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Addictive painkiller Zohydro feared to be next OxyContin

health120711_optBY BOB HOLT
NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM

According to federal figures, treatments for the abuse of prescription painkillers has risen 430 percent over the last 10 years. Now four companies are studying a new pain reliever that is said to be 10 times more powerful than Vicodin, and addiction experts are concerned about the potential of further abuse.

A pure version of the addictive ingredient hydrocodone is included in Zohydro, which is a timed-release drug intended for use in treating moderate to severe pain.

According to CBS News, hydrocodone is listed among the group of drugs including morphine, oxycodone, codeine, heroin, and methadone. These drugs are all chemically similar to opium.

April Rovero, the president of the National Coalition Against Prescription Drug Abuse said, according to an Associated Press report on Fox News, "I have a big concern that this could be the next OxyContin." The Drug Enforcement Agency said oxycodone has become the most-abused medicine in the United States, and hydrocodone is right behind. Drug abusers found they could beat the timed-release by crushing the pills.

Zogenix, a company from San Diego, wants to begin marketing Zohydro in early 2013. Their chief executive, Roger Hawley, claims Zohydro will be safer than Vicodin because Vicodin contains acetaminophen, which can hurt the liver through high doses, according to Mail Online. Also, the drug companies are saying patients will be watched closely because they have to return to their doctors for every refill they may need.

The other three companies doing the research, Perdue Pharma, Cephalon, and Egalet will be developing their own versions of the product.

The New York Daily News reported that Drug Enforcement Administration data found that the number of emergency room visits linked to hydrocodone jumped from 19,221 in 2000 all the way to 86,258 in 2009.

 
Comments (17)
17 Thursday, 08 March 2012 03:22
Faithfull D
I have been doing research on zohydro because it does not have acetaminophen or any other type of harmfull addition to it..I agree with the rest of the other comments regaurding the pill pushing drs.,and the abuse by patients who make myself and the rest of us who need this med.,Looking forward to making zohydro my new medication for my sciatic nerve pain that sometimes just drives me crazy.i dont wish this on anyone,the constant pain.this zohydro sounds like it will give me the breakthrough relief i so desperately need.Also will not have to take as many and more importantly ill be saving my organs.huge improvement in my opinion.ive noticed some of the comments are not even giving the new med a chance.Wish i could get it sooner but ill have to wait like evryone else.i say to the people who use these painkillers for fun to go rite ahead.there are serious consequences for abusing them.All of you will learn the hard way.for those of us that really need the relief from the xtreme pain we deal with day in day out will appreciate the pharma companies that make it and i want to say thankyou for your continuing efforts.Please keep working hard for us.for all you abusers out there,i say to you abuse it and watch and feel the smack down you all so deserve,it will abuse you trust me.Thankyou for the oportunity to express my opinion and hopefully get through to some of you abuseres out there.Godbless us all! BY the way my goal is to use less.It seems Zohydro can help us in more ways than just the pain.I hate having to swallow so many pills in a day.HANG in there to all the real sufferers.Remember everyone caution with any new drugs especially the painkillers.Again Godbless us all!
16 Friday, 13 January 2012 05:25
shellsinfl
I am will the ones on here that are all for the drug I have to take pain killers to get out of bed everyday without them i would have no life I do not abuse my meds I just need them and the ones that are making us pay for it is the ones that just want to get high . I am for this drug for the number one reason of no asprin in them I have GI varises in my tummy i have pancreatitis and this medication just may help me to live a lil longer without hurting my liver even more then it is already damaged and no I do not have these issues due to drinking I have never been a drinker and do not plan to start to kill pain so if this will help people like me to enjoy life a lil longer then all i have to say is bring it on ....
15 Tuesday, 03 January 2012 15:35
John Hall V
My oppinion would be that if you can come out with a new and improved drug for CHRONIC pain i think that it would be very sucessful with the people with pain because if you have pain you will try anything that would keep pain manageable.And if there is a new drug out there and it will help, i think that it cuold be sucessful.Now the huge problem the DEA if the manufactures can come up with a new drug that helps DO NOT CHANCE THE FORMULA!!!!
14 Tuesday, 03 January 2012 14:46
Pharmaceutical Afficionado
First off, it's not a drug "ten times more powerful than vicodin". Vicodin (hydrocodone) is still the active ingredient in zohydro, but the dose will be ten times higher. I can't say for sure, but these pills will probably be 50mg extended release, as opposed to the 5mg instant release of vicodin. It should be noted, firstly, that the extended release will negate a significant portion of the drug's potency (instead of having to take a vicodin six times a day, this pill will offer an equivalent day-long pain relief from one pill) and secondly, 50mg of hydrocodone is STILL SIGNIFICANTLY WEAKER than most formulations of oxycodone prescribed in the United States. This pill is a great thing, considering that acetaminophen poisoning is the leading cause of liver failure in our country. This pill isn't more harmful, it's minimizing risks.

Moreover, I'm shocked at the amount of people who don't want this drug to see the light of day. You're forgetting that these aren't illicit drugs - they're prescribed because millions of Americans live in debilitating pain. That you people would deny 10 car accident victims or cancer patients adequate relief to stop 1 teenager from popping pills reveals that you're either shortsighted and morally bankrupt, or you have no experience with the horrors of chronic pain.

Peace.
13 Monday, 02 January 2012 13:33
YOGI
Hydrocodone has ALWAYS been available in pure form from compounding pharmacies. Zohydro is merely the timed release form.

Every few weeks the media rolls out another scare story about drugs. This drug is actually significantly INFERIOR in potency to oxycodone.

Whereas there may be thousands who use opiates recreationally, there are millions who are left to suffer by doctors so afraid of the DEA that they will prescribe no controlled substances whatsoever, instead writing prescriptions for the latest feeble NSAID (a drug family created to allow doctors to prescribe a "pain pill" without writing a prescription for a narcotic.)

