probuphine (the buprenorphine implant)

Probuphine: The buprenorphine implant

Probuphine is buprenorphine in the form of an implant.  The implant is a small, solid rod.  The implant is placed under the skin, usually in the upper arm, by a doctor in a simple office procedure.

Probuphine patients get 6 months of continuous buprenorphine dosing from a single implant.

Buprenorphine is a medication used to treat addiction to heroin or pain killers like Oxycontin.  Buprenorphine prevents physical withdrawal from opiates, limits cravings for opiates, and blocks the effects of heroin, Oxycontin or other opiates.

Current formulations of buprenorphine (brand names Suboxone and Subutex) are in pill form or film form and are to be taken orally and absorbed under the tongue, usually in daily doses.

Potential benefits of using buprenorphine in the form of an implant include:

  • you don’t have to worry about taking a medication every day
  • you don’t have to experience the nasty Suboxone orange flavor every day
  • you don’t have to worry about your medication being lost, stolen or sold
  • if you go to jail or rehab for a while during the time the implant is working, you won’t experience an interruption in medication (or go into withdrawal)

Probuphine is currently in Phase 3 clinical trials, and is not yet available to the public.

Probuphine is a product of Titan Pharmaceuticals.

More About Probuphine:

Probuphine Buprenorphine Implant On The Way

Probuphine: Buprenorphine Implant Production To Begin

{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Mitzie Greene November 17, 2010 at 3:45 pm

Hello. I’m afraid I’m going to lose my son. He is 37 years old and has been in rehab a dozen times. He says he wants help. Are there any studies he can become a part of that include the Probuphine Implant? I will pay to send him anywhere to get this. Thank you.

Mitzie Greene

2 recoveryhelpdesk November 29, 2010 at 7:22 pm

Hi Mitzie,

My understanding is that the current probuphine study has closed enrollment. Your son says that he wants help, and he has backed that up with major effort and action –he’s been to residential treatment a dozen times. Since your son has been to rehab many times and, in spite of his best efforts and intentions, has been unable to maintain abstinence from opiates, it makes sense for him to consider treatment with buprenorphine (Suboxone or Subutex) or methadone. The buprenorphine implant (Probuphine) looks promising and I’m looking forward to this new option. But FDA approval is probably months away. Many people have had excellent success with buprenorphine tablets, and it is very possible that your son will have the same wonderful experience.

If you have not already, you and your son might benefit from reading 10 Things You Should Know About Methadone (find a link under the Methadone tab at the top of this page).

Also, you will find a link to the US governments buprenorphine doctor locator under the Suboxone tab at the top of this page.

Best of luck to you and your son.


3 Emily Dale February 23, 2011 at 3:19 pm

I am a visiting nurse and work with addicts. I am wondering if probuphine contains naloxone as I have had patients that could not tolerate that part of the suboxone and had to stay on subutex. It sounds like a great option if it is available without the naloxone.

4 recoveryhelpdesk February 23, 2011 at 4:12 pm

Hi Emily –The naloxone in Suboxone is added to discourage injecting of the medication. It’s unlikely that the manufacturer will include naloxone in Probuphine since this is an implant and there is no risk of the implant being injected. Thanks for reading and commenting!

5 Emily Dale February 24, 2011 at 2:36 pm

That’s fabulous! When will it be available?

6 recoveryhelpdesk February 24, 2011 at 7:39 pm

It’s not clear when exactly Probuphine will get FDA approval, but it seems like it will happen at some point since studies so far have gone well. A confirmatory clinical trial is just wrapping up so new data should be out soon.

7 Jonathan August 18, 2011 at 4:07 pm

Is there a lot of excitement out there for this treatment? Will the need to “implant” the drug under a patient’s skin be a major hurdle in its acceptance?

8 Jennifer Cooper January 9, 2012 at 11:20 am

I would like to get more info about the saboxone implant. is there a doctor in birmingham, alabama that does this?
Please let me know asap.


