The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved a new pain medication. Zohydro (or hydrocodone) has been met with some controversy, particularly as the FDA’s advisory board voted against the approval of this new pain killer, leaving many to ask: What is Zohydro?
Zohydro, or hydrocodone, is a prescription pain killer. Similar to Vicodin or Percocet, Zohyrdo is classified as an opioid, a class of drugs known for their addictive qualities. Unlike other similar pain killers, Zohydro does not contain acetaminophen, which when taken in large quantities may cause liver toxicity, liver damage and in some cases, death.
Even with the variety of pain medications available on the market, there is no one-size-fits all pain solution. Zohydro is meant to be prescribed to patients who either do not respond to other traditional narcotics, and/or those who require 24 hour relief from chronic, long-term pain. While the criteria for those who would most benefit from using hydrocodone is very small, there is a fear that as this drug is more widely used, it will potentially be sold as a street drug, alongside other commonly abused opioids.
Opioids are often prescribed to treat pain from injuries, surgery, cancer and arthritis. Along with their ability to reduce high levels of pain, these drugs also create a feeling of euphoria for the user. This pleasurable sensation is what makes these types of drugs so addictive. If used without the proper supervision of a doctor, users find they must take more of the opioid to achieve this desired effect.
Just like other similar drugs, as the user’s tolerance increases, so does the likelihood for abuse and addiction. The ability to easily crush Zohydro so that it could be snorted or smoked, has many questioning if the benefits of Zohydro for chronic pain sufferers will outweigh the potential consequences.
If you or a loved one has been prescribed a pain killer that warns of its ability to become addictive, it’s important to speak with your doctor about responsible use. Learn more about other potentially habit-forming prescription medications at Talbott Recovery.