FDA gives OxyContin greenlight for children 11 and up

FDA gives OxyContin greenlight for children 11 and up

OxyContin was approved by the FDA for children between the ages of 11 and 16 as an alternative pain medication if prior drugs were determined to be ineffective.

The prescriptive use of OxyContin is now available to a newer and younger demographic. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has allowed the use of OxyContin for children between the ages of 11 and 16 years old in the event that other pain medications are determined to be ineffective. The FDA authorized its use after Purdue Pharma conducted tests to quantify its safety.

OxyContin is an effective but addictive pain alternative for those who struggle with chronic pain associated with various ailments, such as types of cancers, bone dysfunctions, burns and injuries.

The one major caveat, however, is that it’s only allowed to be prescribed to pediatric patients who formally have been treated with an opioid painkiller and were able to tolerate the minimum dosage of 20 milligrams without experiencing negative side effects of oxycodone, the active ingredient in OxyContin.  “This way, the doctor knows that their patient tolerates and responds appropriately to opioids and knows the amount of opioid treatment needed to manage the patient’s pain,” explained Sharon Hertz, from FDA’s Office of New Drugs, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “When appropriate, the doctor can then convert their patient over to an OxyContin dose that is tailored to their individual needs.”

But with the addictive risks associated with the drug, the FDA has admonished drug manufacturers to produce extended-release medications that are more inhibitive towards recreational abuse. The FDA has classified OxyContin differently because the drug apparently has been reformulated to prevent easy misuse.

OxyContin’s addictive power lies in its ability to overstimulate the pleasure center of the brain, causing levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine to spike. OxyContin’s street vernacular is known as “Oxy,” “OC,” “OxyCotton,” “Hillbilly Heroin,” and “Kickers,” and is used as replacement for heroin if morphine is unavailable. Addicts will crush it into a tangible powder before snorting it, chewing it, or dissolving it in water for IV injection.

OxyContin is usually prescribed to treat severe pain that is expected to last for a specific duration. It is strictly enforced to be used on an “as-needed” basis.

Source: Daily Times Gazette




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