US approves easy-to-use heroin overdose antidote

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Associated Press

Posted on April 3, 2014 at 10:35 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. government is taking a step to let friends or loved ones treat someone they suspect has overdosed on heroin or powerful painkillers called opioids, while they're waiting on medical care.

The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday approved an overdose antidote that doctors could prescribe for family members or caregivers to keep on hand, in a pocket or medicine cabinet. Called Evzio, it's a device that automatically injects the right dose of the drug naloxone, a long-used antidote for opioid overdoses.

Nalaxone has been a mainstay of overdose treatment for years, usually administered by syringe in ambulances or emergency rooms. But with the rise in drug overdose deaths in the U.S., there has been a growing push to equip more Americans with the protection as well.

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