FDA Approves New Tighter Restrictions on Hydrocodone Products

FDA Approves New Tighter Restrictions on Hydrocodone Products


Beginning October 6, hydrocodone products currently classified as Schedule III drugs will be reclassified as Schedule II.  The move, announced in a federal posting, comes more than a decade after the Drug Enforcement Administration first recommended reclassifying hydrocodone due to its risks for abuse and addiction.

The new rules mean that drugs like Vicodin, Lortab and other generic versions will be subject to the same prescribing rules as painkillers like codeine and oxycodone. The more restrictive category will make hydrocodone products harder for people to get.  That includes those who actually need it to treat medical conditions.

Patients will be limited to one 90-day supply of the medication. Doctors will no longer be able to call in prescriptions by telephone and patients won't be able to get refills on the same prescription.

Pharmacists also report that the change will require them to keep the drugs under tighter security.

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