Probuphine is an implant that delivers a constant dose of buprenorphine to people living with opioid use disorders. Four of the one-inch rods are inserted into the inside of the upper arm by a trained physician during an outpatient visit, and they last six months.
It is the first implant approved by the FDA to treat addiction to opioids, but buprenorphine itself is not a new drug; it has been approved to treat opioid dependence since October 2002. Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist, meaning that it acts on the same receptors in the brain as opioids do, but does not produce the same high or side effects. In addition, it creates a “ceiling effect,” so that you don’t crave getting high to the same extreme.