Vivitrol is the injectable brand name version of naltrexone that can be used to help people maintain abstinence while recovering from an opioid or alcohol dependence. Other formulations of naltrexone are available in oral tablet form, but Vivitrol is administered as an intramuscular solution once per month

It is important people in treatment for an addiction to opioids first completely detox from these substances and then maintain abstinence for 7-10 days prior to starting Vivitrol; otherwise, this prescription medication can elicit withdrawal symptoms.

How Does Vivitrol Work?

All forms of naltrexone work by stopping the euphoria and sedation that central nervous system depressants, specifically alcohol and opioids, can cause. The medicine binds to opioid receptor sites, acting as an opioid antagonist, in lieu of the intoxicating substances and stays there for a long time. When a person taking any form of naltrexone as prescribed relapses, the drug will not bind to the opioid receptor sites, so there will be no high associated with using the substance after detoxing.