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'Frightening' New Pain Pill Set To Hit Pharmacies

'Frightening' New Pain Pill Set To Hit Pharmacies

A new painkiller approved by the Food and Drug Administration is scheduled to be available to patients next month - but it seems not without a fight. Opponents of the pill call its potency frightening and say it will begin killing people as soon as it's released.

"Over 40 health care consumer and addiction treatment groups want the FDA to revoke its approval of Zohydo, a hydrocodone-based drug. Zohydro was approved for treating chronic pain, but the coalition is concerned about the drug's potency and abuse potential,' WWLP reports.

A petition on Change.org calls Zohydro "the next OxyContin."

On Wednesday, the Fed Up! Coalition wrote a letter to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg saying, "In the midst of a severe drug epidemic fueled by overprescribing of opioids, the very last thing the country needs is a new, dangerous, high-dose opioid."

In December, members of Congress sent a similar letter to the FDA, asking for the decision to be reviewed.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of opioid-related deaths more than quadrupled from 1999 to 2010.

But CNN has a statement from the executive vice president and chief medical officer at Zogenix, the maker of Zohydro, who argues the benefits outweigh the risks.

"We do not expect the introduction of Zohydro ER (extended release) to increase the overall use of opioids. ... In fact, prescription data from the last five years shows that total use of ER opioids is constant and independent of new entrants to the market."

Last October the FDA upgraded hydrocodone-containing drugs from a Schedule 3 to Schedule 2 controlled substance, "which would increase the controls on these products." Schedule 1 are drugs considered to have the highest potential for abuse.

The change could be one reason the FDA is confident Zohydro will not contribute to the so-called epidemic.

Zohydro's label will feature warnings about abuse, misuse and addiction. The drug's makers are reportedly working on an abuse-resistant version expected to be released in the next few years.

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Sgilreath199 February 27 2014 at 1:07 AM

I understand that if a person has a need for pain control then by all means they should have access to anything that will help them live a more fulfilling life. It is a slippery slope though. Those that are addicted will find a way to get what they desire despite efforts to stop them. It is very easy to slide down that slope when you have an injury that requires pain control. Quite a few addicts started their addiction when they truly needed the meds then after prolonged use before they knew it they were addicted. No matter what they put or take off the market there will be those that will abuse. They will either get help or die there is no in between.

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anrean Sgilreath199 February 27 2014 at 2:01 AM

Yes, there is an in between - it is called using pain management professionals. They monitor for proper use, insist on random urine testing to make certain the meds prescribed are being used as directed and that no other non-prescribed meds are present. They monitor for possible abuse, and provide the appropriate dosages to manage the pain.

Current attempts at legislation are a knee-jerk reaction to illegal drugs and illegal use of prescribled drugs. There will always be people who purposefully seek a high, but for many of us the proposed legislation is putting us in a Catch-22 situation. I need the pain medication; that is clear since the pain management team monitors use, talks openly and doesn't just write a prescription, and takes their role in preventing addiction very seriously.

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rena1054 Sgilreath199 February 27 2014 at 3:14 AM

The way to remove the whole slippery slope argument is to have patients in chronic pain be treated by pain specialist who know how to manage not only the pain but the medication. For many years people with chronic pain didn't have a doctor who specialized in pain. There wasn't many doctors who specialized in chronic pain conditions. So the patient got the prescriptions from their family doc, their OB doc, their dentist and anyother doc that would prescribe some kind of med.
Treating chronic pain isn't a patient 'seeking a drug' it's a patient who needs treatment and help with their condition the same as a diabetic or heart patient. Doctors who specialize in treating chronic pain don't simply hand out medications with an ever increasing dose as most of you who refer to pain patients as addicts seem to believe.
Chronic pain patients don't get high. They get pain management of a long term chronic condition that isn't going to get better with time. The chronic pain patient is seeking a physician who will effectively treat their condition for the long term because it isn't going to just go away they're in for ever. The only time opiates should ever be prescribed is when the pain is long term(as in forever). The reason we saw people getting high off their pain meds. was because so many doctors prescribed opiates to every patient with acute back pain, bad knees or an injury. The condition was temporary. And many doctors kept on writing a prescription for opiates long after the acute injury healed. THEN these patients would get an opiate high. And unless a doctor stepped in and said you don't need these pills many of these patients did become addicted. We hear their stories of trying to get off the meds. and we hear of how they sought drugs for the sake of drugs NOT to treat any kind of chronic pain but just for the sake of getting high. Doctor lacked education in how to separate chronc pain conditions from acute care of pain that lasted only until the patient healed from the injury. Chronic pain patients don't heal, they are in it for the long term. For too many years we had doctorsn who didn't understand chronic, debilitating treatment was different than pain management of the post-op patient. But in the last decade we've seen good doctors become pain specialist. They know that managing the chronic condition isn't just writing prescriptions. And most importantly they know how to treat chronic pain with opiates. They learned there are milions of patients with debilitating, chronic pain that isn't going away and these people have no where to go for pain management which includes many things, not just prescriptions. These people aren't addicts looking for a high. A good pain spcialist knows the diffeence in a drug seeking patient and a patient with real debilitating chronic pain.
Why would we want these doctors who are treating a large group of patients with a chronic condition that must be managed for the remainder of their lives to not have

