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How Supplied


EXPAREL is indicated for administration into the surgical site to produce postsurgical analgesia. EXPAREL has not been studied for use in patients younger than 18 years of age.


EXPAREL is intended for single-dose administration only.

The recommended dose of EXPAREL is based on the following factors:

  • Size of the surgical site
  • Volume required to cover the area
  • Individual patient factors that may impact the safety of an amide local anesthetic
  • Maximum dose of 266 mg (20 mL)

As general guidance in selecting the proper dosing for the planned surgical site, two examples of dosing are provided. One example of the recommended dose comes from a study in patients undergoing bunionectomy. A total of 8 mL (106 mg) was administered as 7 mL of EXPAREL infiltrated into the tissues surrounding the osteotomy, and 1 mL infiltrated into the subcutaneous tissue.

Another example comes from a study of patients undergoing hemorrhoidectomy. A total of 20 mL (266 mg) of EXPAREL was diluted with 10 mL of saline, for a total of 30 mL, divided into six 5 mL aliquots, injected by visualizing the anal sphincter as a clock face and slowly infiltrating one aliquot to each of the even numbers to produce a field block.

Injection Instructions

EXPAREL should be injected slowly into soft tissues of the surgical site with frequent aspiration to check for blood and minimize the risk of intravascular injection.

  • EXPAREL is intended for single-dose administration only.
  • Different formulations of bupivacaine are not bioequivalent even if the milligram strength is the same. Therefore, it is not possible to convert dosing from any other formulations of bupivacaine to EXPAREL.
  • EXPAREL should be administered with a 25 gauge or larger bore needle.
  • The maximum dosage of EXPAREL should not exceed 266 mg (20 mL, 1.3% of undiluted drug).
  • EXPAREL can be administered undiluted or diluted to increase volume up to a final concentration of 0.89 mg/mL (i.e. 1:14 dilution by volume) with normal (0.9%) saline or lactated Ringer's solution.
  • Vials of EXPAREL should be inverted multiple times to re-suspend the particles immediately prior to withdrawal from the vial
  • Diluted suspensions of EXPAREL should be used within 4 hours of preparation in a syringe.
  • Do not administer EXPAREL if the product is discolored.
  • Do not administer EXPAREL if it is suspected that the vial has been frozen or exposed to high temperature (greater than 40°C or 104°F) for an extended period.

Compatibility Considerations

Some physicochemical incompatibilities exist between EXPAREL and certain other drugs. Direct contact of EXPAREL with these drugs results in a rapid increase in free (unencapsulated) bupivacaine, altering EXPAREL characteristics and potentially affecting the safety and efficacy of EXPAREL. Therefore, admixing EXPAREL with other drugs prior to administration is not recommended [See DRUG INTERACTIONS].

  • Non-bupivacaine based local anesthetics, including lidocaine, may cause an immediate release of bupivacaine from EXPAREL if administered together locally. The administration of EXPAREL may follow the administration of lidocaine after a delay of 20 minutes or more.
  • Bupivacaine HCl administered together with EXPAREL may impact the pharmacokinetic and/or physicochemical properties of EXPAREL, and this effect is concentration dependent. Therefore, bupivacaine HCl and EXPAREL may be administered simultaneously in the same syringe, and bupivacaine HCl may be injected immediately before EXPAREL as long as the ratio of the milligram dose of bupivacaine HCl solution to EXPAREL does not exceed 1:2.
    The toxic effects of these drugs are additive and their administration should be used with caution including monitoring for neurologic and cardiovascular effects related to toxicity [See WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS and OVERDOSAGE].
  • When a topical antiseptic such as povidone iodine (e.g., Betadine®) is applied, the site should be allowed to dry before EXPAREL is administered into the surgical site. EXPAREL should not be allowed to come into contact with antiseptics such as povidone iodine in solution.

Studies conducted with EXPAREL demonstrated that the most common implantable materials (polypropylene, PTFE, silicone, stainless steel, and titanium) are not affected by the presence of EXPAREL any more than they are by saline. None of the materials studied had an adverse effect on EXPAREL.

When administered in recommended doses and concentrations, bupivacaine HCl does not ordinarily produce irritation or tissue damage and does not cause methemoglobinemia.

Non-Interchangeability With Other Formulations Of Bupivacaine

Different formulations of bupivacaine are not bioequivalent even if the milligram dosage is the same. Therefore, it is not possible to convert dosing from any other formulations of bupivacaine to EXPAREL and vice versa.

Liposomal encapsulation or incorporation in a lipid complex can substantially affect a drug's functional properties relative to those of the unencapsulated or nonlipid-associated drug. In addition, different liposomal or lipid-complexed products with a common active ingredient may vary from one another in the chemical composition and physical form of the lipid component. Such differences may affect functional properties of these drug products. Do not substitute.


Dosage Forms And Strengths

EXPAREL (bupivacaine liposome injectable suspension)

  • 20 mL single use vial, 1.3% (13.3 mg/mL)

Storage And Handling

EXPAREL (bupivacaine liposome injectable suspension) is available in single-use vials for infiltration.

20 mL single use vial, 1.3% (13.3 mg/mL) packaged in cartons of 10 (NDC 65250-266-20).


EXPAREL vials should be stored refrigerated between 2°C to 8°C (36°F to 46°F). EXPAREL may be held at a controlled room temperature of 20°C to 25°C (68°F to 77°F) for up to 30 days in sealed, intact (unopened) vials. Vials should not be re-refrigerated.

EXPAREL should not be frozen or exposed to high temperatures (greater than 40°C or 104°F) for an extended period. Do not administer EXP.AREL if it is suspected of having been frozen or exposed to high temperatures. Do not use the vial if the stopper is bulging.

  • Vials of EXPAREL should be inverted to re-suspend the particles immediately prior to withdrawal from the vial. Multiple inversions may be necessary to re-suspend the particles if the contents of the vial have settled.
  • Vials should be visually inspected before use.
  • Do not filter.
  • Do not heat before use.
  • Do not autoclave.
  • Following withdrawal from the vial, EXPAREL may be stored at controlled room temperature of 20°C to 25°C (68°F to 77°F) for up to 4 hours prior to administration.
  • Discard any unused portion in an appropriate manner.

Pacira Pharmaceuticals, Inc. San Diego, CA 92121 USA. Revised: Dec 2015

This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

Last reviewed on RxList: 12/23/2015

How Supplied

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration


You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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