Brixadi is a new treatment option for people with opioid use disorder (OUD). It is an injectable form of buprenorphine, a medication that helps reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms from opioids. Brixadi was approved by the FDA in May 2023 and is available in weekly and monthly doses. Brixadi is administered by a health care provider under the skin of the buttock, thigh, abdomen, or upper arm. Buprenorphine is one of the three FDA-approved medications for OUD, along with methadone and naltrexone. However, Brixadi has some advantages over other buprenorphine products and other treatments.
Unlike methadone, which can only be dispensed at specialized clinics, Brixadi can be prescribed or administered by any health care provider who has completed some basic training in the treatment of OUD. This makes Brixadi more accessible and convenient for patients who may have difficulty traveling to a clinic or pharmacy.
Unlike other buprenorphine products, such as tablets, films, or implants, Brixadi is available in weekly and monthly doses. This means that patients do not have to take medication every day or visit their provider as often. Brixadi also eliminates the risk of diversion, misuse, or accidental exposure of buprenorphine to children or pets.
Unlike naltrexone, which is an opioid blocker that requires patients to be abstinent from opioids for about a week before starting treatment, Brixadi can be initiated after a single dose of a transmucosal buprenorphine product or in patients who are already on buprenorphine. This makes Brixadi easier to start and reduces the risk of relapse during induction.
Brixadi needs to be part of a comprehensive treatment plan that includes counseling and psychosocial support. Brixadi can help people with OUD achieve and maintain long-term recovery. Reach out to your prescriber at CARMAhealth to see if it is a potential option for you.