FDA Approves First-Of-Its-Kind Implant To Treat Opioid Addiction

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Via California Healthline

Proponents say the method of using implants instead of pills could help patients avoid dangerous relapses that can occur if they miss a medication dose.

The Associated Press: FDA Approves First Drug-Oozing Implant To Control Addiction

Federal health officials on Thursday approved an innovative new option for Americans struggling with addiction to heroin and painkillers: a drug-oozing implant that curbs craving and withdrawal symptoms for six months at a time. The first-of-a-kind device, Probuphine, arrives as communities across the U.S. grapple with a wave of addiction tied to opioids, highly-addictive drugs that include legal pain medications like OxyContin and illegal narcotics like heroin. Roughly 2.5 million Americans suffer from addiction disorders related to the drugs, according to federal estimates. (5/26)

The Washington Post: FDA Approves New Way To Treat Opioid Addiction – Under The Skin 

The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday approved the first implantable drug to deliver long-lasting medication to people addicted to opioids such as OxyContin and heroin. “Opioid abuse and addiction have taken a devastating toll on American families,” FDA Commissioner Robert M. Califf said in a news release. “Today’s approval provides the first-ever implantable option to support patients’ efforts to maintain treatment as part of their overall recovery program.” The implant, which has four matchstick-size rods that are inserted under the skin of the upper arm, administers the anti-addiction drug buprenorphine in a continuous dose for six months. That medication is available now only as a daily pill or a thin film that dissolves under the tongue. The implant, called Probuphine, is intended for people who are already stable on low doses of the drug. (McGinley, 5/26)

 

[This story was produced by Kaiser Health News, which publishes California Healthline, a service of the California Health Care Foundation.]

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