About DepoFoam®

Pacira Pharmaceuticals, Inc., makers of EXPAREL®, own the proven product delivery technology, DepoFoam. DepoFoam has been used safely in two other products, and has a demonstrated safety record and history of regulatory approvals in the United States, Europe, and several other countries around the world.

DepoFoam® Bupivacaine Delivery

How it works

The DepoFoam carrier matrix is made up of microscopic, polyhedral particles composed of numerous, non-concentric, internal aqueous chambers that encapsulate drugs without altering their molecular structure and then release them over a desired period of time. Each chamber is separated from adjacent chambers by lipid membranes. Following injection, the DepoFoam particles release medication over time due to erosion and/or reorganization of the lipid membranes.

DepoFoam-based drugs are formulated as ready-to-use, aqueous suspensions allowing for simple injection through needles with a bore size as narrow as 25 gauge.

Cutting-edge technology sets EXPAREL apart

With a unique drug delivery system, EXPAREL is designed to extend postsurgical analgesia

  • Indicated for single-dose administration into the surgical site to produce postsurgical analgesia
  • DepoFoam uniquely delivers bupivacaine over time to extend pharmacologic effect
    • Encapsulates bupivacaine via a multivesicular liposomal drug delivery technology1
    • Releases bupivacaine over time as lipid membranes reorganize1
DepoFoam Technology Extends Pharmacokinetics

Reliable release of a low dose of bupivacaine over time2

  • Longer duration provides coverage when postsurgical pain is at its worst
  • Eliminates the need for titration with a single dose
  • Eliminates the need for external devices to prolong analgesia
  • EXPAREL dosing is not weight based
    • Different formulations of bupivacaine are not bioequivalent even if the milligram dosage is the same; therefore, it is not possible to convert dosing from any other formulation of bupivacaine to EXPAREL and vice versa
  • Other formulations of bupivacaine should not be administered within 96 hours following administration of EXPAREL

Video About DepoFoam®

Watch this short animation to see how EXPAREL uses DepoFoam.


Is EXPAREL Right for My Patients?

Learn the types of patients and procedures that may benefit from EXPAREL.


Important Notice

This site is for informational purposes only and is intended to address medical questions from healthcare professionals in the United States.

To report an adverse event, e-mail drugsafety@pacira.com or dial 1-855-RX-EXPAREL (1-855-793-9727).

For medical inquiries related to EXPAREL, submit a request to Medical Information or call 1-855-RX-EXPAREL (1-855-793-9727).

These are not all of the potential important safety considerations for EXPAREL; please see the full Prescribing Information.


  1. How DepoFoam® works. Pacira Pharmaceuticals, Inc. website. http://www.pacira.com/depofoam-platform/how-it-works.php. Accessed January 8, 2015.
  2. Data on file. Parsippany, NJ: Pacira Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; February 2015.

Important Safety Information

EXPAREL is indicated for single-dose administration into the surgical site to produce postsurgical analgesia.

EXPAREL is contraindicated in obstetrical paracervical block anesthesia. EXPAREL has not been studied for use in patients younger than 18 years of age.

Non-bupivacaine-based local anesthetics, including lidocaine, may cause an immediate release of bupivacaine from EXPAREL if administered together locally. The administration of EXPAREL may follow the administration of lidocaine after a delay of 20 minutes or more. Other formulations of bupivacaine should not be administered within 96 hours following administration of EXPAREL.

Monitoring of cardiovascular and neurological status, as well as vital signs should be performed during and after injection of EXPAREL as with other local anesthetic products. Because amide-type local anesthetics, such as bupivacaine, are metabolized by the liver, EXPAREL should be used cautiously in patients with hepatic disease. Patients with severe hepatic disease, because of their inability to metabolize local anesthetics normally, are at a greater risk of developing toxic plasma concentrations.

In clinical trials, the most common adverse reactions (incidence =10%) following EXPAREL administration were nausea, constipation, and vomiting.

Studies demonstrating the safety and efficacy of EXPAREL were conducted in hemorrhoidectomy and bunionectomy; EXPAREL has not been demonstrated to be safe and effective in other procedures

Please see the full Prescribing Information for EXPAREL.

Important Safety Information

Medical Information

US healthcare professionals Click Here

Non-US healthcare professionals can submit a request to medinfo@pacira.com

If you are not a healthcare professional, please discuss any questions you have regarding your health or treatment with your physician, pharmacist, nurse, or other healthcare professional.

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