FDA Approves Opioid Painkiller 1,000 Times Stronger Than Morphine!


USA Today

On October 12th, 2018 the FDA approved the release of a new opioid painkiller called Dsuvia. The FDA advisory committee recommended approval of Dsuvia in a 10-3 vote. The drug will be able for use in January. Dsuvia is a 3 centimeter wide, 30-microgram tablet made by AcelRx and it has been proven to be 1,000 times stronger than morphine and 10 times as strong as fentanyl.  The single dose medication is placed under the tongue for quick absorption and will have the same impact as 5 mg of intravenous morphine. The listed side effects include extreme tiredness, coma, breathing problems, and death. The use of Dsuvia will only be for patients that cannot tolerate other pain killer treatments.  The drug is currently restricted to use in healthcare settings such as hospitals and it is restricted in use on the battlefield. It’s potential use by soldiers was one reason this drug was even approved according to U.S. FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb. “The FDA has made it a high priority to make sure our soldiers have access to treatments that meet the unique needs of the battlefield, including when intravenous administration is not possible for the treatment of acute pain.” Raeford Brown, M.D., a professor of anesthesiology and pediatrics at the University of Kentucky, encouraged the FDA not to approve the drug. Regardless of his efforts, the drug was approved, but put to very tight restrictions. “To address concerns about the potential risks associated with Dsuvia, this product will have strong limitations on it’s use,” Gottlieb said. “It can’t be dispensed to patients for home use and should not be used for more than 72 hours. And it should only be administered by a health care provider using a single-dose applicator. That means it won’t be available at retail pharmacies for patients to take home.”   

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