An extremely powerful new opioid medication called Dsuvia was approved by the FDA on November 2, 2018, despite warnings of potential abuse and misuse.1 It will be available in early 2019.
What is Dsuvia?
Dsuvia is the brand name for the drug sufentanil, which is a synthetic opioid analgesic that is used to treat severe pain. It is said to be 1,000 times more potent than morphine and 10 times stronger than fentanyl.2 Dsuvia comes in tablet form, is administered via a pre-filled, single-dose applicator, and dissolves under the tongue.3
Dsuvia Side Effects
Dsuvia is an extremely powerful and potent opioid drug with potentially deadly side effects.
Possible Dsuvia side effects include:
- Respiration problems
Is Dsuvia Addictive?
Like other opioid medications, Dsuvia has a high risk for abuse, misuse, and addiction. According to the FDA, it cannot be used for more than 72 hours and it carries the same health risks of other opioids, including addiction, overdose, and death.
Where to Get Dsuvia
According to an official statement from FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, Dsuvia will only be permitted for use in hospitals, surgical centers, and other medical settings. It will not be available at retail pharmacies or for home use.
He also noted that the drug will be particularly helpful in certain military situations, such as for wounded soldiers on the battlefield who do not have access to IV painkillers.4,5 Dsuvia may also be ideal for patients who cannot swallow pain medication orally.
Dsuvia Abuse and Overdose Potential: Do the Benefits Outweigh the Risks?
Despite the military potential, many health officials, experts, and lawmakers are extremely concerned that Dsuvia will be abused and could potentially result in more deadly opioid overdoses.
According to a report from the New York Times, the chief executive of the drug’s manufacturer, AcelRx Pharmaceuticals, Inc., said that the company would follow a safety program (also approved by the FDA) to monitor the distribution of Dsuvia, the proper use of Dsuvia in medical settings, and any abuse issues.4
Although tight restrictions on the drug do limit its availability, the threat of Dsuvia abuse and misuse still looms amid the ongoing opioid crisis in the U.S.