How Vivitrol Treatment Works
VIVITROL is prescription medication that is given as an injection by a healthcare provider, once a month or every 4 weeks.
When administered properly, a Vivitrol treament can:
- Prevent a relapse to opioid dependence after detox
- Treat Alcohol Addiction (Alcoholism)
To be effective, Vivitrol treatment must be used with recovery programs, such as counseling.
Alcohol is thought to stimulate the release of endogenous opioids, which may produce the euphoric feelings associated with alcohol consumption.
Endogenous opioids (e.g., beta-endorphin) are released into the synapse (the space between the signaling and target neurons) and stimulate activity at opiate receptors, which produces a signal in the target neuron. Exogenous opiates such as morphine also stimulate opiate receptors.
Naltrexone is thought to block opioids from activating opiate receptors. Common frequently asked questions about Naltrexone.
We know that the release of dopamine in the brain is related to the reinforcing effect of alcohol and may be associated with alcohol dependence. This illustration depicts a proposed mechanism in which the ingestion of alcohol begins a neural cascade resulting in the release of dopamine - the neurotransmitter that may lead to the reinforcement of alcohol's pleasurable effects.
While the mechanism by which VIVITROL exerts its effects in alcohol-dependent patients is not entirely understood, this illustration depicts the proposed MOA of VIVITROL involving opioid receptor blockade.
Naltrexone - the active ingredient in VIVITROL - is an opioid antagonist with the highest affinity for the �-opioid receptor. Thus, it can compete with and block the binding of B-endorphins to these receptors.
This may lead to the prevention of dopamine release mitigating the reinforcing and rewarding effects of alcohol
Common Side Effects of Vivitrol
Vivitrol Treatment may cause side effects including:
- A reaction at the injection site. The reaction could be pain, tenderness, swelling, redness, bruising, and/or itching. Sometimes reactions at the injection site can quickly worsen and skin and other tissue can be permanently damaged and require surgery. If you have an injection site reaction, tell your doctor or healthcare provider
- Decreased appetite
- Painful joints
- Muscle cramps
Important Safety Information regarding Vivitrol.