Vivitrol and Injection Site Reactions

"VIVITROL injections may be followed by pain, tenderness, induration, swelling, erythema, bruising, or pruritus; however, in some cases injection site reactions may be very severe. In the clinical trials, one patient developed an area of induration that continued to enlarge after 4 weeks, with subsequent development of necrotic tissue that required surgical excision. In the postmarketing period, additional cases of injection site reaction with features including induration, cellulitis, hematoma, abscess, sterile abscess, and necrosis, have been reported. Some cases required surgical intervention, including debridement of necrotic tissue. Some cases resulted in significant scarring. The reported cases occurred primarily in female patients.

"VIVITROL is administered as an intramuscular gluteal injection, and inadvertent subcutaneous injection of VIVITROL may increase the likelihood of severe injection site reactions. The needles provided in the carton are customized needles. VIVITROL must not be injected using any other needle. The needle lengths (either 1 1/2 inches or 2 inches) may not be adequate in every patient because of body habitus. Body habitus should be assessed prior to each injection for each patient to assure that the proper needle is selected and that the needle length is adequate for intramuscular administration. For patients with a larger amount of subcutaneous tissue overlying the gluteal muscle, the administering healthcare provider may utilize the supplied 2-inch needle with needle protection device to help ensure that the injectate reaches the intramuscular mass. For very lean patients, the 1 1/2 -inch needle may be appropriate to prevent the needle contacting the periosteum. Either needle may be used for patients with average body habitus. Healthcare providers should ensure that the VIVITROL injection is given correctly, and should consider alternate treatment for those patients whose body habitus precludes an intramuscular gluteal injection with one of the provided needles.

"Patients should be informed that any concerning injection site reactions should be brought to the attention of the healthcare provider [see Patient Counseling Information (17)]. Patients exhibiting signs of abscess, cellulitis, necrosis, or extensive swelling should be evaluated by a physician to determine if referral to a surgeon is warranted."

Source: 

Full Prescribing Information. Vivitrol (Naltrexone for Extended-Release Injectable Suspension). Revised December 2015.
https://www.vivitrol.com/conte...