This Post is Sponsored by Pacira BioSciences, Inc. and BlogHer. (photo credit: blogher / kendallrayburn) #asktheopioidquestion
Winning for Women: A Modern Approach to Tackling Your Health
I am officially back from my BlogHer Health trip and ready to spill the beans on everything I’ve learned! One of my favorite events from the weekend was called Winning for Women: A Modern Approach to Tackling Your Health, and Pacira BioSciences, Inc. sponsored it. Before this conference, I had not heard of Pacira before – but as I learned more about them, I was inspired to share their mission and product.
What is EXPAREL® (bupivacaine liposome injectable suspension)
EXPAREL is a medication that helps control your pain after surgery to possibly help you recover without the use of opioids or narcotics. It doesn’t affect your entire body like an opioid; instead, it targets the area where you had surgery. 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. And because EXPAREL works over time, you may need fewer doses of other medications, including opioids. EXPAREL is proven to help patients use fewer opioids as they start their recovery.
When Can EXPAREL be used?
EXPAREL can be used on orthopedic procedures, oral surgeries, women’s health procedures including C-sections, breast reconstruction, and so much more. You can use this handy Surgeon Selector to find a doctor near you who uses EXPAREL. I know I am FOR SURE going to ask about using EXPAREL for my next Endometriosis related surgery.
During the event, we were treated to a panel of inspiring women. Each whom shared a different connection with pain and the opioid epidemic. The most moving story was from a woman who shared her opioid addiction story that was a result of her first C-section. It made me think about my own C-section and how I recovered with heavy opioids. I remember the drugs being so potent that I was overly-tired and nauseous. I also think about what my recovery could have looked like with something like a non-opioid option instead.
I don’t know if I’ve ever disclosed this – but the last time I went to my doc they informed me that I have the highest drug score that they’ve ever seen. You see, every person has an opioid score that follows them around from doctor to doctor – and every time a new pain killer is prescribed, that score increases. Between my 7 Endometriosis surgeries, giving birth, my C-section, and living with chronic pain – it’s no wonder why I have such a high score. The higher your score, the more at risk you are for developing an addiction to opioids.
So for me, I don’t want to increase my score any higher. It terrifies me that I have such a high score that even my doctor took notice. It makes me want to find other options to fight my pain – options like EXPAREL for managing pain after surgeries would hopefully make a huge difference, right?
There was something so inspiring about sitting in a room full of women having an open and honest talk about our pain related to C-sections. Did you know almost 1.3 MILLION women deliver their babies via C-section each year? Did you also know that women are 40% more likely than men to become persistent users of opioids following surgery? This means that they continued to take their opioids 3-6 months after their procedure. So interesting, right? Talking to your doctor about non-opioid options has the potential to help a lot of women, which is why I’m sharing it with you today.
A part of me is excited to follow this company in their endeavors to help women. I can’t wait to hopefully try EXPAREL with a future surgery so I can report back to share my experience.
And if anything, I hope that by me sharing this experience you will realize that:
- You have the right to ask questions about pain management.
- You have options, and do not have to turn to opioids as an answer.
- You can have an open and honest discussion with your doctor to put together a pain management plan that works for you!
- Click HERE to read EXPAREL safety information.
Important Safety Information: EXPAREL 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 health care 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, Can cause a rare blood disorder.