Can Vivitrol Cause Liver Damage?

Medically Reviewed by Johnelle Smith, M.D. on May 27, 2022

Vivitrol is an extended-release intramuscular injection that contains the ingredient naltrexone, which can have adverse effects on the liver in people with severe liver conditions. Liver damage is not a common side effect of Vivitrol in the general population.

Liver Damage From Taking Vivitrol

Vivitrol (naltrexone) is an addiction treatment medication that carries a risk of liver damage in some people who have liver conditions such as acute hepatitis or liver failure.

Liver damage is not a common side effect of Vivitrol in the general population. Before taking Vivitrol, tell your doctor if you have impaired liver function or have a history of liver disease.

Learn more about the side effects of Vivitrol

How Does Vivitrol Affect The Liver?

Vivitrol, like most controlled substances, is metabolized by enzymes in the liver. Unlike heavy alcohol use, however, Vivitrol is not a drug that’s associated with a high risk for liver injury.

When taken as directed, Vivitrol is safe and effective as a medication-assisted treatment (MAT) option for people with an alcohol or opioid use disorder.

Signs Of Liver Damage While Taking Vivitrol

Hepatotoxicity, or drug-related liver damage, may be identified by a number of warning signs in people who are taking Vivitrol for drug or alcohol addiction.

Common signs of liver damage include:

  • yellowed skin
  • yellowing of the whites of the eyes
  • stomach pain lasting more than a few days
  • loss of appetite
  • unusual tiredness
  • dark urine
  • light-colored bowel movements
  • unusual bleeding or bruising

If you or someone you know is showing signs of liver damage after getting a Vivitrol shot, contact your healthcare provider right away. This may require medical attention.

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Risk Factors For Liver Damage With Vivitrol

Liver damage while taking Vivitrol is not common. But certain risk factors can make this serious side effect more likely.

Risk factors for liver damage from Vivitrol include:

  • having acute hepatitis (inflammatory condition of the liver)
  • history of liver failure
  • impaired liver function
  • getting an excessive dose of Vivitrol

Vivitrol is contradicted, or not advised, for people with acute hepatitis, those with a history of liver failure, or individuals with severely impaired liver function.

Is Liver Damage From Vivitrol Common?

Liver damage is not a common side effect of Vivitrol in people who:

  • have healthy liver function
  • have mildly impaired liver function
  • take Vivitrol as prescribed

Mixing Vivitrol with other substances, including alcohol or opiates like heroin, could potentially influence the effects of Vivitrol on the liver.

Call To Learn More About Vivitrol Treatment Today

Vivitrol is a leading medication treatment option for alcohol and opioid addiction that is safe and effective when taken as directed.

If you’re looking for addiction treatment options for yourself or a loved one, call us today to speak to one of our specialists about finding a drug rehab program that’s right for you.

This page does not provide medical advice. See more

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Medically Reviewed by
Johnelle Smith, M.D. on May 27, 2022
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