The Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) recent approval of OxyContin for some children gives pediatricians an additional way to help them manage severe chronic pain, according to AAP experts.

However, physicians should be cautious when prescribing the drug, an extended-release version of oxycodone, and should educate families about the dangers of improper use.

The expanded use of OxyContin is meant for children who need around-the-clock pain management and have not received sufficient relief with other options, such as patients with cancer or those who have suffered a trauma, according to Sharon Hertz, M.D., FDA director of the Division of Anesthesia, Analgesia and Addiction Products.

“It’s a group (of patients) who needs as many tools out there as possible that are safe to use, but it’s a relatively small group,” said Rita Agarwal, M.D., FAAP, chair-elect of the AAP Section on Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine Executive Committee.

The FDA approved a...

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