Several drug companies are developing a more potent pain medication containing hydrocodone. The new drug would contain up to 10 times the amount of hydrocodone that is found in drugs currently available, such as Vicodin. One of the drug companies, Zogenix, plans to apply for FDA approval of its timed-released version, known as Zohydro, this year and have it on the market in 2013. The possible addition of Zohydro to painkilling options has brought forward proponents and opponents.
Proponents say Zohydro will present doctors with another option for treating chronic pain patients, since not all medications are equally effective for all patients. It also has been suggested that a pure hydrocodone medication eliminates problems associated with analgesics that have acetaminophen as part of their composition. Acetaminophen overdose has been linked to potentially fatal liver toxicity. Zohydro will be closely monitored and you will be required to visit your doctor each time you need more pills, unlike current hydrocodone-acetaminophen medications that permit 5 refills.
Opponents believe Zohydro will provide the same abuse potential as OxyContin did, when crushing the timed-release pills produced an intense high. The maker of OxyContin reformulated the medication to make it more tamper-proof. With Zohydro, are drugmakers just reinventing an old problem? Does any of this make sense to arthritis patients who are still angry at the FDA for taking Darvocet off the market in November 2010? Share your thoughts below.
- The Facts of Analgesics (Painkillers)
- Vicodin - What You Need to Know
- Darvocet Removed From U.S. Market in November 2010
- Share Your Feelings - Are You Reluctant to Use Pain Pills?
Photo by Keith Webber Jr. (iStockphoto)