughts

If you are considering stopping Vivitrol treatment, it is important to discuss this with a medical professional.

They will be able to give you advice and some alternative options for treatment. For most people, tapering off the dose will not be necessary.

One of the most important things to know about Vivitrol withdrawal is that your opioid receptors are now more sensitive to opioids.

This means that you will be more prone to drug overdoses when using opioid-containing medicines or illicit opioid drugs.

For many people, it will take a few tries and a bit of experimenting before they find the right medication to help them.

If you are suffering from opioid dependence or are concerned about your alcohol use, it is important to seek help. There are many drug recovery programs to provide support and guidance during this time.

Whether you struggle with opioid-containing medicines, opioid street drugs, or have a physical dependence on alcohol, there is help out there.


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