The FDA green-lighted the use of OxyContin after studies conducted by the drug's manufacturer, Purdue Pharma, showed it can be safely used.
In young patients though, doctors can only prescribe the medicine for those who have already been treated with an opioid painkiller and can tolerate a minimum dose of 20 milligrams of oxycodone, the active ingredient in OxyContin.
Although the decision was hailed by doctors treating young cancer patients, others were concerned that prescribing OxyContin to young patients can place them at risk for addiction.
Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing director Andrew Kolodny said that prescribing the opioid painkiller to young patients with short-term medical needs may possibly lead to addiction.
The FDA approved the use of OxyContin by kids suffering from severe, chronic pain.
Children aged 11 to 16 suffering from severe, long-term pain can now be given OxyContin, a powerful painkiller, as it has been approved for kids' use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Tags : OxyContin, Food and Drug Administration, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Sharon Hertz.
Extended-release opioids are used to manage pain in adults, ranging from lower back pain, osteoarthritis to cancer-related pain. OxyContin, as an extended-release opioid, is used to treat patients that require round-the-clock medical management to help them with their severe pain.
Duragesic, which releases fentanyl, is another opioid that the FDA has approved for use by children.
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According to USA Today, OxyContin has been widely abused, and people looking for a "high" from the medicine have been reportedly crushing the pills so that it can be snorted or taken intravenously.
The Associated Press reports that the FDA asked OxyContin maker, Purdue Pharma, to study how to safely and effectively use the drug in kids.