Wednesday, July 1, 2009

FDA Slated to Hand Out Guns Rather Than Hydrocodone to Chronic Pain Patients

An advisory panel to the FDA has recommended pulling Vicodin (hydrocodone) and Percocet off shelves because of the danger of overdose and liver damage.
http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/06/30/acetaminophen.fda.hearing/index.html
I have a better proposal. Why don't we remove all drugs from the market because of the potential for overdose and for most of them, liver damage and other serious side effects? Once we pull the sleeping pills and antidepressants away from health care administrators and insurance execs, they might spend their time awake making good or at least ethical decisions and experiencing stress, guilt, and grief for decisions that harm people. Can't and shouldn't liver counts be monitored for people on serious meds for the long term? Mine are.

Hydrocodone is the drug I take because of the effects of anti-inflammatories on my stomach; many anti-inflammatories have also been pulled from the market. It makes living as opposed to existing possible, allows me to extend my time out sometimes and enjoy a day out, though I may be bedridden later. Why doesn't the FDA just hand out guns instead of hydrocodone? Or do they want us on stronger narcotics, like Oxycontin, or oh, oh, what's the one that starts with a D? Dilaudid? And morphine! They think suicides and overdoses will go down if they pull these drugs off the shelves? Yes, I have been suicidal from pain though have recognized it will get better again and I have tried to relieve it in other ways. Adequate pain relief makes life bearable.

So we'll have more people more drugged on stronger stuff up on the streets, because stronger drugs don't have any side effects. And, I know! Let's put all the arthritis people on the TNF inhibitors--they only cost $15,000 a year, paid for by the advisory panel (or wait, do they own stock?). Those don't have any serious risks! Or do they want us all smoking pot?

Ibuprofen also causes liver damage--let's ban that, too.

Let's also sign up the FDA advisory panel for clinical trials using themselves as volunteers for spinal surgeries following voluntarily induced disability. No pain medicine for you!

See also, "Guns, Not Hydrocodone."

13 comments:

Penelope said...

I had a similar response to this.

Either the want mass suicide by chronic pain patients, or they need to keep them on the market, or they need to put loads of money into developed better ways to administer "pure" hydrocodone and oxycodone (since the real objection is to the acetaminophen).

Or maybe they just need to legalize cannabis since I, for one, would need less vicodin and percocet in that case ;-)

FridaWrites said...

Thanks, Penelope. I wouldn't mind trying a pain medicine without acetaminophen but this policy just defies common sense. They may also be wanting to reduce the overprescribing of these drugs and street trade, but I'm not sure this is the best way.

FridaWrites said...

Actually I'm certain it's not the best way.

Nick said...

I'm on tylenol 3 and oxycodone.

Read more news articles on this recommendation; it won't take Hydrocodone, Percocet and Vicodin "off the shelves," it'll just remove the acetaminophen from them. The large amounts of acetaminophen consumed incidentally by chronic pain patients like us who take a lot of these "compound" medications has (at best) marginal clinical value, and carries unreasonable risks. Most U.S. deaths from liver toxicity last year were from these acetaminophen "compounds"; the FDA has to act.

It's easy enough to strip the acetaminophen from these meds, leaving only the opioids, and doing so won't harm anyone. This is likely what we'll see in the future.

IMO, it's overdue. I've never benefited from mass quantities of acetaminophen.

Nick

FridaWrites said...

Hey, Nick--that would be ideal, to remove the acetaminophen. The news stories I read seemed to imply the drugs would be taken off the market, though newer news stories do mention just removing the acetaminophen--which, like you, I would prefer. I have elevated liver counts and I think they'd be in the normal range w/o the acetaminophen. Since two acetaminophen do nothing for me, taking the equivalent of part of one with each hydrocodone dose would not help either. Originally the FDA required it in an attempt to keep people from OD'ing on narcotics.

Lisa Moon said...

Sorry for the late comment.. heh, just catching up on good reads. :)

I absolutely agree with taking out the acetaminphen from these medications. I, for one, had more concerns with the amount of acet. that I was taking when they gave me Percocet for my chronic, severe pain condition than I did the oxycodone. So my doctor switched me to the all-oxy in OxyContin form and it's been excellent.

So good, in fact, that even the workers' comp-paid clinic doc agreed that I'm one of the few patients he sees who is ideal for that medication (ok, that part I'm not so sure about, but anyway) and that he thinks it may be safer than something newer like Zytram (Ultram in USA - tramadol extended release). Zy/Ultram is supposed to be this safe atypical opiate which is has a very low abuse potential, allegedly due to it producing more nausea than one could literally stomach before reaching 'euphoria' (and g*d forbid anyone with chronic pain experience a little 'euphoria' in their life!).

