FDA approves heroin/painkiller overdose antidote

by Rachel Baker on April 4, 2014

While rehab is probably a much better long-term option, this is probably the best shot we have in fighting heroin and painkiller overdoses. The problem is you need a prescription to get the device, how is that going to help the junkie or the undercover drug addict?

At the bottom of the article, the chair of the Department of emergency Medicine at George Washington University makes a comment about how this is like the clean needle exchange program. Its not, really, because you didn’t need a prescription for clean needles, you just needed to turn in your dirty ones. Requiring a prescription is nothing like a needle exchange program.

The Food and Drug Administration approved a device on Thursday that reverses the effects of overdoses from opioids, including heroin and prescription painkillers.

Called Evzio, the injection-style device administers the drug naloxone.

Naloxone has long been used in ambulances and emergency rooms to treat opioid overdoses. Now Evzio allows caregivers, family members and non-medical personnel to keep naloxone on hand, according to the FDA. The device requires a prescription.

Evzio is injected into the muscle or under the skin. When the device is turned on, verbal instructions tell the user how to deliver the medication.

Naloxone is effective because it reverses the slowed-down breathing that leads to death during an overdose, writes Douglas Throckmorton, deputy director for regulatory programs with the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, in a blog post.

If someone is given naloxone who is not overdosing from an opioid, the dose available in the Evzio device will not hurt them, Throckmorton said in a press call.

However, Evzio is not a substitute for immediate medical care, the FDA says.

Read the whole article here:
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2014/04/03/fda-heroin-overdose-antidote/7252349//

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