Vivitrol is an injectable form of naltrexone, which is a pure opioid blocker. It covers the opioid receptors in the brain, preventing any opioids from binding to those receptors. Essentially, this means that opioids cannot exert any effect even if they are used. This takes away the incentive to use opioid drugs.
Oral naltrexone has the same effect. However, the long-term problem with oral naltrexone is that it must be taken daily in order to continue its benefit as the effect only lasts for a day or so. On the other hand, the injectable naltrexone (Vivitrol), lasts for a whole month!
Vivitrol is only appropriate for those patients who have successfully managed to discontinue all opioids, including Suboxone, for at least 7-10 days (or 14 days if coming off of Methadone.) Patients who are abusing alcohol or are drinking in excess may also benefit from Vivitrol as it helps to reduce cravings for alcohol.