Hydrocodone is a prescription drug that is used to treat moderate to severe aches and pain. It is also a cough suppressant. It is similar to the drug codeine, but the narcotic analgesic is comparable strength-wise to many euphoric-style drugs, such as oxycodone, heroin, and morphine. This partially synthetic opioid drug is also known as di-hydrocodone. It is from one of two opiates that occur naturally, which are thebaine and codeine. The drug is available in capsule, tablet, or syrup form for oral administration. Read more to learn about hydrocodone history and how it has become so prevalent in the U.S. today.
Hydrocodone is one of the most prescribed drugs in the United States. In 2010 alone, there were more than 100 million prescriptions written for the medication. The pure form is classified as a Schedule II controlled substance; however, not prescribed in this form. Usually, this drug includes one or more other drugs such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, aspirin, and antihistamines.
Hydrocodone History: What are Its Origins?
In 1920, two German chemists named Carl Mannich and Helene Lowenheim first synthesized hydrocodone. Approval for use in the United States took more than 20 years. Eventually, the FDA gave the drug their approval in 1943. Since that time, approved usage in other countries, including the United Kingdom and Canada has occurred.
Looking at hydrocodone history, we learn that the trade name for hydrocodone was initially Dicodid. This name was selected since the drug worked similar to Dilaudid and also because there were other prescription drugs released at the time with similar names, such as Dihydrin and Dinarkon.
Furthermore, when The Misuse of Drugs Act of 1971 was passed in the U.K., hydrocodone was classified as a Class A drug, which is the highest possible level. The drug was placed in this category after British authorities became concerned that it could be potentially dangerous and do a substantial amount of harm when abused. However, in other parts of Europe, Dicodid is available commercially. Presently, the pure form in America is in the prescription cough remedy Codiclear DH.
Vicodin: The Strongest Form of Hydrocodone
Vicodin is one of the most popular prescription painkillers frequently abused today. This drug contains up to six times the typical dose of hydrocodone (approximately five milligrams), plus 500 milligrams of acetaminophen. Hydrocodone with acetaminophen is a byproduct derived from coal/tar distillation in 1893. While Vicodin is considered an excellent painkiller and cough suppressant, researchers see that patients using the drug on a regular basis build up a tolerance slowly, causing many of them to become addicted.
Vicodin emerged as a prescription painkiller in 1978 by Knoll Pharmaceuticals. A generic version of the drug was later released in 1983. Since 2009, attempts were made to force the FDA to ban the drug due to the increase in painkiller addiction. At the present time, the drug is still available by prescription. However, controls are in place on the amount that each patient is allowed to receive per month.
Hydrocodone Addiction in the Future
Recently, the FDA approved a new hydrocodone pill that’s hard for users to abuse. The medication, Hysingla ER, made by Purdue Pharmaceuticals, provides pain relief around the clock for patients who are unable to manage their pain by any other means. This tablet is intended to be taken once a day and is difficult to crush, break, or dissolve, making it less likely to be abused by snorting or injecting.
On the positive side, Purdue Pharmaceuticals creates drugs that discourage abuse and tampering. Altogether, this is their fourth drug that is approved by the FDA. Others include their crush-resistant alternative to oxycodone and a combination drug that blocks the effects of crushed oxycodone pills.
Efforts to Create Safer, Crush-Proof Painkillers
Consistent efforts over the past several years to ban Vicodin and other high-strength forms of hydrocodone. Obviously, it is vital that the FDA understands that there is a great need for prescription painkillers, even though the abuse rate continues to rise. Fortunately, many pharmaceutical companies create drugs that are less likely to be crushed or dissolved. This move allows legitimate users of the medication to eliminate their constant pain while decreasing the harmful effects of abuse.
More information about hydrocodone history is available in the following links. Also, if you or a loved one need treatment for hydrocodone addiction, please contact A Forever Recovery today.
- Hydrocodone and Acetaminophen
- Trends in the Abuse of Prescription Drugs
- Hydrocodone and Acetaminophen Overdose
- FDA Likely to Add Limits on Painkillers
- The Truth About Painkillers
- To Fight Addiction, FDA Advisers Endorse Limits On Vicodin
- Stronger Oversight for Prescription Pain Pills Recommended
- Zohydro is More Potent Than Vicodin
- Xanax, Oxycontin, and Vicodin Overdoses at Record Highs
- Vicodin Uses, Side Effects, and Interactions
- New Rules for Hydrocodone: What You Should Know
- Statement of Proposed Hydrocodone Reclassification
- Hydrocodone: Schedule II Controlled Substance
- Pharmacokinetic Study of Hydrocodone/APAP in Chronic Pain Patients
- Opioid Pain Killers Linked to Increased Risk of Some Birth Defects
- Prescription Drugs and Cold Medicine
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