December 19, 2022 AddictionAlcohol

Vivitrol and Alcohol Use Disorder

Vivitrol is a brand formulation of naltrexone that doctors prescribe to treat opioid use disorder (OUD) and alcohol use disorder(AUD).

Drinking while consuming Vivitrol can have adverse effects, and you may experience impaired motor coordination. Avoid alcohol consumption if you have started taking Vivitrol.

If you are going through alcohol or opioid addiction, help is available at Indiana Center for Recovery. We provide medical detox to lower the risk of relapse and alleviate withdrawal symptoms.

explained text: vivitrol shots work by blocking the soothing effects of alcohol and opioid drugs.

Key Takeaways

Vivitrol helps treat patients with alcoholism or opioid use disorder. This drug is given after detoxification because it can interact with alcohol, and healthcare providers ensure that alcohol or opioid is not active in the system.

Interaction between this drug and alcohol can cause mild to severe side effects.

  • FDA- approved Vivitrol to treat alcoholism and substance use disorder.
  • At the rehab facility, medical professionals give Vivitrol during MAT (medication-assisted treatment).
  • The drug binds to opioid receptors to prevent an individual from experiencing opioid effects.
  • Vivitrol can ease alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

Naltrexone, used under a brand name called Vivitrol, is safe to use under medical supervision. Patients must follow doctors’ advice to recover from AUD.

At Indiana Center for Recovery, we offer Vivitrol after detox. To learn about our treatment plans, contact us at (844)650-0064.

What Vivitrol Does

Vivitrol is an injectable naltrexone used at a rehab treatment facility to treat alcohol addiction and substance use disorders. This medication was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2006. Before this drug is consumed, doctors advise avoiding alcohol.

It prevents relapse after a patient has recovered from opioid dependence. It also helps patients to deal with withdrawal symptoms during opioid and alcohol medication-assisted treatment options (MAT).

Vivitrol is an essential component during counseling and behavioral therapies at rehab facilities.

Due to opioid addiction, a person experiences intense euphoria that impacts the neural pathways. People who have been abusing this drug for a long time cannot go through detoxification without the help of medications that can help them manage cravings.

Moreover, people who have achieved sobriety from alcohol or opioid also consume these drugs to lower the risk of relapse. After recovery, an individual may relapse if medications are not given and experience a fatal overdose.

Vivitrol shots work by blocking the soothing effects of alcohol and opioid drugs. This drug binds with opioid receptors preventing an individual from experiencing the effects of opioids if a person relapses.

Use of Vivitrol at Rehab Facilities

Vivitrol injections are FDA-approved, and doctors ensure that the patient is suitable for this drug. This drug acts as an opioid antagonist and is given after the detox procedure.

For many individuals receiving addiction treatment for alcoholism or opioid addiction, Vivitrol can be a valuable tool in reducing cravings.

Patients need psychological help in addition to injections to develop long-lasting coping mechanisms for sobriety.

Vivitrol for Alcoholism

When medical professionals prescribe this medication to AUD patients, they ensure that the patient is not physically dependent on alcohol. In some cases, Vivitrol may cause nausea, headache, and vomiting.

To avoid such side effects, medical staff wait until the patient has gone through alcohol detox before naltrexone is administered. Vivitrol attaches and binds to the endorphin receptor and blocks its impact on the body.

If a patient takes this drug, they will not experience a craving to consume alcohol. Naltrexone is used to help patients maintain sobriety.

Vivitrol used during MAT treatment lasts for more than three months. Practitioners ensure that patients are not showing signs of relapse when they are no longer consuming this drug.

Vivitrol for Opioid Use Disorder

Extended-release injectable Vivitrol is approved for treating individuals dealing with opioid use disorder. This disorder involves the misuse of opioid drugs that doctors prescribe. An opioid is highly addictive, and an OUD patient may consume it in large quantities.

OUD individuals will wait for a week if they have consumed short-acting opioids. For long-acting opioids, they must wait two weeks before starting Vivitrol. If you are consuming this drug, avoid using illicit drugs and alcohol, as it can severely interact with it.

Side Effects of Vivitrol

A medication can cause unwanted side effects if a patient is allergic to its active ingredient or is not consuming it according to the doctor’s indication. There can be various reasons for side effects, and it is best to contact a medical professional if the patient’s symptoms are getting worse.

An individual may experience common symptoms such as:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Drowsiness
  • Lack of appetite
  • Joint pain
  • Muscle cramps
  • Fever
  • Difficulty falling asleep
  • Vomiting

Some severe reactions that patients may experience are:

  • Rashes at the site of injection
  • Severe muscle pain
  • Blisters
  • Liver damage
  • Allergic reaction
  • Pneumonia
  • Chest pain
  • Trouble breathing

Vivitrol is not suitable if you are dependent on medications that contain opioids. If you inform your healthcare professionals about your drugs and dependence on opioids, they may inject naloxone.

This procedure is known as the naloxone challenge test. Naloxone will help doctors to decide if Vivitrol is suitable for you or not.

If you experience opioid withdrawal symptoms after this test, then Vivitrol should not be consumed. Opioid withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Anxiety
  • Sweating
  • Nausea
  • Runny nose
  • Fever
  • Excessive sweating

Mixing Vivitrol with Alcohol

Vivitrol is the brand name for naltrexone. This drug is common to treat patients with opiate addiction. It is commonly prescribed during individual and group therapy.

