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FDA orders more stringent labeling for opioid drugs

posted Sep 18, 2013, 8:57 AM by Rehab Media   [ updated Oct 13, 2013, 5:31 PM ]
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the Unites States recently took another step toward restricting use of extended-release prescription opioid medications, such as OxyContin®. The FDA has ordered new labeling guidelines for extended-release opioids in move to stem the growing prescription opioid addiction epidemic.
FDA orders more stringent labeling for opioid drugs
September 10, 2013

Physicians will be urged to prescribe OxyContin and other powerful painkillers only for patients with the greatest need. Public health and addiction experts call the action insufficient.

Responding to calls to stem a growing epidemic of prescription drug addiction and overdose deaths, federal officials are urging doctors to reserve the most powerful pain drugs for patients who need long-term, around-the-clock treatment that can't be managed by other means.

Leaders of the Food and Drug Administration said they hoped new drug labeling guidelines unveiled Tuesday would prompt doctors to be more cautious in prescribing long-acting and extended-release forms of oxycodone, morphine and other narcotic painkillers, known as opioids.

Such drugs — sold as OxyContin, Opana and other brand names — account for less than 10% of all opioid prescriptions written in the U.S. More widely prescribed, fast-acting opioids, including hydrocodone, were not affected by the FDA action.

Continue reading at the LA Times...