Zohydro will be a long-acting(lasting 6 to 12 hours, versus 3 to 4 for short-acting) hydrocodone tablet, with NO acetaminophen. That is crucial; many people with chronic pain find that one of the only pain meds that they can tolerate is hydrocodone(Vicodin,Norco,Lorcet, etc.). These have acetaminophen, in addition to hydrocodone(except for Vicoprofen, which has ibuprofen). The acetaminophen is only mildly effective, while it can lead(long-term) to kidney problems(and dialysis), or liver irritation. It is the long-term effect on the kidneys which is most concerning. We have needed a long-acting hydrocodone for some time, because it will allow us to bypass all that acetaminophen. For a typical chronic pain sufferer on Vicodin or Norco, they may easily ingest 1000mg(or more) of acetaminophen day after day; that 30,000 mg per month, over years, often does great damage to the kidneys.
Zohydro will be Schedule 2, which is the same class as Oxycodone/Oxycontin/Morphine/Adderall/etc.. There are restrictions on Schedule 2 meds: they have to be written(cannot be called in), and no refills. Therefore, abuse is limited(somewhat) but it is more inconvenient for the patient(and doctor).
Hydrocodone is like any other opioid; it is potentially addicting, and Zohydro will be potentially addicting as well. However, the fact that it is long-acting, and more difficult to obtain(Schedule 2) decreases(somewhat) the risk of addiction. Overall this is a good thing for patients(in my opinion).
Zohydro will probably be available in late Feb. or March.
FULL DISCLOSURE: I have previously(not for over a year)worked(lectured,consulted) with the company that makes Zohydro(Zogenix=the company) on their migraine medication, Sumavel(sumatriptan injection).

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