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FDA approves a drug made using 3D printing

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You might be familiar with the concept of 3D-printed medical equipment, but you're going to have to get used to seeing 3D-printed medicine, too. The US Food and Drug Administration has approved its first drug manufactured using 3D printing, Aprecia's epilepsy-fighting Spritam. The medication uses a porous, 3D-printed formula to help deliver even very high doses (as high as 1,000mg) while remaining easy to swallow -- all you have to do is take a sip of liquid to quickly disperse the drug and get it into your body.

Spritam won't be available until the first quarter of 2016, and then only by prescription. If it takes off, though, it could do a lot to help patients of all kinds deal with unpleasant medicine. Some kids, seniors and people with swallowing problems may skip doses if they think it's too difficult to gulp down a pill -- Aprecia's 3D-printed tech should soften the blow. That, in turn, could prevent potentially dangerous lapses in treatment.

[Image credit: Shutterstock]

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