Can you take Suboxone on Vivitrol? Discover the possibilities!15 min read

Are you struggling with opioid addiction and looking for effective treatment options? If you’ve heard about Suboxone and Vivitrol, you might be wondering if it’s possible to take them together to enhance their effects. In this article, we will explore the potential of combining these two medications for opioid addiction treatment. Let’s delve into the details and find out what you need to know!

  • 1. Suboxone: A Powerful Opioid Addiction Medication
  • 2. Vivitrol: A Naltrexone-based Treatment for Opioid Dependence
  • 3. How Suboxone and Vivitrol Work Differently
  • 4. Potential Benefits of Combining Suboxone and Vivitrol
  • 5. Precautions and Considerations for Co-administration
  • 6. Success Stories and Research on Combined Treatment

Suboxone: A Powerful Opioid Addiction Medication

Suboxone is a well-known medication used to treat opioid addiction. It contains buprenorphine, a partial opioid agonist, and naloxone, an opioid antagonist. The combination of these two components helps in reducing withdrawal symptoms, cravings, and the risk of relapse. Buprenorphine’s partial agonist action provides a controlled and milder effect compared to full opioids, making it a valuable tool in addiction treatment.

Vivitrol: A Naltrexone-based Treatment for Opioid Dependence

Vivitrol, on the other hand, is a brand name for extended-release naltrexone, an opioid antagonist. Unlike Suboxone, Vivitrol doesn’t contain any opioids. Instead, it blocks the opioid receptors, preventing opioids from binding and producing the rewarding effects. It is administered through a monthly injection, providing continuous support for individuals in recovery.

Advantages of Vivitrol:

  • Long-lasting Effects: A single monthly injection ensures continuous protection against opioid relapse.
  • Non-addictive: Vivitrol itself is not addictive, making it a suitable option for individuals concerned about dependence on medication.
  • No Withdrawal Symptoms: Unlike Suboxone, Vivitrol doesn’t lead to withdrawal when discontinued.

How Suboxone and Vivitrol Work Differently

Suboxone’s unique mechanism involves binding to opioid receptors, providing a controlled opioid effect while blocking other opioids’ euphoric effects. On the contrary, Vivitrol solely functions as an opioid antagonist, effectively preventing the effects of opioids and discouraging their use.

Interactions and Potential Side Effects

Both medications have their side effects and possible interactions. Suboxone can cause dizziness, constipation, and respiratory issues if misused. Vivitrol may lead to injection site reactions or liver problems in some cases. It’s crucial to consult a healthcare provider to determine the best treatment approach and mitigate any potential risks.


  • Medical History: Inform your healthcare provider about any medical conditions or medications you are taking.
  • Supervised Treatment: Always take these medications under medical supervision to ensure safety and effectiveness.

Potential Benefits of Combining Suboxone and Vivitrol

Suboxone and Vivitrol target different aspects of opioid addiction, and when used together, they may complement each other’s effects. The combination can offer enhanced relief from withdrawal symptoms, reduced cravings, and increased protection against relapse. Additionally, co-administration might be particularly beneficial for individuals with severe addiction or those who have not responded optimally to other treatments.

Increased Relapse Prevention

By blocking the opioid receptors with Vivitrol and simultaneously reducing withdrawal symptoms with Suboxone, the risk of relapse decreases significantly. The dual action can help individuals maintain abstinence from opioids and stay on track with their recovery journey.

Advantages of Combination Therapy:

  • Addressing Different Aspects of Addiction: Suboxone’s partial agonist action and Vivitrol’s antagonist effect together provide comprehensive support for recovery.
  • Reduced Cravings: Suboxone’s buprenorphine component helps manage cravings more effectively when combined with Vivitrol.
  • Longer-term Support: Vivitrol’s extended-release formulation offers ongoing protection for an entire month, reinforcing recovery efforts.

Precautions and Considerations for Co-administration

While the combination of Suboxone and Vivitrol shows promise, it’s essential to consider certain factors before initiating co-administration. Healthcare providers must conduct a thorough assessment of the individual’s medical history, current health status, and treatment goals to determine the appropriateness of this approach.

Expert Medical Evaluation

Before starting combined treatment, a comprehensive medical evaluation is crucial. This assessment should include a review of the patient’s addiction history, past treatment attempts, and any underlying medical conditions.


  • Personalized Treatment Plans: Individualized care ensures that treatment aligns with each person’s unique needs and circumstances.
  • Managing Potential Risks: Healthcare providers should be vigilant in monitoring for adverse reactions or interactions between medications.

Success Stories and Research on Combined Treatment

Numerous studies have explored the efficacy of combining Suboxone and Vivitrol in treating opioid addiction. While research is ongoing, initial results indicate promising outcomes for individuals who received both medications concurrently.

