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FDA Approves A New Tool To Help In Opioid Crisis

Wednesday, May 16, 2018
US WorldMeds via AP

LINDA A. JOHNSON,  AP Medical Writer

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Federal regulators have approved the first nonopioid treatment to ease withdrawal symptoms from quitting addictive opioids.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration expedited approval of Lucemyra (luc-eh-MEER'-eh) to help combat the U.S. opioid epidemic.

The tablet was approved Wednesday to treat adults for up to two weeks for common withdrawal symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, muscle pain and agitation. It is not an addiction treatment but can be part of a longer-term plan.

People going through detox are usually given opioid medicine like methadone, which eases the cravings without an intense high. Fear of withdrawal discourages some people from quitting.

The FDA is requiring drugmaker US WorldMeds of Louisville, Kentucky, to conduct safety studies in teens and newborns of opioid-addicted mothers and for possible longer-term use in people tapering off opioids.