The FDA has approved subdermal implants of the partial opioid agonist buprenorphine (Probuphine – Titan) for maintenance treatment of opioid dependence in patients stabilized on low to moderate doses of transmucosal buprenorphine. Probuphine was designed to provide continuous low levels of buprenorphine for 6 months and to safeguard against illicit use of the drug.
Methadone was the first successful treatment for opioid addiction; it can diminish the craving for opioids without causing euphoria or sedation, but it is itself a Schedule II controlled substance and can be dangerous in overdosage. Naltrexone is a long-acting opioid antagonist; it is effective in diminishing the euphoric effects of opioids, but it is much less effective than methadone in treating addiction because it does not abolish the craving for opioids.
Buprenorphine Implants (Probuphine) for Opioid Dependence. JAMA. 2016;316(17):1820-1821. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.10899