The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a wearable device for the treatment of opioid withdrawal symptoms, including agitation, anxiety, depression, and opiate cravings, according to the manufacturer.
Electrical pulses flow to ear-fitted needles from the auricular neurostimulator (Drug Relief, DyAnsys, Inc), which was designed to provide both comfort and mobility to patients. Continuous treatment from the wearable device can be provided for up to 5 days, but there have been reports of reductions in symptoms of opioid withdrawal within 30 to 60 minutes after treatment starts, the company said in a press release.
They added that this “percutaneous electrical nerve field stimulator” is already available to providers to aid in opioid detoxification.
The new, nonaddictive treatment “offers hope to those who are suffering from opioid addiction,” Srini Nageshwar, chief executive officer of Dyansys, said in the release.
“We are in a full-blown crisis and need non-narcotic options and alternatives like this that can make a significant difference for individual patients and their families,” Nageshwar added.
The company noted that an important first step in the detoxification process is to reduce withdrawal symptoms while opioids are cleared from a patient’s systems. “Stabilization is a necessary first step before treating the patient with medication-assisted therapies like naltrexone,” they report.