Frequently Asked Questions
The BRIDGE is a percutaneous nerve field stimulator (PNFS) device system, that has been FDA cleared as an aid to reduce the symptoms of opioid and alcohol withdrawal.
The BRIDGE is a small device that is placed behind the ear which sends gentle electrical impulses through nerve endings around the ear that stimulate branches of cranial and occipital nerves that lead into the spinal cord. This stimulation has been shown to greatly diminish the physical symptoms associated with alcohol and opioid withdrawal.
The BRIDGE clinical trials demonstrated response in 30 to 60 minutes. Patients will notice a reduction in their symptoms within that time frame.
The BRIDGE should be considered an important part of an overall treatment plan.
No. The BRIDGE should not be used for people with hemophilia, psoriasis vulgaris, or anyone using cardiac pacemakers. An intact skin surface is essential. Always thoroughly discuss your medical history with your treating clinician so treatment decisions can be accurately made.
It will simply stop working. It will not shock you or explode. If you accidentally get the device wet, carefully dry it and call your treating clinician.
Yes. While the devices are water resistant they, should not be considered water proof. Hold a dry wash cloth or a small plastic cup over the ear while showering to protect the device.
Sweating enough to make the affixing bandages or the generator come off is a possibility but rarely occurs. DO NOT SWIM while wearing the device and it is not recommended to go into a sauna. If any device is immersed in water the adhesive holding the arrays or the generator may become loose.
The BRIDGE runs for up to 120 hours (5 days) / with periodic rest. The device should be left on for the recommend length of time unless discussed by the treating clinician.
Treatment length varies from patient to patient depending upon your condition and many other factors. Treatment time and estimated number of devices should be discussed in advance before treatment is initiated with your provider.
No. This is one of the most commonly asked questions. Each device is checked several times in the factory before they are shipped. Each device is activated immediately before placement. The device will be working when placed. IT IS NORMAL to not feel the pulsing on the second day because the nerves get used to the pulsing. Just because you don’t feel it doesn’t mean it is not working.
The BRIDGE is one important part of our complete treatment program for opioid or alcohol dependence. The total cost for our treatment program will vary by patient, and since many of the costs are not commonly covered by insurance, the patient will be responsible for these charges which are usually less than $4,000 including the BRIDGE and Vivitrol.