A new hydrocodone painkiller with 10 times the potency of the original Vicodin is on track to be released this March. It's release will be met with much disdain. Many addiction experts are pleading and urging the FDA to reconsider their approval vote from October 25th of last year. The drug is to be prescribed to patients who suffer from chronic pain. The extended release opioid is the first hydrocodone pill of it's kind. Oxycodone has a similar medication known as Oxycontin that has been heavily abused and has caused many overdoses. Experts are fearful that this pill will have the same results as Oxy.
The movement for approval on this pill and the reason it was created is because of the dangers of Acetaminophen. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) has been a major topic of concern in the healthcare field for years. Large amounts of Acetaminophen can cause severe health problems including liver failure and death. Many patients who are prescribed opioid painkillers for chronic pain ingest a lot of Acetaminophen, as it's commonly mixed with many prescription opiates. The longer you are prescribed an opioid, the more of the active opiate your body needs to fight the pain. As your tolerance for the opiate medication increases, more pills are needed and the amount of Acetaminophen ingested climbs to dangerous levels. When you are taking high dosages of these pills and taking frequents dosages, the Acetaminophen ingested is at near toxic levels.
The issue at hand is the opiate epidemic going on in our country. Prescription painkillers are a huge business. They make a lot of people a ton of money. The amount prescription painkiller issued in our country makes me question how this drug could be approved by our highest authority in government for our health.
As I stated before, the pill mimics Oxycontin. Hydrocodone and Oxycodone are very similar medications and act very similarly in the brain. Both drugs are extremely addictive and when abused can cause overdoses. When Oxycontin was first released, it was a high dosage extended release Oxycodone pill. The pills were very easily tampered with. Addicts would crush the pill then snort, inject or swallow them. When this is done, the pill becomes immediate release. This means if a pill is 80mg, you are ingesting 80 mg in an instant.
Zohydro is the same EXACT concept, the only difference is the active ingredient is hydrocodone. Zohydro is a high dose extended release tablet that is easily tampered with and contains zero Acetaminophen. The pill is so strong, that someone new to taking prescription opiate based painkillers can easily overdose and die from 2 pills. This medication is made for those who are in chronic pain, and have built up a tolerance to opioids. There is no doubt that this pill will cause overdoses when it gets into the wrong hands.
The approval of this drug is going to cause chaos in the United States. The fact that this drug is going to be on the streets soon scares a lot of people. There have already been campaigns started to "say no to Zohydro". I hope the FDA takes into the consideration the warnings that many people in the medical industry are making to stop this new pain medication from being released. If it is released, I hope it's monitored better than the current painkillers that are easily purchased on the black market.