In pain management situations, it is recommended that healthcare professionals attempt to use non-opioid analgesics or local anesthetics to manage pain in Vivitrol patients.
If alternatives to opioids do not alleviate pain, trained staff (like an anesthesiologist) can attempt to reverse the effects of Vivitrol.
Situations that require a reversal of Vivitrol have to be monitored in case of accidental opioid overdose or potential respiratory failure.
How Does Reversing Vivitrol Work?
Vivitrol is an opioid antagonist. This means it binds to opioid receptors in the brain but does not cause them to activate. This removes the euphoric feelings, but also pain-killing properties.
Vivitrol also does not allow opioid agonists (heroin, oxymorphone, hydrocodone) to attach or bind to opioid receptors, preventing the opioid receptors from being activated.
In a hospital setting, medications like Remifentinal have been administered to Vivitrol patients in an attempt to alleviate pain under circumstances where it is medically necessary.
This type of medication will only be administered to help with pain under emergency circumstances to manage pain.
Otherwise, there is no way to reverse Vivitrol.
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Why Is Reversing Vivitrol Dangerous?
Vivitrol blocks opioid receptors, which typically prevents the euphoric high associated with opioid misuse and addiction.
Vivitrol also prevents the intoxicated feelings associated with alcohol abuse.
In emergency situations, there are extremely potent opioids that may be administered to override the blockade effects of Vivitrol.
These potent opioids are typically used in surgical settings where the patient can be directly monitored by an anesthesiologist who can provide respiratory assistance when necessary.
Types of assistance include intubation and CPR, and improper monitoring can result in fatality.
Addiction Treatment For Opioids And Alcohol Addiction
Substance abuse programs that offer medication-assisted treatment (MAT) are offered nationwide. Many provide Vivitrol as a MAT option, along with addiction rehabilitation services.
Call our trained addiction specialists today to discuss treatment options that meet the needs of you or your loved one.
Published on August 16, 2021
Addiction Resource aims to provide only the most current, accurate information in regards to addiction and addiction treatment, which means we only reference the most credible sources available.
These include peer-reviewed journals, government entities and academic institutions, and leaders in addiction healthcare and advocacy. Learn more about how we safeguard our content by viewing our editorial policy.
- Internet Scientific Publications — Use Of Remifentanil For Reverse Opioid Blockade In A Patient
- National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism — Medications Development for the Treatment of Alcohol Use Disorder and Alcohol-Related Organ Damage
- U.S. National Library of Medicine: PubMed — Remifentanil
- U.S. Food & Drug Administration — VIVITROL (naltrexone for extended-release injectable suspension) Label