The FDA has approved Exparel (bupivacaine), a single-dose injection that provides post-surgical pain relief for up to 72 hours.

Manufactured by Pacira Pharmaceuticals, Inc., in Parsippany, N.J., Exparel delivers bupivacaine over an extended period of time through DepoFoam technology, providing analgesia with reduced opioid requirements. It is the first and only therapeutic agent that provides relief for up to 72 hours.

Traditional opioid treatment options have many unwanted side effects and Exparel has the “potential to reduce or delay the use of opioids following inpatient and outpatient surgical procedures,” according to Sonia Ramamoorthy, MD, Associate Professor of Surgery at the University of California, San Diego.

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Exparel was evaluated in 21 clinical trials with more than 1,300 subjects. Common adverse reactions such as nausea, constipation, and vomiting had an incidence rate of 10% or more.