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Physician discusses new hydrocodone restrictions

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The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will soon enforce tighter restrictions on certain kinds of prescription pills that contain hydrocodone.

It’s been a decade in the making but the dea is finally clamping down on certain kinds of prescription pills with hydrocodone here to talk about the new changes you will soon notice as dr. david joseph he is the chief medical officer at the austin diagnostic clinic good morning to you so fill us in on what these changes will be and they’re coming on the federal

Level yes this is through the dea the drug enforcement agency and the changes involve the classification of drugs that have hydrocodone in them the most common examples of these drugs are vicodin lortab narco there drugs that are usually have a combination of hydrocodone with acetaminophen or tylenol or hydrocodone with a antihistamine or cough suppressant and

These drugs are widely used and they’re going to be classified now as schedule 2 instead of schedule 3 big difference schedule 2 means that the doctor has to use a very special prescription pad or a very secure e electronic transmission method to get the prescription to the pharmacy it also means that he or she cannot write refills on that particular prescription

They can dispense multiple copies of that prescription that become active at different dates for up to 90 days but it really changes the way this drug is prescribed or these this class of drugs so before they could prescribe refills yes before they could prescribe refills on the same prescription order so i could write for 30 days worth of one of these medicines

With five additional refills now each refill requires a separate prescription now those prescriptions are designed in a way where i can write them and put a special date when they become active so that in a single patient encounter i can give three months worth of the drug but it’s still a lot more writing or a lot more secure method of electronic transmission and

Now that prescription has to be hand-delivered to the pharmacist yes or securely electronically transmitted which most offices my impression are not able to do at this point okay it can no longer be called it can no longer be called in it can no longer be faxed in what do you think is leading to these tighter restrictions well the dea in its ruling that came out

In august 22nd said that there were a couple of reasons that led to their change first of all this idea has been tossed around for about ten years so this ruling didn’t come as a big surprise a one reason is that it is a parent through epidemiological research and and just other information that a lot of the drugs dogs doctors are writing for their patients is not

Ending up with their patients it’s being diverted in fact there when you look at opioid overdoses that is overdoses of the various narcotics that are out there illicit and licit types prescription opioids lead lead the charge in terms of causing deaths from accidental and intentional overdoses got it so there’s a lot of what we call diversion the other thing is

It’s very strange if i write a prescription for a patient for high blood pressure medicine or an antibiotic my biggest concern should be whether or not they take it at all or how many dosages they miss if i write for that same patient a prescription for vicodin or one of these hydrocodone combination products they are much more likely to misuse it that is take

A higher dose than i recommend or take it more frequently it’s just it seems to be just a cultural phenomenon that we play with these medicines looser and more easily doctor we are already out of time this morning thank you so much for being here again we do want to mention that the new restrictions go into effect on october october 6 all right we’ll have more

Information about this on our website at a little bit later this morning let’s

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Physician discusses new hydrocodone restrictions By KXAN