Vivitrol is not used to treat patients with mental illness; instead, it was introduced to deal with the physiological aspects of drug withdrawal.

Alcohol directly acts on your brain and increases the level of serotonin. Due to its action on the body, a person develops alcohol addiction to experience its effect. Excessive intake of alcohol for a long time can lead to alcohol use disorder.

It is a drinking pattern that includes difficulty in controlling the amount of alcohol consumed. Binge drinking and unhealthy alcohol use put your life at risk and lead to alcohol-related problems. Many rehab centers in the United States are working to help people dealing with AUD.

Alcohol dependence is treated using Vivitrol, which lowers the risk of alcohol overdose. It acts as an opiate antagonist and minimizes your urge to consume substances.

According to National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, a person may experience the following symptoms when consuming alcohol with Vivitrol:

  • Lack of judgment
  • Delayed response time
  • Impaired motor skills

Recent studies show that although naltrexone helps reduce the use of alcohol, it does not stimulate abstinence from alcohol.

Alcohol mixed with naltrexone can lead to alcohol withdrawal symptoms such as:

  • Delirium tremens
  • High blood pressure
  • Heavy sweating

Medications to Avoid while Consuming Vivitrol

Before taking any medication, it is essential to learn about its interaction with other drugs. You can consult your doctor or health care provider before using this drug, as it can interact with your medications.

Antagonistic interactions between medications in your system can cause adverse effects leading to medical emergencies.

Below is the list of medicines that may interact with Vivitrol.


Individuals dealing with atrial fibrillation are at risk of high blood pressure and heart failure. Eliquis prevents blood clots in the vein of adults to prevent stroke. Many patients have reported experiencing the impact of interactions between Vivitrol and Eliquis.

Other blood thinners, such as warfarin, also interact with this drug. If you are consuming this drug, discussing alternative medicines with your doctor that will not interact is best.

This drug interaction may lead to the following:

  • Diarrhea
  • Muscle spasms
  • Insomnia
  • Cough
  • Asthma


Disulfiram is also used at the rehab facility to treat patients with chronic alcoholism. After taking this drug, a patient may experience unpleasant effects even when they consume a small amount of alcohol.

Disulfiram with alcohol can cause blurry vision, anxiety, sweating, and chest pain.

Vivitrol is unsuitable for people with liver disease as this drug can affect your liver. Consuming this drug with disulfiram may increase the risk of liver disease. It is advised to avoid alcohol consumption if you are taking any of the medications.

Contact your doctor if you experience:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Liver damage
  • Pale skin
  • Itching
  • Unusual bleeding and bruising


Suboxone and Vivitrol are opioid antagonists but contain different active ingredients. Vivitrol consists of naltrexone, and suboxone includes a combination of naloxone and buprenorphine. Suboxone is orally consumed as a blocker to reduce opioid and alcohol cravings.

Although they are prescribed to treat patients with opioid use disorder, it is not safe to consume them together. The naltrexone in Vivitrol blocks the working mechanism of suboxone in our body; thus, medication will not be effective in treating your medical condition.

If you are consuming suboxone for more than a week, then Vivitrol with it can cause withdrawal symptoms. If you want to switch from Suboxone to Vivitrol, slowly reducing the dose of your previous medication is best.

You may experience mild withdrawal effects before you can safely consume Vivitrol.

It is necessary to let the doctors know about the medicines you are taking so they can monitor your vital signs and suggest alternative medications. Moreover, do not consume vitamins and herbs without a doctor’s advice if you take suboxone or Vivitrol.


Tramadol is a pain reliever that is usually given to patients after surgery. It acts on the central nervous system to relieve pain. However, consuming this drug more than prescribed can cause physical dependence.

Tramadol interacts with antidepressants, which can lead to serotonin syndrome. Its interaction with Vivitrol can result in withdrawal symptoms.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What can you not take with Vivitrol?

Vivitrol is an injectable medication, and it is a brand name for naltrexone which is beneficial for treating alcoholism and opioid use disorder. Vivitrol eliminates the sedative effects of addictive substances and binds with opioid receptors.Before using this drug, inform your doctor about the medications and medical history. There are various medications that you cannot use with this drug. Heavy drinking is unsuitable for this drug as it can cause withdrawal symptoms.
Drugs that contain opioids, such as pain relievers, should not be consumed with Vivitrol. Wait at least 14 days before consuming Vivitrol.
Do not start Vivitrol treatment if you are taking medications such as:
Pain and cough relievers
Antidiarrheal medications
Blood thinners
Illicit street drugs
Other medicines to treat opioid use disorder

Does the Vivitrol shot make you sick?

Vivitrol is essential in the treatment plan to cure AUD and OUD. Your healthcare professional will give you a shot of this prescription medication. Like other medications, Vivitrol also has side effects that last from a few hours to a few days.It may cause nausea after the first shot, and patients may also experience vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach ache. If Vivitrol is misused and higher doses are taken, it can negatively impact your liver and make you feel sick.
Moreover, excessive intake of alcohol with this drug can cause liver damage.

How fast until Vivitrol kicks in?

Vivitrol is an intramuscular injection that is given monthly to treat alcohol dependence to avoid relapse. Vivitrol injections start working immediately, and the effects last for one month. The drug will kick in about 2 hours after the shot is given.
Since this drug works immediately, it is essential that you do not have opioids or alcohol in your system. Doctors advise patients to be alcohol and opioid-free for more than a week.
That is why medical health professionals use this drug after the patient has gone through alcohol detoxification.