Zohydro ER, which pharmacists say is a super strong version of hydrocodone, has triggered a debate once again raising several health concerns.
Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne has joined dozens of other attorneys general and health groups in the United States urging the Food and Drug Administration to reconsider its approval of a painkiller more powerful than any others on the market.
Zohydro ER is a painkiller, like Vicodin, only more potent and its potential for addiction has some worried that people will die from overdose or kill to get their hands on it. The drug will be available in capsule form in March against the prescriptions only.
Valley pharmacist Richard Bates say, “What they’ve done in this product is to really beef it up to be five to ten times stronger than anything we ever had on the market before.”
Meanwhile, Zogenix which is the maker of the Zohydro ER, defended the painkiller, saying it fills a void.
Bradley Galer, MD, Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of Zogenix, said in a statement, “As the first and only extended-release hydrocodone without acetaminophen, we expect Zohydro ER to fill a critical need for people suffering from chronic pain, who are currently experiencing pain relief with around-the-clock immediate-release hydrocodone-acetaminophen combination products but are at risk for liver toxicity. Acetaminophen overdose is a leading cause of acute liver failure in the United States with almost two-thirds of those cases related to the use of these products.”