Evidence from Clinical Trials

Clinical trials have shown that co-administration of Suboxone and Vivitrol can lead to improved treatment outcomes compared to monotherapy. The combination has been associated with increased retention in treatment programs and higher rates of sustained abstinence.

Long-Term Follow-up Studies

  • Reduced Relapse Rates: Long-term studies have demonstrated a decrease in relapse rates among patients receiving combined treatment.
  • Enhanced Quality of Life: Individuals who successfully maintained abstinence reported better overall well-being and improved social functioning.

Interactions and Potential Side Effects

As with any medical treatment, combining Suboxone and Vivitrol may come with potential side effects and drug interactions that need to be carefully managed.

Risk of Precipitated Withdrawal

When transitioning from opioids to Suboxone, individuals must be in a state of mild withdrawal to avoid precipitated withdrawal, a sudden and severe onset of withdrawal symptoms. Vivitrol does not carry this risk, as it doesn’t involve opioid agonism.

Monitoring and Management

  • Medical Supervision: Close monitoring by healthcare professionals helps prevent adverse reactions and ensures a smooth transition between medications.
  • Educating Patients: Patients should be informed about potential side effects and encouraged to report any concerning symptoms to their healthcare providers.

Consulting a Healthcare Professional

If you or someone you know is considering combined treatment with Suboxone and Vivitrol, it’s essential to seek guidance from a qualified healthcare professional.

Personalized Treatment Plans

Healthcare providers can design personalized treatment plans that incorporate both medications based on the individual’s specific needs, medical history, and treatment goals.

Accessing Supportive Services and Resources

  • Therapy and Counseling: In addition to medication, therapy and counseling play a crucial role in the recovery process.
  • Support Groups: Engaging in support groups can provide valuable encouragement and a sense of community during the recovery journey.

Suboxone and Vivitrol: Co-administration Considerations

While combining Suboxone and Vivitrol can be beneficial for some individuals, it’s essential to consider specific factors before proceeding with co-administration. The decision to use both medications simultaneously should be made after careful evaluation and consultation with healthcare professionals.

Individualized Treatment Approach

The effectiveness of combining Suboxone and Vivitrol varies from person to person. Healthcare providers must consider each individual’s medical history, previous treatment experiences, and personal preferences when determining the appropriate approach.

Customizing Treatment Plans:

  • Assessing Addiction Severity: The severity of addiction plays a role in determining whether co-administration is suitable.
  • Previous Treatment Outcomes: Patients who have not achieved desired outcomes with single medications may benefit from a combination approach.
  • Patient Preferences: Involving patients in the decision-making process fosters engagement and commitment to treatment.

Addressing Polydrug Use and Co-occurring Disorders

Patients with opioid addiction may also struggle with polydrug use or co-occurring mental health disorders. Addressing these additional complexities is crucial to successful treatment.

Comprehensive Assessment

Healthcare providers must conduct a thorough assessment to identify any polydrug use or co-occurring mental health conditions that may impact treatment outcomes.

Integrated Treatment:

  • Coordinating Care: Collaboration between addiction specialists and mental health professionals ensures comprehensive care.
  • Targeting Dual Diagnosis: Addressing both addiction and mental health disorders simultaneously improves overall recovery prospects.

Choosing the Right Timing for Combination Therapy

Determining the appropriate timing for co-administration is essential to maximize the benefits of both Suboxone and Vivitrol.

Sequencing of Medications

Deciding when to start each medication and the duration of treatment with each is critical for successful co-administration.

Transitional Period:

  • Initiating Suboxone: Suboxone may be prescribed initially to manage withdrawal symptoms and stabilize the individual.
  • Introducing Vivitrol: After stabilization, Vivitrol can be introduced to provide extended protection against relapse.

Monitoring and Managing Side Effects

Regular monitoring of patients is necessary to identify and manage any potential side effects that may arise during co-administration.

Ensuring Safety and Efficacy

Healthcare providers should closely monitor patients and be prepared to adjust treatment plans if adverse reactions occur.

Side Effect Management:

  • Informing Patients: Educating patients about potential side effects empowers them to recognize and report any issues promptly.
  • Adjusting Dosages: Modifying medication dosages can help minimize side effects while maintaining treatment effectiveness.

Patient Education and Informed Consent

Prior to initiating co-administration, healthcare providers must ensure that patients fully understand the treatment plan and provide informed consent.

Transparent Communication

Clear communication with patients about the rationale, potential benefits, and risks of combining Suboxone and Vivitrol is essential for informed decision-making.

Supporting Informed Choices:

  • Explaining Treatment Goals: Ensuring patients understand the purpose of co-administration and its potential impact on their recovery journey.
  • Addressing Concerns: Listening to and addressing patient concerns fosters trust and collaboration in treatment.

Long-Term Follow-up and Support

Long-term support is crucial for sustained recovery and reducing the risk of relapse after completing co-administration treatment.

