New Painkiller Raises Concerns Among Addiction Experts
It is unfortunate that breakthroughs in research and development in some areas of medicine can be a double-edged sword to the community that it aims to serve. While its primordial goal is to provide much-needed medical treatment for those in need, some medicines can be equally as deadly to those who find ways to abuse them.
This type of painkiller is said to contain a pure version of hydrocodone, which belong to the family of drugs called opiates. Opiates include such drugs as morphine, heroin, oxycodone, codeine, and methadone.
If and when the drug is approved, it will be the first pure form of hydrocodone that can be purchased legally, as drugs that are already in the market combine it with non-addictive painkillers.
Four companies are currently testing pills with this formulation. One such product is Zohydro, from Zogenix of San Diego, which plans to apply for permission to market the drug early next year. Zohydro is a timed-release drug for the management of moderate to severe pain.
April Rovero, president of the National Coalition Against Prescription Drug Abuse, expressed her concerns about the drug: “I have a big concern that this could be the next OxyContin.” Purdue Pharma’s OxyContin was developed to manage pain with timed-release doses of oxycodone.
Abusers, however, discovered that they could crush the pills to get around the timed-release feature, and get an immediate high. OxyContin is the most abused prescription drug in the United States, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration.
The other companies testing hydrocodone drugs are Purdue Pharma, Cephalon, and Egalet.Tags: oxycontin abuse, painkiller abuse, painkiller stronger than Vicodin, strong painkiller, vicodin abuse