The Food and Drug Administration yesterday released a blueprint for educating health care providers that treat or monitor patients with pain under its forthcoming Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy for companies that make opioid pain relievers. Accredited continuing education providers will use the blueprint to develop educational materials and activities for the REMS. FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., said the revised blueprint includes more information on pain management and pharmacologic treatments for pain, including non-opioid pain relievers. In other news, FDA said it is working with manufacturers on safer packaging for Imodium A-D (loperamide) because some people addicted to opioids are taking the over-the-counter anti-diarrhea drug at dangerously high doses to manage withdrawal or achieve euphoric effects. Taking more than prescribed or listed on the label can cause severe heart rhythm problems or death.

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