The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Opvee, a new nalmefene hydrochloride nasal spray, as part of its efforts to combat the nation's opioid crisis, which can be administered to patients ages 12 and older.
This would be an alternative medication to naloxone, the purpose of which is to establish normal breathing in a person who is breathing slowly or has stopped breathing due to an opioid overdose.
According to the FDA , nalmefene is an opioid receptor antagonist, “If administered rapidly, it can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose, including respiratory depression, sedation, and low blood pressure.”
Today, we approved the first nalmefene hydrochloride nasal spray for the emergency treatment of known or suspected opioid overdose in adults and pediatric patients 12 years of age and older. https://t.co/YctuWclyez pic.twitter.com/xLKGbYznPc— U.S. FDA (@US_FDA) May 22, 2023
The medication approved for the pharmaceutical company Opiant, is commercially called Opvee, and administers 2.7 milligrams of nalmefene into the nasal cavity.
It is worth mentioning that it would be an update of the nasal spray drug nalmefene, which it was first approved as an injection in the mid-1990s, but was later withdrawn from the market due to poor sales.
As the opioid epidemic has moved to fentanyl and other synthetics, researchers from the pharmaceutical industry and the US government are working to counter the crisis the country is experiencing, which has already caused more than 103,000 deaths in the 12-month period ending November 2022.