Recently, a new opioid medication has hit the market and has caused much controversy in its approval.
Zohydro ER was approved by the Food and Drug Administration last year and was made available at the end of March.
Doctors may prescribe Zohydro ER for individuals who are dealing with chronic pain conditions as an alternative to other forms of pain relief that may not have worked. The medication’s sole ingredient is the opioid hydrocodone, which has been documented in many cases of prescription drug addiction. The ER stands for extended-release and the medication lasts for up to 12-hours. It is classified as a schedule 2 drug.
The controversy surrounding this medication is in its likelihood of being abused. The recent increase in prescription drug addiction cases and overdose deaths have raised red flags in communities. Now there is a new pill to contend with. The Governor of Massachusetts announced a ban on Zohydro ER in their commonwealth prior to its release. His concern was that: “Zohydro is a dangerously addictive pharmaceutical painkiller, approved by the FDA recently over the objection of their scientific advisory council and is not available in an abuse-deterrent form.” Bills have been introduced in both the Congress and Senate to seek withdrawal of approval of the drug.
The concern over this new medication is a valid one. The United States has seen a steady growth of prescription drug abuse in the recent decade, which coincides with the drastic increase in prescribing opioid medications. The intent of these medications is to help people initially. In Zohydro’s case, meant to help individuals with an alternative for their debilitating pain. However, they end up in the hands of those who can abuse them. Many feel that Zohydro ER can be quite helpful, but in a tamper-resistant form that discourages abuse.