Vivitrol and Breastfeeding
Although it is unknown if Vivitrol (naltrexone injection) passes through breast milk when given as an injection, the active ingredient in the drug has been shown to pass through breast milk in rats and women when it was taken by mouth. It may be possible that using Vivitrol while breastfeeding could cause problems, such as vomiting, excessive crying, and restlessness, in a nursing infant.
Vivitrol® (naltrexone injection) is a prescription medication used to treat opioid and alcohol addiction. It is not entirely known if Vivitrol passes through breast milk in humans, although it probably does to some extent.
Vivitrol has not been adequately studied in nursing women; however, the active ingredient in Vivitrol (naltrexone) has been shown to pass through the breast milk of rats and humans when taken by mouth.
It is reasonable to assume that Vivitrol would also pass through breast milk to some extent. However, because of the limited information, it is not clear how much of the drug would pass through breast milk, how long it is expected to be present in breast milk, or whether it would harm a nursing child.
(Click Revia and Breastfeeding for more information about using oral naltrexone while breastfeeding.)
Vivitrol is an opioid antagonist, which means it blocks opioid receptors. Although it is currently unknown whether Vivitrol would harm a nursing child, animal studies suggest that the drug could potentially alter opioid receptors in the brain. It may also affect the levels of certain hormones in the body.
The manufacturer of Vivitrol recommends women either breastfeed or use the medication, but not do both. This is because Vivitrol is associated with potentially serious side effects, and there is the potential risk for these side effects to occur in a nursing child.
If your healthcare provider recommends breastfeeding during Vivitrol treatment, make sure to closely observe your infant for any potential Vivitrol side effects. Symptoms of such side effects may include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Sleeping problems
- Excessive crying
- Low energy
- Decreased appetite.