Is there a shot that can help alcoholics?

There is a shot that can reduce cravings for patients who are trying to stop drinking.

Vivitrol  (Naltrexone, other trade name is ReVia) for alcohol treatment is also the same drug that can be used to treat narcotic addiction.

How does it work?  It binds to a receptor in the “Addiction Center” of the brain, which decreases the urge to drink.

Vivitrol is given as an IM shot once a month, and is to be used along with counseling for alcohol addiction.  Vivitrol also comes in tablets.

The cost for the shot is about $1250 per month, which some insurance plans cover.

The patient has to have stopped drinking for a period of time (about 7-14 days)  prior to getting the shot.

Does it work?  There is a 25% reduction of heavy drinking for patients who use Vivitrol,  with more abstinent days per month.  It is a fairly new drug, so more studies are in process.

vivitrol.jpeg

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