Naltrexone & Vivitrol Information
Medicine doesn't cure addiction, but combined with support from an addiction professional; it can boost the success rate in some instances. For a list of addiction medical doctors who can provide more information, medical examinations and prescribe medications, please visit my detox resource page for help
SAMHSA's website says "Naltrexone is a medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat opioid use disorders and alcohol use disorders. It comes in a pill form or as an injectable. The pill form of naltrexone (ReVia, Depade) can be taken at 50 mg once per day. The injectable extended-release form of the drug (Vivitrol) is administered at 380 mg intramuscular once a month. Naltrexone can be prescribed by any health care provider who is licensed to prescribe medications. To reduce the risk of precipitated withdrawal, patients are warned to abstain from illegal opioids and opioid medication for a minimum of 7-10 days before starting naltrexone. If switching from methadone to naltrexone, the patient has to be completely withdrawn from the opioids.
Naltrexone blocks the euphoric and sedative effects of drugs such as heroin, morphine, and codeine. It works differently in the body than buprenorphine and methadone, which activate opioid receptors in the body that suppress cravings. Naltrexone binds and blocks opioid receptors, and is reported to reduce opioid cravings. There is no abuse and diversion potential with naltrexone.
If a person relapses and uses the problem drug, naltrexone prevents the feeling of getting high. People using naltrexone should not use any other opioids or illicit drugs; drink alcohol; or take sedatives, tranquilizers, or other drugs.
Patients on naltrexone may have reduced tolerance to opioids and may be unaware of their potential sensitivity to the same, or lower, doses of opioids that they used to take. If patients who are treated with naltrexone relapse after a period of abstinence, it is possible that the dosage of opioid that was previously used may have life-threatening consequences, including respiratory arrest and circulatory collapse."
Vivitrol is an injectable form of Naltrexone that lasts up to one month in the body. It has been shown to improve success rates for those with alcohol use disorders and/or opioid (heroin/opiate) use disorders. Many of the doctors on my detox resource page can provide Vivitrol injections.