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Friday, May 30, 2014

Some Doctors Favor Zohydro ER

Despite nationwide protests from health experts and lawmakers, doctors have begun prescribing Zohydro ER (pure hydrocodone). About 1,000 doctors have prescribed Zohydro ER and some doctors say the drug has its benefits, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Zohydro ER was made available to doctors in March, after much debate about the need for such a drug while this country is in the grips of a prescription drug epidemic that seemingly has no end in sight. Even the FDA’s own panel of experts advised against approving Zohydro due to the drugs high risk potential for abuse. Nevertheless, the FDA approved the drug going against its panel and the fact that the Zohydro currently has no abuse resistant features and can easily be crushed for snorting or injecting.

Despite the negatives associated with Zohydro, some doctors say that the drug has benefits. Zohydro lacks acetaminophen, a non addictive pain killer that is mixed into other hydrocodone products such as Vicodin. Acetaminophen can do serious damage to the liver when consumed in large quantities or if used over an extended period of time. Patients with chronic round-the-clock pain often consume large quantities of Vicodin which puts their liver at risk.

Removing acetaminophen from the equation while still provided long-acting pain relief is perhaps the only perk to Zohydro ER. Certain doctors believe that Zohydro ER may be the best option for those suffering from chronic pain.

"One of the things that we know about long-acting opioids is that for some people and certain types of chronic pain, they can have a very effective role in helping people manage their pain and increase their function," says Yngvild Olsen, medical director of a substance-abuse treatment program at the Institutes for Behavior Resources in Baltimore.
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