FDA Approves OxyContin for Use by Children Ages 11 to 16

The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday approved the powerful painkiller OxyContin for a new use in children 11 to 16 who are suffering from severe, long-term pain.

OxyContin is an extended-release opioid that has long been used to treat around-the-clock pain in adults. But most pain medications are not approved for use in children.

The FDA says it asked drugmaker Purdue Pharma to study how to safely use OxyContin in children.

“This program was intended to fill a knowledge gap and provide experienced health care practitioners with the specific information they need to use OxyContin safely in pediatric patients,” Sharon Hertz, an FDA drug division director, wrote in an online post.