Intended for healthcare professionals


Prescriptions for hydrocodone plummet after US tightens prescribing rules

BMJ 2016; 352 doi: (Published 27 January 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;352:i549
  1. Michael McCarthy
  1. 1Seattle

Prescriptions for combination analgesics containing the opiate hydrocodone have fallen by 22% since the US government imposed tougher prescribing rules in 2014, a study has found.1 Hydrocodone bitartrate, which is often formulated with a non-opioid analgesic such as paracetamol, is one of the most commonly misused prescription opioids in the United States.

In October 2014, in response to a growing opioid use epidemic, the US Drug Enforcement Administration tightened prescribing requirements for hydrocodone combination products by moving them from schedule III of the Controlled Substances Act to the more restrictive designation of schedule II.

Under schedule …

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