Last year, FDA approved a long acting version of the opiate, hydrocodone, names Zohydro ER. This drug will provide 12 hour pain relief to patients with moderate-to-severe chronic pain. The FDA’s approval of Zohydro for public consumption was in direct opposition of the FDA’s own outside scientific advisory panel, which voted, 11-2, against approving this painkiller.

ZohydroThis new drug has created controversy among pharmaceutical- and addiction experts. Some health professionals fear this drug will increase the amount of prescription drug addicts, and it’s accompanying potentially fatal drug overdoses. Zohydro is believed to be 10 times stronger than the current hydrocodone pain medication available in the market. At the same time the pharmaceutical companies strongly believe that this drug can be a good alternative for patients suffering from severe chronic pain, where other painkillers and treatments were unsuccessful.

What is Zohydro

In essence Zohydro is pure synthetic heroin and it comes in 50 milligram tablets – a dosage that has the potential to kill an individual in just two tablets. Naturally, some experts have expressed concern over patients making a mistake and accidentally take too much, as mix-ups in dosage can easily happen without adequate medical supervision.

So why did FDA approve this potentially fatal drug? The simple answer is that despite the fact that chronic pain is common in America, there are no treatments that work for everyone. For those who have tried alternatives without success, Zohydro may still provide relief. To these patients the risks of negative side effects may be acceptable.

For those looking for relief from chronic pain, there are many safe alternatives available before turning to prescription medication. For instance, topical pain creams can be applied directly to the problem area, with few or none of the negative side effects of painkillers.