Home Update News FDA approves opioid painkiller 1,000 times stronger than morphine

FDA approves opioid painkiller 1,000 times stronger than morphine

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FDA approves opioid painkiller 1,000 times stronger than morphine


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The tiny pill, “Dsuvia,” will be restricted to use only in health care settings such as hospitals. Critics worry it will fuel an already grim opioid epidemic.
USA TODAY

A new opioid tablet that is 1,000 times more potent than morphine and 10 times stronger than fentanyl was approved by the Food and Drug Administration Friday as a fast-acting alternative to IV painkillers used in hospitals. 

The painkiller Dsuvia will be restricted to limited use only in health care settings, such as hospitals, surgery centers and emergency rooms, but critics worry the opioid will fuel an already grim opioid epidemic. 

Democratic Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts urged the FDA not to approve the painkiller last month, saying “an opioid that is a thousand times more powerful than morphine is a thousand times more likely to be abused, and a thousand times more likely to kill.”

To that, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a statement that “very tight restrictions” will be placed on Dsuvia.

Dsuvia will not be available at retail pharmacies or for any home use, Gottlieb said. The medication, which comes in a single-use package, also should not be used for more than 72 hours. The medicine comes in a tablet that can dissolve under the tongue. Side effects of the potent drug include extreme tiredness, breathing problems, coma and death.  

More: The opioid crisis hits home. Mine.

Gottlieb said military use of the drug was “carefully considered in this case” as the FDA wants to “make sure our soldiers have access to treatments that meet the unique needs of the battlefield.”

More: Drugs kill more Americans than guns, cars and AIDS. How we got here.

More: Senate passes multi-pronged legislation to battle nation’s opioid crisis

The Associated Press contributed to this article. Follow Ashley May on Twitter: @AshleyMayTweets

 

 

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