Prescription Painkillers Containing Hydrocodone May Become More Tightly Regulated

Hydrocodone To Be Tightly RegulatedAdvisers to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will meet this fall to discuss whether prescription painkillers containing hydrocodone should be more tightly regulated, Bloomberg reports. They will evaluate the risks and benefits of hydrocodone preparations that are used to treat pain and coughs.

Emergency room visits related to hydrocodone, the key ingredient in Vicodin and other painkillers, have soared since 2000. Vicodin, which also contains acetaminophen, is subject to fewer regulations than pure hydrocodone, the article notes.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) wants to change the way drugs that combine hydrocodone with other products are classified, to require patients to have more interaction with doctors in order to obtain prescriptions for them. “It has to do with penalties for trafficking,” Barbara Carreno, a spokeswoman for the DEA, told Bloomberg. “You have to go back to the doctor when you run out of medicine. It’s more oversight by the doctor.” She said that if the FDA decides that the drugs should have more oversight, the DEA will change its drug classification schedule accordingly.

Full story of prescription painkiller regulations at

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Will Savage

Quantum Units Continuing Education provides online CEU training's to licensed professional mental health therapists, counselors, social workers and nurses. Our blog provides updates in the field of news and research related to mental health and substance abuse treatment.