Hydrocodone Put Up For Reclassification By FDA In Crackdown

    October 25, 2013
    Amanda Crum
    Comments are off for this post.

Hydrocodone has long been on the DEA’s list of drugs that they’d like to see reclassified, which would make it harder to obtain; now, the FDA has agreed, after a ten-year battle by the DEA, to recommend Vicodin and other hydrocodone-based drugs as a Schedule II substance.

“While the value of and access to these drugs has been a consistent source of public debate, the FDA has been challenged with determining how to balance the need to ensure continued access to those patients who rely on continuous pain relief while addressing the ongoing concerns about abuse and misuse,” Janet Woodcock of the FDA said.

What does that mean, exactly? For starters, prescription refills will be limited to a 90-day supply rather than the previous five refills within six months, and in some states only a doctor can write a prescription rather than a nurse practitioner. Many doctors are loathe to give a patient a Schedule II drug because of the potential for addiction. That, according to Edward Michna–an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School–will make things harder for patients who genuinely need the pain medication.

“You have to consider the secondary, unintended consequences: patients who are legitimate users who may lose access, or be restricted,” Michna said. “It’s all a balance.”

However, the FDA has seen the widespread, devastating effects that prescription drug addiction can have, and said in a statement that in some states, it has become an epidemic. The group is recommending the classification change by the end of the year.

“By early December, FDA plans to submit our formal recommendation package to HHS to reclassify hydrocodone combination products into Schedule II. We anticipate that the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) will concur with our recommendation. This will begin a process that will lead to a final decision by the DEA on the appropriate scheduling of these products,” Woodcock said.

Image: Wikimedia Commons

  • DINO

    They need to BAN that drug altogether & prescribe non-narcotic pain medicine to patients that need pain medication. They should totally discard & BAN ALL NARCOTIC PAINKILLERS because all those things do is get people ADDICTED & then they gotta wind up going thru a whole lot of craziness AND more pain, rehab, rehab after-care, counseling, & then there’s the high possibility of relapse. If these pills weren’t on the market & if they were NOT AVAILABLE, people couldn’t get them & if they did, it’d be ILLEGAL. “Medication” like THIS does NOT need to be accessible to NO ONE. They should be taken OFF the market COMPLETELY.


      You are very correct about the issues regarding abuse/addiction fo these painkillers. BUT, you forget those of us out here with true chronic pain who have allergies to anti-inflammatories so pain meds are our only options. They allow me to continue to work and be productive. Banning all opioids is not the answer. Although the new plan for being able to obtain my meds will be a hsssle, it is worth it to continue with a semi-active livestyle rather than being in so much pain I will have to quit my job and go on disability. That is something I would not want to do.

    • keith lloyd

      You are an Idiot,you obliviously do not need pain relieve,
      you watch to much news about movie stars & celebrities,who can get
      these easily or can pay any amount for them illegally, most of them are what cause the problems,thees are the people the law &
      politicians will not go after, it is so much easier to go after
      the general public.in my case after two days without pills, i can not get out of bed. so you think it would be less expensive to put me in hospital.or cheaper yet gust SHOOT ME

  • http://none preston osborn

    so what do we do about people like my self. I am 72 with several spinal injuries. and my condition is such that even if able, I am in a lot of pain and I take Percoset 5 for this pain, three times a day,and that isn’t enough. and occasionaly, I have to take a urine test to check if I do take them instead of selling them. My wife, a RN of over 30 years experience believes that I should and do need a stronger dosage, and I refuse to ask for them. I can still function(brainwise)even if the pain(it is cronic) is more than I desire.at my age, addiction means nothing to me, however if people like some have their way, disabled veterans such as myself, will have to suffer in pain just to appease some minority. Percoset5’s are not very powerful, but they help somewhat with the relief that people like myself NEED.

  • barbara j brown

    I at 64 agree with the chronic pain people that have a right to have their doctors prescribe these for them. freedom of your own choice is taken away by people who don’t need them at all. i am not a dope dealer or on dope for any addiction just want relief from copd that it helps to get over sooner than without…..so, narcotics at what i feel is my right if needed to feel better as in bronchitis as i was prescribed recently as yesterday to help me trudge down the road, to finding a new home, after getting ripped off by these addicts who stoled my tmobile …….anyway i agree with mr. man who is married to rn…….agree…..100 percent with him……life at the last stages is alot easier when you have your rights respected by these so called clinics and mini receptionists and medical docs that close the doors on you as if you were a drug addict…….this is what upsets me to no end the injustice being dished out by these strangers who have a home already and a paying job and a thanksgiving that i will not have and yet tell me i can not get help prescribed by doctor at er mercy hospital…….for cough medicine that i need to be able to sleep up til 4am coughing away because i had no money to pay the co payment though i was told i could not get the cough medicine for my medicare will not pay for it anyway…….which i said why can’t they trust me for the cost at cvs pharmacy for i am on disability insurance i have been using their pharmacy to fill all and any meds i needed and while they let another woman in front of me slide til her check came in they refused me……cvs on congress street…….unbelievable…….the help and aide you receive in this people business…….yet they have all this help resource centers people getting their rungs in on the ladder of helping others is all a fake……….on the real side, aide has become, a voice of let me tell you what to do and where you are wrong since they are all of 23 and trying to get their brownie points in social working…….i feel used by the whole system of info retaining business of these so called bossy gossip spreading people that take all your info and they are strangers to you yet you can not get what a doctor has prescribe to you as if you are a drug addict or dealer….i am offended by these do good people phoney well wishers……………..ms.bjbrown

    • Dwight Watts

      WAKE UP PEOPLE!!! The answer is medical marijauna in the form of cannabiss oilo put into gel-caps. My wife was cured of stage 3 melenoma with cannabiss oil. I was on every opiate known to man to deal with extreme pain from rumetoid arthritis. I started on the cannabiss oil 3 months ago and i am now pain and opiate free. Put all prescription pain killers in schedule one and move marijauna to schedule 3 or 4. IT IS TIME FOR THE WORLD TO ACCEPT THIS WONDERFUL PLANT THE LORD BLESSED US WITH.