FDA Approves New Opioid More Powerful Than Fentanyl – Dsuvia

Despite the ongoing opioid crisis plaguing the nation, the US Food and Drug Administration on Friday approved a new opioid medication five to 10 times more powerful than fentanyl.  Fentanyl has been a drug that has been difficult to combat, requiring more than one Narcan dose when an overdose (involving Fentanyl) has occurred to save a person’s life.    Fentanyl is 50-100 times more potent than morphine, and 50 times more potent than many forms of heroin (per WebMD).  See photo below of the amount of Fentanyl (the white substance beside the penny) that can kill a 200 lb person.

Penny and Fentanyl
The amount of Fentanyl (the white substance) it takes for a 200lb person to overdose.

Dsuvia – New Opioid Drug

Now, this new FDA approved drug, Dsuvia, will be on the market, which is 5 to 10 times more powerful than Fentanyl.    Dsuvia, made by AcelRx Pharmaceuticals Inc., is a tablet in a single-dose, prefilled applicator to be administered under the tongue by health care providers to patients in settings such as hospitals, surgical centers and emergency rooms, according to the company.

“Dsuvia will not be available in retail pharmacies or for outpatient use. Dsuvia will only be distributed to health care settings certified in the DSUVIA Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) program following attestation by an authorized representative that the healthcare setting will comply with appropriate dispensing and use restrictions of Dsuvia,” AcelRx said.

Other restrictions, according to the FDA, include that it cannot be used for more than 72 hours and will have the same black-box warnings as are required for all opioids about the risk of misuse and abuse that can lead to addiction and overdose death.

“Because of the risks of addiction, abuse and misuse with opioids; Dsuvia is also to be reserved for use in patients for whom alternative pain treatment options have not been tolerated, or are not expected to be tolerated, where existing treatment options have not provided adequate analgesia, or where these alternatives are not expected to provide adequate analgesia,” according to a statement about the drug’s approval.

Click here for the full news report via CNN.


Remember, unused or expired prescription medications at home are a public safety issue and can lead to accidental poisoning, overdose, and abuse.  For information on how to safely dispose of medications or drugs, click here.

For more information on opioids, click here.

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