Wednesday, July 15, 2020
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What Healthcare Workers Need To Know About Newest FDA Drug Approvals

The FDA is hoping to piece together the puzzle of not only preventing, but treating coronavirus in a way that saves lives and alleviates stress on healthcare systems across the U.S.

“The FDA recognizes the increased demand for certain products during the COVID-19 public health emergency, and we remain deeply committed to facilitating access to medical products to help address critical needs of the American public.” – (FDA

With a rush of recent approvals to help with the coronavirus epidemic, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been fast-tracking approvals in hopes that American lives will be saved. Their newest abbreviated drug application approvals pertain to two generic drugs that help when intubating patients as the drugs work to help relax skeletal muscles, making insertion easier. 

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Photo by Luis Melendez via Unsplash

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Both succinylcholine chloride and cisatracurium besylate injections were approved, in hopes of helping patients in an intensive care setting. Breaking down the drugs, the FDA explained: 

  • Dexmedetomidine hydrochloride in 0.9% sodium chloride injection, is indicated for sedation of initially intubated and mechanically ventilated patients during treatment in an intensive care setting and sedation of non-intubated patients prior to and/or during surgical and other procedures. The most common side effects of dexmedetomidine hydrochloride injection are hypotension, bradycardia, and dry mouth. This drug is listed in the FDA Drug Shortage Database.
  • Succinylcholine chloride injection USP 200 mg/10 mL, is indicated in addition to general anesthesia, to facilitate tracheal intubation and to provide skeletal muscle relaxation during surgery or mechanical ventilation. Side effects of succinylcholine chloride injection include anaphylaxis, hyperkalemia, and malignant hyperthermia.

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With a rise in both emergency use authorizations (EUAs) and drug approvals during the COVID-19 pandemic, the FDA has looked to offer doctors and health care teams additional resources in the fight against the virus. With over 180 approvals so far, the FDA is hoping to piece together the puzzle of not only preventing, but treating coronavirus in a way that saves lives and alleviates stress on healthcare systems across the United States. 

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