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Interpreting labels of abuse-deterrent opioid analgesics

Lynn R. Webster, MD, FACPM, FASAM

Abstract


Objective: To provide an overview of available abuse-deterrent opioids (ADOs) and the labeling text that describes abuse-deterrent (AD) properties. Design: A nonsystematic review of ADO literature and regulatory documents guiding their development.

Outcome Measures/Results: A critical assessment and discussion of common routes of opioid abuse, AD methods and properties, US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) study requirements to achieve AD labeling, and brief guide to understanding AD labels.

Conclusions: The FDA has issued guidance as incentive and direction to industry to develop ADOs as one component of a multi-pronged public-health strategy to combat opioid abuse and misuse. The guidance describes separate categories of premarket and postmarket studies and makes recommendations for claims that may be made based on study findings. Ten ADOs have FDA-approved labeling attesting to AD properties. Available formulations that fail to conform to FDA guidance in study and labeling recommendations cannot be considered ADO. Formulations with AD properties are expected to reduce risk compared to the same agents without AD properties but cannot prevent all abuse and adverse clinical outcomes.


Keywords


opioid analgesics, opioid-related disorders, opioid mixed agonist-antagonists, pain management, pain

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5055/jom.2017.0418

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