TRENTON, N.J. — Federal regulators on Wednesday approved the first nonopioid treatment to ease withdrawal from quitting addictive opioids.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration expedited approval of Lucemyra to help combat the U.S. opioid epidemic. Two-thirds of drug overdose deaths in 2016 involved opioids, mostly fentanyl, heroin and prescription painkillers.
The pill was approved to treat adults for up to two weeks for common withdrawal symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, muscle pain and agitation. It is not an addiction medicine but can be part of a longer-term treatment plan, according to the FDA.
People going through detox are usually given a safer opioid medicine like methadone, which eases the cravings without an intense high.