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- According to the National Pain Report, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved oxycodone and OxyContin for children between the ages of 11 and 16.
- The approval is meant to benefit children suffering from severe, debilitating pain caused by injury, surgery, or cancer.
- The pain management specialists at American Spine discuss the FDA’s latest news regarding OxyContin being approved for some children.
Prior to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approving the use of OxyContin in pediatric patients, employees of the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) asked the drug’s manufacturer, Purdue Pharmaceuticals, to perform studies evaluating the safety and efficacy of the drug for these specific patient populations. The research supported the idea that OxyContin could provide safe, substantial relief to children suffering from severe, incapacitating pain.
Children with pain that required daily, long-term, around-the-clock opioid treatment participated in the study. These patients had pain that was so severe, alternative treatment options were considered completely ineffective, according to the report. After the study, researchers found the same health warnings that applied to adults applied to children as well, except for the recommended dosages. Moreover, the FDA established a guideline that children must be able to tolerate a minimum dosage of oxycodone (20mg) for five consecutive days before being prescribed OxyContin.
For those unaware of OxyContin’s potency, this painkiller has a strength that’s similar to heroin. It’s also considered an extended-release version of oxycodone and is intended only for the most severe cases of chronic pain or injury. Physicians should consider all other options before prescribing this drug. Pain management specialists should also not combine this medication with others due to the adverse effects it could cause (sedation, difficulty breathing, etc.).
To learn more about the FDA’s approval of OxyContin for children between the ages of 11 and 16, please visit their website.
At American Spine, we are dedicated to treating chronic pain and spine conditions. Offering the latest in minimally invasive spine surgery and other effective treatment options, American Spine is the leading pain physician group of California. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call us at (951)-734-PAIN (7246).
The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.