New Opioid Painkiller Makes Headlines for Danger, Overdoses
When you go to the hospital or the doctor for pain treatment in Ohio, you want to know that your treatment is safe and effective. In this case, it’s been suggested that medication errors may be more prominent due to the type of drug being offered. Now, the Food and Drug Administration is being asked to rescind the approval of a new painkiller called Zohydro.
According to the news from March 17, the Allegheny Health Network physician has joined with others in the outcry about this drug, which the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently approved. The drug is a potent opioid painkiller, which can lead to overdoses, either accidental or not, abuse and illegal use. The report claims that the extended-release drug only contains hydrocodone, which is then released over a 12-hour period.
The problem with this, according to the news, is that the FDA approved this drug despite an 11 to 2 vote against its release from the advisory committee. Doctors who don’t want the drug on the market have argued that there are other opioid and extended-release painkillers already on the market and at their disposal. The problem with this drug is that if a patient isn’t aware, crushing it or chewing it could actually be fatal. Crushing or chewing the pill would release more of the medication at one time, and that could lead to accidental overdoses.
The director of Allegheny Health Network’s division of pain medicine argued that the 50-milligram capsule would release the equivalent of 10 Vicodin at once if chewed or crushed. This concern is not without merit. He argued that there have been 22 deaths and an unknown number of nonfatal overdoses due to the use of the similar drug, fentanyl, since the summer of 2013. Right now, 40 consumer watchdog groups along with addiction-treatment organizations are arguing against the drug’s release. The attorney generals in 28 states have also argued against the need for the drug.