The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is promoting a new electrical stimulation device to help combat opioid addiction and limit the pain associated with acute withdrawal.
“The NSS-2 Bridge device is a small electrical nerve stimulator placed behind the patient’s ear. It contains a battery-powered chip that emits electrical pulses to stimulate branches of certain cranial nerves. Such stimulations may provide relief from opioid withdrawal symptoms,” The FDA said in a Wednesday press release.
The agency decided to market the NSS-2 after conducting an effectiveness study. Each patient was evaluated using the clinical opiate withdrawal scale (COWS score). This takes the patient’s heart rate, pupil dilation, skin condition, joint pain, and anxiety and produces a score between of zero to 36. The higher the score, the worse the withdrawal symptom.
Before using the device, patients in the study had an average COWS score was 20.1. After treatment, all patients had a 31 percent reduction within 30 minutes. The device can be obtained by a doctor’s prescription and patients suffering from hemophilia, psoriasis vulgaris or who are using a pacemaker are advised to seek other options.
The FDA permitted marketing of the NSS-2 Bridge device to Innovative Health Solutions, Inc.