What is the Implant for Opiate Addiction?

Learn all about the implant for opiate addiction

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is calling Probuphine a "game changer" in the fight against opioid dependence. Here's what you need to know about the implant for opiate addiction. Recovery from opiate dependence is a long and difficult process that often involves severe physical withdrawal symptoms, psychological distress, and periods of relapse. The recently FDA-approved implant for opiate addiction offers new hope for patients struggling to regain control over their lives. If you think you may need opiate withdrawal treatment, Las Vegas Drug Treatment Centers can help you with options.

Probuphine is a form of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) that is placed just under the skin during a minor outpatient procedure. The implant contains a low dose of the medicine buprenorphine, a popular treatment for opioid dependence that has previously only been available as a sublingual film or an opiate blocker pill. This new, more convenient form of buprenorphine eliminates the need to take daily medication or make frequent visits to a maintenance clinic. Probuphine is recommended for patients who are already stable on low to moderate doses of other forms of buprenorphine.

How Probuphine Works

The Probuphine implant slowly releases buprenorphine over a period of six months, after which the implant is removed. Buprenorphine blocks the binding action of heroin and opiate painkillers (such as fentanyl, hydrocodone, and oxycodone) to the brain's opioid receptors, thereby preventing the drugs from producing the euphoric effects that can lead to cravings, withdrawal, and addiction. A six-month randomized control trial found Probuphine to be as effective in reducing opioid use as buprenorphine taken sublingually or in the form of an opiate blocker pill; 63 percent of the trial's participants tested clean for opioid drugs during the six months of monitoring.

How an Implant for Drug Addiction is inserted

Probuphine consists of four flexible rods, each about the size of a matchstick, that are surgically inserted under the skin on the inside of the upper arm. Due to risk of migration, protrusion, or expulsion of the implant, Probuphine can only be inserted and removed by a health professional who is certified under the Probuphine Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) program. Unlike other forms of buprenorphine, such as the opiate blocker pill, the implant for drug addiction is not available in retail pharmacies.

Possible Side Effects of Probuphine

The implant for drug addiction can cause serious side effects, including:

  • Allergic reaction - If you're allergic to any of the active or inactive ingredients in Probuphine (buprenorphine, buprenorphine hydrochloride, or ethylene vinyl acetate), you could experience hives, rashes, dizziness, or facial swelling.
  • Infection - Infection may occur at the site of insertion or removal of the implant.
  • Low blood pressure - Some patients report feeling dizzy when rising from a sitting or lying position.
  • Physical withdrawal - After the implant is removed, you may experience opioid withdrawal symptoms such as shaking, profuse sweating, diarrhea, goosebumps, muscle aches, and vomiting.

Other, less serious, side effects of Probuphine include:

  • Headache
  • Back pain
  • Toothache
  • Vomiting
  • Itching
  • Constipation
  • Sore throat

Probuphine as Part of a Comprehensive Treatment Program

Because it contains the medicine buprenorphine, which can cause physical dependence, Probuphine is intended to be part of a complete rehabilitation program that also includes counselling and cognitive behavioral therapy. It is important to remember that opioid dependency is a complex disease and thus requires ongoing psychosocial support. When combined with other therapies, however, Probuphine can play a vital role in preventing patients from relapsing while they focus on their long-term recovery. Contact Las Vegas Drug Treatment Centers today for more information.







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