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Opioid Makers Try to Make Drugs “Abuse-Resistant”

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Researchers at companies that make opioid painkillers are trying to make a “safe” drug that is resistant to abuse, in an effort to combat what the government has called an epidemic of prescription painkiller abuse.

MedPage Today reports that in June the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is expected to make a decision about the painkiller Acurox, which its manufacturer, Pfizer, hopes will be abuse proof. If a person crushes an Acurox pill, it crumbles into chunks instead of becoming a powder. If a person mixes the crushed pill with liquid and draws it into a syringe, it becomes “sudsy,” the article explains. And if someone tries to inhale the crushed pill, an irritant contained in the drug will bother the person’s nose.

The article notes that last year an FDA advisory committee did not approve a Pfizer anti-abuse medication that contained niacin, which can cause a chemical flush. Critics of the drug said a person could take aspirin or food with the drug to avoid the flushing and that the side effect could bother people who were taking the medicine as directed.

Another Pfizer opioid, called Remoxy, is also being reviewed by the FDA, according to MedPage Today. It is a gelatinous form of long-acting oxycodone. The drug cannot be crushed or chewed and cannot be drawn into a syringe. Mixing it with alcohol does not release the drug’s full potency, as it does with other opioids.

2 Responses to this article

  1. Avatar of Bill Doran
    Bill Doran / May 2, 2011 at 11:26 am

    These changes might help a little but in my experience as a drug counselor only a small minority report injecting or inhaling opiate meds. Most take them orally. Overprescribing by doctors and unregulated “pill mills” in Florida also meed to be addressed.

  2. Avatar of sandy bartee rn,bs,ras
    sandy bartee rn,bs,ras / April 28, 2011 at 5:04 pm

    Please, please, please stop wasting money on all these new anti abuse drugs and give the money back to the Mental /Addiction services and let us do what we are trained for. An addict will get past any thing you devise to detour the way they us e the drugs. Spend the money on education, pay the addiction specialist a good salary and quit treating us like we just treat junkies. In Calif we are certified registered addiction specialists and deserve to be addressed as professional. The drug companies have the gov(kick backs) and the public fooled that a new drugs with stop the devastation of addiction and the mounting deaths from abuse. LISTEN people stop letting the gov contol all of our money for programs that don’t work, and put the money in the hands of the professionals who would put it into education, treatment and most of all mental health services. We have the answersso stop letting the drug companies control the congress and all others who get kick backs from the drug companies and crooked lobbists. Its our money theyre using NOT their. And they have TOP RATED medical care and dont have to wait in ERs for hours and worry about paying the hospital bills or if they have enough to pay for their rxs……. GET MAD AMERICA….. I do what I can do, but if the people got together and stopped putting up with this may be something would change………. Recovery is a journey, Not a destination…

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