The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a new painkiller designed to limit abuse.
Today, the FDA approved Targiniq ER (oxycodone hydrochloride and naloxone hydrochloride extended-release tablets), an extended-release/long-acting (ER/LA) opioid analgesic to treat pain severe enough to require daily, around-the-clock, long-term opioid treatment and for which alternative treatment options are inadequate. Targiniq ER is the second ER/LA opioid analgesic with FDA-approved labeling describing the product’s abuse-deterrent properties consistent with the FDA’s 2013 draft guidance for industry, Abuse-Deterrent Opioids – Evaluation and Labeling.
Targiniq ER has properties that are expected to deter, but not totally prevent, abuse of the drug by snorting and injection. When crushed and snorted, or crushed, dissolved and injected, the naloxone in Targiniq ER blocks the euphoric effects of oxycodone, making it less liked by abusers than oxycodone alone. Naloxone is a medication that is commonly used to reverse the effects of opioid overdose. Targiniq ER can still be abused, including when taken orally (by mouth), which is currently the most common way oxycodone is abused. It is important to note that taking too much Targiniq ER for purposes of abuse or by accident, can cause an overdose that can result in death.
"The FDA is committed to combatting the misuse and abuse of all opioids, and the development of opioids that are harder to abuse is needed in order to help address the public health crisis of prescription drug abuse in the U.S.,” said Sharon Hertz, M.D., deputy director of the Division of Anesthesia, Analgesia and Addiction Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “Encouraging the development of opioids with abuse-deterrent properties is just one component of a broader approach to reducing abuse and misuse, and will better enable the FDA to balance addressing this problem with meeting the needs of the millions of people in this country suffering from pain.”
Targiniq ER is not approved, and should not be used, for as-needed pain relief. Given Targiniq ER’s risks for abuse, misuse and addiction, it should only be prescribed to people for whom alternative treatment options are ineffective, not tolerated or would be otherwise inadequate to provide sufficient pain management.
The safety and effectiveness of Targiniq ER was evaluated in a clinical trial of 601 people with chronic low back pain. The safety database supporting approval included treatment of more than 3,000 people with Targiniq ER. Data from in vitro (in a laboratory) and in vivo (testing with people) abuse liability studies demonstrated the abuse deterrent features of Targiniq ER as they relate to certain types of abuse (snorting, injecting). The most common side effects of Targiniq ER are nausea and vomiting.
The FDA is requiring postmarketing studies of Targiniq ER, to assess the serious risks of misuse, abuse, increased sensitivity to pain (hyperalgesia), addiction, overdose, and death associated with long term use beyond 12 weeks. The FDA is also requiring postmarketing studies to further assess the effects of the abuse-deterrent features on the risk for abuse of Targiniq ER.
In addition, Targiniq ER is part of the ER/LA Opioid Analgesics Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS), which requires companies to make available to health care professionals educational programs on how to safely prescribe ER/LA opioid analgesics and to provide Medication Guides and patient counseling documents containing information on the safe use, storage, and disposal of ER/LA opioids.
Targiniq ER is manufactured by Stamford-based Purdue Pharma L.P.
The FDA, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, protects the public health by assuring the safety, effectiveness, and security of human and veterinary drugs, vaccines and other biological products for human use, and medical devices. The agency also is responsible for the safety and security of our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, dietary supplements, products that give off electronic radiation, and for regulating tobacco products.