New Ultra Strong Painkiller Zohydro Scheduled to Hit the Shelves in 2013

Vicodin is a highly addictive drug, one that has been increasingly prescribed for pain in the United States over the past decade. Its active ingredient is hydrocodone but it also has acetaminophen in it; together, the two medications work well to mitigate the experience of pain. However, only one of these ingredients is a narcotic – hydrocodone. It is this substance upon which people develop a physical dependence. It is this substance that causes overdoses and death in patients across the country. And it is this substance that pharmaceutical companies are currently working with to create a new drug that boasts 10 times the potency of Vicodin.

Zohydro

One brand name version of the new drug is called Zohydro and it is scheduled for release in 2013 if all goes according to plan. This drug will be a full-strength hydrocodone pill with no other ingredients, making it an extremely strong narcotic. It will also have a time-release component, which means that patients can take fewer pills in a 24-hour period. Marketed to patients who are living with severe pain, it is hoped that this will be able to help those who are currently unable to manage their pain efficiently with what is available on the market.

Risks of a New Super Potent Painkiller

While pharmaceutical companies are excited about the new drug that would be the first pure hydrocodone pill available, many are concerned about the repercussions. They say that the drugs currently on the market are already abused far too frequently and any new pill that is even stronger could trigger an increase in the already skyrocketing numbers of patients living with painkiller addiction and dying of narcotic overdoses.

The time-release component is another concern. In the painkiller medications that already have this characteristic, there is a significant abuse issue. Because more medication is in each pill – meant to be released periodically in the system after swallowing – those who would abuse the drug need only crush the pill before snorting or swallowing it to get the full effect all at once, a practice that is primarily responsible for overdoses.

Fighting Zohydro Addiction

Pharmaceutical companies in the business of creating this new super potent drug say that there are measures planned to help prevent the abuse of Zohydro. For example, patients will need to visit their doctor for a new script every time they want a refill of the drug. The hope, too, is that doctors will carefully screen patients who may be prescribed the drug for issues with addiction and then closely monitor them while they take the medication.

What do you think? Are these measures enough to protect patients from addiction and overdose death? Leave us a comment below and let us know what you think about the new super strong painkiller.