DEA Makes Reclassification Announcement Sep . 2 . 2014
Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has announced that by October 6, 2014, all hydrocodone combination medications will be reclassified from Schedule III to Schedule II. This action, prompted by a recommendation from the Food and Drug Administration, is aimed at reducing the misuse and abuse of these powerful painkillers.
Drugs are classified into schedules depending on ‘whether they have a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, their relative abuse potential, and likelihood of causing dependence when abused.’ Schedule I drugs have no current accepted medical use in the United States. Schedules II-V are classified according to their abuse and dependence potential, ranking Schedule II drugs with the highest potential, and Schedule V with the least potential for abuse and dependence.
According to this new mandate by DEA, hydrocodone combination medications will now be subject to more severe restrictions. This change has the potential to not only lower misuse of these drugs, but decrease abuse and severe dependence as well. In prescribing controlled substance drugs, as well as all other drugs, it is paramount for every patient to know and understand the correct usage and possible grave effects of misusing or abusing such medications. It is also important for physicians to remain vigilant of any indication of misuse or abuse by patients, and to take appropriate action in their prescribing practices.
This post was sourced, in part, by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP), and the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Information for this blog post has been obtained with permission by the author of the original article, the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy. For more information about NABP, please visit http://www.nabp.net