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HEALTHWATCH: FDA might tighten reins on Vicodin

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WASHINGTON (USA TODAY) -- The DEA for nearly a decade has pushed for tighter restrictions on Vicodin, the nation's most widely prescribed drug. The chronic abuse of such painkillers, and devastating toll associated with this abuse, has reached epidemic proportions in the United States.

The agency could get its wish later this month when the Food and Drug Administration considers the DEA's request to put Vicodin in the same category as OxyContin and other powerful narcotics.

For the millions of patients across the nation who rely on Vicodin for relief from severe pain, the new rules could sharply restrict the number of pills they can get and drastically increase the number of doctor visits necessary to get them. Many patients who can now get a six-month supply would need to visit their doctors every 30 days to renew a prescription.

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It was coming

I have a close friend whom is a Pharmacist. For months now, I've heard from him about the number(s) of people pouring into the pharmacy on a daily basis, getting their refills on hydrocodone/percocet/oxycontin, and quite a few showing up days, and some times a week early, or calling in saying they've lost their pills, and they need more now.
It just doesn't work to their advantage to come up with these excuses, as Pharmacist have heard it all USA. Tylenol had already been reduced within the drug to some degree several months ago, which first initiated the clamps closing on this drug as a danger.
The patients that do abuse this drug, in all fairness, it is largely due to the reason that their physicians were over writing this medication over the years.
Where as Vicodin/Hydrocodone are now considered a "Control Drug", it soon will be considered a narcotic, and the clamps will be put down on it even tighter. People will become extremely irate, and the pharmacy staff then becomes the targeted ones. It happens now when patients are turned down on "early refills", and that will become 10 fold once the FDA gets this passed (and they will) and doctors have to prescribe alternate methods, which now is widely known as "Pain Management".
I fear for the future of my friends in the pharmacy field for their safety, and it is mainly derived from doctors having a free flowing pen to create this situation. Let's not forget these doctors Physician Assistants (PA) that were at will to write out this medicine as well, supported by the doctor they work under.
Yes Houston, we do have a problem, and it's only the beginning.

Does the FDA have anything

Does the FDA have anything else to do? So tired of hearing about the "abuse" of painkiller medication. If its not percoset its something else. What about the individual who is truly in pain and needs their meds for relief because there is no other option. What about the patient with idiopathic pain...where there is no cure. Are they supposed to sit in pain because theres abuse by individuals who want to pop pills all day long? Dr.s know the abusers but they're not allowed to single out that patient because it may lead to profiling. My husband was on pain management for over 10 yrs due to an idiopathic disease. Every couple of months the FDA would put more restrictions on the medication he was taking. They make a sick person feel like a criminal for getting their medication! I would truly like "them" to sit in pain for 2 weeks to realize that there are some days you may need one more pill to kick the pain but you can't take it because "they" not your "doctor" put a limit on his prescription. Tired of paying for the junkies out there. The FDA has always "grouped" people together ...catergorized them into one lump sum...addicts. Its true my husand was and addict...he was addicted to his PAIN. Fortunately for me I don't have a condition that requires pain medication. I guess the physicians that spent all those years being educated need not do that anymore because all they have to do is open the FDA rule book. Talk about intervention the FDA has no right in the physician nor my back pocket. If these abusers need their fix...they'll take it to the street corners.