FDA Adds Black Box Warning To The Most Common Prescription Painkillers

Photographed by Jessica Nash.
In the face of America's growing opioid addiction epidemic, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has just taken a step to make us more aware of the potential hazards of taking these drugs. The agency will now require all immediate-release formulas of opioid painkillers to carry the agency's most cautious label, known as a "black box" warning.

The drugs, including oxycodone, hydrocodone, and morphine, are among the most commonly prescribed drugs. And the "black box" is the strongest type of FDA warning for a drug to receive. In particular, this labeling for opioids will warn of the potential for addiction, abuse, and overdose — even when taking the drugs to manage pain. This action also builds on previous warnings, which were given to extended-release formulas in 2013.

Addiction to opioids (including prescription medications and heroin) has been a problem in the country for decades. But it's a problem that's increasingly affecting women. Both limiting access to these painkillers and improving access to the overdose-reversing drug naloxone are important parts of efforts to curb the epidemic.

“Today’s actions are one of the largest undertakings for informing prescribers of risks across opioid products," said FDA commissioner Robert Califf, MD, in a press release, "and one of many steps the FDA intends to take this year as part of our comprehensive action plan to reverse this epidemic.” So stay tuned.
Advertisement

More from Trends

You probably already know that Donald Trump has a record of making sexist comments. But a new ad from Hillary Clinton's campaign powerfully highlights ...
When photographer Roger Kisby shot the Adult Video News Awards for the first time last year, he wasn't sure what to expect. Once there, he was drawn to the...
This article was originally published on April 8, 2016. Photographer Marcos Alberti's photo project, 3 Glasses Later, could be considered a probing ...
In Status: Stressed, Refinery29 is teaming up with Secret, the expert in stress sweat, to have an honest, passionate conversation about the role of stress...
It was the breakup heard 'round the world: On Tuesday, we learned that Brangelina was officially no more. Then, as we were all recovering from the news, ...
Many of us can probably remember being told at some point during grade school that the pesky little boy who won't stop pulling on our pigtails or throwing ...
It's hard enough to remember to smile every once in a while, let alone stay positive when someone tells you to "go fuck yourself." But that's exactly ...
(Paid Content) In this age of label-aversion, hookup apps, and social-media flirtation (nothing says romance like a DM, right?), few would disagree that ...
Last Sunday, new mother Anna Young posted a photo of herself, taken during a half-marathon, to the breast-feeding advocacy Facebook group, Occupy ...
By now you've probably read those viral texts exchanged between a mother and her daughter while in pursuit of tampons. (And if you haven't, you won't ...
When Delaney Robinson first entered the University of North Carolina as a freshman a little over a year ago, she was looking forward to making new ...
Everyone has a unique story from when they first learned about Their Changing Bodies, but girls of the future might be able to say this: I learned about ...
One California woman's emotional birth video is going viral after being posted online earlier this month. Audra Lynn gave birth to her second child — and ...
After the news that transgender actress and activist Alexis Arquette died Sunday morning at age 47, her family has come together to release a touching ...