Potent painkiller causing controversy - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Potent painkiller causing controversy

Posted: Updated:

A new very potent painkiller set to be released next month is causing a lot of controversy.

It is called Zohydro and some are saying it will be the new Oxycontin.

Its highest dosage will contain 5 to 10 times as much Hydrocodone, as Vicodin.

Supporters of the drug say the benefits outweigh the risks for those who suffer from chronic pain.

Dr. Jeanie Jaramillo is an assistant professor at Texas Tech's School of Pharmacy in Amarillo; she explained to us who would be the ideal candidate for the drug. "It would be an option for someone with chronic pain who have tried many drugs overtime and has run out of options. So someone with cancer, or bone pain, or chronic back pain."

Several consumer groups are asking the FDA to revoke its approval of Zohydro, they say it is extremely easy to overdose from the drug.

"If we have a child who gets into these and takes just one single capsule it can kill them. It could cause them to stop breathing and they could die from that and that makes it extremely dangerous. Even adults if they have not been taking it regularly and have not yet developed a tolerance, if they take two of these it is enough for an overdose in an adult."

A chemical dependency counselor, Melissa Preece, says it is important for everyone to be knowledgeable before considering taking or prescribing this drug. "I think everyone should be educated. You know and I feel that it is the responsibility of the doctors and the pharmacists, and they normally do a great job of educating and then it will come down to the parent and the adults taking the medication. It is going to require everyone to be knowledgeable about what they are taking."

A coalition of more than 40 health care, consumer and addiction treatment groups is urging the FDA to revoke approval of the drug, before it is released next month.

  • Today's Local News HeadlinesToday's Local NewsMore>>

  • Car Seat Checkup at the Amarillo Fire Station

    Car Seat Checkup at the Amarillo Fire Station

    Amarillo, TX - If your child's car seat moves when the car stops or turns, seems too small, or allows your child to get out...local agencies want to help keep your child safe.
    Amarillo, TX - If your child's car seat moves when the car stops or turns, seems too small, or allows your child to get out...local agencies want to help keep your child safe.
  • Lane Closures for the Week

    Lane Closures for the Week

    Amarillo, TX - While you are out driving around this week here are some area lane closures to be aware of.
    Amarillo, TX - While you are out driving around this week here are some area lane closures to be aware of.
  • Aggressive weed brings trouble for Texas cotton growers

    Aggressive weed brings trouble for Texas cotton growers

    Sunday, July 27 2014 2:01 PM EDT2014-07-27 18:01:51 GMT
    LUBBOCK - A fast-spreading weed is causing problems in Texas cotton fields and could cost growers much of their harvest if left unchecked.
    LUBBOCK - A fast-spreading weed is causing problems in Texas cotton fields and could cost growers much of their harvest if left unchecked.