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You Can Stop a Drug Overdose at Home, with Evzio

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drug overdoses are the number one cause of injury death in the United States. What’s more, CDC statistics also reveal a staggering 16,000 lives are lost every year, thanks to opiate overdoses. As a result, thousands of families live each day in fear, worried their loved ones could become the next statistic.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) believes Evzio, a new product designed to combat the deadly effects of opiates such as heroin, Oxycontin or Vicodin, can prevent a large number of those deaths.

A Detailed Look at Evzio

For years, a medication known as naloxone has been used by medical professionals to rapidly reverse the effects of an opiate overdose. Evzio is a prescription drug-device that makes naloxone available for in-home use, allowing family members or caregivers to provide immediate intervention in the presence of an opiate overdose.

Developed by Kaleo, a Richmond pharmaceutical company, Evzio is a hand-held auto injector designed to deliver a single dose of naloxone directly into the muscle. Compact and battery powered, Evzio is turned on with the push of a button. Verbal instructions are then emitted by the device, guiding users through each step of the administration process. The recording concludes with an instruction to seek medical attention for the patient.

Before using Evzio in an emergency situation, family members and caregivers should understand the instructions and practice administration with the complementary training device.

Fast-Track FDA Approval

With so many opiate-related fatalities, the FDA recognized Evzio’s value and wanted to see it on the market as soon as possible. The product was immediately granted a priority status and fully reviewed by the FDA in the span of just 15 weeks.

“This product is about preventing deaths,” said Douglas Throckmorton, MD, deputy director for regulatory programs at the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, during a press briefing.

“It also encourages healthcare professionals to prescribe naloxone for patients at risk for opioid overdose for whatever reason. Clearly, this newly approved product will advance that objective.”

How Can You Get Evzio?

Evzio is available by prescription only and can be written for an opiate abuser, a patient who is prescribed opiates, or a family member/caregiver living in an at-risk setting. As with most newly-approved drugs, specific state limitations may apply. For example, Paul LePage, governor of Maine, opposes naloxone drugs and believes they “encourage abuse.”

If you, or someone you love, abuses opiate pain medication, speak with your family physician about obtaining prescription Evzio.