FDA approves Evzio, an opioid antidote injector

By Kyle Johnson,

The Food and Drug Administration announced on Thursday that the federal agency has approved an opioid antidote injection device.

According to a press release from FDA commissioner Margaret Hamburg, the device is called Evzio and will inject the drug naloxone, which helps counteract opioid abuse.

The device will require a prescription, but allow more than just those who work in hospitals or emergency response teams access to naxalone.

USA Today reports that users turn on the device and they will be provided with verbal instructions on how to administer the drug, which will get injected under the skin or into muscle.

Hamburg notes that the device will help reduce the more than 16,000 people who die after overdosing on opioid drugs, prescription or otherwise. She notes that Evzio isn't meant to completely fight overdoses, but will help reduce the amount of people who die every year by giving people a much better chance of making it to the hospital

The FDA notes that while naxalone can help dramatically reverse the effects of an opioid overdose, someone who has overdosed will still need medical attention.

Some are worried that access to the device might allow people experiment upping their opioid abuse.

Johns Hopkins Center for Substance Abuse Treatment and Research director Eric Strain said, "There are risks and benefits to all medications, but in the big scheme of things, this is probably a valuable tool, especially if it's used and provided in the context of improving access to treatment."

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