Generic Opioids Gain In Popularity- Oxycodone
Opioids have been on the Workers Comp radar screen over the past few years due to their abuse and dependency by injured workers. Hydrocodone (Vicodin) seemed to be the most popular according to the pharmacists that were contacted in 2011 and early 2012.
Vicodin is so addictive that people would actually line up to get their prescriptions just after midnight upon renewal of their 30 day Rx. Workers Comp was no different as there seemed to be a trend towards long-term heavy usage.
According to two pharmacists I talked with in December 2012 (one works the night shift 11PM – 7AM), Vicodin is now much less prescribed likely due to its horrendous effects on the stomach. In fact, the night-shift pharmacist indicated that 30mg Oxycodone is the #1 drug dispensed during his/her shift.
One of the most intriguing aspects is that Hydrocodone/Vicodin is a very strong compound. However, the dosages are much smaller than when compared to Oxycodone/Percocet. Both pharmacists pointed out that Oxycodone can be prescribed up to a 30mg dose. Even though Vicodin is stronger (7.5 mg Vicodin = 10mg Percocet), the largest dose of Vicodin available is 10mg.
Using a very quick math formula, 30mg of Percocet would equal 22.5mg of Vicodin or over two doses.
Due to bad press, OxyContin is now not as popular as in the past. OxyContin is actually just time- released Oxycodone.
The bottom line is that Oxycodone is very popular now as the dosage can be up to 30mg. That is a large amount of immediate-release medication. Oxycontin can be found in 165mg dosages, but it is a time-released opioid.
The FDA is now becoming more involved in opioid education. The FDA seemed more interested in educating consumers on extended release or long-acting opioids. They may want to add Oxycodone to the list.
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