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Newly Approved Probuphine Implant Will Treat Opioid Dependence

by Roni Shye on June 9, 2016 at 1:35 pm

The FDA has just approved the Probuphine implant for the maintenance treatment of opioid dependence.

Probuphine is the first-ever implantable option to help patients through the addiction recovery process.

What is Probuphine?

The Probuphine implant will contain buprenorphine an already-FDA-approved medication for the treatment of opioid dependence.

What type of implant is Probuphine?
Probuphine is an under the skin implant consisting of (4) one-inch long rods placed on the inside of the upper arm.

How long will the implant last?

The Probuphine implant provides treatment for 6 months.

Can it be used more than once?

Yes. If another implant is needed after the six-month treatment, the opposite arm can be used for one additional six-month course of treatment.

How will the implant be inserted and removed?

The Probuphine implant will need to be surgically inserted and removed by a trained and certified health care provider. This is not a medication you can use or start on your own.

Other than this implant, how is buprenorphine available to treat opioid dependence?
Buprenorphine is currently available as a tablet that is placed under the tongue and dissolved.

Are there advantages to using the Probuphone implant versus the buprenorphine tablet?

Yes. Advantages to using the implant instead of the tablet include:

  • You can’t lose or forget to take your medication
  • You don’t have to worry about your medication being stolen
  • You don’t have to worry about remembering to take your medication

Are there disadvantages to using the implant?

Yes. Disadvantages to include:

  • It requires surgery for insertion and removal
  • There is a change the implant could be expelled or removed accidentally
  • There is a possibility of exposure to a large amount of medication—accidentally or intentionally—which could lead to misuse and abuse

What is required in order to be eligible for the Probuphine implant?

You must already be stable on low-to-moderate doses of other forms of buprenorphine.

What are the side effects associated with the implant?

Some common side effects of the Probuphine implant can include implant-site pain, itching, and redness; headache;  depression; constipation; nausea or vomiting; back pain; toothache; and sore throat.

Where can I find more information?

See the manufacturer’s website for updates and prescribing information.

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