New Rules In Effect For Vicodin (Hydrocodone)
Drug Schedules Changing For Some Vicodin – Hydrocodone Combos
If you or someone you know takes hydrocodone, you need to know that brand new regulations went into effect Monday, which will change how you get the drug. Hydrocodone/paracetamol, hydrocodone/acetaminophen, or hydrocodone/APAP (or under brand names such as Lortab, Norco or Vicodin) is a combination opioidnarcotic analgesic drug consisting of hydrocodone and paracetamol (acetaminophen) used to relieve moderate to severe pain.
The DEA rule switching”hydrocodone combination products” like Lortab and Vicodin from schedule III to schedule II was passed to curb abuse and encourage patients and prescribers to consider alternative ways to deal with pain. Previously, these drugs were regulated as Schedule III drugs. drug schedule
Hydrocodone (Vicodin), and drugs that combine with hydrocodone, HPCs, are extremely popular. According to DHEC, nearly 137 million prescriptions for HPCs were dispensed in 2013. Common hydrocodone combinations are used as pain relievers, cough suppressants and enhance the benefits of other drugs like acetaminophen or cough/cold medicines. We are familiar with the brand names like Vicodin, Lortab or Tussionex. As schedule III drugs, a prescriber could write up to 5 refills in a period of 6 months, and refills can be called in or faxed to the pharmacist.
Now that these medications are labeled as Drug Schedule II, a written prescription is required. No refills will be allowed so patients will be required to visit their doctor (and incur costs) to get a new prescription. Pharmacists will have special forms, protocols, and pharmacy storage regulations to initiate, as well. Schedule III drugs do not require a locked safe in the pharmacy.
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