Important safety information

Your safety is important to us.

What is the most important information I should know about VIVITROL?

VIVITROL can cause serious side effects, including:

  1. Risk of opioid overdose. You can accidentally overdose in two ways.
    • VIVITROL blocks the effects of opioids, such as heroin or opioid pain medicines. Do not try to overcome this blocking effect by taking large amounts of opioids—this can lead to serious injury, coma, or death.
    • During treatment with VIVITROL and after you stop taking VIVITROL, you may be more sensitive to the effects of lower amounts of opioids than you used to take:
      • after you have gone through detoxification
      • if you miss a dose of VIVITROL
      • when your next VIVITROL dose is due
      • after you stop VIVITROL treatment

Get emergency medical help right away if you have trouble breathing; become very drowsy with slowed breathing; have slow, shallow breathing; feel faint, dizzy, confused; or have other unusual symptoms.

Tell your family and the people closest to you of this increased sensitivity to opioids and the risk of overdose.

  1. Severe reactions at the site of injection. Some people on VIVITROL have had severe injection site reactions, including tissue death. Some of these reactions have required surgery. Call your healthcare provider right away if you notice any of the following at any of your injection sites:
    • intense pain
    • blisters
    • the area feels hard
    • an open wound
    • large area of swelling
    • a dark scab
    • lumps

Tell your healthcare provider about any reaction at an injection site that concerns you, gets worse over time, or does not get better within two weeks.

  1. Sudden opioid withdrawal. Anyone who receives a VIVITROL injection must not use any type of opioid (must be opioid-free) including street drugs, prescription pain medicines, cough, cold, or diarrhea medicines that contain opioids, or opioid dependence treatments, buprenorphine or methadone, for at least 7 to 14 days before starting VIVITROL. You must be opioid-free before receiving VIVITROL unless your healthcare provider decides that you don’t need to go through detox first. Instead, your doctor may decide to give your VIVITROL injection in a medical facility that can treat you for sudden opioid withdrawal. Sudden opioid withdrawal can be severe, and you may need to go to the hospital.
  1. Liver damage or hepatitis. Naltrexone, the active ingredient in VIVITROL, can cause liver damage or hepatitis. Tell your healthcare provider if you have any of these symptoms during treatment with VIVITROL:
    • stomach area pain lasting more than a few days
    • yellowing of the whites of your eyes
    • dark urine
    • tiredness

Your healthcare provider may need to stop treating you with VIVITROL if you get signs or symptoms of a serious liver problem.


VIVITROL is a prescription injectable medicine used to:

To be effective, VIVITROL must be used with other alcohol or drug recovery programs such as counseling. VIVITROL may not work for everyone.

It is not known if VIVITROL is safe and effective in children.

Who should not receive VIVITROL?

Do not receive VIVITROL if you:

What should I tell my healthcare provider before receiving VIVITROL?

Before you receive VIVITROL, tell your healthcare provider if you:

Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Especially tell your healthcare provider if you take any opioid-containing medicines for pain, cough or colds, or diarrhea.

If you are being treated for alcohol dependence but also use or are addicted to opioid-containing medicines or opioid street drugs, it is important that you tell your healthcare provider before starting VIVITROL to avoid having sudden opioid withdrawal symptoms when you start VIVITROL treatment.

What are other possible serious side effects of VIVITROL?

VIVITROL can cause serious side effects, including:

Depressed mood. Sometimes this leads to suicide, or suicidal thoughts, and suicidal behavior. Tell your family members and people closest to you that you are taking VIVITROL.

Pneumonia. Some people receiving VIVITROL treatment have had a type of pneumonia that is caused by an allergic reaction. If this happens to you, you may need to be treated in the hospital.

Serious allergic reactions. Serious allergic reactions can happen during or soon after an injection of VIVITROL. Tell your healthcare provider or get medical help right away if you have any of these symptoms:

Common side effects of VIVITROL may include:

These are not all the side effects of VIVITROL. Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

This is only a summary of the most important information about VIVITROL.

This information is based on the VIVITROL Medication Guide (Rev. July 2013).

See Prescribing Information and Medication Guide.

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