Manage opioid cravings with naltrexone or Vivitrol
Daily naltrexone or monthly Vivitrol injections can help you manage cravings for pain pills or heroin.
Naltrexone is a non-addictive medication to treat opioid dependence
Naltrexone is a medication approved by the FDA to treat both alcohol and opioid addiction. It comes in a pill form, or as a monthly injectable called Vivitrol.
Naltrexone is an opioid antagonist. It binds to and blocks opioid receptors, which can reduce cravings for opioids like heroin or pain pills. It reduces the euphoric effects of opioid medications like heroin, methadone, and oxycodone.
Since naltrexone binds to the opioid receptors in your brain, taking it too early can cause precipitated withdrawal and make you feel sick. It’s recommended that you are abstinent from all opioids, including Suboxone, for 7-10 days before beginning naltrexone treatment.
At Workit Health, we find naltrexone works best for people stabilized in recovery and Suboxone works better for people ready to quit other opioids.
Oral naltrexone usually comes in tablet form that is taken once daily. Injectable naltrexone, known by brand-name Vivitrol, is a shot given by clinician or pharmacist that lasts for 30 days. Treatment begins with oral naltrexone to confirm you can tolerate the medication.
Suboxone and naltrexone are both FDA-approved to treat opioid use disorder, but work differently in the brain. Suboxone, or buprenorphine/naloxone, helps with the withdrawal symptoms caused by opioids and activates opioid receptors in the brain. Naltrexone, rather than activating the receptors, binds to them and blocks them. Because of this, Suboxone can be taken 12-24 hours after other opioids, but naltrexone requires 7-10 days. Each medication may suit different individuals at different stages in recovery, based on their needs and medical history.
No, this is a common misconception but naltrexone does not reduce your risk of overdose. Naltrexone reduces the euphoric feelings of opioids, which means if you use opioids while taking naltrexone, you may need to use more to feel an effect. In addiction to this, because naltrexone binds to the opioid receptors in your brain, it may significantly lower your tolerance.
Workit Health’s digital opioid use disorder program includes video visits with a clinician, online recovery groups, virtual drug testing, in-app messaging with your care team, and therapeutic courses to help you grow in recovery and meet your goals.
Before your first video appointment with a clinician, we will have you give us your medical history via the app. After your appointment, medication will be e-prescribed to your local pharmacy. If you’re receiving Vivitrol treatment, we’ll coordinate with a local pharmacy for you to receive the injection near you.
Questions? Talk to an expert