Generic name: naltrexone (injection)
Name of the brand: Vivitrol
Forms of dosage: intramuscular powder for injection extended release (380 mg)
Classification of drugs: Doses, drugs employed in the treatment of alcohol dependence
What is Naltrexone?
Naltrexone Injection is a drug that inhibits the effects of opioid medications such as pain relief or feelings of happiness that can result in the abuse of opioids. Sometimes, opioids are referred to as narcotics. Vivitrol is an element of a program of treatment for alcohol or drug dependence.
Naltrexone injections are utilized to stop relapse for adults who developed a dependence on opioid medications and then quit using them. Naltrexone may help prevent people from having a “need” to use the opioid.
Naltrexone injections can also be utilized to treat alcohol dependence by curbing your desire for alcohol consumption. This could allow you to drink less or quit drinking altogether. It is not recommended to drink during the time of receiving the first injection.
Naltrexone isn’t a permanent cure for addiction to drugs or alcoholism.¶
It is recommended to treat yourself with Naltrexone only in the event that you have not previously taken: any opioid medication buprenorphine, methadone, or medication to treat an illness such as a cough, cold, or diarrhea. Utilizing these medications within the 7-14 days prior to starting naltrexone may trigger a sudden withdrawal from opioids.
Do not take opioids such as heroin, heroin, or any different street-based drugs when taking this medication. This could lead to dangerous effects, such as death and coma.
Consult your doctor if suffering from persistent or growing discomfort and itching. swelling, bruising, or a lump that is hard at the site of injection.
Naltrexone may cause liver damage. Consult your physician in the event that you are experiencing stomach discomfort, dark urine, or yellowing of the eyes’ whites.
Following the administration of naltrexone, your body will become less sensitive when you decide to use opioids in the near future. Utilizing the same dosage previously could result in death or overdose.
Before taking this medication, you must consult your physician.
It is not recommended to get a naltrexone injection in the event that you are still taking opioids or you are experiencing abrupt and severe withdrawal symptoms.
You shouldn’t be treated with naltrexone in case you are intolerant to it or
- you’re currently addicted to opioids.
- you’re experiencing withdrawal symptoms as a result of addiction to opioids;
- You have taken any opioid medication in the last 7-14 or more days (including the fentanyl drug, Vicodin, OxyContin, and many more);
- you’ve used buprenorphine or methadone (Subutex, Butrans, Suboxone, Zubsolv) in the last 14 days;
- you’ve taken any medicine in the treatment of cold diarrhea, cough, or pain within the last 7-14 days.
To make sure that naltrexone suitable for you, inform your doctor if previously had:
- liver disease;
- kidney disease
Inform your doctor if are nursing or pregnant.
It isn’t known if Naltrexone can cause harm to a baby who is not yet born. But, if you use opioids while pregnant, your baby may develop a dependence on the medication. This can cause severe withdrawal symptoms for the infant after it is born. Children who are dependent on opioids might require medical treatment for a period of time.
What is the procedure for obtaining naltrexone?
Naltrexone is injected directly into a muscle. The injection is typically given every month (every four weeks) and is administered only by a medical professional. Take your naltrexone injection frequently to maximize the benefits.
There may be discomfort, redness, itching, and swelling. You may also notice bruising, swelling, or a lump of hard tissue at the site of the injection. Consult your doctor if experience this kind of reaction, particularly in the event that it gets more severe or doesn’t go away within 2 weeks.
Naltrexone injections are just one component of a comprehensive treatment plan that could also comprise additional types of monitoring and counseling. Follow your doctor’s directions precisely.
In the event of an emergency, carry or wear medical identification that lets the public that you are taking this medication.
Following the use of naltrexone, your body will become more vulnerable to opioids. If you decide to use an opioid drug in the near future it is recommended to reduce the amount you used prior to the naltrexone treatment. The same amount as previously used could result in death or overdose.
Usual Adult Dose for Alcohol Dependence:
380 mg intramuscularly once every 4 weeks, once a month
Usual Adult Dose for Opiate Addiction:
380 mg intramuscularly once every 4 weeks/once per month
There isn’t any data specifically on the subject of switching from methadone or buprenorphine to the naltrexone drug, but certain patients have experienced severe symptoms of withdrawal that were precipitated when they switched from an opioid agonist to an opioid antagonist.