I tend to agree. It just makes me think of things like Vioxx and Celebrex. Suuure, they were great, until people started dying from them. Yeah.

Personally, once again as I'm loathe to speak for others, I'd rather take my chances with the opioid class of drugs. Yes, they're potentially addictive, but if you're being properly managed you're much less inclined to start self-medicating and that's where people tend to get into trouble...

Also, they've been around a long time and sometimes that says more than millions of dollars spent on fancy advertising campaigns!

Oh, and while I'm spouting off my views, lol, I'm from the west coast of Canada - British Columbia. We're known for many things, one of which is a booming cannabis industry!

Here it has been decriminalised, then not again and now one can apply to the federal gov't to possess and grow one's own cannabis for medical purposes.

This seems an even better option than the opioids; been around long time? Yep. Able to consume/use medicinally with minimal to no processing? Yep. Can we grow and manufacture it right here? Yep again. Sheesh, pretend it's alcohol or tobacco, make it legal and tax the heck outta it. Buh-bye budgetary deficits, lol!

Oh, and it gets rid of medication-related (and all) nausea REALLY well, amongst tons of other uses. We even have compassion clubs here which distribute cannabis and edible products made from it to persons with legitimate medical issues. Not technically legal, but here, the police have apparently mostly decided to focus on worse offenders...

Sorry for the novel. :) Just so happy to see you again, lol!

FridaWrites said...

Happy to see you too--maybe I would do better with the stronger pain medicines, I don't know. Certainly people do start grabbing whatever's available when they're in agony, even risking running out.

That figures with Ultram--the nausea. I tried it for a while before the hydrocodone. I'd forgotten this, but it made me depressed, though that was worth some pain relief. I was taking a very, very low dose though.

Medical marijuana would open up more possibilities for people. No one drug is going to work for everyone and people need to change medicines sometimes--it would be good to have more options.

Nick said...

Blogged my two cents about this: Should Opioid-Acetaminophen Combination Painkillers Be Banned? YES.

LifeInHell said...

Every day I have to resist an almost impossibly strong to shoot myself because of my undermanaged chronic pain. Every day, every time I urinate it feels like red hot shards of glass going through my urethra. Every second of the day my bladder and uretha sting and I am in the most miserable pain imaginable. The pain level of my disease is comparable to cancer. And I have NOTHING, not even CODEINE, to help me get through the day because of the paranoia surrounding opioid painkillers. May you rot in hell for even SUGGESTING that doctors should be even MORE stringent with their prescription of narcotic painkillers. Complete fucking idiotic assholes like you are the reason why my life has been a complete fucking nightmare for two years!

LifeInHell said...

Every day I have to resist an almost impossibly strong to shoot myself because of my undermanaged chronic pain. Every day, every time I urinate it feels like red hot shards of glass going through my urethra. Every second of the day my bladder and uretha sting and I am in the most miserable pain imaginable. The pain level of my disease is comparable to cancer. And I have NOTHING, not even CODEINE, to help me get through the day because of the paranoia surrounding opioid painkillers. May you rot in hell for even SUGGESTING that doctors should be even MORE stringent with their prescription of narcotic painkillers. Complete fucking idiotic assholes like you are the reason why my life has been a complete fucking nightmare for two years!

FridaWrites said...

I was writing with parody, a "modest proposal," not honestly suggesting that the drugs be pulled from the market. I was angry about it and what would happen to me too in this situation. That may not have made sense months after the original news article or my writing/point just didn't come across well.

Life, you are one of those people who needs hydrocodone, not one with whom doctors should be more stringent. I certainly know people who have been handed hydrocodone for very minor problems, not intractable pain as you have. You're right that some people with very severe pain cannot get adequate pain medicine and don't get believed--that should not happen at all.

I genuinely hope you find pain relief that will help and a doctor who will listen. I'd make suggestions, but you've probably already tried a lot. However, if you haven't gone directly to a pain management doctor, do so--and more than one if you need to.

But when people disagree with you--if I were saying what you thought--I think the best way is through educating them--that creates change, not lambasting people. I don't think it's a kind thing to wish that anyone would rot in hell--that's not what Jesus said about how to handle difference, and I think his words were wise ones whether we believe in that religion or not.

I continue to have severe and difficult to manage pain even with medicine. There are some patient blogs on chronic pain, and I write about it too if you want to look through.

FridaWrites said...

Since I can tell from sitemeter that you've revisited, I expected an apology from you or at least some acknowledgment of what I said. That makes me question whether you deliberately misread, though from the length of time you spent before commenting, it is clear you did not read the title or most of the post, and definitely not the links. It does make me wonder if you're not a drug addict.

FridaWrites said...

And you are a cowardly for creating a new online identity just to harass someone.