-- Scott Roberts
WEDNESDAY, Oct. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Vivitrol (naltrexone
extended release) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration to treat and prevent relapse among opioid-dependent
people who have completed a detoxification program.
The drug blocks brain receptors for opioids, which include
morphine and heroin. In 2006, Vivitrol was approved to treat
dependence on alcohol, the agency said in a news release.
There must be no opioids in a patient's system when treatment
with Vivitrol is begun, or a user may develop symptoms of opioid
withdrawal. And those who begin re-using opioids once treatment
with Vivitrol is started risk opioid overdose, the FDA warned.
Treatment with once-monthly Vivitrol should be administered only
by a physician using specially provided needles, the agency said.
Potential side effects include nausea, fatigue, headache,
dizziness, nausea, loss of appetite, painful joints and muscle
Vivitrol is manufactured by Alkermes Inc.
The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more about
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