I had some dental surgery recently which involved a bone graft. For the pain they gave me Vicodin.
I have a liver/kidney ailment and for pain management, they give me Vicodin.
It seems everyone I talk to is given this brand of Hydrocodone when they have a pain issue. It's sort of yesterday's "Take two Aspirin and call me in the morning" kind of panacea. Vicodin, good for whatever ails you.
And I have to say that it has worked amazingly well for me. I've notice no side effects, I only take it when needed and my life goes on, comfortably physically.
Evidently lots of other people are using it, successfully, too. So its time for the FDA to poke it's nose into the issue to see how the medication is used and abused. I appreciate their concern and my protection. Well, sort of.
The New York Times reports:
The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday recommended tighter controls on how doctors prescribe the most commonly used narcotic painkillers, changes that are expected to take place as early as next year.
The move, which represents a major policy shift, follows a decade-long debate over whether the widely abused drugs, which contain the narcotic hydrocodone, should be controlled as tightly as more powerful painkillers like OxyContin.
The drugs at issue contain a combination of hydrocodone and an over-the-counter painkiller like acetaminophen or aspirin and are sold either as generics or under brand names like Vicodin or Lortab. Doctors use the medications to treat pain from injuries, arthritis, dental extractions and other problems.
That sure got my attention. Am I going to be left in lingering pain, or am I going to have to find a new drug?
Technically, the change involves the reclassification of hydrocodone-containing painkillersasSchedule II medications from their current classification as Schedule III drugs. The scheduling system, which is overseen by the Drug Enforcement Administration, classifies drugs based on their medical use and their potential for abuse and addiction.
Drug classifications are a tricky thing. And they don't always make sense. According to the DEA who classifies marijuana with heroin and ecstacy (absolutely ridiculous but true) there's now a solid threat that requires changing the classification of a medication solely for the purpose of requiring twice as many doctors visits than previously to receive this pain-saving medication. That's right. It doesn't limit the distribution, only the number of refills a doctor can write without seeing you.
So in essence, this is a forced office-visit to your doctor, raising our healthcare costs, when it's not changing anyone's habits. If you think your doctor's are busy enough already, and then add the new patients from Obamacare who now can see a physician, how does this make sense?
While you ponder that conundrum, chew on this: This recommendation requires the approval of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).
That's the same, Kathleen Sebelius-led DHHS, responsible for the "successful" Obamacare computer rollout. I think she's got a bigger headache than adding this to her "must do" list. Maybe she should just take two Vicodin and call us in the morning. We may all feel better then. And maybe, if we're lucky, the online Healthcare.gov site will finally be working. Then we can ween her off the hydrocodone she wants to reschedule.