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FDA Approves Anti-Opioid Implant Therapy To Curb Addiction

Update Date: Jun 03, 2016 06:00 AM EDT

Probuphine is an anti-opioid device that is the first of its kind. It is meant to be implanted to help curb opioid dependence and addiction for six months. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have approved Probuphine to give its users a dose of buprenorphine, another addictive drug similar to opioids.

Probuphine Anti-Opioid Treatment Implant

Probuphine is developed by Titan Pharmaceuticals and Braeburn Pharmaceuticals. It is designed to deliver timely doses of buprenorphine for six months to curb opioid addiction. The buprenorphine drug is a medication that usually comes in a pill or easily dissolved film but Probuphine is the first of its kind to come in an implant form.

The implant aims to deliver buprenorphine in low doses with a slim chance of missing out medication. The FDA said in a press release that Probuphine is most convenient for patients as well and it increases the chances of them committing to their opioid addiction recovery.

"Scientific evidence suggests that maintenance treatment with these medications in the context of behavioral treatment and recovery support are more effective in the treatment of opioid use disorder than short-term detoxification programs aimed at abstinence," Dr Nora Volkow of the National Institutes of Health said.

Probuphine Anti-Opioid Treatment Strategy: Replace Opioid Addiction with Another Addiction?

The Science Explorer noted that buprenorphine cannot be used on its own because it is an addictive medication as well. Buprenorphine can help stem heroin opioid addiction as well as with narcotic painkillers. It helps curb withdrawal symptoms of these drugs.

Therefore, the FDA recommends Probuphine to be used together with psychosocial treatment services and counseling. The administration of the implant should be done by a trained medical provider as it consists of four rods that need to be surgically attached in the arm.

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