Vivitrol vs. ReVia (Naltrexone) - Suboxone Treatment Clinic in Florida

Vivitrol and ReVia are two medications used to treat opioid and alcohol use disorders. When taking Vivitrol or ReVia, individuals must have abstained from alcohol or opioid use for at least 7 to 14 days before beginning treatment. Taking either of these medications too soon after using opioids or alcohol can lead to severe withdrawal symptoms, however, taking them after detoxing can help reduce the risk of relapse among people in recovery.

Vivitrol and ReVia are both name-brand medications containing naltrexone. Naltrexone is an opioid antagonist, which means it prevents opioids from binding to receptors in the brain. This prevents the effects of opioids and alcohol from occurring when an individual attempts to use either substance. As a result, the patient’s desire to abuse alcohol or opioids decreases.

While both medications contain naltrexone and are prescribed for the same purposes, there are some key differences between the two drugs. Let’s take a look at the differences between Vivitrol and ReVia as well as when each medication is most appropriate.

An Overview of Naltrexone

Naltrexone is an FDA-approved medication used for the treatment of alcoholism and opioid addiction. When used for opioid addiction treatment, naltrexone works by binding to and blocking opioid receptors in the brain. This prevents individuals from feeling the effects of opioids, preventing them from relapsing and experiencing cravings. On the other hand, naltrexone treats alcoholism by binding to the endorphin receptors in the body. As a result, the intoxicating effects of alcohol are not experienced by the user if they drink. This is thought to help restore healthy brain chemistry and prevent relapse.

Naltrexone can be found under the name brands Vivitrol, ReVia, and Depade. It is most common for medication-assisted treatment programs to use Vivitrol and ReVia. These medications are so popular among MAT programs because they are not habit-forming and pose no risk of abuse.

It is important to note that any form of naltrexone must be prescribed and administered by a licensed medical professional with experience in treating and medically-managing substance use disorders.[1]

What is Vivitrol?

Vivitrol is a monthly injection used as a preventative treatment during medication-assisted addiction treatment programs. It is only administered in a doctor’s office. The intramuscular injection is given in the buttocks every 28-30 days.

Vivitrol is considered one of the most effective tools in opioid and alcohol addiction recovery. However, Vivitrol must be used in conjunction with traditional addiction treatment practices, such as behavioral therapy and group counseling. Researchers have found that a higher number of patients were successful in long-term recovery when given Vivitrol and counseling than the patients receiving placebo medication.[2]

Side Effects of Vivitrol

Like any medication, Vivitrol may produce side effects. According to The National Library of Medicine, the most common side effects of Vivitrol include:[3]

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach pain
  • Decreased appetite
  • Dry mouth
  • Headaches
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Dizziness or weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Joint pain or stiffness of the joints
  • Muscle cramps
  • Itching, bruising, redness, or tenderness at the injection site

What is ReVia?

The main difference between Vivitrol and ReVia is the method of administration. While Vivitrol is a monthly intramuscular injection, ReVia is an oral tablet. Typically, ReVia is a 50mg pill taken once daily, with or without food. However, each patient may require different dosages and frequencies of use. Some doctors may recommend a higher dosage to patients who prefer taking this medication every 2-3 days instead of taking it daily.

ReVia contains naltrexone and works in the same way as Vivitrol. The medication prevents opioid and alcohol addiction relapse by averting the effects of both substances. Over time, this causes patients to stop experiencing cravings for alcohol and opioids.

Similar to Vivitrol, individuals must be sober from alcohol and opioids before beginning treatment with ReVia. Additionally, ReVia is not a stand-alone treatment for alcoholism or opioid use disorder. This medication must be part of a comprehensive medication-addiction treatment program that includes behavioral therapy, addiction education, and group counseling.

Side Effects of ReVia

The side effects of ReVia are similar to Vivitrol, however, the method of administration causes a few side effects to differ. The common side effects of ReVia include:

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Stomach pain or cramping
  • Joint and muscle pain or stiffness
  • Anxiety
  • Troubles falling asleep or staying asleep
  • Fatigue

Most of the common side effects of ReVia decrease once the patient’s body adjusts to the medication.

Finding Vivitrol and ReVia in Florida

Vivitrol and ReVia are different forms of the medication naltrexone. While Vivitrol is a monthly injection, ReVia is a daily oral medication that comes in tablet form. Some individuals prefer Vivitrol over ReVia because a monthly injection is easier to commit to than a daily medication. Even so, both medications are highly effective in preventing relapse for individuals recovering from alcoholism and opioid use disorder.

If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction and interested in using naltrexone to recover, our team can help. Here at Suboxone Treatment Clinic in Palm Beach, we work with a network of medication-assisted treatment providers in Florida and across the rest of the country. We can help you find the program that meets your needs. Don’t wait any longer. Call now to learn more.