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New Long-Acting Opioid Painkiller Approved; Egalet’s Arymo ER Not Prone For Abuse

Update Date: Jan 11, 2017 09:10 AM EST

Egalet's new opioid painkiller Arymo ER has been approved by U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The long-acting variant of morphine is packaged with abuse-deterrent properties.

Arymo ER is indicated for the management of severe pain that requires a round-the-clock opioid treatment. While opioids are prone for abuse, the new long-acting painkiller is difficult to crush or liquefy. These are the typical methods used by abusers to hasten the release the opioids in the body.

Bod Radie, president and CEO of Egalet, highlights the importance of having a treatment option like Arymo ER that is resistant to different methods of manipulation. The new painkiller is physically and chemically difficult to inject. Abuse by injection is the most common and most dangerous form of morphine abuse.

Guardian Technology is responsible for making the tablet difficult to misuse by incorporating the medication into a polymer matrix. According to its website, it makes the pill extremely hard and very difficult to chew. The particle size cannot be reduced and it even prohibits extraction of the active ingredient.

When Arymo ER comes in contact with liquid, it turns into a viscous hydrogel making it difficult to be disposed in a syringe.

However, some anti-opioid medical professionals and activists believe that the technology does not totally prevent people from abusing the opioid painkiller. Abuse of opioids like heroin can disrupt parts of the brain that controls breathing. According to U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 78 Americans are killed every day due to opioid substance abuse.

Arymo ER is said to be released in the first quarter of this year in three dosage strengths: 15 mg, 30 mg and 60 mg. Egalet's painkiller is the seventh opioid with abuse deterrent properties approved by FDA. Already out in the market are Embeda, Hysingla, Morphabond, OxyContin, Targiniq and Xtampza.

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