For more information, please read: http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/NewsEvents/ucm456973.htm
The FDA recently approved the use of OxyContin in certain pediatric patients 11 years and older. Similar to adults, OxyContin is approved for use in these patients to manage pain severe enough to require daily, around-the-clock, long-term opioid treatment for which alternative treatment options are inadequate. The major difference is that all pediatric patients that are considered for pain management with OxyContin should already have been treated with an opioid pain medicine. This way, their health care providers know that these pediatric patients can be treated safely with OxyContin.
OxyContin is not intended to be the first opioid drug used in pediatric patients, but the data show that changing from another opioid drug to OxyContin is safe if done properly.
Children are not treated with opioids very often and usually it's only for a limited period of time with close supervision by health care professionals. In pediatric patients who require opioid treatment to manage pain, extended-release opioids may be a useful alternative because they are taken only once or twice per day rather than every 4 to 6 hours.
Fewer daily doses may free patients for physical therapy appointments, allow them to go home from the hospital sooner, and may help them to sleep through the night without waking up from pain. So from that perspective it's very useful.
Parents and caregivers should follow all the usual safeguards for storing powerful medications when OxyContin is in their home, making sure the medications are stored securely so young children never have direct access and also so that no one else in the household such as older children, siblings, friends, or other visitors have direct access.
Also, it is extremely important to safely and properly dispose of unused OxyContin as soon as it is no longer needed.
A child must be able to swallow the dose whole, as the pills are long-acting, and not designed to be broken, crushed, or compounded.