What is Vivitrol?

This Anti-Craving Drug Plays an Important Role in the Opioid Epidemic

With the opioid epidemic sweeping the nation, there is an increased need for anti-craving drugs that help to block opioids effects on the brain. This is exactly what Vivitrol works to do. Vivitrol is an injectable that is administered once monthly to those recovering from opioid addiction. The drug was approved by the FDA back in 2010 and has since helped countless individuals by reducing cravings and assisting with withdrawal symptoms.

Vivitrol differs from other anti-craving medications in that it is:

  • Not a narcotic
  • It is an antagonist
  • Can be taken once monthly
  • Less hassle due to fewer trips to the doctor’s office
  • Reduced overdose risk
  • Often, patients react better to Vivitrol than methadone or Suboxone

Vivitrol has proven to assist in the abstinence of opioid use in those who take it according to doctors orders. In a recent, six month study, close to 90 percent of those who took Vivitrol reported significantly fewer cravings for opioids and had remained drug-free since starting Vivitrol. The drug has proven to be very effective and should be considered far more than it is, as doctors often resort to narcotic prescription drugs as an opioid antagonist.

Changing the Heroin and Opioid Epidemic

Vivitrol has made a large impact on the heroin and opioid epidemic being experienced nationwide. In turn, this has helped to reduce the overdose rate in those who use these dangerous illicit drugs. The drug has proven to be effective in stabilizing the individual as well as allowing them to maintain their sobriety. It has nonaddictive properties which make it a preferable alternative to other detox drugs which carry a high risk of dependency.

Prior to an individual taking Vivitrol, they must undergo a period of medical detox. Once the detox period has been completed, individuals may begin taking Vivitrol under the advice of their physician. In as little as 30 minutes, the individual will be able to feel the effects of Vivitrol. While the drug is successful in mitigating drug cravings, it is more effective when combined with therapy and counseling.  

When individuals do not have cravings for substances of abuse, they are better able to focus on their recovery which ultimately results in a higher success rate. Without the proper treatment, individuals will not be able to live the fulfilled that they deserve.

The Side Effects of Vivitrol

As with most anti-craving medications, there are certain side effects that patients will endure. Some of the side effects that individuals will receive while they are taking Vivitrol are:

  • Increased anxiety
  • Feeling lethargic or tired
  • Nausea
  • Bouts of dizzy spells
  • Restlessness
  • Insomnia

While not all who take Vivitrol will experience these side effects, a percentage may. It’s important to speak to your healthcare professional about what sort of anti-craving drug is best suited for you. Although this drug is very effective, it may not be suitable to everyone. It’s important that you do not consume alcohol if you intend on taking Vivitrol as it will affect the performance of the drug.

It’s important that you receive the necessary help now so that you can work toward sustained sobriety from your drug addiciton.




If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.

About the Author

is a proud alumni member of WhiteSands Treatment. After living a life of chaos, destruction and constant let downs, Mark was able to make a complete turnaround that sparked a new way of life. He is serious about his recovery along with helping others. At WhiteSands Treatment, we offer support to you in your homes or when you are out living in your daily lives.