New opioid-blocking medication effective to treat opioid dependence, in Lancet study
Consider the diagnosis of eosinophilic pneumonia if patients develop progressive dyspnea and hypoxemia. Patients should be warned of the risk of hypersensitivity reactions, including anaphylaxis. Opioid-dependent patients including those being treated for alcohol dependence, must be opioid-free for a minimum of 7-10 days before VIVITROL treatment. Attempts to overcome opioid blockade due to VIVITROL may result in a fatal overdose. After opioid detoxification, patients are likely to have reduced tolerance to opioids. Use of lower doses of opioids after VIVITROL is discontinued, at the end of a dosing interval or after missing a dose could result in life threatening opioid intoxication. Alcohol- and opioid-dependent patients, including those taking VIVITROL, should be monitored for the development of depression or suicidal thoughts. As with any IM injection, VIVITROL should be administered with caution to patients with thrombocytopenia or any coagulation disorder. In an emergency situation in patients receiving VIVITROL, suggestions for pain management include regional analgesia or use of non-opioid analgesics. Patients requiring reversal of the VIVITROL blockade for pain management should be monitored by appropriately trained personnel in a setting equipped for Cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Caution is recommended in administering VIVITROL to patients with moderate to severe renal impairment.
The adverse events seen most frequently in association with VIVITROL therapy for alcohol dependence include nausea, vomiting, injection site reactions (including induration, pruritus, nodules and swelling), muscle cramps, dizziness or syncope, somnolence or sedation, anorexia, decreased appetite or other appetite disorders. The adverse events seen most frequently in association with VIVITROL in opioid-dependent patients include hepatic enzyme abnormalities, injection site pain, nasopharyngitis, insomnia, and toothache.
Alkermes, Inc. is a fully integrated biotechnology company committed to developing innovative medicines to improve patients’ lives. Alkermes developed, manufactures and commercializes VIVITROL® for alcohol and opioid dependence and manufactures RISPERDAL® CONSTA® for schizophrenia and bipolar I disorder. Alkermes’ robust pipeline includes extended-release injectable and oral products for the treatment of prevalent, chronic diseases, such as central nervous system disorders, addiction and diabetes. Headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts, Alkermes has a research facility in Massachusetts and a commercial manufacturing facility in Ohio. For more information, please visit Alkermes’ website at http://www.alkermes.com.
Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
Certain statements set forth above may constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including, but not limited to, the successful commercialization of VIVITROL; the potential therapeutic and commercial value of VIVITROL for the prevention of relapse to opioid dependence, following opioid detoxification; and the growth of opioid dependence as a disease and public health problem. Although the company believes that such statements are based on reasonable assumptions within the bounds of its knowledge of its business and operations, the forward-looking statements are neither promises nor guarantees. The company’s business is subject to significant risk and uncertainties, and there can be no assurance that its actual results will not differ materially from its expectations. These risks and uncertainties include, among others: whether the therapeutic results demonstrated in our clinical study of VIVITROL for opioid dependence will be predictive of future therapeutic results; whether VIVITROL will be commercialized successfully; and whether third party payors will cover or reimburse VIVITROL for the prevention of relapse to opioid dependence, following opioid detoxification. For further information with respect to factors that could cause the company’s actual results to differ materially from expectations, reference is made to the reports the company filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. The forward-looking statements made in this release are made only as of the date hereof, and the company disclaims any intention or responsibility for updating predictions or financial expectations contained in this release.
VIVITROL® and Medisorb® are trademarks of Alkermes, Inc. RISPERDAL® CONSTA® is a trademark of Janssen-Cilag group of companies.
1 SAMHSA, Office of Applied Studies, National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2009. Accessed from http://www.oas.samhsa.gov/NSDUH/2k9NSDUH/tabs/Sect5peTabs1to56.htm#Tab5.14A on March 11, 2010.
2 TL, Woody GE, Juday T, Kleber HD. The economic costs of heroin addiction in the United States. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2001 Jan;61(2): 195-206.
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