FDA Approves Abuse-Resistant Hydrocodone Tablet

November 21, 2014|5:07 p.m.| ASTHO Staff

On Nov. 20, FDA approved Hysingla ER, a new version of hydrocodone (the generic name for Vicodin) with features that drug makers hope will reduce instances of misuse. Hysingla ER comes in a tablet that is more difficult for abusers to crush, break, or dissolve, which should in turn make it harder to snort or inject the highly-addictive opioid. The new drug has been approved specifically for chronic pain sufferers who require 24-hour pain management.

Prescription drug abuse is a major problem across the United States: CDC reports that prescription drugs account for more U.S. deaths than heroin and cocaine combined. A U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration report noted that 22 million individuals in the United States have abused prescription pain relievers since 2002. In an attempt to stem the tide of addiction, in August FDA released new guidelines for prescription pain relievers containing hydrocodone that require patients using such medications to visit a doctor every three months to obtain refills.

FDA is requiring Hysingla's manufacturer, Purdue Pharma, to conduct postmarketing studies of the drug to find out how successful its anti-abuse features are.

Read more in this news story from HealthDay. Find more resources about prescription drug misuse and abuse on ASTHO's Reducing Harms Associated with Prescription Drugs page.