In May 2018, the FDA approved lofexidine hydrochloride (Lucemyra) for the mitigation of withdrawal symptoms to facilitate abrupt discontinuation of opioids in adults. This made Lucemyra the first non-opioid treatment for managing opioid withdrawal symptoms.

Anyone who takes opioids for more than a few days—even with a prescription—can feel the physical symptoms of withdrawal when they suddenly stop taking opioids or reduce their opioid dosage. That’s why it’s important to remember that opioid withdrawal is not your fault. And you’re certainly not alone.

Lucemyra is not a treatment for Opioid Use Disorder (OUD), which is also called opioid addiction. If you have been diagnosed with OUD, your doctor may prescribe Lucemyra as part of a complete treatment program for your OUD. This program continues after Lucemyra treatment is completed and may also include maintenance medications combined with behavioral counseling. Pathways Addiction Recovery utilized Vivitrol (injection) or naltrexone (oral) for the ongoing treatment of OUD once treatment with Lucemyra is complete.

When opioids are initially taken, your body produces lower levels of a naturally occurring hormone, called norepinephrine, that can affect breathing, muscle tension, and the ability to sleep and can happen to any person who takes opioids for more than a few days, whether or not it has been prescribed by their doctor. Over time, the nerve cells become used to having opioids in the system, and as a result of having lowered your levels of norepinephrine, your body responds by adjusting these levels.

When opioids are taken away suddenly, there is an imbalance of norepinephrine, resulting in very unpleasant feelings and reactions, known as withdrawal symptoms. Lucemyra may mitigate, but not completely prevent, the symptoms associated with opioid withdrawal syndrome, which may include feeling sick, stomach cramps, muscle spasms or twitching, feelings of coldness/chills, heart pounding, muscular tension, aches and pains, yawning, runny eyes, and insomnia/problems sleeping.

Taken orally, Lucemyra helps adjust the balance of norepinephrine in the areas of your brain that cause withdrawal symptoms. This helps restore the chemical balance and helps relieve the symptoms that occur during opioid withdrawal. Lucemyra was shown to provide the biggest improvement in symptom relief on Day 2 and Day 3 of opioid withdrawal, when symptoms were often most severe.

There are several downloadable and printable informational products available that help answer many of the question regarding this new tool available to assist in relieving the many uncomfortable symptoms of opiate withdrawal. The Lucemyra Educational Brochure provides useful information on how Lucemyra can help you or a loved one get through opioid withdrawal. It shows how and why opioid withdrawal occurs and offers an overview of Lucemyra and the LUminate Support Program. The Caregiver Discussion Guide, designed specifically for caregivers, can help provide your loved ones with a background on why opioid withdrawal occurs, how it can be managed, and what they can do to support you in seeking help and treatment. Finally, the “What to Expect” Treatment Leaflet is a downloadable 2-page leaflet that outlines what you can expect from Lucemyra—treatment benefits, safety information, dosing schedule, along with daily encouragement provided by the LUminate Support App.

To assist in obtaining the medication, the LUCEMYRA Prescription Savings Co-Pay Assistance Program provides cost savings to eligible patients so you or your loved one can get the prescription needed, as prescribed by the doctor. Through this program, eligible patient may pay as little as $25 for a Lucemyra prescription.

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