Tampa Bay addiction group concerned about new potent painkiller - WFLA News Channel 8

Tampa Bay addiction group concerned about new potent painkiller

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The Food and Drug Administration approved Zohydro last fall to treat chronic pain and it will be available to patients in March. The Food and Drug Administration approved Zohydro last fall to treat chronic pain and it will be available to patients in March.
The Food and Drug Administration approved Zohydro last fall to treat chronic pain and it will be available to patients in March. The Food and Drug Administration approved Zohydro last fall to treat chronic pain and it will be available to patients in March.
A new painkiller set to hit the prescription drug market this March is causing controversy.

The Food and Drug Administration approved Zohydro last fall to treat chronic pain, and it will be available to patients next month.  The drug is an extended release version of hydrocodone.

Dr. Thanh Le has been treating patients with chronic neck and back pain in Pinellas county for 15 years.  He said Zohydro could benefit certain patients.

"With time release medication, the medication is released over a period of time so the idea is to control the pain more evenly versus trying to catch up with the pain by taking pain medications every three to four hours," said Dr. Le.

He doesn't believe there's anymore potential for abuse with Zohydro than any other pain killer.

In published reports, Zohydro's maker, Zogenics, asserts the drug's benefits for patients in chronic pain outweighs its risks. Its patient base would include those with back pain, fibromyalgia, arthritis, or cancer.

Several addiction treatment groups have come out against the FDA approval.

Laurie Serra, coordinator of the local NOPE task force is concerned.

"I think we have enough drugs on the market without introducing a new one for potential abuse," said Serra.

The FED UP! Coalition, a group advocating against addiction and overdose, posted a petition on Change.Org, asking the FDA to reconsider. In the petition, it states someone unaccustomed to taking opioids could suffer a fatal overdose from just two capsules. A single capsule could be fatal if swallowed by a child.

Read details from the FDA about Zohydro: http://www.fda.gov/newsevents/newsroom/pressannouncements/ucm372287.htm

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