As most of you know, OxyContin is the controlled- or extended-release version of the opioid medication oxycodone. It is prescribed for patients who need round-the-clock treatment for moderate to severe chronic pain. Controlled-release medications work by slowly releasing the medication over a long period of time (usually 12 hours), which provides more steady pain relief than immediate-release medications that have to be taken every four to six hours.
Extended-release opioids like OxyContin have been popular with drug abusers because they can crush or disolve them, which basically by-passes the slow-release function of the medication and releases all of the drug at once. This reformulated version of OxyContin is intended to prevent immediate access to the full dose of oxycodone via cutting, chewing, or breaking the tablet. Attempts to dissolve the tablets in liquid result in a gummy substance that cannot be drawn up into a syringe or injected.
It is hoped that this new forumulation of OxyContin will reduce the likelihood that the drug will be misused and abused, although the FDA stresses that it cannot completely eliminate this possibility. Purdue Pharma LP, the manufacturer of OxyContin, will be conducting a post-marketing study to determine the impact of the new formulation on the use and misuse of OxyContin.
The FDA is also requiring a REMS (Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy) that will include the issuance of a Medication Guide to patients and a requirement for prescriber education regarding the appropriate use of opioid analgesics in the treatment of pain.
Hopefully it will work as well. However, it sounds like it will be more expensive. That is not a good thing. My insurance is already sending me letters to try different medicines because they do not want to pay for the high priced meds I have. ugh.
I too had recieved a letter from my insurance company telling me to try other meds similar to OxyContin, that they will be raising the Co-pay for it, of course, they try to soften the blow by saying they are looking out for my best interest, and trying to keep my costs down, but how do they know what's best fo me?!! Drug abusers are still going to find a way, if they really want to abuse the drug, they will, weather or not the drug companies change the formula! all that does is make it more difficult an expensive for the people who really need it to get!
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