DyAnsys, a company that provides advanced medical diagnostic and monitoring systems to hospitals and patients, has received clearance from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its auricular neurostimulation device called Drug Relief. The device is going to be used as an aid to reduce the symptoms of opioid withdrawal without narcotics.
According to a CNN report, more than two million Americans have become dependent on or abused prescription pain pills and street drugs.
National Institutes on Drug Abuse estimates more than 2.5 million Americans suffer from opioid use disorder. During 2016, there were more than 63,600 overdose deaths in the United States, including 42,249 that involved an opioid (66.4%). That’s an average of 115 opioid overdose deaths each day.
The word “opioid” is derived from the word “opium.” Opioids are drugs formulated to replicate the pain reducing properties of opium. They include both legal painkillers such as morphine, oxycodone, or hydrocodone, as well as illegal drugs like heroin or illicitly made fentanyl.
The number of opioid prescriptions supplied by doctors steadily increased from 112 million prescriptions in 1992 to a peak of 282 million in 2012, according to the market research firm IMS Health. The number of prescriptions dispensed has since declined, falling to 236 million in 2016.
Providers can now prescribe Drug Relief wearable device for use during opioid detoxification. The device sends electrical pulses through tiny needles inserted in the ear to ease symptoms such as agitation, anxiety, depression, nausea, opiate cravings and more.
“This device offers hope to those who are suffering from opioid addiction,” said DyAnsys Chief Executive Officer Srini Nageshwar. “We are in a full-blown crisis and we need non-narcotic options and alternatives like this that can make a significant difference for individual patients and their families.”
Drug Relief is a percutaneous electrical nerve field stimulator designed to administer auricular neurostimulation treatment over 120 hours. This non-addictive treatment gives the patient continuous nerve stimulation over 5 days while offering a high degree of comfort and mobility. Within 30 to 60 minutes of the treatment onset, patients may see a reduction in the symptoms of opioid withdrawal, according to providers.
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The first step in a comprehensive rehabilitation program is easing the process of detoxification, which the device does successfully. The goal is to alleviate symptoms while opioids are cleared from a patient’s system. Drug Relief can help stabilize a patient during the early stages of withdrawal without side effects. Stabilization is a very important first step before applying medication-assisted therapies like naltrexone.