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FDA Approves New Drug to Reduce Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms

May 18, 2018


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first non-opioid treatment for the management of opioid withdrawal symptoms May 16.

The drug, Lucemyra (lofexidine hydrochloride), helps people abruptly quit opioids by lessening the severity of withdrawal symptoms. Typically, patients are slowly weaned off opioids with the help of other opioids.

“Today’s approval represents the first FDA-approved non-opioid treatment for the management of opioid withdrawal symptoms and provides a new option that allows providers to work with patients to select the treatment best suited to an individual’s needs,” said Sharon Hertz, M.D., Director of the Division of Anesthesia, Analgesia, and Addiction Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.

Lucemyra is an oral, selective alpha 2-adrenergic receptor agonist that reduces the release of norepinephrine. It’s approved for treatment of up to 14 days and is meant to be used as part of a long-term treatment plan for managing opioid abuse disorder.

View the FDA press release.

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