Vivitrol is the intramuscular injection form of Naltrexone, which has been shown to be an effective treatment for patients suffering from alcohol and opioid addictions.  It is one of several FDA approved medications for the treatment of alcohol and opioid use disorders, and was initially approved in October 2010. The medication works in the brain, by decreasing the desire to drink or use opioids (such as heroine). This medication is usually injected into the buttocks by a clinician, and lasts for 30 days.  Benefits of this medication are that the patient does not need to take the oral Naltrexone every day, and it is therefore helpful with compliance, and the levels of the medication in the body are also maintained at a steady level, instead of the cyclical highs and lows of blood levels of the medication during a 24 hour period, which usually occur with taking the oral Naltrexone pill. Additionally, for patients that take the oral Naltrexone, if they forget to take their doses as prescribed, they are at higher risk  of relapse of using alcohol and opioids. It is important that patients who are given this form of treatment are not on any opioid medications (usually used for pain control or opioid addictions), as this medication will block the effects of any opioids. Additionally, patients should carry a card indicating that they are using this medication, as emergency providers will need to know that opioid medications (such as Percocet, or Morphine) are unlikely to be effective, and therefore non-opioid medications (like Toradol, Tylenol, Motrin) will need to be used.

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