July 4, 2016 – Buprenorphine Rod

June 30, 2016

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Anchor lead: An implantable medicine may help opioid addicts, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Beating opioid addiction may now be easier with the use of an existing medication called buprenorphine, in a newly FDA approved formulation that is implanted under the skin.  Eric Strain, a drug abuse expert at Johns Hopkins, says this day has been long in coming.

Strain: This product has been around for many years now being developed but the FDA has finally approved it.  They are insertable rods that typically go in your arm and that provide a steady stream of buprenorphine for six months. You actually have to take the rods out at the end of six months as well and put in a new set.  It’s simply another option and it takes away the need to take a medication each day and remembering to take the medication.   :29

Strain says the rods are only used in people who are already taking oral buprenorphine and finding it helpful in overcoming addiction to opioid medications, and joins an armamentarium of drugs as well as other therapies for this purpose.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

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