The Food and Drug Administration approved Friday a drug which is 1,000 times more potent than morphine.
Dsuvia (sufentanil), a fast-acting, super-potent opioid tablet, was developed by from AcelRx Pharmaceuticals as an alternative to IV painkillers used in hospitals. Common side effects with Dsuvia included nausea, vomiting, constipation and decreased blood oxygen levels. FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said there will be "very tight restrictions" placed on its distribution and it is intended only for supervised settings like hospitals.
The new drug was a high priority for the Department of Defense because it will be a way to provide fast pain relief to injured soldiers, on the battlefield. Pleced under the tongue it starts reducing pain in 15 to 30 minutes. There are strong critics sustaining that the pill will be abused inside and outside medical settings and cause overdose deaths. "This drug is doomed. It's dangerous and it will kill people, " Sidney Wolfe of Public Citizen's Health Research Group said. Dsuvia is available only through a restricted program called the Dsuvia REMS Program. It should only be administered by a healthcare provider in a certified medically supervised healthcare setting. The new drug was previously approved by the European Medicines Agency in July under the brand name Dzuveo. It should not be used for more than 72 hours.