A new kit called the Cyanokit, has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Friday. This kit is designed to treat cyanide poisoning. The kit contains the drug hydroxocobalamin, intravenous tubing and a sterile spike.
This kit enables emergency treatment for known or suspected cyanide poisoning. With this drug kit, the nation's ability to respond to emergencies including possible attacks by terrorists is enhanced.
The approval was given only after the effectiveness of drug tests was confirmed in animal studies. The animal studies were permitted based on the criteria of the Animal Efficacy Rule that allows initial studies to be made on animals when they do not ensure ethical or credible safety for humans.
This drug kit has been used on humans in France for more than a decade, where it has been used to treat cyanide poisoning caused by smoke inhalation.
The drug has minimal side effects as reported by the U.S. study. However, considering the fatal effects of the poisoning, the side effects are worth the risk.
"Cyanide is a potent poison and one of the substances that could be used in a chemical attack," said Dr. Steven Galson , Director of the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.
Galson adds, "... [the] approval is yet another measure to counter the threat of terrorism, which is a critical component of [the] FDA's public health mission."