Zohydro ER Abuse and Addiction

Unveiling the dangers of Zohydro ER abuse and addiction. Learn about risks, prevention, and safe usage for a healthier future.

Zohydro ER Abuse and Addiction

Zohydro ER Abuse and Addiction

Understanding Zohydro ER

Zohydro ER is a medication that contains hydrocodone, an opioid pain medication. It is prescribed for the management of severe pain. To shed light on the drug and address concerns related to its abuse and addiction potential, the FDA approved Zohydro ER on [04-30-2014] and released a fact sheet. It is important to note that the information provided is current, and updates or changes may have occurred since then.

Introduction to Zohydro ER

Zohydro ER is an extended-release formulation of hydrocodone, designed to provide long-lasting pain relief. As an opioid medication, Zohydro ER works by binding to opioid receptors in the brain and spinal cord, reducing the perception of pain. It is typically prescribed to patients who require around-the-clock pain management and for whom alternative treatment options are inadequate.

FDA Approval and Fact Sheet

Zohydro ER received approval from the FDA on [04-30-2014]. The FDA's decision to approve the medication was accompanied by the creation of a fact sheet, aiming to address questions and concerns related to Zohydro ER. The fact sheet serves as a valuable resource to provide accurate information about the medication, addressing any potential misinformation and clarifying its approved uses.

The FDA's efforts to provide facts about Zohydro ER reflect their commitment to patient safety and the responsible use of opioid medications. By providing accurate information, the FDA aims to ensure that healthcare providers and patients have the necessary knowledge to make informed decisions regarding the use of Zohydro ER.

When prescribed Zohydro ER, it is essential to follow the prescribed dosage and usage instructions precisely. Adhering to the prescribed regimen can help reduce the risk of addiction and ensure the safe and effective use of the medication. It is important to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized guidance and to address any questions or concerns regarding the use of Zohydro ER.

Risks and Concerns

When it comes to Zohydro ER, there are several risks and concerns associated with its use. Understanding these potential dangers is crucial for promoting safe and responsible medication practices.

Potential for Abuse and Addiction

Zohydro ER has been a subject of concern due to its potential for abuse and addiction. The FDA approved the medication on [04-30-2014], prompting the agency to create a fact sheet to address questions and correct misinformation regarding the drug. It is important to note that misuse of Zohydro ER can lead to addiction, overdose, or even death, especially in individuals using the medicine without a prescription, including children. Patients with a history of substance abuse or addiction, as well as those with psychiatric disorders, are at a higher risk of abusing Zohydro ER.

Misuse and its Consequences

Misuse of Zohydro ER can have severe consequences. The drug carries a Boxed Warning about the risks of addiction, abuse, and misuse, which can lead to overdose or death, particularly when the drug is crushed or chewed, causing a rapid release of hydrocodone. Combining Zohydro ER with other central nervous system depressants, such as alcohol, benzodiazepines, or other opioids, can further increase the risk of respiratory depression, overdose, and death. It is essential to use Zohydro ER strictly as directed by a healthcare professional and to avoid any form of misuse.

Withdrawal Symptoms and Discontinuation

Abrupt discontinuation of Zohydro ER can lead to withdrawal symptoms. It is crucial to follow the prescribed dosage and consult a healthcare provider when considering changes to the medication regimen. This can help minimize the risk of experiencing withdrawal symptoms and ensure a safe discontinuation process.

Understanding the risks and concerns associated with Zohydro ER is vital for both healthcare providers and patients. It is essential to weigh the potential benefits of the medication against its risks, considering alternative options and closely monitoring patients during treatment. Open communication with healthcare professionals and adhering to prescribed guidelines can help mitigate the potential dangers associated with Zohydro ER use.

Preventing Zohydro ER Abuse

When it comes to prescription opioids like Zohydro ER, preventing abuse is of paramount importance. Various strategies and measures have been implemented to mitigate the risk of abuse and promote responsible use. In this section, we will explore abuse-deterrent formulations (ADFs), intranasal abuse potential, and monitoring and risk reduction strategies.

Abuse-Deterrent Formulations (ADFs)

Abuse-deterrent formulations (ADFs) play a crucial role in reducing the potential for abuse of prescription opioids, including extended-release (ER) formulations like Zohydro ER. These formulations employ physical and chemical barriers or agonist-antagonist combinations to make it more difficult for individuals to misuse the medication.

ADFs of opioid medications, such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, and morphine, have been developed to decrease the attractiveness and feasibility of intravenous (IV) abuse. By incorporating abuse-deterrent technologies, these formulations aim to discourage tampering, crushing, or dissolving the medication for non-medical purposes.