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icastfuturestars February 27 2014 at 5:13 AM

if it is just a version of Hydrocodone which is essentially sold as VICODIN or LORSET..it is a JOKE..they have small amountds of Pain killer..nothing near the potency as OXYCONTIN. After mu;ltiple spine surgeries and mutiple other surgeries..VIcodin has virtually no pain killing effect..the drugs that DO work..are extremely regulated. I was already on two drugs that almost killed me and they wer NOT pain killers perse. One LYRICA caused kisdney stones, and required hospitalization , damaged my eyesight. the other TOPOMAXcaused kidney stones..and required multiple surgeries. i would say HYDROCDONE is a very safe drug. if you have not had your entire spine reconstructed..I suggest you leave the issue of pain to those IN PAIN

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4 replies
dejude42 February 27 2014 at 12:12 AM

Just a few questions, doesn't every person deserve a QUALITY OF LIFE? An individual that can make a choice and the individual who chooses a mind alternating stupor for a self serving act of pleasure are two totally different matters. I being a person that watched my first wife of 21 years - mother of my three children - die as a result of a terrible 3 1/2 year breast cancer battle, I recently watched my brother in law die an agonizing 3 1/2 year cancer battle and plus numerous other members of family / friends who during their illness prayed for death due to uncontrolled pain.
Why must precious loved ones (ill human beings) be further punished because of coalitions? I pray their hearts to soften and their mind to become open and not filled with self- righteousness due to an ignorant mindset. I feel they probably lost a loved one who chooses to use these medications illegally. I do believe these leaders try to understand with love with compassion, but I do not believe they can make an already unbelievable destructive life event non-lethal.
Who deserves the benefit of this medication? Individual neighbors/ family members /friends/strangers to whom addiction is not a concern. These sickly Humans suffer a non- repairable chronic/lethal health issues. We as loved ones must trust our doctors. Their profession oath seeks to prevent suffering and using their knowledge. They practice medicine -- they do not and are not the police of the world.
Medication for terminal/ chronic diseases brings no cure, but they do give a few remaining moments of life with relief for those who suffer and those who watch over them. The right Medication allows: Tears to become a smile, praying for death to become prayers of thanksgiving, difficult impossible moments can become the precious memories, you can remember this time as a precious commodity – a shared not a cursed time more valuable than any gold or silver (I do hope these examples bring an understanding).
Why not pass a law to make narcotic usage harder? The law changes only seem to affect those who need the medication most, Laws for the individual terminal /chronic patient. Realization with the understanding the probabilities of no cure for an individual human citizen with terminal /chronic illness should bring human empathy. Again for the ill, I feel every life remaining step/moment should encompass human compassion. An action toward preventing non-quality wasted time in what remains in this loved ones existence on earth the main priority. How precious to those left behind are their stories -thoughts -ideals -touches. If a person in an authority position can prevent the waste of an ill ones’ individual remaining time –knowingly—they truly should be recognized as a Super human being (I wish to believe).
As an example, the need to obtain as Narcotic prescription without going to the office for every visit. Again, the diseased individual is a diagnosed patient not in the best of traveling health nor needs the exposure to the outside elements. My dear terminal ill wife was afraid of becoming an addict. Yet on bad days that small pill brought peace and I would have sold all to obtain it for her.
Narcotics to some are nothing more than a chosen object. To those that abuse its God given gifts -its truly makes a waste and yet to those that are wasting away - it brings a ray of hope for another day.

