Brixadi Availability: Where and How to Acquire the Medication?

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Buprenorphine and its derivatives have had a decades-long history of successfully helping in the treatment of opioid withdrawal syndrome.

Still, every now and then we get to see an improvement to the familiar formula with the potential to be a gamechanger in addiction treatment.

Brixadi, a newly approved buprenorphine-based intravenous injection is notable for being the first buprenorphine injection that offers both weekly and monthly doses, greatly improving therapeutic flexibility.

Here’s how and where to get hold of Brixadi, as well as the suitable alternatives for the treatment of moderate to severe opioid use disorder.

Brixadi: An Overview

Brixadi buprenorphine extended release injection for subcutaneous use was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on May 23 2023, setting it for a commercial release in September 2023. The FDA approved Brixadi for the treatment of moderate to severe opioid use disorder, in a weekly and monthly formulation.

The weekly injection is mainly designed for patients who have recently initiated treatment, typically starting with oral buprenorphine, while the monthly medication variant is made for patients already going through buprenorphine treatment.

General Brixadi Availability

As of 2024, Brixadi is unavailable as a generic formulation, with no therapeutic equivalents other than the one manufactured by Braeburn. It’s exclusively available with prescription from your healthcare provider and administered solely as part of a complete treatment plan and distribution program known as Brixadi REMS (Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy).

While healthcare providers prescribing Brixadi don’t need to have a Brixadi REMS certificate, it can only be administered in Brixadi REMS-certified healthcare facilities, and sold by certified suppliers. Therefore, you typically can’t purchase Brixadi yourself, but only receive on-site injections as part of your complete treatment plan.

This is due to the high risk associated with potentially irresponsible Brixadi administration, including a risk of opioid overdose. Other most common adverse reactions include:

  • Urinary tract infections
  • Neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome
  • Respiratory depression
  • Liver issues
  • Injection site pain
  • Allergic reactions
  • Negative interactions with other medications.

Likewise, healthcare providers are instructed to consistently treat patients receiving Brixadi with non-opioid analgesic whenever possible, which may be more difficult in non-clinical environments.

Brixadi weekly injections are available in the following doses:

  • 8mg/0.16mL
  • 16mg/0.32mL
  • 24mg/0.48mL
  • 32mg/0.64mL  

Meanwhile, monthly injections exist in:

  • 64mg/0.18mL
  • 96mg/0.27mL
  • 128mg/0.36mL doses.

The cost of a single weekly injection is around $459, while a monthly injection costs around $1,808 on average.

Brixadi Availability Through Insurance Coverage

It’s possible to receive a Brixadi treatment at a discounted price through commercial, state- or federal-funded medical insurance plans covering buprenorphine treatments.

You can also receive a Brixadi treatment at a discounted price or no cost at all through the Brixadi Copay Savings Program, which all US citizens with commercial insurance are eligible for. You’re still eligible for the program even if your commercial insurance plan doesn’t cover Brixadi or buprenorphine treatments in general.

However, patients participating in a state- or federally funded insurance program (such as Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare, Veteran Affairs health care, etc) aren’t eligible to apply.

What Buprenorphine-Based Alternatives to Brixadi Are Available?

Patients requiring opioid therapy for their substance dependence treatment may also look into several alternatives to Brixadi.

Sublocade

Similarly to Brixadi, Sublocade is an injectable buprenorphine-based medicine administered for the treatment of opioid dependence in a clinical setting. The chief difference lies in the greater degree of flexibility that Brixadi offers, both in terms of dosage and method of administration.

While Sublocade has two fixed dosages and only offers monthly injections, Brixadi offers a wider dosing range in both weekly and monthly variants. Also, Brixadi has better injection site variety compared to Sublocade, which has to be exclusively administered into the lower abdomen or upper gluteus.

Suboxone

Suboxone is a sublingual buprenorphine and naloxone combination medicine that’s taken orally. The addition of naloxone, an opioid antagonist used to treat and prevent opioid overdose, acts as a safeguard against abuse of the drug with potentially serious consequences. These factors mean that suboxone can safely be taken outside of a clinical environment.

Due to its lower dosages, suboxone is usually used to treat less severe forms of opioid use disorder. It’s also used in the latter stage of a treatment thanks to removing the need to administer the therapy in strictly clinical environments. The significantly lower price also makes this medicine much more accessible.

Subutex

Subutex is the generic oral version of buprenorphine, containing no other active ingredients. Patented in 2002, it’s the first commercially available buprenorphine-based medicine for the treatment of opioid action in the US, replacing methadone as the go-to drug.

Taken in pill form and outside of a clinical environment, but lacking an opioid antagonist such as naloxone, it’s considered to be a risky drug with a great potential for abuse. However, it’s also the most affordable out of all buprenorphine-based medications for opioid use disorder.

Access Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Addiction Today…

Although still a new medication, Brixadi’s unparalleled therapeutic flexibility is already proving to be extremely useful in the battle against more severe forms of OUD, making therapy significantly easier for patients as well as healthcare providers.

That said, it’s a powerful drug associated with risky consequences in case of irresponsible use, making it available strictly through restricted treatment programs.

Even then, it may still not be the adequate choice for everyone, so make sure to consult with your doctor before deciding to start taking the medication.

If you want to know whether medication-assisted treatment is for you, book an appointment with Curednation today.

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