What is EXPAREL?
EXPAREL is a medication that helps control your pain after surgery so that you can have a good recovery. EXPAREL is not an opioid or narcotic. It works in your body where you had surgery, unlike opioids, which affect the whole body.
During a procedure, the doctor places EXPAREL into the surgical area. EXPAREL contains specially formulated bupivacaine (a type of local anesthetic) that is designed to release into your body over a long period of time for lasting pain relief. Because EXPAREL works over time, you may need fewer doses of other medications, including opioids. In fact, EXPAREL is proven to help patients use fewer opioids as they start their recovery.
Which surgical procedures can EXPAREL be used for?
EXPAREL can provide relief in all kinds of surgery, including…
General surgery: Colon, Stomach, Hernia, Kidney, Weight loss
Orthopedic surgery: Knee, Hip, Spine, Foot, Ankle, Hand, Shoulder
Oral surgery: Wisdom tooth, Jaw
OB-GYN / Breast surgery: Hysterectomy, Fibroid, Breast, C-section (caesarean section)
EXPAREL can be used in more types of surgery than what is listed here. Talk to your doctor to see if EXPAREL is right for you. If you still need to find a doctor, use the Surgeon Selector to locate someone near you who uses EXPAREL.
How does EXPAREL work?
EXPAREL numbs the pain in the area on your body where your surgery is performed. EXPAREL slowly releases a medication (local anesthetic) called bupivacaine. This slow release makes it possible for EXPAREL to give you long-lasting pain relief after surgery with just a single dose.
How long does EXPAREL work?
Everyone experiences pain, and pain management, differently. In clinical trials, patients who received EXPAREL have been shown to experience pain relief during the first few days after surgery.
How is EXPAREL given?
Your doctor injects EXPAREL directly into the area of your body where the surgery is being performed, during the procedure. This is the only time you will receive EXPAREL, so there are no follow-up doses. Because EXPAREL is used during your surgery, your doctor needs to know ahead of time if it is something you are interested in receiving. Talk about pain management during your consultation so your doctor can plan ahead.
Does EXPAREL have side effects?
Side effects can occur with any medication; it is important not to ignore anything you might feel. Some patients in clinical trials who received EXPAREL or other pain relievers experienced nausea, vomiting, and/or constipation. Speak with your doctor right away if you get any of these more frequent side effects, or if you have questions about possible side effects.
Is EXPAREL an opioid?
No, EXPAREL is not an opioid medication and is not addictive. EXPAREL controls pain by releasing a numbing medication slowly and directly in the area of the body where surgery was performed.
How are opioids related to heroin?
Morphine, a type of opioid, is very similar to heroin. The similarities include how morphine and heroin work, and the effects they have on the body.
When should I speak to my doctor about EXPAREL?
Since EXPAREL is something your doctor uses during surgery, it is important to have a conversation with him or her well before your procedure. When you see your doctor for your surgical consultation, make sure to ask about your pain management plan and talk about your needs and preferences. Customize your Discussion Guide so you can bring specific talking points to your appointment.
What if my doctor doesn't use EXPAREL?
If you are interested in receiving EXPAREL for postsurgical pain relief, the Surgeon Selector can help you find a doctor nearby who uses EXPAREL.
Will I need to take other pain medications along with EXPAREL? Can I take other pain medications along with EXPAREL?
Your doctor may prescribe additional pain medications along with EXPAREL. Often, doctors will choose to combine medications to try to limit the amount of medicine you need, and therefore limit the risk of side effects. Talk to your doctor about your pain management plan before surgery so you know what to expect.
What does EXPAREL cost? Does it add to the bill for my surgery?
The charge for EXPAREL depends on many factors, including: the facility where your surgery happens, the type of surgery, the amount of EXPAREL you receive, and your insurance coverage. Be sure to discuss this with your doctor and treatment team as you talk about your surgery and post-surgical pain management plan.