You never expected to become addicted to alcohol, and recovery can be hard. But now there is an abstinence-based medication that may help.
In a study of alcohol-dependent patients participating in counseling plus VIVITROL, patients had:
Significantly fewer heavy drinking days*
* Heavy drinking was defined as a self-report of 5 or more standard drinks consumed on a given day for male patients and 4 or more drinks for female patients.
A small group of alcohol-dependent patients who completely stopped drinking one week prior to their first dose of VIVITROL (with counseling) had:
Significantly fewer drinking days
More success maintaining complete abstinence
The same results were not seen in the patients who were drinking when they started VIVITROL.
VIVITROL may not work for everyone. VIVITROL has not been studied in children under the age of 18 years.
Sudden opioid withdrawal
To avoid sudden opioid withdrawal, you must stop taking any opioids or opioid-containing medications, including buprenorphine or methadone, for at least 7 to 14 days before starting VIVITROL. If your doctor decides that you don’t need to complete detox first, he or she may give you VIVITROL in a medical facility that can treat sudden opioid withdrawal.
Sudden opioid withdrawal can be severe and may require hospitalization.
Risk of opioid overdose
Using opioids, even in amounts that you used before VIVITROL treatment, can lead to accidental overdose, serious injury, coma, or death. To avoid accidental overdose:
Do not take large amounts of opioids or try to overcome the opioid-blocking effects of VIVITROL.
Do not use opioids in amounts that you used before VIVITROL treatment. You may even be more sensitive to lower amounts of opioids:
When your next VIVITROL dose is due
If you miss a dose of VIVITROL
After you stop VIVITROL treatment
Get emergency medical help right away if you have trouble breathing; have slow, shallow breathing; become very drowsy with slowed breathing; feel faint, dizzy, confused; or have other unusual symptoms.