According to a recent MEDPAGE TODAY article, the FDA announced it will require new labels on opioid painkillers that warn about the risks of addiction, abuse, and overdose. The labels will also include information about the safe disposal of unused medication and the availability of naloxone, a drug that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. The new labeling requirements are part of the FDA's ongoing efforts to address the opioid epidemic in the United States.
The FDA's decision comes in response to a citizen petition filed by a group of healthcare providers and advocacy organizations who argued that the current labeling on opioids does not adequately warn about the risks of addiction and overdose. The new labels are expected to be finalized in the coming months and will apply to all immediate-release opioid painkillers, which are the most commonly prescribed form of the drugs. The FDA has also indicated that it is considering similar labeling requirements for extended-release opioid painkillers.