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Vivitrol Side Effects

What is Vivitrol (Naltrexone)?

Vivitrol, which is primarily Naltrexone in injectable form, blocks the effects of narcotic drugs and alcohol. It is primarily used to treat patients who have addiction to narcotic drugs or alcohol. It helps in preventing relapse of narcotic addiction.

Side Effects of Vivitrol:

Following are some of the commonly observed side effects of Vivitrol, consult your doctor in case you observe any of these:

  • Pain, bruising, redness, swelling, itching, oozing or a hard lump on the area of skin where Vivitrol was injected.
  • Skin rash or itching
  • Eye problems such as blurred vision
  • Increased heartbeat
  • Wheezing, difficulty in breathing
  • Stomach pain, nausea, loss of appetite, low fever, clay colored stools, dark urine, jaundice
  • Ear pain
  • Impaired thinking or slow reactions, dizziness, fainting
  • Hallucinations, mood changes, confusion

Some of less serious side effects of Vivitrol:

  • Heightened thirst
  • Anxiety, nervousness, irritability or restlessness
  • Muscle and joint pains
  • Tiredness or weakness
  • Sleep issues (insomnia)
  • Decrease in sex drive, difficulty in having orgasm, impotence

Details of Vivitrol side effects based on various body systems:

General Side Effects:

Some of the general side effects include mild nausea, tearfulness, abdominal cramps, muscle or joint pain, restlessness, myalgia and nasal symptoms. Nearly one third patients also experience inability to sleep, hallucinations or frightening thoughts through the 3rd week of medication.

Nervous System Side Effects:

Nervous system related side effects of Vivitrol, while treating for alcohol or narcotics addiction, include headache, nervousness, dizziness, insomnia, fatigue, somnolence, disorientation, confusion and anxiety. Some patients also observe loss of appetite, irritability or increased energy. Some rarely observed nervous system side effects include attention disturbance, convulsions and mental impairment.

Psychiatric Side Effects:

Vivitrol medication may result in some of the psychiatric side effects such as depression or suicidal ideation. Side effects such as paranoia, hallucinations and nightmares are also observed in certain cases, however their occurrence is rather rare.

Gastrointestinal Side Effects:

Some of gastrointestinal side effects include nausea, abdominal cramps and vomiting. Less than 10% patients also reported loss of appetite, constipation, diarrhea and increased thirst. Rarely observed side effects include hemorrhoids, ulcer, excessive gas, dry mouth and increased appetite.

Musculoskeletal side effects:

Musculoskeletal side effects of Vivitrol include arthralgia, joint stiffness, arthritis and muscle cramps. Some less frequently observed side effects include limb pain and muscle spasm.

Cardiovascular side effects:

Cardiovascular side effects are rarely observed. Some of these include palpitations, myocardial infarction, atrial fibrillation, angina pectoris, unstable angina, ischemic stroke, congestive cardiac failure, hypertension, deep venous thrombosis, coronary artery atherosclerosis and pulmonary embolism.

Respiratory side effects:

Respiratory side effects associated with Vivitrol medication include pharyngitis and upper respiratory infection. Some of the less frequently observed respiratory side effects include dyspnea, pharyngolaryngeal pain, sinus congestion, pneumonia, bronchitis and chronic obstructive airways disease.

Dermatologic side effects:

Dermatologic side effects associated with Vivitrol include pain, bruising, tenderness, induration, erythema, prurius, abscess, swelling and necrosis. In certain cases, surgical intervention is required, including debridement of necrotic tissue.

Ocular Side Effects:

Some of the ocular side effects include burning of eyes, blurred vision and increased sensitivity to light. Conjunctivitis may also be seen in some patients, but its occurrence is very rare.

Genitourinary side effects:

Genitourinary side effects associated with Vivitrol medication include delayed ejaculation, decreased potency, discomfort during urination and increased or decreased sex drive. Urinary tract infection is a rather rarely observed side effect of Vivitrol.

Important points to be noted while using Vivitrol:

- Don't use alcohol or narcotic drugs while being treated with Vivitrol. Patient should not try to overcome the effects of using Vivitrol by using alcohol or narcotics as this could have dangerous results, including coma or even death. You should consult your doctor before using any other medicine (prescription or over-the-counter) to treat cold, cought, pain or diarrhea while being treated with Naltrexone, as these medicines may contain alcohol or narcotics.

- Vivitrol may slow down your reactions or impair your thinking process. You need to be careful while driving or doing anything that requires you to be alert, especially when the repercussion could be dangerous.

- You should carry an ID card or wear a medical alert tag indicating you are using Vivitrol. In case of emergency, any doctor treating you should know that you under this medication.

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