Continuing Care Plans

Healthcare providers should work with patients to develop comprehensive continuing care plans to support their recovery efforts post-treatment.

Aftercare Resources:

  • Therapy and Counseling: Continued therapy sessions can help patients navigate challenges and maintain motivation.
  • Support Groups: Participating in support groups provides ongoing encouragement and a sense of community.


Combining Suboxone and Vivitrol: Individual Response and Adherence

As with any medication regimen, individual response and adherence play a crucial role in the success of combining Suboxone and Vivitrol. Patients’ commitment to following the prescribed treatment plan and healthcare provider’s recommendations significantly impacts treatment outcomes.

Monitoring Treatment Progress

Healthcare providers should regularly assess patients’ progress, including their response to combined treatment and adherence to the medication regimen.

Promoting Adherence:

  • Encouraging Open Communication: Creating a supportive environment where patients feel comfortable discussing their challenges and successes fosters adherence.
  • Addressing Barriers: Identifying and addressing any obstacles to adherence, such as medication cost or transportation issues.

Combining Suboxone and Vivitrol in Special Populations

It’s essential to consider special populations, such as pregnant women or individuals with specific medical conditions, when exploring the possibility of combining Suboxone and Vivitrol.

Pregnant Women and Lactating Mothers

The use of medications during pregnancy and while breastfeeding requires careful evaluation of potential risks and benefits.

Safe and Effective Treatment:

  • Consulting Perinatal Specialists: Pregnant women should be referred to perinatal specialists to ensure the safest treatment approach for both mother and baby.
  • Weighting Risks and Benefits: Balancing the risks of untreated addiction with the potential benefits of combined treatment is critical.

Addressing Relapse and Setbacks

Recovery is a journey that may involve setbacks and relapses. Combining Suboxone and Vivitrol can provide ongoing support during challenging times.

Empowering Resilience

Healthcare providers should help patients build resilience and develop coping strategies to navigate relapses effectively.

Supporting Continued Progress:

  • Reassessing Treatment Plan: Evaluating the effectiveness of the current treatment plan and making adjustments if necessary.
  • Encouraging Patient Self-Reflection: Promoting self-awareness helps patients identify triggers and develop strategies to avoid relapse in the future.

Cost and Insurance Coverage

Considering the cost of medications and insurance coverage is vital when exploring combined treatment options.

Insurance Coverage

Healthcare providers should help patients navigate insurance coverage to access both Suboxone and Vivitrol at an affordable cost.

Accessing Financial Assistance:

  • Pharmaceutical Assistance Programs: Patients may be eligible for pharmaceutical assistance programs that offer discounts or copay assistance for medications.
  • Advocating for Patients: Healthcare providers can advocate for their patients to ensure they receive the necessary coverage for combined treatment.

Ethical Considerations in Co-administration

Healthcare providers must adhere to ethical principles when recommending and administering combined treatment with Suboxone and Vivitrol.

Informed Consent and Shared Decision-Making

Informed consent involves providing patients with all relevant information about combined treatment to make informed decisions.

Respecting Patient Autonomy:

  • Transparency in Information: Healthcare providers should present patients with accurate and comprehensive information about treatment options.
  • Respecting Patient Preferences: Patients’ treatment choices should be respected, and they should be involved in the decision-making process.

Potential Alternatives and Adjunct Therapies

While combining Suboxone and Vivitrol may be suitable for some, there are alternative treatment options and adjunct therapies available for opioid addiction.

Individualized Treatment Plans

Healthcare providers should consider patients’ preferences, medical history, and treatment goals when recommending the most suitable approach.

Exploring Alternatives:

  • Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT): Other MAT options, such as metha or naltrexone, may be considered based on individual needs.
  • Behavioral Therapies: Combining medications with behavioral therapies can enhance treatment outcomes and foster lasting recovery.

Combining Suboxone and Vivitrol: Patient Education and Expectations

Educating patients about the benefits and potential challenges of combining Suboxone and Vivitrol is essential for fostering realistic expectations and treatment adherence.

Setting Realistic Expectations

Healthcare providers should engage in open discussions with patients to address any misconceptions and set realistic expectations for combined treatment.

Patient-Centered Approach:

  • Discussing Treatment Goals: Understanding the patient’s recovery goals helps tailor treatment plans to their individual needs.
  • Addressing Concerns: Encouraging patients to voice their concerns allows healthcare providers to provide accurate information and alleviate fears.

Potential Benefits and Challenges of Dual Medication Management

While combining Suboxone and Vivitrol offers advantages, there are also challenges that patients and healthcare providers must be aware of during treatment.

Benefits of Dual Medication Management

The complementary effects of Suboxone and Vivitrol can lead to enhanced recovery outcomes, increased retention in treatment programs, and reduced risk of opioid relapse.

