The opioid addiction crisis has certainly not slowed down since the COVID-19 pandemic began. In fact, many statistics are showing that dependency problems have been rising over the past several months. And, in a move that many of us in the recovery community are concerned about, yet another painkiller may be introduced in the near future. One that happens to be ingested intraveneously.
Olinvyk made headlines last week after a major announcement from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (also known as the FDA). Officially labeled oliceridine, this new opioid earned approvals from the org and got the green light to be distributed in “controlled clinical settings.”
Via an official press release, olinvyk was described as a tool to “manage moderate to severe acute pain in adults.” The emphasis was for this drug only to be used in hospitals, as it is administered via a hypodermic needle. And while the FDA was adamant that olinvyk is not indicated for at-home use, we can certainly see scenarios where it could hit the black market (as many other opioids have).
FDA deputy director Douglas Throckmorton was quoted in the release, emphasizing that they are fully aware of the risks of introducing a new opioid during this time. Nevertheless, his team firmly believes that it can be useful for people dealing with pain.
“Addressing the opioid crisis remains a top priority for the FDA,” Throckmorton stated. “We will continue to do everything we can to reduce the number of Americans who are addicted to opioids and cut the rate of new addiction through a number of cross-agency initiatives. This particular medication is only indicated for use in a controlled clinical setting, meaning under medical supervision and not for use in a take-home prescription.”
As per usual, several tests were conducted with olinvyk before it earned FDA approval. Their research monitored over 1,500 patients struggling with pain. The results appeared to show that those who were administered olinvyk did see a decrease in their symptoms.
The researchers did note, however, that olinvyk was not without its side effects. Issues highlighted included nausea, vomiting, dizziness and headaches. The FDA also noted that they intend to give administrators intense trainings about the drug to, as they put it, minimize the risk of addictions.
Now, of course, we sincerely sympathize with pain sufferers and support the release of new treatments to help them. But in this day and age, any new opioids need to be monitored very closely.