Intranasal Abuse Potential

The intranasal abuse potential of hydrocodone extended-release (ER) tablets formulated with abuse-deterrence technology has been evaluated in comparison to hydrocodone powder and the original formulation of hydrocodone bitartrate ER capsules (Zohydro ER). The study found that the mean maximum effect for "at the moment" Drug Liking was significantly lower for intranasal hydrocodone ER compared to hydrocodone powder and the original formulation of hydrocodone bitartrate ER capsules.

Intranasal treatments, including hydrocodone ER, hydrocodone powder, and the original formulation of hydrocodone bitartrate ER capsules, showed significantly greater effects compared to placebo, while intact oral hydrocodone ER was similar to placebo. These findings highlight the importance of abuse-deterrent formulations in reducing the attractiveness and abuse potential of opioids, including Zohydro ER.

Monitoring and Risk Reduction

To address the risk of abuse and addiction associated with Zohydro ER and other opioids, monitoring and risk reduction strategies are crucial. Healthcare providers should closely monitor patients who are prescribed Zohydro ER, particularly those who may be at higher risk for abuse or addiction.

Implementing a comprehensive opioid risk reduction plan, including regular follow-ups, urine drug testing, and prescription drug monitoring programs, can help identify potential misuse or diversion of Zohydro ER. It is important to educate patients about the risks of opioid abuse, proper use of the medication, and the importance of responsible storage and disposal.

By combining abuse-deterrent formulations, evaluating intranasal abuse potential, and implementing monitoring and risk reduction strategies, healthcare providers and patients can work together to prevent Zohydro ER abuse and promote safer use of this medication. It is essential to prioritize patient safety and well-being while effectively managing pain.

Safe Use and Storage

Ensuring the safe use and storage of Zohydro ER is essential in preventing misuse, abuse, and accidental ingestion. Proper usage guidelines and appropriate storage and disposal recommendations should be followed to minimize the risks associated with this medication.

Proper Usage of Zohydro ER

Zohydro ER should be used exactly as prescribed by a healthcare professional to lower the risk of addiction and other adverse effects. It is an extended-release formulation of hydrocodone, which is intended to provide around-the-clock pain relief.

It is important to take Zohydro ER orally, swallowing the whole capsule without chewing, crushing, or dissolving it. Breaking or altering the capsule can lead to the rapid release and absorption of a potentially fatal dose of hydrocodone.

Patients should follow the prescribed dosage and frequency, avoiding any self-adjustments without consulting their healthcare provider. If there are concerns about the effectiveness or side effects of Zohydro ER, it is crucial to seek medical advice rather than making changes independently.

Storage and Disposal Recommendations

Proper storage and disposal of Zohydro ER are essential to prevent unintended access, misuse, and accidental ingestion. Here are some important recommendations to follow:

  • Store Zohydro ER in a safe and secure place, away from the reach of children, pets, and individuals not prescribed the medication.
  • Be mindful of the potential risks associated with Zohydro ER, as misuse or accidental ingestion can lead to addiction, overdose, or even death, especially in children or others using the medicine without a prescription.
  • Unused or expired Zohydro ER should be disposed of properly. Options include utilizing drug take-back programs or dropping off the medication at authorized collection sites. If these options are not available, the FDA recommends flushing the unused tablets down the toilet.

By adhering to the proper usage guidelines and following the recommended storage and disposal practices, individuals can help ensure the safe and responsible use of Zohydro ER. It is important to remember that healthcare providers play a vital role in monitoring patients for signs of misuse, abuse, and addiction, and in offering naloxone to patients at risk of accidental overdose.

Healthcare Considerations

When it comes to the healthcare considerations surrounding Zohydro ER, several important factors need to be taken into account. These considerations include the patient population at risk, the Opioid Analgesic REMS Program, and the side effects and precautions associated with this medication.

Patient Population at Risk

Certain patient populations are at a higher risk of abusing Zohydro ER, as well as patients with psychiatric disorders. Patients with a history of substance abuse or addiction are particularly vulnerable to the potential for misuse and addiction. It is crucial for healthcare professionals to carefully evaluate and monitor these patients to minimize the risk of abuse and addiction.

Opioid Analgesic REMS Program

Zohydro ER, along with other hydrocodone products, is available only under a restricted distribution program called the Opioid Analgesic REMS (Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy) program. This program aims to ensure that the benefits of these medications outweigh the risks. Healthcare providers and pharmacies must be certified and comply with specific requirements to prescribe and dispense these medications safely.

Side Effects and Precautions

Zohydro ER carries a Boxed Warning regarding the risks of addiction, abuse, and misuse, which can lead to overdose or death, particularly when the medication is crushed or chewed. Even at doses that would not be expected to cause harm if swallowed whole, crushing or chewing Zohydro ER can cause rapid release of hydrocodone, resulting in potential harm.

