Narcotics abuse is one thing that the medical industry has been battling for a long time. One of the most important drugs used to relieve pain is morphine, a derivative of opium that has a great tendency for causing addiction. The most addictive among them is perhaps hydrocodone (Vicodin). To address this issue, pharmacists have developed a new drug that has a low addiction profile.
The new drug, named hydrocodone bitartrate (Hysingla ER) is supposed to have a lower abusive profile and is used in patients who need pain mediation round the clock. However, according to the agency, this drug is not used for “as-needed” pain relief. What’s unique is that it has certain features that do not allow it to be used like most other addictive substances. It is not so easily crushed to powder form and forms a gel like substance on dissolving; making it hard to abuse it through the normal route: snorting and intravenous drug abuse.
Dr. Janet Woodcock, who is a director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said while addressing an agency news release. “While the science of abuse deterrence is still evolving, the development of opioids that are harder to abuse is helpful in addressing the public health crisis of prescription drug abuse in the U.S.”
Of particular concern is the balance that the FDA had to keep in mind about the issues concerning the safety profile as well as reducing the addictive potentials. According to Dr. Scott Krakower, who works at Zucker Hillside Hospital in Glen Oaks, N.Y. and is assistant unit chief in psychiatry, “As we move forward in research with new drug development for addiction and pain medicine, we should continue to find agents that will both effectively relieve pain and reduce the potential for abuse.”
The medical personnel are sure that addiction can be overcome by using agents that cannot be abused through prescription, since this is one of the biggest areas that are rampant when it comes to drug control. Although there have been various toxicity risks with other drugs such as hydrocodone and acetaminophen but Hysingla has a higher safety profile when it comes to matters like hepatotoxicity. Most side effects reported are dizziness, nausea, headaches, drowsiness and upper respiratory tract infections.