08 Jun Lucemyra (lofexidine hydrochloride) FDA-Approved for Opioid Treatment
The first non-opioid medication, Lucemyra (lofexidine hydrochloride) for opioid withdrawal symptoms, was approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration as announced in their press release, published on May 16, 2018.
Quick facts about Lucemyra:
• Mitigates withdrawal symptoms of opioid use disorder (OUD)
• May not completely prevent opioid withdrawal symptoms
• Only approved for treatment up to 14 days
• Used as an adjunctive therapy treatment with a long-term treatment plan
What is Lucemyra (lofexidine hydrochloride)?
Lucemyra comes in the form of a tablet. It is an oral, selective alpha 2-adrenergic receptor agonist which diminishes the release of norepinephrine, a neurotransmitter known as the “stress hormone” and associated with numerous opioid withdrawal symptoms, such as nausea, diarrhea, cravings and insomnia.
How is opioid addiction typically treated?
The treatment is slightly different for those who have been appropriately taking prescription opioid analgesics as opposed to others who have opioid use disorder (OUD), which results from misuse and abuse of opioids and illicit drugs.
Individuals who have developed a physical dependence to appropriate use of prescription pain medications are monitored closely by a team of medical professionals as they wean their patients off from opioids. It’s a slow process, but it’s with the intent of allowing the patients’ bodies to gradually adapt to the absence of opioids in their systems while managing withdrawal symptoms as safely and comfortably as possible.
Are opioid addicts the only ones who experience opioid withdrawal symptoms?
Anyone who has developed a physical dependence on opioid use – whether they received a legitimate prescription pain killer for another medical health condition or developed an addiction to an illicit opioid drug such as heroin – will experience some level of physiological response if they stop or reduce their use of opioids. Even if a patient has been appropriately following the doctor’s recommended dosage for a pain killer, he or she is at risk for developing a physiological dependence on opioids.
What are the side effects of Lucemyra (lofexidine hydrochloride)?
• Low blood pressure (hypotension)
• Slow heart rate
• Possibility of fainting
• Risk of abnormal heart rhythms
Why don’t more people seek treatment for opioid use disorder?
There are stigmas attached with medication-assisted treatment. People fear the painful experience of withdrawal from opioids, and there’s a high chance of relapse if their symptoms are managed improperly. Many believe that medicated-assisted treatment (MAT) is simply a transfer of addiction from one drug (such as heroin) to another drug (such as methadone). With the introduction of the newly FDA-approved non-opioid medication, Lucemyra, the hope is to assuage everyone’s fears, which have served as a barrier to addiction treatment for a very long time.
Where can I find help if I have opioid dependence or opioid use disorder (OUD)?
New Method Wellness, a leader in innovative approaches to substance abuse treatment, offers effective pharmacological interventions to treat opioid addiction. Located in San Juan Capistrano, New Method Wellness is a top-rated drug and alcohol rehab center delivering comprehensive dual diagnosis treatment with unsurpassed quality. To ensure success and satisfaction for our clients, each person is paired with two therapists and can choose from a wide variety of holistic and evidence-based treatment programs. Our multidisciplinary team of licensed clinicians provide exceptional care throughout the entire program from beginning to end, including follow-through care via our Extended Aftercare Alumni Program. One of the nation’s best addiction treatment centers, New Method Wellness is often recommended by Dr. Phil and has been featured on platforms such as the Emmy-award winning A & E’s Intervention.
Do you have any questions about our treatment programs? Call 866.951.1824 today!
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