Reformulated OxyContin Drug Found to Induce a Reduction in Addiction, Abuse and Opioid Poisoning

Reformulated OxyContin Drug Found to Induce a Reduction in Addiction, Abuse and Opioid Poisoning

shutterstock_204028162It was recently reported at the American Academy of Pain Medicine’s 31st Annual Meeting in National Harbor, Maryland that the reformulated OxyContin® drug resulted in a successful reduction in the diagnosis of addiction, abuse and opioid poisoning among individuals prescribed opioid analgesics, according to a news release.

OxyContin (oxycodone HCl extended-release tablets), manufactured by Purdue Pharma L.P., slowly releases the potent opioid oxycodone, which is prescribed to individuals who require a continuous opioid analgesic to manage moderate to severe pain for an extended time period. OxyContin can be prescribed to patients with fibromyalgia, a medical disorder characterized by widespread chronic musculoskeletal pain.

OxyContin was originally approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) in 1995. The reformulated OxyContin with abuse-deterrent properties was designed to help discourage the misuse and abuse of this medication and reduce the risk of overdose and associated deaths. This new formulation is based on a tablet that is harder to manipulate and with physicochemical properties, which is expected to make abuse via injection or intranasal route more difficult.

Purdue Pharma L.P. is currently conducting several additional epidemiological studies required by the FDA. In a retrospective analysis of data on commercial insurance medical claims, the impact of the reformulated OxyContin incorporating abuse-deterrent properties was evaluated in terms of the rates of addition, abuse and opioid poisoning after it has been introduced in the market. Researchers found a 29% reduction in addition, abuse and opioid poisoning diagnosis among individuals prescribed only with the reformulated OxyContin opioid and a 10% reduction among individuals prescribed OxyContin together with other opioids. These results are consistent with data from other opioid surveillance programs, namely poison control centers and substance abuse treatment programs.

According to Purdue Pharma, OxyContin tablets should be taken orally as a whole without crushing, chewing or dissolving the tablet, as it can cause a rapid release and body absorption of a potentially fatal dose of the opioid oxycodone. Patients under opioid treatment require careful medical monitoring for signs of abuse or addition to the compound. The pharmaceutical company also notes that special attention should also be paid to serious, life-threatening respiratory conditions, as these have been reported in individuals under modified-release opioids treatment.

More information on OxyContin can be found here.