Cocaine-based anesthetic wins FDA approval

Jan. 15, 2020

The FDA has approved a new nasal spray with cocaine as an ingredient.

The drug, Numbrino, was developed by Philadelphia-based Lannett Co. Inc., which already has a generic topical solution made with cocaine hydrochloride on the market. Numbrino will be the first branded drug by Lannett approved by the FDA in the company’s 78-year history.

Numbrino will not be available as a take-home prescription. Instead, Numbrino is intended to be used for minor nasal cavity surgeries or for diagnostic procedures. Although the approval of a drug containing cocaine, an effective numbing agent for sensitive tissues such as mucus membranes, may raise some eyebrows, it is not considered addictive when administered for a single use by a medical professional. 

A similar local anesthetic containing cocaine called Goprelto was approved by the FDA in 2017.