Zohydro: Cause for concern - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Zohydro: Cause for concern


A new, powerful pain drug that just hit the market has some politicians extremely worried and pleading with the FDA to reconsider.

Zohydro is for chronic pain patients and is stronger than vicodin and other similar drugs. Zohydro hit the market earlier this year, but some pharmacists are still weary of carrying it.

Craig Cocke, owner of Lo-Cost Pharmacy, said there are some definite advantages to Zohydro.

"It doesn't contain any acetaminophen, which most of the other hydrocodone have contained, so it limits or prevents liver damage due to excessive use."

This drug would benefit a patient with extremely severe pain caused by terminal illness, but unfortunately, Cocke said there is high potential for abuse.

That is exactly why several State's Attorneys, including Georgia and Florida's wrote a letter to the FDA saying the approval of the drug opens the door to expanded abuse, and "forces states to take proactive measures to prevent the reversal" of strides made to combat prescription drug abuse.

The FDA replied with a pretty strong-worded response, saying "Addressing the opioid crisis by focusing on a single drug will simply not be effective."

The decision to carry the drug will be left in the hands of individual pharmacists, and Cocke says he will be very selective as to who can get it.

"It comes in six strains, and it will have to be watched very closely by the pharmacist and physician."

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