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vincent.matcheson dejude42 February 27 2014 at 12:19 AM

Sorry for your losses but such a wonderful way of saying how it really and truly does help those in need. Thank You i enjoyed reading this and wished so many more thought the same as you do God Bless.

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herbert777 February 27 2014 at 12:10 AM

so many seem to care much more for drug addicts than very physically ill people. time to reevaluate some prioritys

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charlie4562r herbert777 February 27 2014 at 12:28 AM

Well put!!

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herbert777 February 27 2014 at 12:09 AM

If you were in cronic pain you would understand the need for any med that works. perhaps you have not witnessed a loved one with cancer or any other nightmare pain disease.

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secularplane February 27 2014 at 12:08 AM

These people aren't your parents nor your children's parents. This drug is intended for chronic pain and with real epidemics like cancer, it's needed. Why should they take away from the real victims because other people decide to abuse them? You have patients pressuring doctors into prescribing these drugs to them and in turn people say doctors over prescribe them. Find anyone else to blame for this crap but yourselves.

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herbert777 February 27 2014 at 12:06 AM

if you are in pain you need the best pain relief possible. do not punish patients in pain to protect junkies. get your priority straight

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1 reply
abstracter herbert777 February 27 2014 at 1:18 AM

Its like guns one only changes there minds when a loved one is stricken with Cancer, horrible car accident, burns, caught up in an IED, A CASE OF SEPSIS. It is always the same you bad drug and drug addict you. I dare anyone to live thru a case of necrotizing fascitis leaving you with minimal use at best of your legs and preying not to wake up in the morning because in stead of waking up to fresh air and sunshine . You wake up to the feeling of hot shards of glass ripping your skin off and have it extend deep into your bones. You are unable to stand until you have that first dose of pain medication because you were lucky enough to oversleep, finally and unfortunately you meds wore out. Live with it day in and day out for ten years and then demonize pain medication. I dare ya.

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Brutal February 27 2014 at 12:02 AM

Just wondering ... why do you need another powerful pain medication when we already have so many? Asked another way ... how many powerful pain medications do we need? Me thinks it is all about money at the expense of those who become dependent on these drugs. I don't know, I could be wrong ... but I don't think so.

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abstracter Brutal February 27 2014 at 1:24 AM

it is about money but also not everyone responds favorable to every drug. One can be allergic to a few but not another. Intestinal bleeding from too many doses of NSAIDS for a prolonged time and you can only deal with Demerol and not oxy or hydro classes. You may not have insurance so you you take the cheaper drug . After a prolonged used you build a tolorance . There are lots of reasons.

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rayser711 February 27 2014 at 10:01 AM

3 cheers for the FDA.....Yah....They are lookin out for us alright ! People need to look out for themselves. Its a money money money world. Thats all they care about.

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cchristian1927 February 27 2014 at 12:14 AM

Opioids are very habit forming. I was on hydrocodone from 1998-2011. I went from that to 60mg twice a day of morphine time released pills until December of 2013 at which time my liver stopped processing the morphine, so i was placed on 50mg patch of fentynal. My body was going through hell so i stopped cold turkey on all my pain releavers including the lyrica i was taking. I was taken to the hospital twice from withdrawals but thank God after 2 months of insomnia, all foods tasting horrible, and everything smelling terrible, I stand today free of pain killers although i'm in pain on a daily basis. My mind is clear but my body is weak but thats ok with me. I suffer through the pain. I'm permanently disabled and i find other means to reduce my pain.

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charlie4562r cchristian1927 February 27 2014 at 12:24 AM

Do you have Fibromyalgia? My wife who is permanently disabled, has RA and other issues was just started on a drug called Gabapentin, we're waiting to see how that works out in the short/long term! Good luck with your pain, its awful to even watch someone in this much pain on a daily basis!

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2 replies
Dana Wright charlie4562r February 27 2014 at 12:39 AM

I have been and am on Gabapentin for a month now It really helps my pain I like it. I take 2 100 mg 3 times a day. It has helped me a lot I hope your wifehas good results as well. Good Luck

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charlie4562r charlie4562r February 27 2014 at 12:52 AM

To Dana Wright. Geeeezzzzzzz, how do you stay awake with 6 pills a day? My wife takes one at bedtime, tried 2 and ended up with a pretty good headache. Any side effects? Wife takes one at bedtime with an aprazolam and at least gets a night's sleep out of the deal! Still think her bone on bone with her knees is beyond solution.

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