The FDA recently approved the first single-use auto-injector that at can be used by family members, coworkers, or caregivers to treat a person known or suspected to have had an opioid overdose. Evzio (naloxone hydrochloride injection), manufactured by Richmond, VA based kaléo, Inc., rapidly delivers a single dose of the drug naloxone via a hand-held auto-injector that can be carried in a pocket or stored in a medicine cabinet. Naloxone, which has been available since 1971 as Narcan® for injection, is a medication that rapidly reverses the effects of opioid overdose and has been the standard treatment for overdose with illicit opioids such as heroin or prescription opioids like oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine, or fentanyl, among others.
Opioid Overdose Leading Cause of Injury Related Death
Opioid overdose, which is characterized by decreased breathing or heart rates, or loss of consciousness, is now the leading cause of injury death in the United States – surpassing motor vehicle crashes.
How to Spot an Opioid Emergency
Signs and symptoms of an opioid emergency may include:
- unusual sleepiness and you are not able to awaken the person with a loud voice or rubbing firmly on the middle of their chest (sternum)
- breathing problems including slow or shallow breathing in someone difficult to awaken or they look like they are not breathing
- the black circle in the center of the colored part of the eye (pupil) is very small, sometimes called “pinpoint pupils” in someone difficult to awaken
When injected, naloxone can reverse the binding of the other drug at the opioid receptors in the brain that control breathing. This intervention buys time for the person to be transported to a hospital for subsequent care. “Evzio is the first combination drug-device product designed to deliver a dose of naloxone for administration outside of a health care setting,” said Dr. Bob Rappaport with the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “Making this product available could save lives by facilitating earlier use of the drug in emergency situations.”
See how Enzio works:
For more information on this exciting new approval that can help save lives, including prescription and safety information, please visit Evzio’s website.