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Vivitrol Uses

How Does It Work?

Vivitrol is an opioid receptor antagonist. It binds to opioid receptors, but doesn't produce any effects. Instead, it prevents other substances, such as opioid pain medications and opioid street drugs like heroin, from binding to and activating the receptors. Therefore, people who use these other drugs will not get the "high" feeling that can reinforce opioid abuse, which can help prevent a relapse.
It is not entirely clear how Vivitrol works to treat alcohol dependence. It is thought that, by blocking opioid receptors, Vivitrol also helps prevent the rewarding effects of alcohol use. This may help reduce the desire to consume alcohol.
Vivitrol is an injectable medication. The drug is contained in small spherical particles (microspheres), which are given as an injection into the muscle. After the injection is given, these microspheres slowly release the drug inside the body over a month. This is why the injections only need to be given once every four weeks.
Vivitrol is not a narcotic medication. It is not addictive, and does not cause dependence.

Is It Safe for Children to Use Vivitrol?

Vivitrol has not been studied in children under the age of 18 years old, and is only approved for use in individuals 18 years old and older. Talk to your child's healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of using Vivitrol in children.

Off-Label Uses for Vivitrol

On occasion, your healthcare provider may recommend this medication for something other than opioid or alcohol dependence. This is known as an "off-label" use. For example, Vivitrol may be prescribed off-label for the treatment of the following conditions:
Low doses of the active ingredient in Vivitrol (naltrexone) have been studied for a variety of off-label uses. However, at this time there is not enough well-established information to recommend the use of low dose naltrexone for any health condition (see Low Dose Naltrexone for more information).
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Vivitrol Medication Information

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