Menu

FDA Approves Drug to Ease Symptoms of Opioid Withdrawal

Lucemyra is the first non-opioid drug to be approved in the U.S. specifically for this purpose.

May 17, 2018
Catherine Offord

ISTOCK, SDOMINICKThe US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the first non-opioid drug for treatment of the symptoms of opioid withdrawal. Announcing the move in a press statement yesterday (May 16), the agency noted that Lucemyra (lofexidine hydrochloride) is intended to help adults who abruptly stop taking the addictive painkillers, and is only approved for treatment for up to two weeks.

“It won’t completely eliminate symptoms of withdrawal,” Mark Pirner, the senior medical director at Lucemyra manufacturer US WorldMeds, tells STAT News. “But for places and people where withdrawal is perpetuating higher opioid use, then Lucemyra is an appropriate therapy.”

See “The Quest for Safer Opioid Drugs

In 2016, opioid-related overdoses in the U.S. led to more than 42,000 deaths—a toll that exceeded the number of people killed in car crashes. The drugs are notoriously addictive, with withdrawal symptoms including extreme nausea, vomiting, and anxiety.

“We know that the physical symptoms of opioid withdrawal can be one of the biggest barriers for patients seeking help and ultimately overcoming addiction,” FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb says in the statement. “The fear of experiencing withdrawal symptoms often prevents those suffering from opioid addiction from seeking help.”

While there are currently some other approved drugs that mitigate withdrawal symptoms, many are themselves opioids, such as buprenorphine, or target specific symptoms alongside underlying opioid dependency.

The new compound itself is not without side effects; Lucemyra can cause dizziness as well as low blood pressure and heart rate. The FDA has required another 15 studies to assess the drug’s safety in situations not described in the current approval, including use in children and use that exceeds 14 days.

April 2019

Will Car T Cells Smash Tumors?

New trials take the therapy beyond the blood

Marketplace

Sponsored Product Updates

Getting More Consistent Results by Knowing the Quality of Your Protein
Getting More Consistent Results by Knowing the Quality of Your Protein
Download this guide from NanoTemper to learn how to identify and evaluate the quality of your protein samples!
Myth Busting: The Best Way to Use Pure Water in the Lab
Myth Busting: The Best Way to Use Pure Water in the Lab
Download this white paper from ELGA LabWater to learn about the role of pure water in the laboratory and the advantages of in-house water purification!
Shimadzu's New Nexera UHPLC Series with AI and IoT Enhancements Sets Industry Standard for Intelligence, Efficiency and Design
Shimadzu's New Nexera UHPLC Series with AI and IoT Enhancements Sets Industry Standard for Intelligence, Efficiency and Design
Shimadzu Corporation announces the release of the Nexera Ultra High-Performance Liquid Chromatograph series, incorporating artificial intelligence as Analytical Intelligence, allowing systems to detect and resolve issues automatically. The Nexera series makes lab management simple by integrating IoT and device networking, enabling users to easily review instrument status, optimize resource allocation, and achieve higher throughput.
IDT lowers genomic barriers with powerful rhAmpSeq™ targeted sequencing system
IDT lowers genomic barriers with powerful rhAmpSeq™ targeted sequencing system
Increasing accuracy and reducing cost barriers, IDT’s innovative system delivers simple and cost-effective amplicon sequencing