Hydromorphone prolonged-release (Jurnista®). RGH E-Bulletin

A hydromorphone prolonged-release tablet (Jurnista®) was recently listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) schedule as a restricted benefit for chronic severe disabling cancer or non-cancer pain not responding to non-opioid analgesics. Jurnista® was listed after recommendation by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee on the basis of cost minimisation when compared with oxycodone controlled-release tablets, being no less effective and similarly priced.

Hydromorphone is an opioid which is approximately equivalent to five times the potency of morphine. Jurnista® has been formulated using the OROS® osmotic pump bilayer with a semi-permeable cellulose acetate coating that controls the rate at which water is absorbed into the tablet after swallowing. The drug is released from this system at a controlled rate by a laser-drilled hole in the tablet. Pharmacokinetic studies demonstrate that plasma concentrations reach a plateau within 6–8 hours after oral administration and then remain relatively constant until approximately 24 hours post-dose.

The complete bulletin can be downloaded here

The 2009 RGH E-Bulletins are archived here.

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Robbo is a pharmacist working with a very remote Aboriginal Health Service in the deserts of Western Australia. + Andrew Robbo Roberts

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