Jennifer Cooper

9 recoveryhelpdesk January 15, 2012 at 8:18 pm

Hi Jennifer–Probuphine (the buprenorphine implant) is not yet available because it is still in the FDA approval process. I will be keeping this page updated so check back as you are able for up to date information. Tom

10 Sean January 19, 2012 at 11:05 pm

Do u know if is gonna be in different mg doses?

11 recoveryhelpdesk January 20, 2012 at 4:34 pm

Hi Sean–Yes there are different dosing options.

12 George January 29, 2012 at 9:22 am

The implants are such an interesting,novel concept.
If Buprenorphine can actually remain in system as a steady dose for 6 months,then this is nothing short of a miracle!
Probupine would be greatly adapted by those currently taking suboxone or subutex.
Not sure how the science of the implant rod works,but if its proven to be safe and effective,then I am all for Probuphine entering the market.

13 Eric March 11, 2012 at 7:40 am

Apart from the chemical dependency, the ritualistic aspect of addiction is what makes it so hard to quit for many people.

Perhaps this alternative may very well be a solution to the problem, or, similar to nicotine patches, it may just as easily prove ineffective for many.

Either way, I am very interested in giving this method a try… hopefully sooner then later.

Thank you for the updates.


14 Sean March 12, 2012 at 9:16 pm

When is the estimated date for the product to j
Hit the market and in your opinion do you think insurance (through employer) will cover this?

15 SnowMan March 25, 2012 at 2:01 am

This looks just to be good to be true…
In my situation, as of-course, also in everybodys elses, I have a very, very good reason for this to just must work as of right now “please”. Any info about this on the world basis?
Thanks allot for info!!

16 recoveryhelpdesk March 25, 2012 at 7:33 pm

Sean and SnowMan –No new information to report yet about when Probuphine will be available to the public. I will post any information I get as soon as I get it so keep checking back. Thanks!

17 maria May 22, 2012 at 5:02 pm

this sound excellent, i have been on bup since 2005 and it is life changing. This would be an excellent way of admistering it.

18 Dee July 28, 2012 at 9:56 am

Any updated information? Will the same doctors that are currently approved to administer/prescribe suboxone, administer this implanted med?

19 Dr.Resnick August 20, 2012 at 3:44 pm

Same question as Dee. Which physicians will be authorized,
and who will be ineligible, to prescribe and administer the implant? Who is negotiating medical insurance coverage, both for patients and the physicians?

20 recoveryhelpdesk August 20, 2012 at 8:54 pm

Good question Dee and Dr. Resnick. I don’t know whether the same rules will apply to prescribing Probuphine as apply to prescribing other forms of buprenorphine –meaning that only doctors who have completed an educational component and gotten a DEA number can prescribe. My guess is the rules apply to all forms of buprenorphine, both old and new, unless and until rules are changed. I’ll do what I can to get some information about this. Thanks for reading and asking!

21 TJ September 9, 2012 at 7:25 pm

An interesting side note about insurance and my experience with my daughter…our health insurance carrier dropped all subscribers in our region and we had to shop for new health insurance. When doing so, we found major carriers would not take my daughter because she has done outpatient treatment with Suboxone several times. The only insurance I could find for her is terribly expensive and only pays for a portion of procedures. Of course, it will not pay for anything related to pre-existing conditions. This makes me reluctant to encourage anyone to seek treatment from a doctor. Most people are under the impression the health care bill has made it so health insurance carriers cannot refuse insurance, but this portion of the health care bill has not gone into effect yet-so carriers like mine are dropping people while they still can.

22 tom October 23, 2012 at 6:40 pm

Was wondering if there has been any progress with the implant have been on the suboxone but taking every day has been a problem and would like to try the implant.

23 recoveryhelpdesk October 23, 2012 at 8:04 pm

Hi Tom, Titan Pharm is expected to submit their request for approval from the FDA this month. They are expected to ask the FDA for rapid approval. I anticipate that Probuphine will be available to the public some time in 2013.

24 Jtsorrow January 9, 2013 at 1:08 pm

Is it ready yet???

25 jody January 17, 2013 at 5:15 pm

Hello. I have been on Suboxone pills and then the film for over six years so this truly sounds like a godsend. Any new information?

