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In the News: FDA Alters Painkiller Labeling Rules

doctorThe FDA recently announced changes to labeling requirements for painkiller drugs in an attempt to help decrease abuse.

The labeling changes will take effect by the end of 2013.

Here are some of the highlights:

  • The FDA will now require producers of painkillers to conduct more research on the long term risks of using medications such as OxyContin, Morphine and Fentanyl.  Lack of this kind of data is a current problem for determining safe prescribing guidelines.
  • The language will be modified to better communicate what kind of pain the drugs are supposed to be prescribed for.  Currently, the drugs are indicated for the strength of pain, for example, “moderate” or “severe” – however, this language is subjective in that one level of pain might be high for one person but tolerable for another.

Why now?

The move was prompted by a petition from an advocacy group in NY called the Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing.  More long term studies will provide  information on drugs’ long term risks and effectiveness, thus helping doctors weigh the risks in prescription Rx painkillers to patients.

If you or someone you know needs help with painkiller abuse, the talented team of addictions professionals at Horizon is available to help you.  Please use our FREE online consultation service or call our admissions department at 716.831.1800.  We are conveniently located across Western New York.