FDA Approves Morphine-Naltrexone Combination Extended Action Pain Drug

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August 13 – The FDA has approved a new drug designed for steady around-the-clock relief of moderate to severe pain that combines extended release morphine sulfate with the opioid antagonist naltrexone (which tends to block the effects of narcotics) – according to a news release from the drug's maker, King Pharmaceuticals.

The point being that the new Schedule II drug (EMBEDA™) would be harder to abuse than other extended-release opioid drugs. If the patient swallows the capsule whole as directed, the morphine is released slowly into the blood stream over time while the naltrexone (embedded within morphine pellets in the capsule) passes through the GI tract unabsorbed.

But if the patient chews, crushes, or dissolves the capsule so that the timed-release effect is lost, the sequestered naltrexone “booby trap” is also released and will work to block the morphine’s effect. (Reportedly, during a one-year safety study, about 11% of the patients’ blood samples contained traces of naltrexone.)

For more information on the drug's trials, prescribing information, and expected availability, click here.

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2 thoughts on “FDA Approves Morphine-Naltrexone Combination Extended Action Pain Drug”

  1. Maling says:

    I am a Chronic Pain patient and have been for approx. 40 yrs. First, I want to address the issue of the “booby trap”. When I first rec’d a prescription for MS Contin, no one bothered to tell me that it should not be broken in half, or crushed; or what the consequences of just such an action could be. According to what I have read on the subject of Pain and Medications for Pain, the pharmaceutical companies already include some kind of “blocking agent” in these types of drugs so that the so called “euphoric effect” is not experienced by the patient. This “euphoric effect” is so hammered into medical students that it has taken on a hysteria usually meant for the drug addicted street individuals. That becomes the goal, rather than keeping the patient out of a prison of pain. People are left to suffer, no compassion, no empathy, no intelligence or wisdom touch their jagged edged squalor. This is why they cut themselves off from the rest of mankind. (Though any sign of “kindness” is totally devoid of expression to those that need it the most — I think of the Lepers of ancient days…the untouchables, for that is how I have been made to feel, as have too many others.
    All such articles on pain analgesics (such as this) make the person suffering severe pain daily, hourly, to be some addict thus the reason for this “new” ingredient to _________________.(what????) Frankly I don’t get anything of value from the piece. Just am rankled by the stringent need of others to crucify those whose life journey has been chained to a physical condition — not one that was sought out or wanted. My own came about as a result of an accident. My whole life has been shredded by the un-relenting, gnawing pain for which no treatment or surgery has helped. There are other “holistic” means of working with your body to bring about a more cleansing and non-toxic method of managing the Pain. These methods are not covered by medical insurance policies, so we do not get the pathway of the Chinese whose endeavor is to keep people well, instead of trying to catch the horse that has already gotten out of the corral. Hopefully, with all the rancor and positive negotiations, being raised to the surface, we will begin to see a massive
    turn around. Not in my lifetime; but in the lifetimes of those who are going to be raised to believe that they should be experiencing wellness, happy dispositions and a joy of aliveness that their ancestors knew existed if they could just get some wisdom to shine on their desperate hours.
    Education, research and people who can understand the threshing sounds of their own life dying, can and will make all the difference. Chronic Pain is at epidemic proportions in this country. To even say you take something such as MS Contin labels you as “not trying hard enough to be well.” That a person “gets off” on taking these medications is an ancient idea; however, if it is the only way you can be spared desperate pain, then you begin to cut your own trail, outside of the cruel stares and whispers of mean spirited and judgmental people. And don’t make the mistake of thinking your family will love you enough to help you. They can’t. It is a lonely trail.
    Yet, they will raise their hand, clutching a Bible and reciting passages such as: “love one another, as I have loved you.” Between the reading and the doing lies a vast wasteland and few there be that make it out to take up their life again, to know laughter, joy, fun, anticipation and aliveness.
    You would do better to include a column highlighting various people whose lives have been shut down because of the ugliness of twisted pain.

  2. Aberlaine says:

    Why are the millions of Americans suffering from chronic pain made to feel like and treated like drug addicts? Because of the abuse of a few, we who are truly in pain must endure it because the powers that be don’t want us to get “addicted”.

    I can barely walk due to severe osteoarthritis in my left knee. What am I prescribed? Advil. The Hippocratic Oath says “First, do no harm.” Aren’t you doctors causing harm by not allowing those of us with chronic pain to suffer the way we do? What productivity you’d see if we only weren’t in agonizing pain!!

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