Monday, December 9, 2013

Vicodin, Xanax and the message

Philip Copitch, Ph.D.

Behind the humor, painkiller abuse is deadly
In the January 2014 issue of Consumer Reports, the following tidbit of information was exposed:

What I got from the sports-like shirts is: if you take this drug you don’t need to exercise to stay healthy or to be happy.

I am probably overreacting, but… I regularly work with patients that want some sort of pill to solve a medical or mental health problem. 

The fact is that putting on a comfortable shirt and exercising, often helps people physically and emotionally. 

A 15 minute walk does wonders for our mental health and our overall physical health. 

Vicodin, is also called Lortab or Norco
This combination medication is used to relieve moderate to severe pain. It contains a narcotic pain reliever (hydrocodone) and a non-narcotic pain reliever (acetaminophen). Hydrocodone works in the brain to change how your body feels and responds to pain. Acetaminophen can also reduce a fever. (WebMD)

Xanax is used to treat anxiety and panic disorders. It belongs to a class of medications called benzodiazepines which act on the brain and nerves (central nervous system) to produce a calming effect. Xanax works by enhancing the effects of a certain natural chemical in the body (GABA). (WebMD)

Recent FDA changes concurring Vicodin
In October 2013, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced changes in the way Vicodin may be prescribed by your doctor. The FDA statements starts:

Over the past several years, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been carefully evaluating and weighing the appropriate use of opioid analgesic drug products. For the millions of American patients experiencing an acute medical need or living with chronic pain, opioids, when prescribed appropriately, can allow patients to manage their pain as well as significantly improve their quality of life.However, in recent years, the FDA has become increasingly concerned about the abuse and misuse of opioid products, which have sadly reached epidemic proportions in certain parts of the United States. While the value of and access to these drugs has been a consistent source of public debate, the FDA has been challenged with determining how to balance the need to ensure continued access to those patients who rely on continuous pain relief while addressing the ongoing concerns about abuse and misuse. Read the complete statement

Let me know what you think about this issue. Please leave a comment.

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