Although it may not be ready to hit the market for another calendar year, Zohydro is already making headlines. The painkiller currently undergoing trials gets the first part of its name from the company Zogenix that intends to sell the medication and the latter half of its name from hydrocodone, which will be the only ingredient in the pill. The medication has been designed to be a 12-hour time-released medication and will come in a variety of doses ranging from 10 mg to 50 mg.
Prescription drugs that contain hydrocodone, like Vicodin, already rank as the second most abused medications in the US. The fear is with this new Zohydro formulation, which sells the chemical in its pure form for the first time, the pharmaceutical companies are knowingly putting a ticking time-bomb of addiction on the market. Some of the new Zohydro dosages will allow people to receive up to 10 times the amount of hydrocodone as any of the already highly abused pills contain currently.
So Far Zohydro Design Lacks Any Safety Measures to Discourage Abuse
Hydrocodone, in the past, has always been combined with painkillers that carry little risk of abuse such as acetaminophen. Zohydro will contain hydrocodone exclusively and also is designed to function in a time-released manner which sounds like a safety mechanism. However, just as the number one most abused prescription medication OxyContin, Zohydro will be able to be crushed. Thus, it allows users to dump all the medication into their system at once, increasing the intensity of their high and also their chance of addiction, overdose and death.
Safety measures have been implemented for other drugs in the past to try and make tampering with time-released pills difficult, but those in the midst of addiction always find a way to get what they need. Zogenix reps say, “There is not enough evidence to show that such tamper-resistant reformulations thwart abuse.” So they are not even going to attempt to make abusing Zohydro more difficult.
Zohydro Manufacturers Claim They Are Trading One Security Measure for Another
Although the design of the pill itself seems to be void of any protection against addiction, Zogenix points out that pure hydrocodone is less dangerous for a patient’s liver than the large amounts of acetaminophen they would receive from other pills. Also the law will demand patients visit their doctor each time they want a refill, whereas, hydrocodone prescriptions currently in use often come with five refills between doctor visits.
Let us know your thoughts on this medication that may be on the market in the near future. Any ideas or opinions on how to control potential addiction to these pills? All thoughts are welcome below.