FDA amends opioid action warning

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The Food and Drug Administration will temporarily allow the continued production, marketing and distribution of one particular type of opioid, which is widely used to alleviate pain in terminally ill patients.

The action is in response to a March 30 warning that it issued to manufacturers to stop producing certain unapproved prescription opioids.  Concerns from palliative care patients and healthcare professionals prompted the FDA to amend the warning. They were concerned that the original order would cause a shortage of morphine sulfate oral solution.

The agency has determined that the 20 milligram dosage form of morphine sulfate oral solution is medically necessary and should remain on the market until an approved alternative becomes available.

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