Federal Rules Governing Hydrocodone Could Be Changing

By Gretchen Bolander

Published 11/14 2013 06:03PM

Updated 11/14 2013 11:02PM

The federal government is considering a crackdown on hydrocodone based painkillers - making it tougher to get potentially addictive drugs like Vicodin. A look at the potential changes.

"It's widely used and you're going to see that everywhere from a tooth extraction to a sprained ankle. Any kind of pain that is moderate to more severe." But Freeman QuickMeds Pharmacist Greg Cobble says now federal authorities are considering restricted access to hydrocodone based drugs like Vicodin, Vicoprofen and Cogesic. "The problem is that it's not only psychologically addictive, but physiologically addictive. So it gives us that euphoric feeling and because of that euphoric feeling, it's a very addictive drug."

Cobble adds the change would likely affect whether patients can get refills on the initial prescription. "It has not occurred yet. Some states have taken action on their own like Oklahoma. They're still leaving it classified as a Class 3 but not allowing any refills on it. So in Missouri it's a Class 3 and it's limited to 5 refills."

Cobble is concerned that the effort to crack down on hydrocodone abuse will affect patients with a legitimate need. "So that's the deal here everything that works against the abuser also works against the person who needs the drug."

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