Hydrocodone FDA, The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday recommended tighter restrictions on products that contain hydrocodone, an opioid painkiller present in commonly prescribed, potentially addictive drugs such as Vicodin.
Until now, Vicodin and other products that contain less than 15 milligrams of hydrocodone have been classified as Schedule III controlled substances. The FDA recommends reclassifying them more restrictively — potentially as Schedule II products, in line with opioid pain-killers such as oxycodone and morphine.
Reclassifying the products would make them harder to obtain, both by addicts and by legitimate pain patients. Physicians are not allowed to call in a prescription for a Schedule II product to a pharmacy. Instead, patients must present a written prescription.
In addition, patients would not be allowed as many refills before returning to see their doctors, potentially representing a hardship for patients in chronic pain.