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Atrigel: Can It Stop The Opioid Epidemic?

What is Atrigel?

Atrigel is the ingredient in Sublocade that makes it work as a monthly shot. Before you are given your shot, Atrigel exists as a liquid. Afterwards, it turns into a solid material under the skin, releasing medicine steadily all month. Eventually, it dissolves and goes away.

When did they invent Atrigel?

Interestingly, scientists created this amazing compound in a lab in Alabama in 1987 according to this article. While it may seem like a simple invention, it solves so many problems. In time, we will likely see more use of Atrigel and similar advanced compounds.

What is so great about this polymer?

A polymer is simply like a form of plastic. However, this is no plaything. One alternative to a substance such as Atrigel is to use a surgical implant. While implants do exist and work fine, they must be surgically implanted and then surgically removed at a later date. There are many risks to implant surgery. On the other hand, an advanced polymer compound can be injected with an ordinary syringe, just under the skin. Then, it dissolves and goes away when it is no longer needed. It is like an implant that does not require surgery.

Why not just take regular medication?

If you take Suboxone every day for opioid addiction, you may wonder why you would want to switch to Sublocade. In most cases, Suboxone works just fine. Yet, think of the advantages of a monthly injection. You will no longer have to visit the pharmacy. Waiting for your medicine to dissolve slowly under your tongue will be a thing of the past. And, you will no longer have to worry about losing your Suboxone. Another advantage is that the Atrigel matrix in Sublocade releases the medicine much more steadily. Hence, you will likely get better results.

How can a patient who takes Suboxone benefit from Atrigel?

If you are already taking Suboxone or a similar medication, you can bring up the topic to your doctor. Currently, Sublocade is the medication that uses Atrigel to deliver buprenorphine. So, just ask about Sublocade.

What do doctors and family members think about it?

Doctors who treat addiction and the loved ones of opioid addicts like the idea of Sublocade. They do not have to worry as much that you are taking your medicine. You may find that you have even more support from your loved ones by switching to a monthy injection.

Is this new product for everyone?

Of course, everyone is in a different situation. Sublocade is not for all patients who take medicine for opioid addiction. Fortunately, we still have many alternatives. So, don’t worry about the existing medicines going away anytime soon. Doctors who have experience in treating opioid addiction will be able to determine what form of treatment will be best for you.

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