Opioid use disorder (OUD) is a chronic and potentially fatal condition that affects millions of people in the US. OUD is characterized by the compulsive use of opioids, such as heroin, fentanyl, or prescription painkillers, despite harmful consequences, an inability to stop or cut down, and significant disruption in interpersonal, social, and occupational functioning. Physical dependence, withdrawal symptoms, cravings, and increased risk of overdose and death are all associated with OUD.
Buprenorphine is a medication that treats OUD by reducing withdrawal symptoms and cravings and partially blocking the effects of other opioids. Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist, which means it activates the same receptors in the brain as opioids, but to a lesser degree. Buprenorphine can be taken orally for OUD as a sublingual (under the tongue or in the cheek) tablet or rapid dissolving film.
Brixadi is a new buprenorphine product that was approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) on May 23, 2023. Brixadi is an extended-release injection that can be given weekly or monthly by a health care provider. Brixadi is available in different doses and formulations, depending on the patient’s needs and preferences.
Brixadi offers several benefits for people with OUD:
- It provides a steady level of buprenorphine in the body, which may improve treatment adherence and outcomes.
- It reduces the risk of diversion, misuse, or accidental exposure of buprenorphine to others.
- It eliminates the need for daily oral dosing, which may be inconvenient or difficult for some patients.
- It may lower the cost of treatment compared to other buprenorphine products.
Brixadi should be used as part of a comprehensive treatment plan that includes counseling and psychosocial support. If you have OUD and are interested in Brixadi, talk to your health care provider at CARMAhealth about whether it is right for you. Brixadi may help you achieve long-term recovery from OUD and improve your quality of life.