Want to save a life? A new drug-device known as EVZIO (naloxone Hcl injection) has recently been FDA approved. The drug-device may save thousands of lives and will be available soon.
How does it work? EVZIO is an auto-injection device for emergency opioid overdose reversal. According to the FDA, over 16,000 Americans die of opioid overdose a year. This number exceeds death by automobile accidents. Family and caregivers will be able to administer the auto-injector at home, which may save thousands of lives.
Naloxone, the drug contained in the EVZIO injector, has long been used in the medical setting to reverse opioid overdose. It works by counteracting the action of opioid-like drugs, which work by depressing the central nervous system. Central nervous depression can lead to respiratory failure in case of overdose. Uses include overdose reversal from street abuse, as well as over-sedation during surgery.
Minimal training is involved! Traditionally, naloxone is only used in healthcare settings by healthcare professionals, with the exception of certain inner city programs which train addicts with syringe and vial injection technique.The auto-injector requires no formal training and is simple to use.
How do you use the auto-injector? Using the naloxone auto-injector is easy. Much like the use of the epinephrine pen for allergic reactions, the auto-injector is injected into the outer thigh. All the user needs to do is press the cap of the device against the thigh, press into the thigh, and hold. If needed, the user can inject through clothing. Simultaneously, the user must be on the phone calling emergency services. The drug only lasts a short while and will not outlast the opioid’s duration of action. Therefore, emergency services are crucial. According to the manufacturer, 2 auto-injectors and a trainer will be included in the package.
Which medications are opioids? Opioids are prescription pain medications with a potential for abuse and overuse. Included medications include Percocet (oxycodone with acetaminophen), Vicoden (hyrdocodone with acetaminophen), Oxycontin (extended release oxycodone), and Diluadid (oxymorphone). Heroin is also considered an opioid. This list is not exclusive, as many other opioids are available under a variety of trade names.
Healthcare has taken a step in the right direction in the field of opioid overdose. The approval of the EVZIO auto-injector makes the use of naloxone accessible to the layperson and is easy to use. Although some believe the use of such a drug is only promoting misuse of prescription drugs, I feel this is a great step towards compassionate care. Addiction is a disease. Thousands of lives may be saved by the new drug-device.
Sources: FDA, www.evzio.com