Implantable Drug Treats Opioid Addiction

General

The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new method of treatment for opioid addiction: an implantable drug called Probuphine.

Four rods the size of a matchstick are implanted into the patient’s arm and release a steady dose of buprenorphine over a six-month period. Buprenorphine, also commonly known as Subutex, is often prescribed in the form of an oral tablet that dissolves under the user’s tongue. Subutex must be used on a regular basis as prescribed by a doctor in order to be effective.

Probuphine and Subutex both provide relief from the symptoms of opioid addiction and withdrawal by blocking cravings and helping the user gradually reduce dependence. However, Subutex, along with other buprenorphine-based drugs like Suboxone, require daily use of the prescribed dose. Some users worry about forgetting to take their dose or being tempted to use more of the drug than prescribed.

Probuphine overcomes these issues and requires little maintenance from the user, since the rods are implanted directly into the upper arm and must only be replaced every six months. Currently, Probuphine has been approved by the FDA for those taking a low-to-moderate dose of the drug, according to NBC News. Users must also be participants in a “complete treatment program.”

Although Probuphine adds another viable road to recovery in the fight to treat opioid addiction, some experts have raised questions about the effectiveness of the drug and the way it’s administered, according to FOX News.

Only certified doctors can prescribe Probuphine, and because the rods are implanted under the skin, providers must have an in-office setup that allows them to perform minor surgical procedures. That may not always be the case, and some prescribers may not be qualified to perform the procedure on their own, requiring them to find a second doctor able to actually implant the device. Some doctors also struggled with removing the rods.

Probuphine offers a less high-maintenance alternative to Suboxone and Subutex for those suffering from opioid addiction, but should still be used in conjunction with therapy and any necessary psychiatric care.

Although Silvermist does not administer any buprenorphine-based drugs on site, our staff have experience treating opioid addiction and can provide the help you need to overcome your addiction to any common opiates, such as Oxycodone, Percocet, Vicodin, or heroin. While Probuphine, Suboxone, Subutex and other medications can help reduce the physical symptoms of addiction and withdrawal, they do not address the mental and emotional struggles that must be overcome in order to truly find recovery.

As a Pyramid Healthcare treatment partner, we can also help you begin a maintenance therapy program at one of the Methadone or Suboxone providers in our network. For more information about those services, click here.

To begin treatment with Silvermist, call (724) 481-1284 today.