FDA approves anti-addiction implant

PopSci reports on the upper-arm implant that oozes buprenorphine, a drug that suppresses withdrawal symptoms and cuts the craving for opioid addicts:

Called Probuphine, the implant is injected under the skin of the upper arm as a new method of administering buprenorphine. Previously, the drug was taken as a pill, or a film that dissolves in the patient’s mouth. Pills and films are only effective as long as they are taken correctly, though, and the FDA notes that they can often be stolen, lost, or forgotten. Instead, the impact will provide a steady dose of buprenorphine over a six-month period.

The implant is a series of four one-inch rods and must be inserted (and later removed) by a trained medical professional. It was tested in a randomized clinical trial, and the FDA says that it’s appropriate for adults who have previously taken buprenorphine.