Vivitrol Side Effects


Vivitrol (naltrexone) blocks the effects of narcotic medicines and alcohol.

Vivitrol is used to treat addiction to alcohol or narcotic drugs. It is also used to prevent narcotic addiction relapse. It is used along with a complete management program.

Vivitrol may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important information about Vivitrol

Do not use narcotic drugs or alcohol while you are being treated with Vivitrol. Never try to overcome the effects of the medication by using large doses of narcotic drugs or alcohol. Doing so could result in dangerous effects, including coma and death. Ask your doctor before using any prescription or over-the-counter medicine to treat a cold, cough, diarrhea, or pain during your treatment with Vivitrol. These medicines may contain narcotics or alcohol.

Vivitrol may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert.

You may notice pain, redness, bruising, swelling, or a hard lump where the medication was injected. Call your doctor if you have this type of reaction to the shot, especially if it does not clear up or gets worse within 2 weeks.

Wear a medical alert tag stating that you are being treated with Vivitrol, in case of emergency. Any medical care provider who treats you should know that you are receiving this medication.

Additional forms of counseling and/or monitoring may be recommended during treatment with Vivitrol.

Before receiving Vivitrol

Do not receive Vivitrol if you are allergic to naltrexone, or if you have:

  • an addiction to narcotics;
  • a history of alcohol or narcotic drug use within the past 7-10 days; or
  • drug or alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

Before receiving Vivitrol, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have:

  • kidney disease;
  • liver disease; or
  • a bleeding disorder such as hemophilia.

If you have any of these conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely receive Vivitrol.

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether Vivitrol will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication. It is not known whether naltrexone passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use Vivitrol without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How is Vivitrol used?

Vivitrol injection is injected into a muscle. Vivitrol is usually given once a month (every 4 weeks) and can be given only by a doctor or nurse in a clinic.

It is important to receive your Vivitrol injections regularly to get the most benefit.

You may notice pain, redness, bruising, swelling, or a hard lump where the medication was injected. Call your doctor if you have this type of reaction to the shot, especially if it does not clear up or gets worse within 2 weeks.

Wear a medical alert tag or carry an ID card stating that you use Vivitrol injection. Any medical care provider who treats you should know that you are receiving this medication.

Additional forms of counseling and/or monitoring may be recommended during treatment with Vivitrol.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Call your doctor for instructions if you miss an appointment to receive your Vivitrol injection.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Overdose symptoms may include nausea, stomach pain, dizziness, or seizure (convulsions).

What should I avoid while using Vivitrol?

Vivitrol may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert. Do not use narcotic drugs or alcohol while receiving Vivitrol. Never try to overcome the effects of the medication by using large doses of narcotic drugs or alcohol. Doing so could result in dangerous effects, including coma and death. Ask your doctor before using any prescription or over-the-counter medicine to treat a cold, cough, diarrhea, or pain while you are being treated with Vivitrol. These medicines may contain narcotics or alcohol.

Vivitrol side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Vivitrol: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • blurred vision or eye problems;
  • fast heartbeat;
  • wheezing, difficulty breathing;
  • mood changes, hallucinations (seeing or hearing things), confusion, thoughts of hurting yourself;
  • nausea, stomach pain, low fever, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
  • ear pain, ringing in your ears;
  • feeling light-headed, fainting;
  • skin rash or itching; or
  • pain, redness, bruising, itching, swelling, oozing, skin changes,or a hard lump where the medication was injected.

Less serious Vivitrol side effects may include:

  • feeling anxious, nervous, restless, or irritable;
  • increased thirst;
  • muscle or joint aches;
  • weakness or tiredness;
  • sleep problems (insomnia); or
  • decreased sex drive, impotence, or difficulty having an orgasm.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect Vivitrol?

The pain-relieving effects of any narcotic pain medications you use will be blocked if you use them during your treatment with Vivitrol. Harmful side effects could also occur.

Before receiving Vivitrol, tell your doctor if you use any of the following drugs:

  • buprenorphine (Buprenex, Subutex);
  • butorphanol (Stadol);
  • codeine (Tylenol with codeine);
  • hydrocodone (Lortab, Vicodin);
  • hydromorphone (Dilaudid);
  • levorphanol (Levo-Dromoran);
  • meperidine (Demerol);
  • methadone (Dolophine, Methadose);
  • morphine (Kadian, MS Contin, Roxanol);
  • nalbuphine (Nubain);
  • naloxone (Narcan);
  • oxycodone (OxyContin, Roxicodone, Percocet);
  • oxymorphone (Numorphan); or
  • propoxyphene (Darvon, Darvocet).

This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with Vivitrol. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.


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