Opioid pain medication is an emotional topic for everyone. Patients who struggle with chronic noncancer pain and need opioid medications feel they are portrayed as addicts when they ask for refills. Each week I see many patients using opioids for the appropriate reason, who have tried and failed with other medications and yet feel stigmatized by the use of medicine they need.
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Pain is complex, so there is no “one pill fits all” treatment. Hydrocodone is the most prescribed medication in the United States, also marketed in combination with acetaminophen (Tylenol) under the brand names Vicodin, Norco and Lortab.
As of October 6, 2014, all drugs containing hydrocodone are schedule II drugs, and that means they are now much harder to get. There is no question this is a hassle for some patients and physicians but we (doctors) are too quick to prescribe it and for most pain, you don’t really need hydrocodone. See More
The classification for medications that contain hydrocodone (like Vicodin) is changing from schedule III to schedule II in an effort to help combat prescription drug abuse.
When does this change take effect?
The change will take effect approximately 45 days from the date of publication of the DEA ruling. You can find more information and the final ruling from the Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) here. See More
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Originally posted June 18, 2013:
We have a problem in the U.S. Vicodin (hydrocodone/acetaminophen) is the number one drug prescribed for any reason in this country. Most folks are shocked to hear that. Should we make it harder to get and if so, how?
This has been a discussion for years that heated up in January 2013 when the FDA voted in favor of reclassifying hydrocodone-containing drugs (Vicodin, Norco, Lortab) from schedule III to schedule II drugs. See More