The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has announced it will reclassify hydrocodone combination products such as Vicodin. Under the new rules, patients will be able to receive the drugs for only up to 90 days without receiving a new prescription, The Wall Street Journal reports.
In October 2013, the Food and Drug Administration recommended tighter restrictions for hydrocodone combination products.
The DEA hopes the move will reduce prescription drug abuse, the article notes. Under the new rule, hydrocodone combination products will be classified as Schedule II drugs. Currently these products are Schedule III drugs, meaning they can be refilled up to five times, and prescriptions can cover a 180-day period. In most cases, patients who wish to refill their hydrocodone combination prescription will now have to give their pharmacy a prescription from a healthcare provider, instead of having it phoned or faxed in.