FDA approves new hand-held auto-injector to reverse opioid overdose

Finally!  The FDA makes a life saving move.  They have approved an injectable form of naloxone called Evzio.  It will come in an auto injector  similar to the EpiPen (for those with allergies – nut allergies, bee stings etc).  It is essentially a self contained dose of the drug built into a syringe.  Once it is pressed against the skin, it will deliver a dose IM (intramuscularly).

The drug naloxone reverses an opioid overdose (e.g., heroin, oxycontin).  It has been available in the form of a nasal injector for some time now.  Furthermore, it was recently approved by the Ohio legislature to be given not only to addicts themselves, but to friends and family members of the addict.  Obviously, if the addict has overdosed, he/she can’t use it themselves, so a bystander must do the life saving act.

This is an important breakthrough as the nasal injector is not the ideal delivery system.  An IM injection will act quicker, in most cases, and get the overdosed person breathing again.  This decision comes on the heels of a recent bone headed move by the FDA to approve a drug called Zohydro.  This drug is a pure form of hydrocodone, without acetaminophen, ala Vicodin, and will be prone to abuse as there is no abuse deterrent formulation available.

Hopefully we can get the FDA to rescind its approval of Zohydro.  The State of Massachusetts has already banned the use of Zohydro in their state.  Way to go MA!  Today’s decision to approve another form of a drug that helps addicts rather than harming them, is an example of the FDA doing what they are commissioned to do – SAVE LIVES!

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