The Newest Battlefield Opioid, Sublingual Sufentanil: A Proposal to Refine Opioid Usage in the U.S. Military
Mil Med. 2021 Sep 29:usab395. doi: 10.1093/milmed/usab395. Online ahead of print.ABSTRACTThere is an ongoing opioid epidemic in the USA, and the U.S. military is not immune to the health threat. To combat the epidemic, the Department of Defense (DoD) and Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA) issued new clinical practice guidelines and launched the Opioid Safety Initiative aimed at reducing opioid prescriptions. Furthermore, the DoD continually refined opioid protocols for acute pain on the battlefield, evolving from intramuscular morphine to intravenous morphine administration to oral transmucosal fentanyl citrate lollipops (Actiq) to finally sublingual sufentanil tablets (SSTs, Dsuvia). Interestingly, the newest introduction of SSTs into the military sparked great controversy, as there are concerns over the drug's potential for misuse. However, although the opioid crisis may understandably foster an aversion to new candidate opioids, the therapeutic benefits of effective opioids in acute trauma settings should not be overlooked. SSTs may offer an improved analgesic option to meet the battlefield's unmet needs with its non-invasive, sublingual delivery system and favorable pharmacologic properties that mitigate the risk for side effects, addiction, and adverse outcomes. Accordingly, this commentary aims to (1) review the evolution of opioid use on the battlefield and discuss the medical benefits and limitations of SSTs in acute trauma settings, (2) highlight the importance of...
Source: Military Medicine - Category: International Medicine & Public Health Authors: Sharon Y Kim Chester C Buckenmaier Edmund G Howe Kwang H Choi Source Type: research
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