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Monday, January 18, 2016

FDA Advisory Committee Votes in Favor of Approving an Implant for Opioid Addicts

implant for opioid addictionIn many cases, opioid users require medication-assisted detox or treatment carefully supervised by a medical team. Recently, a Food and Drug Administration advisory committee voted 12 to 5 in favor of approving a tiny, matchstick-like rod that slips under the skin and releases small amounts of buprenorphine over a period of weeks to months. An FDA decision is expected in February 2016.

Developed by Braeburn Pharmaceuticals and Titan Pharmaceuticals, the insert is called Probuphine. The medication contained in the device has been FDA-approved for opioid addiction since 2002, and the implant appears to have a number of benefits over oral dosing.

• First, it helps patients remain compliant and on-course with treatment since it is positioned below the skin and there are no pills to remember. Up until now, those taking buprenorphine had to dissolve a lozenge or film in their cheek or under the tongue.

• While oral medications can be sold illegally or accidentally ingested by children or pets, the implant reduces the chance of this.

• According to Behshad Sheldon, president and CEO of Braeburn Pharmaceuticals, the implant’s long-acting method is also a comfort to patients. “They won’t have to think about where their medicine is, or worry if it gets lost or stolen,” she says.

The way buprenorphine works is by binding to opioid receptors and reducing an addict’s craving without providing the “high” they receive from their opiate of choice. It is used as a bridge to move them from drug addiction to sobriety. Sometimes, doctors prescribe buprenorphine in conjunction with naloxone, which is an overdose antidote.

While Probuphine is not for everyone, Dr. Adam Gordon, professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh and a member of the advisory panel that approved Probuphine, says it may be a good option for people who have been successfully recovering from opioid addiction using relatively low doses of buprenorphine. The implant provides a small, relatively constant dose of the medication, and brings peace of mind to some.

Non-Traditional Approach to Recovery 
If you have had trouble staying in recovery after becoming addicted to opioids, or you believe that traditional drug treatment is not for you, Complete Harmony offers a holistic, non-traditional rehabilitation program. Our treatment facility can also provide medication-assisted detoxing and rehab when necessary, and our complementary modalities enhance treatment and help you achieve a more harmonious life. Call 866-930-4673 today to begin admission to our beautiful CA seaside center.

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