The opioid-addiction epidemic is well understood now, and researchers have been working feverishly to find remedies for those who are addicted to opiates. Probuphine is an FDA-approved implant that continually releases the buprenorphine chemical in your body over the course of six months to thwart your opioid dependency.
Probuphine is specifically indicated for people who have been proven to maintain clinical stability on low to moderate-level doses of buprenorphine. This medication is meant to be used in conjunction with counseling for complete independence and relief from opioids.
One of the main benefits of Probuphine is that patients do not need to get the prescription at a pharmacy or have to remember to take a pill or switch out a patch. You simply go to your doctor’s office twice a year to have the implant removed and replaced in your arm.
What Is the Probuphine Implant?
The implant consists of four tiny, flexible rods that are each about one inch in length. They are implanted during a simple office visit to your pain management doctor.
The implanted rods deliver a constant low-level dose of buprenorphine for six months. The physician who inserts the implant must be a certified Probuphine provider and have completed the Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies (REMS) program.
How Does a Probuphine Implant Work?
In the doctor’s office, the patient lies down on their back with one arm out to the side and bent at a 90-degree angle at the elbow, resting on the bed (not upward). This allows the doctor to have easy access to the underside of the upper arm.
The physician will then make four tiny incisions, placing the rods just underneath the surface of the skin. From start to finish, the entire process takes less than 30 minutes.
The patient will need to return in a week so the doctor can ensure that the site of the implant is healthy, the area is not infected, and the rods are not moving. The physician will also document how well the patient is responding to the medication.
After six months, the doctor will remove the implants and will replace them with another fresh set if the physician and patient both decide that the probuphine medication is working well. When the implants are replaced, they will be inserted into the other arm so the first arm has a chance to heal from the removal.
Benefits of Probuphine
Studies show very promising results: In a six-month period, over 63% of patients remained free from opioid use. There are no pills to lose, misplace, or be stolen.
In fact, nobody can even tell that the implants are there except the patient. The fact that the medication is implanted makes it impossible to sell, and a child cannot stumble across it and mindlessly place it in their mouth as with pills.
This medication will hopefully help curb the alarming number of suicides committed by patients who suffer from constant pain who find themselves hopeless – and with no viable alternatives. The Probuphine implant is indeed an excellent solution.
Pain Doctors in Austin, Texas
If you or someone close to you is suffering from a dependency to opioids, there is help and hope.
Contact our caring team at Balcones Pain Consultants by calling (512) 834-4141 or request a consultation online, and look forward to a pain-free and addiction-free tomorrow!