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Should You Use Vivitrol or Naltrexone for Opioid Addiction?

It’s challenging to determine what will work best for treating your opioid addiction. The only way to know what will work best for you is to speak with a physician. Both Vivitrol and Naltrexone come with properties that are beneficial to your recovery, but only a doctor can determine what works best for you.

Vivitrol is an injectable only available by prescription, and it can treat both opioid and alcohol use disorder. The medication is useful for preventing relapse after a successful detox from other opioids and can be used as an alternative to Methadone or Suboxone

One of the key benefits of Vivitrol is that it can be used on a monthly basis, which makes it the most convenient option available for those struggling to commit to an opioid treatment program. For those unable to attend consistently, Vivitrol is a promising option. 

Vivitrol is considered a complete opiate antagonist, which has no psychoactive properties other than binding to opiate receptors in the brain and blocking the superimposed opiate. If an individual uses heroin or other opioid-based medications while using Vivitrol, they will experience no effects whatsoever. 

If you’ve been stable for months or years while using methadone or Suboxone and seek detox, you must taper off these medications. After 14 days, you can switch to Vivitrol and have protection from relapsing. Vivitrol is seen as a safety net once you are ready to stop using methadone or Suboxone. 

Differences Between Vivitrol and Naltrexone

Naltrexone is a short-acting alcohol/opioid blocking agent that has been used successfully for the last 30 years, while Vivitrol is an extended-release form of Naltrexone. The extended-release formula helps individuals because it does not require daily use. 

These medications are both useful for treating alcohol addiction, and they are commonly used after discharge from residential treatment facilities to prevent relapsing on both alcohol and opioids. 

Vivitrol may cause agitation or soreness around the site where it is injected, and you may not use the medication if you are pregnant or currently using opioids. The only way Vivitrol can be administered is if you’ve been sober for 10 to 14 days from all opiates. 

Which Is Better? Vivitrol or Naltrexone?

We all consist of unique brain chemistry that makes it challenging to answer that question. Your doctor may recommend one or the other based on individual factors and monitor your reaction. 

While Vivitrol may be beneficial for one, Naltrexone may be better for another. The positive news here is that you are looking for options to treat your opioid addiction. The only way to determine which medication is better for you is by discussing options with your primary care physician today.With so much emphasis on the opioid overdose crisis and how deadly it can be, it’s time for you to treat your addiction today. The only way to overcome the disease of addiction is to take the first step and seek help today.

Sources

(n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/addiction/opioid-use-disorder/opioid-use-disorder

National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2019, January 22). Opioid Overdose Crisis. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/opioids/opioid-overdose-crisis

VIVITROL® (naltrexone for extended-release injectable suspension). (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.vivitrol.com/

Lynne.walsh. (2019, September 27). Naltrexone. Retrieved from https://www.samhsa.gov/medication-assisted-treatment/treatment/naltrexone

Opioid dependence treatment. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.suboxone.com/

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