On this episode, we’re bringing you the latest on a new painkiller that makes Vicodin look like baby aspirin, but is it only opening the door for serious dependance? I’m Kimberly Walleston, with a breaking story Insiders Health News.
If you’ve ever dealt with chronic pain or a serious injury, you might be familiar with Opiates like Vicodin or Oxycodone. These serious medications allow those suffering to regain normal function in their lives, but they are also fast becoming the most widely abused prescription drugs on the market. In fact, FDA statistics show that over thirty three million Americans misused Opiates during 2007, a big jump from the four million recorded just five years earlier. And now, some are questioning the wisdom behind a stronger purer version of the drug, a pill that is estimated to be ten times stronger than Vicodin.
As you watch this four different pharmaceutical manufacturers have a new hydrocodone derivative in the works, with a powerful little pill called Zohydro leading the way. The drug, from parent company Zogenix has a final meeting with the FDA and hopes to have Zohydro to the masses by early 2013, and while most doctors welcome alternatives to help their patients abuse experts have serious concerns. Opiates are so widely addictive because they don’t just block pain but also provide a sense of overwhelming well being. Even those that begin using the drugs legally, can develop life altering dependencies that have to be aggressively treated with therapy.
In the end, you can end up with more problems than you had to begin with, but at least companies like Pfizer and Acura Pharmaceuticals are trying to combat those recreational uses of their products, they’ve started manufacturing doses with safeguards. If you crush one of these new tablets and mix it with water with the intention of shooting yourself up for an immediate high, the pill becomes a gel and cannot be drawn into the needle, and if you grind it to be snorted it makes for a severely irritated and painful nasal passage. But, with many people willing to do almost anything to satiate their addiction, no one knows exactly how helpful these new technologies would prove to be, and now as the big companies come out with a new stronger form of the drug, addicts may be sinking to new lows.
That thirty three million number that seemed so high, that might just be a blip on the radar. Most healthcare professionals will tell you that we’re already fighting a losing battle with prescription abuse, the last thing that we need is a drug with more fire power. That’s it for this edition of Insiders Health News, I’m your host Kimberly Walleston, and remember, it’s your health, we’re just helping you think outside the docs.