I'd like to see a story about the suicides who takes their lives because they cannot get help for their intractable pain. Then talk to me about the dangers of addiction.
Yup
12 Monday, 02 January 2012 12:55
No One Important
I see that half the comments here are paid for by the drug companies. It's kinda sad, really. I'm sure someone else will "reply" to me, telling me that I'm wrong, but it'll probably Jim the Intern at Zogenix.

You'd better hurry, though, the chemists want their coffee, stat.
11 Monday, 02 January 2012 11:18
zohydro yay
Ive been using vicoprofen for 2 years for pain and it is a wonderful drug. I had contain, oxy, vicodin, and i don't like the feeling it gives me. However, zohydro will be much better for me as I'm taking an equivalent of 2400mg of ibuprofen in the vicoprofen a day (2400 is clinically the max) and already have an ulcer. great. so I'm definitely looking forward to this as my auto immune disease is not going away anytime soon!!!
10 Monday, 02 January 2012 10:53
john smith
correct with to without
9 Monday, 02 January 2012 10:52
john smith
I have had 4 operations in the last 8 years, still i live with pain 24/7 and have been taking hodrocodone for 5 years . it does releive the pain, but i am worried about liver function. this new drug sounds like just the thing. i can split 1 pill into 4 pieces, which is the amount of hydrocodone i'm on now, but zohydro will give me the releif i need with the possible liver damage. anxiously awaiting the release of this new new pain drug.
8 Monday, 02 January 2012 10:42
jimbo
I've had neck and lower back pain for a long time-last back surgery in '05. I've tried lortabs,vicodin, oxy's, methadone,morphine all with no relief. I've never abused or taken more than perscribed. I've thought about medical marijuana. It would be nice to live pain free as it's a terrible strain on me as well as the family
7 Sunday, 01 January 2012 20:06
Blues
Pain medication without deadly kidney damage should be available to people suffering from unbearable pain. Non-sufferers who need a cause should crusade for people needing legitimate and effective relief. We are sentenced to a tortured life instead of enjoying our families, careers, and lives. I am desperate for just a few hours of relief even if I have to wait until 2013 or volunteer for a trial.
oh please. addiction is none of corporate america's business. if people have the right to choose to drink alcohol and smoke tobacco, what is it about other drugs that society can't shut up about? the VAST majority of opioid-related deaths are caused in conjunction with other drugs-- mostly alcohol and acetaminophen, two of the most harmful chemicals in our country and, naturally, the most legal. hydrocodone may addict, but tylenol kills. yet no one seems to be raising any flags on that front. this new product (while certainly a ploy for more money) is going to bring a great deal of relief to a great deal of people and save a LOT of lives --even if it puts others in danger. ALL drugs carry this risk, not simply those with recreational value. how many heart medications list "death and coma" as possible side-effects? recreational drugs are not the problem. nor is addiction. addiction is a symptom of a greater, more deep-seated issue. and honestly until that problem is resolved, people are going to take drugs whatever their legality; this is 100% guaranteed. humans have been getting high for millennia, after all. spending time, money, and effort on the hype and unjustified criminalization of narcotics is an absolute waste financially, socially, and ethically. articles like this feed the media machine. it is an outdated and completely unnecessary sort of hysteria.

and if people are truly concerned about their kids hopping on the addict train i think there's a much bigger problem there than whether or not pharmaceutical companies release an addictive product and how available it is. take some responsibility and stop blaming these so-called "mystically addictive" substances for the choices people make. alternatively, suck it up, live and let live. it's none of your business.

(RE: the gun remark: yes, actually, if used properly, a gun will kill. that is its intended purpose, after all: harm. even in cases of self-defense, the keyword there is "defense". when you pick up a gun, you don't do so expecting it to fire flowers and glitter at whatever your target is. interesting that weaponry is more widely available than medication when the former is used so often to hurt OTHERS and application of the latter is a matter of personal choice.
5 Saturday, 31 December 2011 19:21
The Conda
I am sure that they have a pain med that is not addictive and does a great job. But where is the money in that for the pharm companies and the "Jail for profit" industry and do you think that the Hospitals aren't getting paid for the overdoses in the ER? Money. That's the rub. I've been on Oxy's for 4 years now and they are trying to make me quit. I don't abuse mine but because of these pinhead doctors selling 500 at a time to 22 year old kids it hurts the legit patients. The same will happen to Zohydro. Greed baby, greed. It's putting this country on it's back.
4 Friday, 30 December 2011 12:55
Scotto
Please remember that a painkiller is like a gun,the gun won't kill you if used properly,just like a painkiller, but the person abusing the painkiller or the person who pulls the trigger is the killer.until you live my miserable life for a month, make that a week cause you won't last, don't judge me for taking a painkiller
3 Friday, 30 December 2011 12:51
Scotto
The drug is not the bad one here. The person abusing or selling the drug is wrong. The drug won't kill you but the idiot who is taking it wrong will kill. I'm in pain 24/7 from RA and nerve damage and these drugs get me by. I've had surgeries and to no avail so I take painkillers to kill the pain, not to get high. Please know that there is two types of people on painkillers, one who needs them and one who wants them
2 Thursday, 29 December 2011 15:03
Concern
It is not called big business by the pharma companies. Let's lower the drinking age to 18 so the kids can drink - not drive - and not turn to their relatives meds.... CRAZY.
1 Thursday, 29 December 2011 13:48
big bill
this should not be allowed with the crisis in teens and young adults especially the poorly educated elderly hydrocodone is extermely adictive its just like suboxone its for the good well lokk it what it did and is doing it replaced methadone for junkies try finding a cure for terminal illness instead of how to get higher!

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