Drug and alcohol dependence

Assessment of a formulation designed to be crush-resistant in prescription opioid abusers.

PMID 22721679


The extent of prescription opioid abuse has led to the development of formulations that are difficult to crush. The purpose of the present studies was to examine whether experienced prescription opioid abusers (individuals using prescription opioids for non-medical purposes regardless of how they were obtained) were able to prepare a formulation of oxymorphone hydrochloride ER 40 mg designed to be crush-resistant (DCR) for intranasal (study 1) or intravenous abuse (study 2), utilizing a non-crush-resistant formulation of oxymorphone (40 mg; OXM) as a positive control. No drug was administered in these studies. Participants were provided with DCR and OXM tablets in random order and asked to prepare them for abuse with tools/solutions that they had previously requested. The primary outcome for study 1 was particle size distribution, and the primary outcome for study 2 was percent yield of active drug in the extracts. Other descriptive variables were examined to better understand potential responses to these formulations. Fewer DCR than OXM particles were smaller than 1.705 mm (9.8% vs. 97.7%), and thus appropriate for analyses. Percent yield of active drug in extract was low and did not differ between the two formulations (DCR: 1.95%; OXM: 1.29%). Most participants were not willing to snort (92%) or inject (84%) the tampered products. Participants indicated that they found less relative value in the DCR than the OXM formulation across both studies. These data suggest that the oxymorphone DCR formulations may be a promising technology for reducing opioid abuse.

Related Materials