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Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opiate analgesic similar to but more potent than morphine. It is typically used to treat patients with severe pain, or to manage pain after surgery. It is also sometimes used to treat people with chronic pain who are physically tolerant to opiates. It is a schedule II prescription drug.
Fentanyl sold as heroin causing new wave of overdose deaths

Fentanyl sold as heroin causing new wave of overdose deaths

With the heroin epidemic in the United States reaching deadlier heights, Jacksonville-based Lakeview Health drug and alcohol treatment center's Dr. Philip Hemphill is helping to explain why fentanyl is causing a new wave of overdoses. Because Fentanyl is approximately 40 to 50 times more potent than pharmaceutical grade heroin and often illegally purchased unknowingly by recreational users as heroin, the risk of death skyrockets. [More]
Researchers evaluate use of pharmacy-based naloxone education and distribution to fight opioid overdoses

Researchers evaluate use of pharmacy-based naloxone education and distribution to fight opioid overdoses

In response to the growing opioid crisis, several states, including Massachusetts and Rhode Island, have granted pharmacists the authority to provide naloxone rescue kits without a prescription to at-risk patients. This model of pharmacy-based naloxone (PBN) education and distribution is one of the public health strategies currently being evaluated at hundreds of pharmacies in both states to determine the impact on opioid overdose death rates. [More]
Unituxin (dinutuximab) granted EC Marketing Authorisation for treatment of childhood neuroblastoma

Unituxin (dinutuximab) granted EC Marketing Authorisation for treatment of childhood neuroblastoma

United Therapeutics Corporation announced today that the European Commission (EC) has granted Marketing Authorisation for Unituxin (dinutuximab) for the treatment of high-risk neuroblastoma in patients aged 12 months to 17 years, who have previously received induction chemotherapy and achieved at least a partial response, followed by myeloablative therapy and autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT). [More]
BDSI announces FDA approval of sNDA for new formulation of ONSOLIS (fentanyl buccal soluble film) CII

BDSI announces FDA approval of sNDA for new formulation of ONSOLIS (fentanyl buccal soluble film) CII

BioDelivery Sciences International, Inc. announced the approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration of a Supplemental New Drug Application (sNDA) for a new formulation of ONSOLIS (fentanyl buccal soluble film) CII for the management of breakthrough pain in patients with cancer who are opioid tolerant. [More]
FDA accepts sNDA to review Brintellix clinical trial data for treatment of major depressive disorder

FDA accepts sNDA to review Brintellix clinical trial data for treatment of major depressive disorder

Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited (Takeda) and H. Lundbeck A/S (Lundbeck) announced today the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has accepted a supplemental New Drug Application (sNDA) for review to add clinical data regarding the effect of Brintellix (vortioxetine) on certain aspects of cognitive function in adults with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) to the current product label. [More]
1 in 4 people with histories of nicotine use, substance abuse likely to use opioid painkillers long-term

1 in 4 people with histories of nicotine use, substance abuse likely to use opioid painkillers long-term

Opioid painkiller addiction and accidental overdoses have become far too common across the United States. To try to identify who is most at risk, Mayo Clinic researchers studied how many patients prescribed an opioid painkiller for the first time progressed to long-term prescriptions. The answer: 1 in 4. People with histories of tobacco use and substance abuse were likeliest to use opioid painkillers long-term. [More]
Veterans who died from drug overdoses also prescribed benzodiazepines for pain

Veterans who died from drug overdoses also prescribed benzodiazepines for pain

In a recent study, nearly half of all veterans who died from drug overdoses while prescribed opioids for pain were also receiving benzodiazepines, or benzos, which are common medications for the treatment of anxiety, insomnia and alcohol withdrawal. Veterans prescribed higher doses of benzodiazepines while concurrently receiving opioids were at greater risk of overdose death than those on lower doses of benzodiazepines. [More]
Depomed acquires U.S. rights to NUCYNTA franchise from Janssen Pharmaceuticals

Depomed acquires U.S. rights to NUCYNTA franchise from Janssen Pharmaceuticals

Depomed, Inc. today announced that it has closed the acquisition of the U.S. rights to the NUCYNTA franchise from Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. for $1.05 billion. The NUCYNTA franchise includes: NUCYNTA ER (tapentadol) extended release tablets indicated for the management of pain, including neuropathic pain associated with diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN), severe enough to require daily, around-the-clock, long-term opioid treatment; NUCYNTA (tapentadol), an immediate release version of tapentadol, for management of moderate to severe acute pain in adults; and NUCYNTA (tapentadol) oral solution, an approved oral form of tapentadol that has not been launched. [More]
PAION initiates Remimazolam Phase 3 trial in patients undergoing colonoscopy

PAION initiates Remimazolam Phase 3 trial in patients undergoing colonoscopy

PAION, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of PAION AG, today announced the initiation of a U.S. Phase 3 clinical trial of Remimazolam, an ultra-short-acting sedative/anesthetic, for procedural sedation in patients undergoing colonoscopy. [More]
Mylan releases Fentanyl Transdermal System 37.5, 62.5 and 87.5 mcg/hr in U.S.

