My thoughts on the new pain medication Zohydro
Patients have been asking me about a new medication called Zohydro. Zohydro contains a extremely large dose of hydrocodone, a narcotic pain medication. However, this formulation is an easily crushable capsule. Hydrocodone is the most abused prescription pain medication in the United States. A pure, easily crushable form has the potential for abuse, overdose, and death.
There are several new opioid pain medications that will become available in the next few years. There is a mandate from the FDA that all new opioid medications be evaluated on a four-tier system in regard to their potential for abuse. Just yesterday, Purdue Pharma announced its progress with its own long-acting hydrocodone product that comes as a tamper-resistant formulation. Given the potential risks inherent in formulations that lack abuse-deterrent properties, I personally would give Zohydro a pass and wait for other medications that will be available in the near future.