Analgesic or painkillers are groups of drugs used to relive pain. These drugs are classified into different categories and forms. The major class includes, NSAIDS, COX-2 inhibitors, Opiates and morphinomimetics and Flupirtine. These drugs can be administered intramuscular, taken orally or applied topically into the skin.
Painkillers are widely used around the world. While their effectiveness in treating pain is remarkable, the misused of these drugs can be fatal and can lead to death. In the United States aline, many cases of death caused by drug overdose are being reported every day. Many of these deaths are attributed to opioid, which is a strong narcotic.
Prescription drugs such are opioids ( oxycodone and hydrocodone) are mostly used by those who commit suicide from a drug overdose. The use of prescription drugs must be taken with caution because a patient may die within a span of 19 minutes when the drug is not used properly. Because of the growing number of victims of drug overdose, the Food and Drug Administration or FDA decided to take action, which led them to announce that they are implementing new safety labels and conduct post-market studies to fight the rampant misused, abuse, addiction, overdose and death caused by the strong painkillers which have taken many lives.
The recent order from the FDA targets the label changes for potent drugs such as opiods primarily the oxycodone and hydrocodone which are long-acting and extended-release drugs. According to FDA Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg, “These drugs are at the heart of the abuse epidemic. But, we must recognize the medical use they have.”
The original labels read “the relief of moderate to severe pain in patients requiring continuous, around-the-clock opioid treatment for an extended period of time.”Even so, the current label is subjected to change into “alternative treatment options are inadequate.”Meaning, the drugs should only be used during extreme cases or when it is truly needed by the patient.
The new label aims to prevent the over-use and misuse of prescribed painkillers and to promote better options for patients who suffer from chronic and acute pain. The new labeling will take place at the end of the year says the FDA.
On the web: http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm367660.htm