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Is the naltrexone injection for alcohol abuse more effective than the pill?

Howard J. Shaffer, PhD
Addiction Medicine
Naltrexone for alcohol abuse is available in pill form (under the trade names Depade and ReVia) as well as in an extended-release formula called Vivitrol, which is given by injection once a month in a doctor's office. The injectable version, which was developed because some people have difficulty sticking to a daily pill regimen, has been shown to increase rates of abstinence after six months and helps lower overall treatment costs for people with alcohol use disorders. If you use this medication, contact your doctor if you develop any pain, swelling, or tenderness at the injection site that doesn't improve, or worsens within two weeks.

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