FDA approved a new formulation of a narcotic painkiller that discourages potential abuses from injecting or snorting the drug. This powerful narcotic is called Targiniq ER and it is manufactured by Purdue Pharma. This powerful narcotic is made of a combination of narcotic oxycodone and naloxone. Naloxone is only activated when the narcotic is crushed, snorted, dissolved, or injected. The FDA explained that this powerful narcotic can still be abused by simply taking too many pills which is the most common way that oxycodone is misused.
According to Andrew Kolodny, Chief Medical Office of the Phoenix House, he discussed how this narcotic is just as addictive and dangerous when swallowed compared to pure oxycodone. Caleb Banta-Green, Senior Research Scientist at the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute at the University of Washington, explained that this situation resembles “Whack a Mole” game, in which people addicted to opiates will find an opiate even if another becomes unavailable.
The FDA has been blamed for the rise in the painkiller abuse in the United States since it has not restricted the usage of narcotics. An alarming statistic in 2012, showed how there were 259 million prescriptions written for powerful painkillers. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of painkiller prescriptions is so high that it translates to every adult in the country having a bottle of painkillers. Furthermore, the CDC has reported that the amounts of death attributed to narcotic painkillers had quadrupled since 1990—reaching more than 17,000 deaths in 2011. FDA officials believe that painkillers that are formulated to prevent potential abuse are part of a larger effort to reduce narcotic painkillers.
CNN stated that since 2010, the abuse of OxyContin has decreased since Purdue Pharma introduced hard to crush version of OxyContin. Dr. Sharon Hertz, Deputy Director of the Division of Anesthesia, Analgesia, and addiction products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, stated that “The FDA is committed to combating the misuse and abuse of all opioids and the development of opioids that are harder to abuse is needed in order to help address the Public Health crisis of prescription drug abuse in U.S. “
Targiniq’s approval was attributed to a study that involved more than 600 patients struggling with lower back pain. The study showed the drug to be safe and effective. The side effects were nausea and vomiting. The FDA is requiring Purdue Pharma to conduct studies to detect and abuse of the drug.
This is not meant to serve as medical advice. Please consult your medical professional for further advice.