Patients who are switching to buprenorphine or methadone are at risk of sudden withdrawal that can last up to two weeks.
Be prepared to treat withdrawal symptoms with non-opioid medication.
This drug can be used only when it is part of an overall management plan, which includes steps to ensure that the patient is taking this medication.
If I don’t take a dose?
Contact your doctor for advice in the event that you don’t make an appointment to get your injection.
If I take too much?
Since the injection is administered by a health specialist in a medical setting it is highly unlikely for an overdose to occur. However, the symptoms of overdose can include stomach pain, nausea or drowsiness, dizziness, or an allergic reaction after an injection was administered (such as intense discomfort or changes to the skin).
What should I stay clear of while taking Naltrexone?
Do not take heroin, opioids, or any other street drug when you’re receiving Naltrexone. After naltrexone has been injected into your body, it is not able to be eliminated out of your system. Don’t try to combat its effects by taking large doses or doses of opioids. This could lead to dangerous effects, such as death and coma.
Talk to your doctor prior to using any medication to treat a cough, cold, or diarrhea. Some medicines contain opioids and might not perform as well if you’re using the medicine.
Avoid driving or engaging in hazardous activities until you are aware of the effects of this medication on you. Drowsiness or dizziness can lead to accidents, falls, or even serious injuries.
Naltrexone side effects
See a doctor immediately If you are experiencing symptoms that indicate an allergy reaction Naltrexone such as hives, chest pain, wheezing, difficulty breathing, feeling lightheaded or swollen tongue, face, lips, or throat.
If you are taking opioids, the fact that you’re taking this medication may trigger withdrawal symptoms of opioids. The most common withdrawal symptoms include sweating, yawning and stomach pain, fever diarrhea, vomiting as well as watery eyes, a goose bumps, a runny nose or body aches, muscles twitching, shaking difficulty sleeping, and feeling agitated or anxious.
Consult your physician immediately If you suffer from:
- breath that is weak or shallow;
- New or worsening cough, wheezing, breathing problems;
- intense pain, swelling the appearance of skin changes, blisters or a dark scab or a large lump in the area in the area where the medication was injected;
- liver issues stomach discomfort (upper right side) dark urine, fatigue or jaundice (yellowing of the eyes or skin) or
- signs of depression Depression symptoms include an unusual change in your mood or behavior and a loss of enthusiasm for things you previously loved crying, new issues with sleep, thoughts about harming yourself.
It is possible to feel nauseated when you first get this medication. You might also experience fatigue, headache muscles, joint discomfort, nausea, and vomiting.
The most common side effects of naltrexone are:
- nausea, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite;
- joint pain, muscle cramps;
- dizziness, drowsiness;
- sleep problems (insomnia);
- tooth pain tooth pain
- cold symptoms, such as nasal stuffiness, sneezing, sore throat.
This isn’t a complete list of possible side effects, and other side effects could occur. Contact your doctor to seek medical advice on adverse effects. You can report any side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What other drugs can have an effect on the effects of naltrexone?
Other drugs can interfere with naltrexone. This includes medications that are prescribed and available over the counter such as vitamins, herbal products. Inform your doctor of your current medications as well as any medications you are about to start or stop taking.
Alternatives to Naltrexone
Alternative drugs are available in different forms to treat addiction disorders caused by opioids.
Discuss with your doctor which treatment is the most appropriate for you.
Treatments for addiction to opioids:
- IM injection (Sublocade), Implant (Probuphine), Sublingual (Subutex)
Buprenorphine and Naloxone
- Sublingual (Bunavail, Suboxone, Zubsolv)
- Tablets (Lucemyra)
- Tablets (Dolophine)
To treat opioid-related overdoses when in an urgent situation
Other medicines that treat addiction to alcohol:
Other medications that may be related:
Buprenorphine for extreme pain:
- IM injection (Buprenex), Sublingual (Belbuca), Transdermal patch (Butrans)