ALEXZA PHARMACEUTICALS has developed what it calls a "Respiratory Drug Delivery" system - a new way of "delivering" a new antipsychotic drug, loxapine, which carries more risks than most others in its class, according to the site below.
Loxapine (Includes Loxapine) ↔ Seizure DisordersSevere Potential Hazard, Moderate plausibility Applies to: CNS Disorder, Alcoholism"
Alexza, describing this new approach to drugging as "noninvasive," as well as "simple and intuitive," has included links to a number of publications on its website, justifying use of its product.
Thanks to Alexza, drugging children and adults is even more convenient now than ever.
Alexza has developed what it calls the Staccato Delivery system and has gone to an extraordinary amount of trouble to develop a device to inject a toxic substance into the lungs, and subsequently, bloodstream of someone they say may need relief from "agitation."
This very convenient method of drug delivery is facilitated by a device which is designed to create heat within it, initiated by the recipient's inhalation, which vaporizes the drug, thus causing it to enter the recipient's lungs. Within the device, before it is vaporized, the drug is in the form of a coating on a piece of stainless steel. According to Davis Healthcare International Publishing, which explains the workings of this device (in a pamphlet given to participants at a presentation at the Omni Resort in Orlando Spring, 2010), the heat generated by inhalation ignites a pyrotechnic mixture, "...causing it to emit sparks that initiate the exothermic thermite reaction on the inside of the heat package.... " generating "...heat almost instantaneously." The heat, then, "...conducts through the stainless steel and raises the surface temperatures to approximately 400 C, which quickly heats and vaporizes the drug film..." coated on the steel. By the way 400 C is 752 degrees Fahrenheit.
It never ceases to amaze me how much time, thought, and money is put into these very risky, but financially lucrative inventions, when simply screening those suffering from agitation, and other symptoms, for vitamin deficiences and other CAUSES of such symptoms would be so much better for those in need of treatment and so much more cost-effective (for the patient) as well.
Of course, this would not create new sources of wealth for the "heathcare" system and the pharm industry, so look for more such devices to enter the market in the future.
The invasive implications of this new so-called "non-invasive" delivery system should be obvious and a matter of concern to all. While use of the device might be helpful and preferred for use in relief of pain, the idea of presenting more convenient methods of dispensing psychotropic drugs, especially to children, is worrisome, as is the potential for drugging via inhalation, in general.
By the way, the company doesn't plan to market the device for the risky drug Loxapine, alone. Why it chose an antipsychotic over pain relievers as its first subject, raises questions also.
To quote Alexza:
"We have already demonstrated that more than 200
FDA-approved compounds are feasible for delivery by the Staccato®
system. Currently we have six development programs focused on six acute
and intermittent conditions."