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Reader Question: Is Vicodin Dangerous? What about the FDA?

Posted Jul 08 2009 12:00am 1 Comment

Reader Question:

I’m curious about your thoughts on the new recommendation by the FDA concerning Vicodin and Percocet. I’ve used these before after surgery or dental work and had no issues.

It’s not what you think. They are worried about the acetaminophen that is combined with the narcotic to improve the pain control. Acetaminophen, the active ingredient of Tylenol, can damage the liver when taken in high doses.

Despite the statement by Dr. Sandra L. Kweder of the FDA’s Office of New Drugs that the group…”send a clear message that there’s a high likelihood of overdose from prescription narcotics and acetaminophen products,” Vicodin and Percocet are not new drugs and in my experience of eighteen years following medical school in surgical patients I have not seen such an overdose.

It is a theoretical risk. We just don’t see it except in addicts. And addicts seem to get themselves into trouble no matter what roadblocks you try to throw in the way.

It is funny as the California State Medical Board made an initiative a few years ago that physicians more adequately treat pain. Essentially they were saying we were not. Now the FDA wants to take one of the main tools we use to do so out of the picture.

Best Regards,

John Di Saia MD

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Four separate pharmaceutical businesses have filed paperwork with the Food and Drug Administration for authorization of brand new, purer kinds of hydrocodone. While these narcotics are intended to be used for pain management, addiction experts are very worried about their potential misuse. Article source:
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