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Vivitrol

Generic name: naltrexone

What is Vivitrol used for?

  • Vivitrol is used to help keep you alcohol-free.
  • It is used to keep a drug-free state.
  • Vivitrol may be given to you for other reasons. Talk to your doctor.

Before taking Vivitrol, tell your doctor:

  • If you are allergic to Vivitrol; any part of this medicine; or any other drugs, foods, or substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had.
  • If you are taking an opioid drug like morphine or oxycodone, are addicted to an opioid drug, or are having withdrawal signs.
  • If you have taken a pain drug within the past 7 to 14 days.

This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with this medicine.

Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take Vivitrol with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while I take Vivitrol?

  • Tell all of your health care providers that you take Vivitrol. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
  • Avoid driving and doing other tasks or actions that call for you to be alert until you see how Vivitrol affects you.
  • Have blood work checked as you have been told by the doctor. Talk with the doctor.
  • This medicine may affect certain lab tests. Tell all of your health care providers and lab workers that you take Vivitrol.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol while taking Vivitrol.
  • Do not take pain drugs while you are taking Vivitrol. Pain drugs will not work. Do not take more pain drugs to try to get them to work. Doing this may cause very bad injury, coma, or death. Talk with your doctor.
  • People taking Vivitrol to keep a drug-free state may get more effects from pain drugs when Vivitrol is stopped. Even low doses of pain drugs may cause very bad and sometimes deadly effects in these people. Talk with your doctor.
  • If you are addicted to pain drugs and are given Vivitrol, you may have signs of withdrawal. Talk with your doctor.
  • A type of lung infection caused by an allergic reaction has happened with Vivitrol. This may need to be treated in a hospital.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan on getting pregnant, or are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks to you and the baby.

How is Vivitrol best taken?

Use Vivitrol as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.

  • It is given as a shot into a muscle.

What do I do if I miss a dose?

  • Call your doctor to find out what to do.

What are the side effects of Vivitrol that I need to call my doctor about immediately?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Signs of liver problems like dark urine, feeling tired, not hungry, upset stomach or stomach pain, light-colored stools, throwing up, or yellow skin or eyes.
  • Signs of high blood pressure like very bad headache or dizziness, passing out, or change in eyesight.
  • New or worse behavior or mood changes like depression or thoughts of killing yourself.
  • Feeling confused.
  • Trouble breathing, slow breathing, or shallow breathing.
  • Sex problems in men.
  • Signs of lung or breathing problems like shortness of breath or other trouble breathing, cough, or fever.
  • Area that feels hard, blisters, dark scab, lumps, open wound, pain, swelling, or other very bad skin irritation where the shot was given.

What are some other side effects of Vivitrol?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:

  • Feeling nervous and excitable.
  • Anxiety.
  • Headache.
  • Muscle cramps.
  • Constipation, diarrhea, stomach pain, upset stomach, throwing up, or feeling less hungry.
  • More thirst.
  • Trouble sleeping.
  • Feeling dizzy, sleepy, tired, or weak.
  • Back, muscle, or joint pain.
  • Signs of a common cold.
  • Tooth pain.
  • Irritation where the shot is given.
  • Nose or throat irritation.
  • Dry mouth.

These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-332-1088. You may also report side effects at https://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

If overdose is suspected:

If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

How do I store and/or throw out Vivitrol?

  • If you need to store Vivitrol at home, talk with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist about how to store it.

Consumer information use and disclaimer

  • If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
  • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
  • Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
  • This medicine comes with an extra patient fact sheet called a Medication Guide. Read it with care. Read it again each time Vivitrol is refilled. If you have any questions about Vivitrol, please talk with the doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take Vivitrol or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to Vivitrol. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. You must talk with the healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

Source: Wolters Kluwer Health. Last updated June 19, 2020.