How Much Does Exparel Cost?


Written by:  Howmuchisit.org Staff
Last Updated:  August 13, 2018

Exparel, manufactured by Pacira Pharmaceuticals, is long-active, local anesthetic and is approved by the FDA for a single-dose infiltration into a surgical site to produce postsurgical analgesia.

According to Lewis Albert Andres, M.D., via this Q&A thread, it is delivered within a liposomes form, which is then discharged over a 72-hour period, with the injectable form lasting six hours.

This relatively new drug has helped reduce postoperative pain as well as the need for narcotics after a surgical procedure.

How much does Exparel cost?

The wholesale cost of a 20-mL single-use vial of Exparel is close to $300, but as for consumer pricing, the costs vary based on where you received the injections, the type of surgery, the amount of Exparel you need and your doctor/surgery center and how much they want to profit from it.

From the reports we did read online, the costs seemed to be inside of the $300 to $600+ range, with insurance coverage based upon the reasoning for the injections.  As with most insurance coverage, your coverage would greatly depend on the reasoning as most medical insurance companies will only cover your injections if deemed medically necessary.  To learn more about the Medicare and commercial insurance company, the official website, Exparel.com offers a guide as to how you may be able to have insurance cover it.

For example, one member on this Realself.com Q&A thread noted her doctor was charging $720 for Exparel and wanted to know if this was worth it, and according to the responses from multiple doctors, most of them said the prices could be higher if the surgery center marks up the drug, especially if the doctor is unable to bring in their own medication.

Dosage

As per the Pharmacy Times and the Exparel medication guide, Exparel is only intended to be used for a single-dose infiltration only, with the recommended dosage dependent upon the surgical site and the volume needed to cover the area.  The maximum dosage, regardless of the use, should not exceed 266 mg and always should be injected slowly into the nearby soft tissue of the surgical site with frequent aspiration to help minimize the risk of intravascular injection and to check the blood.

Exparel is directly injected into the area of your body where the surgery is being performed, only during the procedure.  This is the only time you will receive it and no follow-up doses will be required.

What is this medicine?

Exparel is an anesthetic designed to cause loss of a feeling either in the skin or tissues, according to the official website, the medication will help control your pain after surgery to allow for a good recovery.  The company also claims it is not a narcotic nor is it an opioid as it will work in your body where you had surgery, unlike opioids, which affect the entire body.

Used to prevent and help treat pain from multiple surgical procedures, the medicine can provide relief for general surgeries, orthopedic surgeries, oral surgery and breast surgery.  It can also be used for other surgeries that are not listed on the official website, with the company recommending that you talk with your doctor to see if the injections are good for your situation.

The medicine is intended as an injection in the affected area only and must be administered by a medical professional inside of either a hospital or clinic setting.

Exparel side effects

Source: Drugs.com

This is not a full list of side effects; refer to this FDA guide for reported side effects.  As always, talk with a medical professional immediately if the side effects are bothersome.

Tips to know

To find a surgeon in your area who uses Exparel, the company does offer an official search tool.


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