FDA Seeks Tough New Restrictions on Prescription Painkillers


The Food and Drug Administration wants the federal government to impose tough new restrictions on some of the most widely used prescription painkillers, NPR reports. The FDA will recommend that Vicodin and other prescription painkillers containing the powerful opioid hydrocodone be reclassified from a “Schedule III” drug to a “Schedule II” drug, which would impose new restrictions on how they are prescribed and used. OxyContin, another opioid painkiller, is already a Schedule II drug, defined by the Drug Enforcement Administration as “potentially leading to severe psychological or physical dependence”. The FDA said it is “increasingly concerned about the abuse and misuse of opioid products, which have sadly reached epidemic proportions in certain parts of the United States.” The DEA has long asked the FDA to recommend reclassifying the drugs, citing soaring numbers of Americans becoming addicted to the drugs and dying from overdoses. Pain specialists and their patients have fought the move, saying that any new restrictions would make it too difficult for those suffering from chronic, debilitating pain to get drugs they need to survive.

Comments are closed.