Vivitrol Patient Information

  • Vivitrol is indicated for the treatment of alcohol dependence and prevention of relapse to opioid dependence after an opioid detoxification period.
  • It is most effective when combined with a comprehensive recovery program in addition to support and counseling.
  • The injection is administered by a certified health professional into the gluteal muscle after a 7-10 day opioid free (including tramadol) period and then every 4 weeks thereafter.
  • Patients transitioning from buprenorphine or methadone may be vulnerable to precipitated withdrawal for as long as 2 weeks.


Side Effects

  • The most common side effects include injection site reaction, hepatic enzyme abnormalities, insomnia, and toothache.
  • Side effects from the initial injection may include nausea or dizziness. Injection site reactions may also occur and include pain, tenderness, swelling, redness and bruising.  Most of these symptoms should resolve within the first 2-3 days.  If they last longer you should notify your doctor.
  • Depression may occur while taking Vivitrol. If you feel should become depressed please inform a family member or your doctor.
  • Vivitrol may cause an elevation of liver enzymes. If you have a history of hepatitis or liver injury, please inform your doctor so you can discuss appropriate monitoring.


Vivitrol Effects and Precautions

  • Because Vivitrol blocks the effects of all opioids for approximately 28 days, you will not be able to feel the effects of any opioid or opioid-containing analgesics, antidiarrheals, or antitussive medications during this time period. 
  • Any attempt to overcome the blockade to get high while on Vivitrol may lead to serious injury, coma or death.
  • Please be aware that any relapse after an opioid-free period can result in reduced tolerance and that previously tolerated doses of opioids could result in accidental overdose.
  • It is important to carry documentation to alert medical personnel that you are taking Vivitrol to help ensure adequate medical treatment in a medical emergency.  You will be given a card to put in your wallet after your initial injection.