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Vivitrol after Tapering off Opioids

answered 08:37 AM EST, Mon February 24, 2014
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anonymous anonymous
What do you think of using vivitrol to play it safe after finishing tapering down from methadone?

Anna Deeds Says...

Anna Deeds A. Deeds
MSED, NCC, LPC

Thank you for your question. Vivitrol is definitely a good option after you taper completely off methadone or other opioids. Vivitrol is naltrexone in extended release form. It is given in the form of an injection every month. Vivitrol can help opiate addicts stay clean because you cannot use opiates or opioids while on Vivitrol. An addict cannot get high while on this medication. Using even small amounts of opiates or opioids could lead to overdose. I think it can definitely help addicts stay clean. Addiction is a physical, mental and spiritual condition. Vivitrol has an effect on the physical and mental aspects of addiction. Physically, it blocks the effects of opiates. Mentally, you know you cannot get high and you risk overdose so there is no reason to use opiates. It also claims to reduce cravings. Overall, it seems like a good option. However, there are a few reasons to use caution. It can have some serious side effects. Be sure to read the link to side effects on the Vivitrol website. You cannot have any amount of opiates or opioids in your body when you take it. If you do, you will have sudden withdrawal symptoms. There is a high risk of overdose if you would relapse. It can cause liver damage or hepatitis so it's probably not a good option if you have hepatitis or liver problems. Be sure to discuss these side effects with a doctor before making a decision.

Good luck with your methadone taper. Take it slowly while learning coping skills and other psychological and behavioral techniques. And be sure to have plenty of support.

 

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