FDA Announces New Safety Measures for Narcotic Painkillers

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FDA Announces New Safety Measures for Narcotic Painkillers
Wed, 09-11-2013 - 8:20am

New label warnings on extended-release, long-acting drugs for pain will soon go into affect. According to Health Day News, "In 2010, an estimated 16,651 people died because of abuse and misuse of opioid drugs," Hamburg said. "There is an increase of more than 300 percent over the past decade. And for each death there is an additional 10 treatment admissions, 32 emergency department visits and 825 nonmedical users of these drugs."

Hamburg said the FDA is trying to find a balance between making these painkillers available for patients who really need them and reducing their misuse and abuse.

The purpose of the new labeling is to make clear that because addiction, abuse and misuse are possible even at recommended doses -- along with the risks of overdose and death -- these drugs should be used only when other non-narcotic drugs have failed or aren't tolerated, or aren't strong enough to manage a patient's pain, the agency says." read more

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