Mylan releases Fentanyl Transdermal System 37.5, 62.5 and 87.5 mcg/hr in U.S.

Mylan N.V. and Mylan Inc. today announced the U.S. launch of its Fentanyl Transdermal System 37.5, 62.5 and 87.5 mcg/hr, adding to its existing offering of Fentanyl Transdermal System 12, 25, 50, 75 and 100 mcg/hr. [More]
Accidental fentanyl exposure in children can be fatal

Accidental fentanyl exposure in children can be fatal

Infants and children are at a higher risk of accidental exposure to fentanyl patches—adhesive patches used to deliver higher doses of some opiates through the skin to relieve chronic pain. [More]
AAN releases new position statement on opioids for chronic non-cancer pain

AAN releases new position statement on opioids for chronic non-cancer pain

According to a new position statement from the American Academy of Neurology, the risk of death, overdose, addiction or serious side effects with prescription opioids outweigh the benefits in chronic, non-cancer conditions such as headache, fibromyalgia and chronic low back pain. [More]
Study: High-dose prescribing increases by 23% in Canada

Study: High-dose prescribing increases by 23% in Canada

High-dose opioid prescribing increased by 23 per cent in Canada between 2006 and 2011, despite clinical guidelines recommending that most patients should avoid high-doses of these drugs, according to new research. [More]
New therapeutic drug may prevent respiratory depression in patients taking opioid medication

New therapeutic drug may prevent respiratory depression in patients taking opioid medication

People taking prescription opioids to treat moderate to severe pain may be able to breathe a little easier, literally. [More]
Acetyl fentanyl is more potent and dangerous than heroin

Acetyl fentanyl is more potent and dangerous than heroin

Emergency physicians should expect "an upswing in what on the surface appear to be heroin overdoses," but are actually overdoses tied to acetyl fentanyl, an opiate that is mixed into street drugs marketed as heroin. [More]
State highlights: Calif. hospital bid draws scrutiny; hospital house calls

State highlights: Calif. hospital bid draws scrutiny; hospital house calls

Prime Healthcare Services Inc., a hospital chain that has come under fire for billing and patient privacy issues, is facing opposition over its potential acquisition of six California hospitals, including two medical centers in Los Angeles County. On Friday, hospital workers, union representatives and elected officials protested against Prime outside St. Vincent Medical Center near downtown Los Angeles, one of the six hospitals put up for sale this year by the Daughters of Charity Health System (Garland, 8/15). [More]
State highlights: Caring for Texans injured on-the-job; heroin deaths in Md.; pertussis in Calif.

State highlights: Caring for Texans injured on-the-job; heroin deaths in Md.; pertussis in Calif.

In formerly depressed South Texas, gas flares from the fracking boom can be seen from outer space. While Texas has a Division of Workers' Compensation, it is the only state that doesn't require any private employer to carry workers' compensation insurance or a private equivalent, so more than 500,000 people have no occupational benefits when they get injured at work. That means they often rely on charities or taxpayers to pay for their care (Root, 6/29) [More]
Trevena's Phase 1b data for TRV130 published in the journal Pain

Trevena's Phase 1b data for TRV130 published in the journal Pain

Trevena, Inc., a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company and the leader in the discovery of G protein coupled receptor (GPCR) biased ligands, today announced the publication of its Phase 1b data for TRV130 in the journal Pain. [More]
Trevena reports positive results from TRV734 Phase 1 trial for treating acute/chronic pain

Trevena reports positive results from TRV734 Phase 1 trial for treating acute/chronic pain

Trevena, Inc. (NASDAQ:TRVN) today announced positive results from its Phase 1 trial of TRV734, which Trevena is developing with the goal of providing improved analgesia while avoiding gastrointestinal and respiratory side effects typically associated with opioids. [More]
BioDelivery Sciences receives approval of NDA for BUNAVAIL from FDA

BioDelivery Sciences receives approval of NDA for BUNAVAIL from FDA

BioDelivery Sciences International, Inc. received approval of the New Drug Application (NDA) for BUNAVAIL™ (buprenorphine and naloxone) buccal film (CIII) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). [More]
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