Home > Addiction, Drug Abuse, Drug Addiction, Drug Testing, Prescription Drug Abuse > Massachusetts Challenging New FDA-Approved Prescription Drug Zohydro

Massachusetts Challenging New FDA-Approved Prescription Drug Zohydro

Recently, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Zohydro, an opiod-based painkiller with just one ingredient.

Zogenix Inc., the prescription drug manufacturer, hails Zohydro because it lacks acetaminophen, which causes acute liver failure when overdosed. Zohydro will supply pain relief without increasing the risk of liver toxicity.

Yet lawmakers and public health officials in many states are worried about the FDA’s approval of Zohydro, arguing it will exacerbate the already-dangerous prescription drug abuse epidemic.

Why are these concerns about Zohydro so prevalent? Here are the details!

Dangers of New Prescription Drug Zohydro

What’s the Problem With Zohydro?

Zohydro is a single-ingredient painkiller that contains a commonly-used opiod, hydrocodone. As a slow release prescription drug, it’s made to supply medicine to the body over a 12-hour period.

The danger behind Zohydro is its high dosage — some variants come in dosages of up to 50 milligrams, which is 5 times the amount in immediate-release hydrocodone pills currently found on the market. Because Zohydro doesn’t contain acetaminophen like its other hydrocodone counterparts, it’s more pure — and thus, more powerful. Also, the early forms of this prescription drug lack abuse deterrents, meaning users may find it easier to get addicted.

Vermont & Massachusetts Challenge ZohydroWorcester | Prescription Drug Zohydro Raises Concerns

Northeastern states Vermont and Massachusetts are taking heed of warnings given by public health experts and attempting to restrict Zohydro’s availability in the region.

Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick tried to ban Zohydro sales, but a federal judge ruled that the FDA’s federal authority took precedence over the state’s restriction. Governor Patrick is currently attempting to limit Zohydro in other ways, specifically through the Board of Registration in Medicine. The Board recently approved a measure requiring doctors and patients to complete a more rigorous process before prescribing Zohydro, including completing a risk assessment and a pain management treatment agreement. Plus, any doctors prescribing the drug will be required to participate in the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program to track how often Zohydro is prescribed to patients.

Other states, such as Ohio, Kentucky, and West Virginia, are attempting to ban the prescription drug, while 29 other state attorneys general have petitioned the FDA to reconsider their approval of Zohydro.

Zogenix, Inc. has pledged to develop at least two abuse-deterrent formulas for Zohydro, but it remains to be seen whether the prescription drug can be improved to prevent addiction risks.

Contact ARCpoint Labs of Worcester for Help With Prescription Drug Abuse

ARCpoint Labs of Worcester provides accurate, confidential prescription drug testing. If you suspect that a friend, family member, or employee has a prescription drug problem, our walk-in facility can help.

To learn more about our services or to get started on prescription drug testing today, call (774) 314-9551.

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