Vivitrol Side Effects: Uses, Interactions, Short and Long Term Dangers

vivitrol injection

There are various types of drugs that people abuse nowadays, and it might come as a surprise that most of these are prescription medicines or over-the-counter pharmaceuticals. Mixing multiple substances can be detrimental to a person’s health, which is why many professionals recommend stopping all substances when taking medications. 

In any case, a person that continues to abuse substances or even use their prescribed medications to experience the high is vulnerable to many serious health risks. Some pharmaceuticals are not advised to be combined with other opiates while they are being taken. One anti-addiction medication meant to help those struggling with alcoholism and other substance abuse issues is called Vivitrol. Here is more information on using this drug to assist with addiction:

Vivitrol Side Effects

Vivitrol is an addiction suppressant pharmaceutical medicine that helps treat substance abuse symptoms in patients. While this drug is meant to help patients remove their drug cravings, it can also cause some side effects. People might experience headaches, nausea, and dizziness as a typical result of taking it for the first time. Others might have irregular bowel movements and even pains in their stomach. Vivitrol may also cause feelings of anxiety, nervousness, restlessness, and other uncomfortable feelings, which indicate the need to consult a medical professional. 

More severe side effects of Vivitrol can give people hallucinations, blurry eyesight, anxiety, lapses in memory, and extreme vomiting and diarrhea. Doctors recommend reporting any of these severe symptoms as soon as possible to prevent potentially damaging the body and its organs. These can be an issue in the long run, as not everyone is a candidate for a Vivitrol injection.

vivitrol side effects
What Is Vivitrol

Since the substance is an injectable one that acts as a monthly extended-release formula, this means that it will be present in a patient’s bloodstream for 30 days. It is a substance heavy on the liver, so taking it while indulging in substances like alcohol and other drugs can cause diseases and organ failures. Medical professionals will have to monitor a patient’s use of this injectable substance, as it can have more potent effects on the body than the typical oral tablets.

What Is Vivitrol?

Vivitrol is an addiction treatment medication administered via injection, and it works throughout the month to help reduce the effects of addiction. Doctors advise combining the use of this substance with addiction treatment in rehabilitation centers to monitor the impact of a new drug on a person’s body. In fact, this new era drug was praised as the first non-narcotic and non-addictive extended-release medication approved to treat opioid addictions by the FDA. 

The drug works by blocking receptors in the brain and mitigating the effects of alcohol or opiates. Overall, Vivitrol decreases a person’s tolerance to opioids, which lasts for a specified treatment period. After completing the treatment process, any medications prescribed by future doctors must consider that the patient has taken Vivitrol previously. 

The substance effectively battles opioid addictions, but a patient must consider the serious nature of taking other drugs while on a Vivitrol injection.  This injectable blocks euphoric sensations associated with taking opioids but doesn’t block the different effects of taking the drugs, which is where the problems surface. Illegal drugs like heroin can increase the risk of overdosing while on Vivitrol, leading to a state of comatose or even death. 

Vivitrol for Alcohol

Alcoholics can benefit from taking Vivitrol injections, reducing the euphoric effects of consumption. Addiction centers often use this pharmaceutical drug to help with alcohol and opioid addictions, which have shown to be effective with the FDA’s approval. While oral tablets are available, the injectable variant is more effective because of the monthly extended-release formula. This formula means that the body gets a good dose of it at all times, making its effects more consistent than risking forgetting about taking the oral tablet and abusing it. 

What Happens If You Take Opiates While On Vivitrol?

Continuing to indulge in opiate use while on a Vivitrol injection can be fatal. While the drug fights most cravings in people, medical professionals always warn against opiates while undergoing a Vivitrol treatment. This warning comes from the fact that overusing substances can be taxing on the liver, so this is a medication given later into addiction treatment when upon completion of detox. 

Having an opioid-free body is essential to starting and going through a Vivitrol treatment process, as any traces of other substances can cause conflicts and potentially overdosing. Opiates are a common substance to overdose on, as these are typically chemical-based and have adverse effects when consumed in large quantities. Vivitrol has been found to increase the risks of an overdose on opioids even more than regularly abusing any substance.

vivitrol injection
Vivitrol Side Effects

The issue comes with Vivitrol suppressing the effects of drugs on the brain by blocking receptors. If people continue to take various substances to feel high while undergoing the injectable treatment, they might not feel the effects with low doses. Not feeling a high will make people want to use more to meet the desired results, but this will overload the body and lead to overdosing. Vivitrol is exceptionally effective at canceling out the effects of substances on the brain, which is why addiction centers are always monitoring patients’ status at all times. 

One other aspect of Vivitrol that can be detrimental to a person’s health is how it makes a person more sensitive to substances and various doses. People who undergo Vivitrol treatment might experience sensitivities to using drugs, which can be problematic when they go back to using their old doses. The body might not be able to keep up with the effects of the quantities, and moderate amounts can cause overdosing in people due to the impact of having Vivitrol injections. 

Vivitrol vs Suboxone

Vivitrol has been an effective drug to treat addiction, but other alternatives are available on the market. Another substance used to treat dependence on drugs is called Suboxone, and both are effective in their own ways. While Vivitrol is an injectable, Suboxone is a film placed under the tongue daily and assists with suppressing cravings and withdrawal symptoms. 

Suboxone has been shown to work well with Vivitrol, as these can be combined with therapy for more effective addiction treatment. While these are known to be great ways to address addiction issues, they may have side effects when used in tandem. Some people might experience an upset stomach, dizziness, appetite changes, and body pains. It is always recommended that people seek professional advice when feeling any uncomfortable sensations. 

Lastly, it pays to note that no medication will work without combining therapy with addiction treatment. Addiction is a disease that goes beyond just abusing substances and getting high. The deeper part is treating the behaviors that have surfaced because of using drugs, which often contributes to the skewed sense of reality that many people have. While it can be difficult, it isn’t impossible to seek addiction treatment, as rehabilitation centers are growing in number in the United States. Finding a set of medications and combining them with a treatment method will help the user recover and keep away from drugs. 


Vivitrol is a highly effective injectable substance that assists with addiction treatment. Many people who suffer from addiction can benefit from this injectable, as the extended-release formula makes for more stable and consistent experiences with daily life. However, taking opioids while under a Vivitrol injection can cause adverse effects, so ensure that this treatment method is run in tandem with a rehabilitation center program.