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Recreational Use of Oxycodone


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently took a step in trying to halt the abuse, or recreational use of oxycodone (OxyContin). On April 16, 2013, the FDA approved abuse-deterrent labeling for Purdue Pharma’s reformulated OxyContin (oxycodone hydrochloride controlled-release) tablets. With this new labeling, the FDA indicates that this form of OxyContin has “physical and chemical properties that are expected to make abuse via injection difficult and to reduce abuse via the intranasal route (snorting).

What is an Abuse-Deterrent Label?

According to a press release issued by the FDA, the reformulated OxyContin has abuse-deterrent properties, which includes:

• The tablet is more difficult to crush, break or dissolve
• The tablet forms a viscous hydrogel that cannot be easily prepared for injection
• The new physical and chemical properties will make it difficult to inject and to abuse by snorting
• The new formulation may also reduce incidents of therapeutic misuse, such as crushing the product to sprinkle it onto food or to administer via a gastric tube

What is the Future of OxyContin Generics?

When approving this new, reformulated version of OxyContin, the FDA also announced that it will not accept or approve any abbreviated new drug applications, or generic drug applications, from companies wishing to sell a generic version of the “original” OxyContin. Moving forward, all generics have to have the abuse-deterrent properties as well.