Is The Super Potent New Opiate Painkiller Zohydro Just Too Dangerous? —by Melanie Haiken

2/28/2014 @ 5:30AM

«What’s all the fuss about? Plenty. Zohydro is so strong that someone new to opioids could die of an overdose from just two pills, the experts say. And a child could die from ingesting just one capsule. According to the FDA’s review, the relief – or the high – of Zohydro can last up to 12 hours per dose.

The CDC’s data on opioid painkiller deaths speaks for itself, showing that deaths quadrupled in a ten year period. Between 1999 to 2010, the number of U.S. drug poisoning deaths involving an opioid analgesic went from 4,030 to almost 17,000, now topping those from heroin and cocaine combined. CDC data show that prescriptions for painkillers have nearly tripled over the past two decades, and 5 million Americans are dependent on the painkillers.

There’s no disagreement that we’re in the middle of an epidemic of painkiller abuse. Since 1999, the U.S. has seen deaths from opiate painkillers jump by 415 percent in women and 265 percent in men. And this isn’t just black-market drugs – the biggest victims are middle-aged men and women legitimately prescribed the drugs for chronic pain, the experts say. Nearly 60 percent of all drug overdoses are from FDA-approved prescription medications, not illegal drugs. According to Forbes’ own Robert Pearl, MD, 3 in 4 drug overdose deaths are due to an opioid painkiller such as oxycodone, hydrocodone or methadone.»

http://www.forbes.com/sites/melaniehaiken/2014/02/28/is-zohydro-the-super-potent-new-opiate-painkiller-just-too-dangerous/

 

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