Chronic Pain — 30 October 2013

By Pat Anson, Editor

A day after saying it wanted to restrict access to hydrocodone, the Food and Drug Administration has approved a new more powerful version of the opioid painkiller that some critics say is dangerous.

Zohydro, which was developed by San Diego based Zogenix Inc. (NASDAQ: ZGNX), will be the first pure hydrocodone painkiller sold in the U.S. Combination versions of hydrocodone, such as Vicodin, typically contain acetaminophen and require dosing every 4 to 6 hours. Extended release Zohydro could be taken just twice a day for chronic pain.

“Zohydro ER will offer prescribers an additional therapeutic option to treat pain, which is important because individual patients may respond differently to different opioids,” the FDA said in a statement.

Zohydro will be classified as a Schedule II drug, which means it can only be dispensed through a physician’s written prescription and no refills will be allowed. There are also more stringent recordkeeping, reporting, and security requirements for Schedule II drugs.

Read more at National Pain Report.

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About Author

Pat Anson, Editor

Pat is Editor in Chief of American News Report. He is a veteran journalist and a former correspondent and producer for HealthWeek (PBS), Nightly Business Report (PBS) and other nationally syndicated shows. Pat has won numerous journalism awards, including a Golden Mike award for investigative reporting.

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