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Stricter Guidelines For Hydrocodone

September 4, 2014, 6:23 PM by Brittany Larson

Stricter Guidelines For Hydrocodone

Hydrocodone is currently the most common prescription medication in the U.S. Yet, the stricter rules to get the popular pain killer don't come as a shock to nurse Lisa Raabe.

"Being in the medical field, I have seen changes with prescriptions just slowly and kind of being reinforced, so no it's not a big change.  I kind of knew it would happen eventually," Raabe said.

Starting October 6, the FDA is making it more difficult to acquire medicines that contain Hydrocodone.

"It's probably a good step, but it's going to take a lot of change for pharmacies and patients, both," Raabe said.

Beginning in October, patients with new prescriptions will only be allowed to receive a 90-day supply. Patients will then be required to have a written prescription in hand each time they need a refill.

"To get your prescription you will need to have a written prescription each time. There are no refills and the procedure takes a bit longer," Lewis Drug Store Pharmacist Bill Ladwig said.

Patients with existing prescriptions will be allowed to refill them under the old regulations until April 8 of next year. The tighter restrictions are being put in place in hopes of reducing the abuse of Hydrocodone for recreational use.

"Unfortunately that's what happens. When it's not just the people who are abusive, the situation is that it affects not just the people who are abusing the medication, but everyone," Ladwig said.

Because of these new guidelines, some pharmacies may decide to lock up Hydrocodone in a safe.

"I think the use has just become increased and it's more known about than it was before. So kids are going to be kids and they are going to find different ways to do things, but if you can hopefully try to control it with measures like this would be good," Raabe said.





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