Other side effects and precautions associated with Zohydro ER include:

  • Serious, life-threatening, or fatal respiratory depression may occur, especially during initiation of therapy or following a dose increase. Healthcare professionals should closely monitor patients for signs of respiratory depression, especially those switching from another opioid or undergoing dose adjustments.
  • Zohydro ER should not be used in patients with known or suspected gastrointestinal obstruction, including paralytic ileus. The extended-release formulation may cause sphincter of Oddi spasm, and opioids in general may cause increases in serum amylase.
  • Common side effects of Zohydro ER include dizziness, drowsiness, and lightheadedness. Patients should avoid driving or engaging in activities that require alertness until they know how the medication affects them.

By considering these healthcare factors and taking necessary precautions, healthcare providers can help ensure the safe and appropriate use of Zohydro ER, mitigating the risks associated with abuse, addiction, and potential adverse effects. Open communication between healthcare providers and patients is crucial for monitoring and managing any potential side effects or concerns related to this medication.

Zohydro ER and Public Health

The abuse and addiction potential of Zohydro ER raise significant concerns regarding public health. It is crucial to address these issues and provide support and services to individuals who may be affected.

Substance Use Help and Services

In order to combat the consequences of Zohydro ER abuse and addiction, it is important to provide effective substance use help and services. Various nations, such as Canada, offer nationwide services for individuals in need of assistance with substance use. These services, including overdose prevention, are accessible to anyone, anywhere, and at any time. Support can be obtained through different contact methods, such as calling helplines or utilizing text-based services.

IV Opioid Abuse and Associated Risks

The abuse of Zohydro ER and other opioids through intravenous (IV) administration is associated with severe risks and consequences. IV opioid abuse can result in acute health events leading to mortality, serious infections, deep vein thrombosis, and an increased risk of acquiring hepatitis C, HIV, and endocarditis. Moreover, individuals who engage in prescription opioid injection are significantly associated with unemployment and homelessness.

Impact of Prescription Opioid Injection

The rates of prescription opioid injection have shown a significant increase in the United States. Between 2003 and 2005, the rate was 1.6 people in 1,000, which rose to 2.7 people in 1,000 between 2012 and 2014. This indicates a concerning trend that demands attention and intervention.

Addressing the public health impact of Zohydro ER abuse and addiction requires comprehensive efforts, including the provision of substance use help and services, raising awareness about the risks associated with IV opioid abuse, and implementing prevention programs to mitigate the impact of prescription opioid injection. It is crucial to prioritize public health initiatives that support individuals affected by Zohydro ER abuse and addiction while working towards reducing the overall harm caused by opioid misuse.

Hydrocodone and Pain Management

Hydrocodone is a medication used to relieve severe and persistent pain that requires long-term opioid treatment and when other pain medicines have not been effective or well-tolerated. It is important to understand its indications, habit-forming potential, dependence risks, and the need for restricted distribution and safe handling.

Indications and Usage

Hydrocodone is prescribed for the management of pain that is severe enough to require daily, around-the-clock, long-term opioid treatment, and when alternative treatment options are inadequate. It should not be used for mild pain or pain that is occasional or intermittent.

Habit-Forming Potential and Dependence

Hydrocodone has the potential to become habit-forming and can lead to physical or mental dependence when used for an extended period. However, when used for pain relief, the likelihood of developing mental dependence (addiction) is low. It is important to gradually reduce the dose of hydrocodone to prevent severe withdrawal side effects if treatment is stopped suddenly.

Restricted Distribution and Safe Handling

To address the potential for abuse, addiction, and diversion, hydrocodone products like Zohydro ER are available only under a restricted distribution program called the Opioid Analgesic REMS (Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy) program. The restricted distribution helps ensure that hydrocodone is prescribed and dispensed only for legitimate medical purposes.

The safe handling and storage of hydrocodone are crucial to prevent unintended access by children, pets, or adults who are not accustomed to strong narcotic pain medicines. It is recommended to store the medication in a safe and secure place, and any unused narcotic medicine should be dropped off at a drug take-back location or flushed down the toilet to prevent accidental ingestion.

Taking precautions with hydrocodone, including proper usage, recognizing its habit-forming potential, and adhering to safe handling practices, can contribute to the responsible management of pain and reduce the risks associated with its use.


[1]: https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-165699/zohydro-er-oral/details

[2]: https://www.fda.gov/drugs/information-drug-class/fda-provides-facts-about-zohydro

[3]: https://www.pbm.va.gov/PBM/clinicalguidance/abbreviatedreviews/HydrocodoneERZOHYDROERAbbreviated_Review.pdf

[4]: https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2016/202880s009s010lbl.pdf

[5]: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6849554/

[6]: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6084602/

[7]: https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/hydrocodone-oral-route/side-effects/drg-20084881?p=1

[8]: https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/substance-use/get-help-with-substance-use.html

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