26 patty June 7, 2013 at 7:24 pm

Has this drug been approved yet? And if yes how do I find a doctor or program in connecticut? I am hopeful this might help a friend wbo has fought heroin addiction for years

27 Fran June 11, 2013 at 12:38 am

I was wondering when is the next meeting with the FDA to discuss the aproval o probuphine. Thank you!

28 Terry April 6, 2014 at 2:44 pm

I have been taking buprenorphine (generic due to proven compliance, but started w/ Suboxone) for approx. 7 years at 16mg/day. I have a preexisting and exceedingly painful medical condition w/ no cure that will get progressively worse as I age. Doctor’s prescriptions are how I became dependent on opioids, I wasn’t partying and I didn’t do other recreational drugs, still don’t. Due to tolerance and other problems with the standard opioid treatments it eventually got out of control and I went from dependency to addiction, hence the reason I started Sub treatment.

Since I’ve been on bupe, I’ve had no tolerance issues, my pain is manageable, and the past 7 years have been the most productive in my life. I miss no work, as I did before, both before and after my addiction, as I would miss days of work due to pain, inability to walk etc., or later, due to my opioid problem. I have missed no work in 7 years now due to illness.

I don’t like taking meds daily, or having to barricade my meds like Fort Knox, or worry about what happens if I ever lose any, a very unpleasant ordeal, because doctors simply don’t believe any story of why an addict ran out of legit prescribed meds. I understand why though, if there is no previous shortage issues, I don’t understand the punishment of not filling a script to get them through the problem, which would seem a better alternative then relapsing in search for relief.

The approval of Probuphine can’t come soon enough for me. I no longer have to worry about loss, theft, etc. and don’t have to think about my daily dosing (a big ritualistic part of the addicts problem), can go on longer trips, out of state, out of country, and a plethora of other positive things that will come from Probuphine. Also, I think it will go a long way in preventing those who chose to abuse bup, or divert it, and make things much more difficult to those of us who stick with the plan our docs put together for us.

I don’t want to just survive with incapacitating pain again, I don’t want the negative side effects that came with the none-bupe full ant. opioids, I want to continue living and thriving with the that buprenorphine has enabled me to do, and I know its not for everyone but it works for me and thousands of others. I pray to God everyday that Probuphine will quickly become approved and available and I plead with the FDA, DEA, other gov’t agencies to let Titan and its partners get this miracle to market now. I know it will save many lives, many families, and it is the answer to any diversion concerns.

29 Jim September 10, 2014 at 1:19 pm

Just had implants installed this am. I’m in a double blind study .the implications and benefits from this delivery system for all concerned is a win win .not just for opioids addiction. But many meds.i feel this is a great opportunity to do some real good science as well as of course help my owne addiction. I will update on this site as to my far. So good. Actual procedure took 15-20min. (No pain!!!). I just hope GREED. ? Doesn’t get into the way of really
Helping people -especially
With this. Opioid addiction.

30 Jenn January 6, 2015 at 1:15 pm

Jim who posted on 09/10/14 I’m very curious on how your implant is working out and how it is going??? I was very bummed when I heard the FDA did not accept Probuphine’s application. I don’t know much about it but I have followed the Suboxone/subutex, film, generic tabs for about 10 years and the last 5 years about I have learned a lot about the Pharmaceutical industry and it being all about the money and not really caring about the benefit of helping suffering addicts. I guess I thought as humans wouldn’t they care a little about helping addicts, aka another human? I was sad to see it appears no its about money. Been very interesting and taught me a lot. I am recovering myself 7+ years now and I work with active and newly recovering addicts.

31 mary January 8, 2015 at 6:16 pm

i am very interested in this implant as i have 2 sons 25 and28 who have been in and out of inpatient and out patient treatment facilities numerous time they have been on and off suboxone for years i would like to keep updated on this as i feel this may help both if not one of them. if any trials become available near buffalo ny please contact us/

32 Mitzie Greene September 19, 2016 at 1:59 pm


I was just browsing the internet and saw a comment I left on your website on November 17, 2010. The comment was regarding my son and unfortunately he passed away last May from a heroin overdose. Could you please remove my comment? It’s painful to see it. Thanks.

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