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FDA Approves Monthly Injection for Opioid Addiction Treatment

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. health officials on Thursday approved the first injectable form of the leading medication to treat patients recovering from addiction to heroin, prescription painkillers and other opioids. The Food and Drug Administration approved once-a-month Sublocade for adults with opioid use disorder who are already stabilized on addiction medication. The monthly injection has the potential to reduce dangerous relapses that occur when patients stop taking the currently available daily medication. But that benefit has not yet been shown in studies and the new drug comes with a hefty price: $1,580 per monthly dose. The older version of the drug, Suboxone, costs $100 a month The approval comes amid the deadliest drug epidemic in U.S. history and a longstanding gap in medication-based treatment for patients recovering from addiction to opioids, including painkillers like OxyContin and illegal narcotics like heroin and fentanyl. More than 64,000 Americans died from drug overdoses last year, most involving opioids. Drugmaker Indivior already sells the injection's key ingredient, buprenorphine, in medicated strips that dissolve under the tongue. Patients take the daily medication to control withdrawal symptoms like nausea, muscle aches and pain. When dosed appropriately the drug also reduces the euphoric effects of other opioids, discouraging abuse. The new injection has potential to reduce abuse and diversion of buprenorphine, which is itself an opioid sometimes so...
Source: JEMS Patient Care - Category: Emergency Medicine Authors: Tags: Patient Care News Source Type: news

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