Will Xaracoll, A New FDA-Approved Drug, Make Hernia Surgery Recovery Less Painful?

Medical Devices

If you’re having second thoughts about hernia recurrence surgery, there’s potentially good news. The FDA has approved Xaracoll, a post-surgical pain-relief drug, designed for usage for up to 24 hours following an inguinal hernia. 

Developed by the Ireland-based Innocoll Pharmaceuticals, Xaracoll is a non-opioid drug. But the drug isn’t a pill or capsule. Rather, like hernia mesh, it is a surgically-implanted device. It is placed directly into the surgical site during surgery. The drug releases bupivacaine immediately and over time. Bupivacaine is an anesthetic that numbs an area of the body to relieve pain during surgery or medical procedures, childbirth, and dental work.

XARACOLL is an advancement in the management of postsurgical pain as it is the first and only drug-device combination product to provide local pain relief following open inguinal hernia repair in adults,” said Innocoll CEO Rich Fante in a press release

According to the press release, people  with known hypersensitivity to bupivacaine or to any local anesthetic of the amide type should not take the drug. Xaracoll is also contraindicated for use in obstetrical paracervical block anesthesia. 

Moreover, cardiovascular and respiratory vital signs and consciousness should be monitored after placement of XARACOLL, especially in patients with hepatic impairment. Local anesthesia has been shown to cause cases of methemoglobinemia, a blood disorder affecting the oxygen-carrying part of red blood cells (hemoglobin).  A final caution about the drug: if using Xaracoll, do not receive an additional anesthetic within 96 hours. 

Collagen, the most abundant protein in the body, acts as the structural glue for the skin. The anesthetic in Xaracoll is administered via a spreading supplemental collagen matrix that gradually dissolves over time. Hopefully, time will show Xaracoll to be less problematic than faulty mesh implants.

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