Do we really need a more potent, and more addictive, opioid?

dsuviaapplicator
Image credit: Da Hee Han

In the midst of a national opioid crisis, how badly do we need another formidable painkiller?

This vexing question has been widely debated since the Food and Drug Administration set off a furor last month when it approved Dsuvia, a tablet version of a decades-old intravenous painkiller that is up to 10 times more potent than the highly addictive fentanyl. Critics argued that alternatives exists and that such a powerful opioid could easily be abused by being diverted, despite a prohibition on retail pharmacy sales. But the endorsement was championed by the military, which maintains that such a medicine is needed in combat zones.

Does the drug deliver the speedy pain relief that is advertised?

ADVERTISEMENT

In a study of patients who underwent abdominal surgery, they first perceived decreased pain at 15 minutes, which was statistically significant. This is, indeed, rather quick, and was the primary endpoint, although the actual amount of pain did not lessen very much during that time.

Related article:  Reproductive medicine could become entangled in the 'embryos are people' debate

In other words, they felt some pain relief in the early going, but Dsuvia did not meaningfully relieve their pain for nearly an hour.

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Ultimately, Dsuvia does have a unique method of delivery and may, therefore, prove useful in some battlefield situations. But given the opioid crisis, this episode could prove painful in a very different way.

Read full, original post: The military pushed it for the battlefield. The FDA went along. Is the newest opioid any better?

Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
GLP Podcasts
Infographic: Here’s where GM crops are grown around the world today

Infographic: Here’s where GM crops are grown around the world today

Do you know where biotech crops are grown in the world? This updated ISAAA infographics show where biotech crops were ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
glp menu logo outlined

Newsletter Subscription

* indicates required
Email Lists
Send this to a friend