Challenges to Overcome:

  • Medication Adherence: Ensuring patients adhere to the medication schedule and follow-up appointments is crucial for treatment success.
  • Side Effect Management: Proactively managing potential side effects helps patients stay on track with treatment.

Personalized Follow-up and Treatment Adjustments

Continuous monitoring and personalized follow-up are necessary to assess treatment progress and make any necessary adjustments.

Dynamic Treatment Plans

Treatment plans should be flexible and adaptive to accommodate changes in the patient’s condition or response to combined treatment.

Ongoing Evaluation:

  • Regular Check-ins: Frequent follow-up appointments allow healthcare providers to assess treatment effectiveness and address any emerging issues.
  • Collaborative Decision-Making: Involving patients in treatment adjustments empowers them to actively participate in their recovery journey.

Support for Family and Loved Ones

Involving the patient’s family and loved ones in the treatment process can strengthen the support system and contribute to successful recovery.

Family Education and Involvement

Educating family members about opioid addiction and the treatment plan can help them better understand and support the individual in recovery.

Building a Supportive Environment:

  • Family Therapy: Engaging in family therapy sessions can address interpersonal dynamics and improve communication.
  • Encouraging Empathy: Encouraging empathy and understanding within the family can reduce stigma and promote a positive healing environment.

Continuous Addiction Support and Aftercare

After completing the combined treatment, patients should continue to receive ongoing support and aftercare services to maintain their progress.

Transition to Aftercare

Planning for the transition from active treatment to aftercare is essential to ensure continuity of care and support.

Building Resilience:

  • Continuing Support: Ongoing therapy, support groups, and peer mentoring can provide patients with ongoing guidance and motivation.
  • Life Skills Training: Developing essential life skills can help patients navigate challenges and build a fulfilling life in recovery.


Combining Suboxone and Vivitrol can be a valuable approach in opioid addiction treatment. This dual medication management provides unique benefits, such as reduced cravings, enhanced relapse prevention, and improved treatment outcomes. However, it is crucial to consider individual patient factors, potential challenges, and ethical considerations when exploring this treatment option. With the guidance of healthcare professionals and a comprehensive treatment plan, individuals can embark on a successful journey to recovery and regain control of their lives.

FAQs about Combining Suboxone and Vivitrol

1. Can I start Suboxone and Vivitrol simultaneously?

Yes, in some cases, healthcare providers may start both medications concurrently. However, it depends on individual factors, such as the severity of addiction and medical history. A personalized treatment plan will be created to determine the most appropriate timing for starting both medications.

2. Are there any potential drug interactions between Suboxone and Vivitrol?

There are no known major drug interactions between Suboxone and Vivitrol. However, it’s essential to inform your healthcare provider about all medications, supplements, or substances you are taking to ensure there are no potential adverse reactions.

3. How long should I continue combined treatment with Suboxone and Vivitrol?

The duration of combined treatment varies depending on individual progress and treatment goals. Some patients may continue combined treatment for several months, while others may transition to monotherapy with either Suboxone or Vivitrol after a period of successful treatment.

4. Can I overdose if I take Suboxone and Vivitrol together?

When used as prescribed by a healthcare provider, the risk of overdose is low. Both Suboxone and Vivitrol are administered under medical supervision to ensure appropriate dosages and safety.

5. Can I switch from Suboxone to Vivitrol or vice versa during treatment?

Yes, in some cases, patients may switch from one medication to another during treatment. However, it should be under the guidance and supervision of a healthcare provider to ensure a smooth transition and avoid potential withdrawal or relapse.

6. Are there any dietary restrictions while taking Suboxone and Vivitrol together?

There are no specific dietary restrictions for patients taking Suboxone and Vivitrol. However, it’s essential to follow a balanced and healthy diet to support overall well-being and recovery.

7. Can I drink alcohol while on combined treatment with Suboxone and Vivitrol?

It is generally advisable to avoid alcohol while undergoing addiction treatment, as it can interfere with recovery and may lead to potential adverse effects. Healthcare providers may advise against alcohol consumption during treatment.

8. What should I do if I miss a dose of Suboxone or Vivitrol?

If you miss a dose of either medication, contact your healthcare provider immediately for guidance. Missing a dose may impact treatment effectiveness, and your provider can advise you on the best course of action.

9. Are there any side effects of combining Suboxone and Vivitrol?

While combining these medications can lead to enhanced treatment outcomes, there may be side effects associated with each medication individually. Common side effects include nausea, headache, and constipation. Your healthcare provider will monitor your progress and manage any side effects accordingly.

10. Can I continue other forms of therapy while on combined treatment?

Yes, combining Suboxone and Vivitrol with behavioral therapies, counseling, or support groups can be highly beneficial. Comprehensive treatment approaches that address both the physical and psychological aspects of addiction often yield the best results.