What it is Extended release naltrexone?

  • Extended release naltrexone is an injectable form of a medication that blocks the opioid receptor. The brand name is Vivitrol.

What is naltrexone?

  • Naltrexone is a medication used in medication-assisted treatment MAT to treat opioid use disorders.
  • It is available in pill form or as an injectable. The pill form (ReVia Depade) is administered daily and is known by the brand name ReVia Deprade. The injectable form is administered once a month through an intramuscular injection and is known by the brand name Vivitrol.

How does naltrexone work?

  • Naltrexone is an opioid receptor antagonist medication.
  • Opiate antagonists are chemicals that block opiate receptors, making it impossible for opiates to reach them.
  • Naltrexone blocks the euphoric and sedative effects of opioids such as heroin, morphine, and codeine.
  • If a person relapses and uses the opioid (e.g., heroin), naltrexone prevents the feeling of getting high.
  • Naltrexone is non-addictive and does not lead to physical dependence.

How is extended release naltrexone administered?

  • Extended release naltrexone is administered through intramuscular injection into the gluteal muscle by a physician or other health care professional.
  • Extended release naltrexone can be prescribed by any healthcare provider who is licensed to prescribe medications.
  • To reduce the risk of precipitated withdrawal, patients are warned to abstain from illegal opioids and opioid medication for a minimum of 7-10 days before starting naltrexone. If switching from methadone to naltrexone, the patient has to be completely withdrawn from the opioids.
  • People using naltrexone should not use any other opioids or illicit drugs; drink alcohol; or take sedatives, tranquilizers, or other drugs.

Can extended release naltrexone be misused?

  • There is no evidence of abuse and diversion potential with naltrexone.

Is extended release naltrexone safe to use during pregnancy?

  • Naltrexone has been assigned to pregnancy category C by the FDA.
  • It is only recommended for use during pregnancy when benefit outweighs risk.
  • Additional information regarding extended release naltrexone treatment for pregnant women may be accessed at:

Where can I learn more about extended release naltrexone?