There’s a new method for delivering a medication for treating opiate addiction and it has just received approval from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) within the past week. The medication is a matchstick-sized insert, which is put under the skin and it releases suboxone over a period of months. Some doctors say the implant will be a helpful addition to the current short line up of medication-assisted treatment options available for opiate addicted individuals.

Slow Release Probuphine – Injectable Suboxone

The rod device developed by Braeburn Pharmaceuticals and Titan Pharmaceuticals contains buprenorphine, which is FDA approved for treating opiate addiction. The FDA usually follows the advice of its panel on approvals.

The molecule in Buprenorphine binds to the opiate receptors in the body and doesn’t hit them as hard something like heroin or morphine. Buprenorphine reduces cravings and doesn’t allow a person to become high. Often the medication is taken with naloxone, which blocks the effects of opiates and acts as an antidote for a drug overdose. Right now, a person must take a daily tablet or use a film that is placed under the tongue until it dissolves.

The rod is called Probuphine
 and it provides many advantages over oral daily doses. The medication lasts for up to six months and unless someone is willing to dig it out of their skin, there is no deviation from treatment.

Another advantage to using the implant is that there’s no way a person can sell the medication illegally. Buprenorphine is commonly confiscated by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), and sometimes it is accidentally ingested by a child. The Probuphine implant would reduce both of these risks.

Probuphine gives a patient peace of mind because the medication has a long-acting nature.  A person doesn’t have to think about where the medication is and doesn’t have to worry about it being lost or stolen.  Just as with any medication, Probuphine isn’t going to be for everyone and it’s designed for someone who is already on buprenorphine and doesn’t require a high dose.

If you are going through an addiction to opiates and wish to find out more information about Probuphine, (PDF) you can contact our program today for further assistance.


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