How Long Do I Need To Be Sober Before Getting The Vivitrol Shot?

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

Vivitrol is a medication that should only be taken after a person has fully detoxed from alcohol and opioids. Beginning Vivitrol after recent substance use could complicate a person’s treatment plan.

How Long Do I Need To Be Sober Before Taking Vivitrol?

Prior to getting a Vivitrol shot, individuals should be fully detoxed from opioids, including illicit opioids like heroin and prescription opioids such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, and fentanyl.

Vivitrol is an extended-release, injectable form of naltrexone that is administered once-monthly. It is used to help treat alcohol and opioid use disorders.

Vivitrol should not be taken by people who:

  • are currently alcohol-dependent
  • are taking an opioid analgesic for pain
  • have taken a short-acting opioid in the past week
  • have taken a long-acting opioid in the past two weeks

Find out more about using Vivitrol during medication-assisted treatment

What Happens If You Take Vivitrol With Alcohol In Your System?

Drinking alcohol while on Vivitrol is not recommended. People who are receiving Vivitrol for alcohol or opioid use disorder should abstain from alcohol prior to initiating Vivitrol treatment.

What to know about Vivitrol and alcohol use:

  • Vivitrol is indicated as a treatment for alcohol dependence for people who are able to abstain from alcohol in an outpatient setting.
  • Vivitrol will prevent the euphoric effects of alcohol, eliminating the “buzz” one might typically experience from a drink.
  • Unlike disulfiram (Antabuse), Vivitrol will not cause you to become physically sick if you drink alcohol.
  • Vivitrol does not prevent physical or cognitive impairment from alcohol.

Vivitrol should not be taken by people with a history of alcohol dependence who are actively drinking. Alcohol detoxification should occur prior to taking Vivitrol.

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What Happens If You Take Vivitrol With Opiates In Your System?

Vivitrol is an opioid antagonist that can cause a rapid onset of severe opioid withdrawal symptoms in people who receive a Vivitrol shot with opioids present in their system.

Potential effects of this include:

  • excessive vomiting
  • severe diarrhea
  • full-body pain
  • altered sense of reality
  • agitation
  • rapid heartbeat

To avoid precipitated withdrawal from Vivitrol, people with opioid use disorder should undergo full detoxification and be opioid-free before getting a Vivitrol shot.

An individual should wait at least seven days after their last use of a short-acting opioid, or at least 10 to 14 days after their last use of a long-acting opioid, before getting Vivitrol.

Finding Vivitrol Treatment For Addiction

Vivitrol is a treatment for alcohol and opioid use disorder that is given as part of a comprehensive treatment plan after completing the alcohol or opioid detox process.

If you’re looking for substance abuse treatment for yourself or a loved one, including a detox program near you, we may be able to help.

Call us today to find an addiction treatment 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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