HealthDay News — Limited use of the widely abused painkiller OxyContin in children as young as 11 years old has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Studies by OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma “supported a new pediatric indication for OxyContin in patients 11 to 16 years old and provided prescribers with helpful information about the use of OxyContin in pediatric patients,” said Sharon Hertz, MD, director of new anesthesia, analgesia, and addiction products for the FDA, NBC News reported.
This newly-approved use of OxyContin in young patients is likely to be highly controversial, according to NBC News. Opioids kill an average of 44 people a day in the United States, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“There are not many extended-release, long-acting products specifically approved for pediatric use,” according to Hertz. “Duragesic (fentanyl) and OxyContin are the only extended-release opioid products with FDA-approved labeling regarding pediatric use.”