The role of abuse-deterrent formulations in countering opioid misuse and abuse

V. Nguyen, R. B. Raffa, R. Taylor, J. V. Pergolizzi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Summary What is known and objective Pain is a prevalent, and due to the ageing population, increasing medical problem. Opioids are frequently prescribed to meet the unmet medical need. Unfortunately, with the increase in the legitimate use of opioids, there has been a corresponding increase in abuse. A practical way to retain the pain relief afforded by opioids while decreasing opportunities for abuse is to make it more difficult to extract the opioid from the product or to make it less desirable to do so by designing an abuse-deterrent formulation (ADF). We provide a brief overview of the strategies and early evidence related to opioid ADFs. Methods Published and unpublished literature, websites, and other sources were searched for current opioid formulation options, including immediate-release and extended-release products. Each was summarized, reviewed and assessed. Results The strategies that have been used to design the current opioid ADFs involve one or more of four approaches: a physical barrier; incorporation of an opioid receptor antagonist (e.g. naloxone) that self-limits opioid action when taken in excess amount; inclusion of a noxious agent that is released during inappropriate use; or a pro-drug. What is new and conclusions Legitimate use of opioid analgesics carries with it certain risks, including the risk of abuse. The new ADFs utilize four major strategies and provide innovative additions to the armamentarium. They likely will become an important part of a comprehensive approach to limiting, although not eliminating, opioid misuse and abuse. With the increase in the legitimate use of opioids, there has been a corresponding increase in abuse. A practical way to retain the pain relief afforded by opioids while decreasing opportunities for abuse is to make it more difficult to extract the opioid from the product or to make it less desirable to do so by designing an abuse-deterrent formulation (ADF). We provide a brief overview of the strategies and early evidence related to opioid ADFs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)629-634
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics
Volume40
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015

Keywords

  • abuse
  • abuse-deterrent formulation
  • opioids
  • pain management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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