UK regulator strengthens opioid warnings

People who take prescribed or over-the-counter medicines containing opioids for non-cancer pain will now be given stronger warnings about the risk of dependence and addiction, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) announced today.

Healthcare professionals have been asked by the MHRA to discuss these warnings with any patient taking or planning to take an opioid-containing medicine. These discussions should also involve agreement of a treatment plan, including how long treatment should last, to minimize the risk of dependence.

Additional warnings are now to be added to the patient information leaflet to reinforce those warnings, making it clear that the medicine is an opioid, which can cause addiction, and that there can be withdrawal symptoms if people stop taking it suddenly.

/Public Release. The material in this public release comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here.