Vicodin Leaves Trail of Dead Patients in its Wake
By Natural News | February 4, 2013 10:23 AM EST
A federal advisory panel whose purpose it is to guide the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in establishing drug labeling and marketing policy has urged the agency to step up its labeling requirements for the popular painkiller Vicodin (hydrocodone) following a trail of dead patients. According to the Los Angeles Times (LAT), the panel voted 19-10 recently to recommend that the FDA reclassify hydrocodone combination drugs as Schedule II narcotics, which would put them in the same strict category as OxyContin (oxycodone) and other widely abused prescription drugs.
Hydrocodone as it is currently sold in specialized drug blends, is designated by the federal government as a Schedule III drug, which is considered less addictive and dangerous than a Schedule II drug. But because hydrocodone use is now linked to causing as many as 50,000 deaths in the U.S. every single year -- there were nearly 1,000 deaths from hydrocodone just in Southern California during the five-year period between 2006 and 2011 -- authorities are concerned that patients are too easily accessing and abusing the drug.
"If the FDA approves the change, patients would be able to get fewer hydrocodone pills at one time, and there would be more restrictions on refills," explains Lisa Girion from LAT about the implications of the panel's recommendations, should they be enacted. "In addition, pharmacies would have to follow stricter procedures for handling and storing the drug."
According to the latest available data, hydrocodone drugs are the most prescribed painkillers in America today. In 2010, there were 131 million prescriptions for hydrocodone drugs, which include not only Vicodin, but also Norco and Lortab. But officials from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) say this is unacceptable, and that many of these prescriptions are inappropriate or invalid. Thousands of doctors, it turns out, remain largely unaware of how dangerous and addictive hydrocodone can be, and officials say this is because the drug is inadequately regulated.
"Most doctors are under the impression that Vicodin (whose main ingredient is hydrocodone) is less addictive than other prescription painkillers," said Dr. Andrew Kolodny, President of the group Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing (PROP), to CNN. "When you wonder why your dentist gives you 40 hydrocodone for a toothache, or your knee doctor prescribes far more than he should, that's because they're under the impression that it's not as addictive as Percocet. That's completely false."
Join the Conversation
- Walmart Early Price Matching Special Event On Nov. 21, 2014 Matches Its Competitors' Black Friday 2014 Prices And Includes Exclusive Deals For Samsung LED HDTVs And iPad Air 2 [WATCH VIDEO]
- US Plane Flying Over Russian Skies Spotted; Vladimir Putin Ready For 'Practical Cooperation' With US
- Black Friday 2014 Sale: Top Deals On Game Consoles Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Wii U And More
- Walmart Pre-Black Friday 2014 Sale On Nov. 21, 2014 Includes Discounts On The 'NBA 2K15' For PS4 And The 'Skylanders Trap Team’ Starter Kit [WATCH VIDEO]
- Alleged 'Microsoft Lumia 1030' Front Panel Leaked With Capacitive Buttons; 'Xbox One' Owners To Get Free Goodies On Anniversary
- More Bad News for Android 5.0 Lollipop As Problems Come In for Nexus and Other Devices
- Cold War 2: Russia, China And North Korea’s Blacklisted Company Fortify Alliance -- Reports