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Buprenorphine Implants in the Treatment Of Drugs

Implantable Buprenorphine is a treatment designed to treat opioid addiction in patients who have previously received treatment using other forms of Buprenorphine. This treatment is in the form of implants that go under your skin and administer a calculated dosage of Buprenorphine. In this article you will get all the information you need about this procedure.

Buprenorphine implant

What Are Buprenorphine Implants and How Do They Work

Buprenorphine implants are an FDA-approved treatment for opioid addiction. The Buprenorphine implant FDA approval was confirmed in May 2016.

The Buprenorphine subdermal implant is a 1-inch rod inserted into the skin of your arm. The implant is inserted with the help of a needle while the patient is under local anesthesia. The administration of Buprenorphine implants is a part of the complete opioid addiction treatment.

A total of four implant hormone pellets containing Buprenorphine are inserted into your skin. These implants release Buprenorphine into your bloodstream at different intervals and in specific quantities. This treatment is six months long. After that, the doctor may remove the implants, and keeping your condition in mind, they may insert new ones as a replacement.

Indications for Buprenorphine Implant Placement

The Buprenorphine implant is indicated to treat opioid addiction in people who have been receiving low doses of Buprenorphine in different forms. The Buprenorphine dosage implant is not recommended as a standalone treatment. Instead, it should be combined with other treatments such as psychosocial support and further counseling.

This treatment does not apply to all patients who have not received Buprenorphine treatment earlier. To get this treatment, they need to be exposed to small doses of Buprenorphine in different forms. The suitable dosage needs around 8 mg of tablets such as Subutex or Suboxone.

Buprenorphine Implant Side Effects

Much like other medications, there are specific side effects patients are likely to experience if they start using Buprenorphine implants for opioid addiction. Here is a list of all the side affects you may experience:

Physical Symptoms

Itching or irritation at the implant site

There are different ways you can manage these side effects; for instance, if you want to avoid constipation, you can start consuming dietary fibers. If the constipation is severe, you can also consider consuming laxatives. A doctor can help you decide which laxative is best.

Psychological Symptoms

Some of the serious psychological symptoms include confusion and hallucinations.

Behavioral Symptoms

Behavioral side effects include walking problems, speech impairment, bad reflexes, and coordination.

Risks Associated With Buprenorphine Implants

When getting Buprenorphine implants, you must be careful about the risks involved. The severe hazards include nerve damage. You may also suffer from embolism, which can be fatal if the drug is not inserted correctly. Other than that, there is a possibility of protrusion and expulsion.

To avoid any unfavorable circumstances, the implant must be inserted subdermally. Moreover, the insertion must be determined by palpation. If the administrator inserts the implant too deep, then that may cause problems such as neural and vascular damage. Due to that reason, it is necessary to receive these implants in a medical facility.

Other risks include:

The implant may come out of the skin on its own
It can be challenging to find when taking the implants out
The implant may move around in the skin

Preparing for the Buprenorphine Implantation Procedure

Patients must take the proper precautions when getting Buprenorphine. You need to tell the practitioner about your allergies so they can decide whether the treatment is a good option for you. You must give your doctor complete medical history so the treatment does not interfere with any existing medical conditions. Problems such as brain disorders, breathing issues, and liver diseases can be problematic when taking the Buprenorphine treatment.

How Are Buprenorphine Implants Administered

The Buprenorphine implants are administered by putting the patient under general anesthesia. The preferred insertion site is the upper arm. Here the administrator will make a 2.5 - 3 mm subdermal incision. Then the implants are placed within the incisions. This process is painless and it can be completed in a short amount of time.

Effectiveness of Addiction Treatment With Buprenorphine Implant

There have been multiple studies that have examined the effectiveness of Buprenorphine implants. The results of these studies conclude that Buprenorphine implants significantly impact opioid users and helps them manage their drug withdrawal symptoms.

Buprenorphine Implant Removal

After the 6-month treatment is complete, the doctors will remove the implant. The removal procedure first includes marking the implants' location and then anesthetizing the insertion site. Then the doctor may make 7 - 10 mm incisions to remove the implants. Using forceps, they must pick up the skin and safely remove the implant. Once the implant is removed, the doctor may close the incision with the help of sutures.

Does the FDA Approve Buprenorphine Implants

The US Food and Drug Administration has approved Buprenorphine implants as a maintenance treatment of opioid dependence exclusively for people who have previously used Buprenorphine implants. The treatment is, however, not recommended for more than two six-month cycles.

The Cost of Buprenorphine Implantation

The cost of Buprenorphine implants depends whether it’s included in your treatment plan or not. Not all insurance companies cater to these implants, so it is best to ask your insurer and decide what the best plan is for you.


VIP Vorobjev has some of the best doctors on its panel who are trained to help patients with their drug addiction. Our implant treatments are only administered by experts who marvel in their respective fields.

Patents and Certificates

Over the years, we have qualified for several patents and certifications that ensure our treatments are of the highest quality. We focus all our attention on the well-being of our patients.


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