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FDA Approves New Hand-held Auto-injector to Reverse Opioid Overdose

May 08, 2014

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved a prescription treatment that can be used by family members or caregivers to treat a person known or suspected to have had an opioid overdose. Evzio (naloxone hydrochloride injection) rapidly delivers a single dose of the drug naloxone via a hand-held auto-injector that can be carried in a pocket or stored in a medicine cabinet. It is intended for the emergency treatment of known or suspected opioid overdose, characterized by decreased breathing or heart rates, or loss of consciousness. Evzio is injected into the muscle (intramuscular) or under the skin (subcutaneous). Once turned on, the device provides verbal instruction to the user describing how to deliver the medication, similar to automated defibrillators. FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg supported the move in a statement, “For years, the lack of a lay-friendly delivery system has made it difficult to make naloxone broadly available to the public and to foster its use in non-medical settings, where it is often most urgently needed. [Evzio is] . . . an extremely important innovation that will save lives.”  Read more here.