Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

FDA approves device to combat opioid drug overdose

WASHINGTON — In a move meant to prevent deaths caused by the nation's prescription drug epidemic, the Food and Drug Administration on Thursday approved a new device that would let family members or caregivers administer emergency medication to combat an overdose.

The product, Evzio, rapidly delivers a dose of naloxone, a drug that has long been used to reverse the effects caused by an overdose of a powerful class of painkillers known as opioids. The treatment would be administered through a handheld automatic injector that gives verbal instructions to the user and is small enough to carry in a pocket.

Federal officials fast-tracked approval of the sale of Evzio, by prescription, saying it could play a critically important role in preventing some of the 16,000 deaths per year attributed to painkiller abuse, a problem that has grown steadily worse in the past decade and now eclipses the number of people killed in car crashes. Because victims of opioid overdose tend to lose consciousness, allowing nearby family members or caretakers to administer naloxone outside a hospital setting could mean the difference between life and death for some patients.

Regulators warned Evzioshould not be considered a substitute for medical care.

"Until now, most people had to rely on emergency medical care to get access to an opioid reversal agent," Allen Burton, an anesthesiologist and pain specialist at Houston Pain Centers, said in a statement released by Kaleo, the maker of Evzio. "Having naloxone available for use by caregivers as soon as signs of overdose are observed means an earlier intervention and better chance of survival."

FDA approves device to combat opioid drug overdose 04/03/14 [Last modified: Thursday, April 3, 2014 9:17pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Washington Post.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Fennelly: It's high time for Bucs to take Tampa Bay back

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Welcome to the proving ground.

    Bucs training camp begins today.

    Hard Knocks and flop sweat.

    Work and more work.

    "We have a lot to prove,'' wide receiver Mike Evans (13) says. "We're good on paper, but we've got to do it." [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  2. Old dog's lucky day: Video shows firefighters rescuing 12-year-old Shar-Pei mix from bay

    Pets

    MIAMI BEACH — Junior spent Thursday night lounging on a pillow, too tired to move.

    Jose Ruiz takes a selfie with his dog named Junior after Junior was rescued from Biscayne Bay. [Photo courtesy of Jose Ruiz via Miami Herald]
  3. HomeTeam 100: Players 1-10

    Footballpreps

    When he's not holding things down on the O-line, Nicholas Petit-Frere is holding his own in the classroom with a 3.7 grade-point average. (Andres Leiva, Times)
  4. HomeTeam 100: Football's a slam dunk for Nicholas Petit-Frere

    Footballpreps

    Berkeley Prep senior Nicholas Petit-Frere is one of the nation's most coveted offensive tackle recruits in the class of 2018. (Andres Leiva, Times)
  5. White House wants 'thorough investigation into fired IT staffer who worked for Wasserman Schultz

    Blogs

    The White House press secretary called for a "thorough investigation" into a fired information technology staffer who worked for U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

    U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Weston.