Home » Opioid Awareness » Non-Opioid Pain Relief Options for Postsurgical Patients

Following the birth of her first child, Lucas, who’s now four-and-a-half years old, Santos was given opioids to manage her pain.

Flash forward to the birth of her youngest child, Leonel, in August 2017, and Santos’ experience was different.

A new experience

She was given a non-opioid drug called EXPAREL® (bupivacaine liposome injectable suspension) that her surgeon injected during surgery, which managed her pain for several days after surgery.

“It was a great option for me,” says the now 32-year-old New Jersey mom, who had her baby late on a Saturday night and went home that Monday.

Like many communities across the country, New Jersey is facing an epidemic of opioid addictions and deaths. An average of eight people die each day in the state due to overdose, including opioid overdose. Patients who start taking opioids for medical reasons can become dependent on the drug. That’s why the CDC encourages patients and providers to try to manage pain without opioids.

Santos says even the nurses were surprised how well the new mom was handling pain and moving around. She was walking the hallway six hours after the C-section.

“I just had such a good experience,” says Santos, who held her baby right away after he was born. She credits EXPAREL® with helping her.

Doctors gave her a prescription for an opioid for her recovery but she says she didn’t need it because her pain was so well-managed with the non-opioid drug. Instead she took TYLENOL®.

Non-opioid options

During her pregnancy, Santos’ doctor had told her about EXPAREL so when she had an emergency C-section, she already knew her pain plan involved non-opioid drugs.

EXPAREL is an add-on medication that allows patients to minimize or avoid opioids. Patients can still use opioids if needed.

Santos, who works in insurance and likes fishing, photography, and arts and crafts, advises other moms to ask their doctor about non-opioid medicines.

“I think patients really need to ask for different options,” she says. “I think a lot of people don’t know they could ask for something else.”

Visit www.exparel.com/learnmore for more information.

Patient Important Safety Information (ISI)

EXPAREL® (bupivacaine liposome injectable suspension) should not be used in obstetrical paracervical block anesthesia.

In studies where EXPAREL was injected into the wound, the most common side effects were nausea, constipation, and vomiting.

In studies where EXPAREL was injected near a nerve, the most common side effects were nausea, fever, and constipation.

EXPAREL is not recommended to be used in patients younger than 18 years old or in pregnant women.

Tell your healthcare provider if you have liver disease, since this may affect how the active ingredient (bupivacaine) in EXPAREL is eliminated from your body.

EXPAREL should not be injected into the spine, joints, or veins.

The active ingredient in EXPAREL can affect your nervous system and your cardiovascular system; may cause an allergic reaction; may cause damage if injected into your joints; and can cause a rare blood disorder.

Next article