The painkiller Zohydro is the controversial new prescription drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat moderate to severe discomfort. Zohydro is an opioid that is similar to Vicodin, a hydrocodone-acetaminophen painkiller responsible for more overdoses than any other prescription drug. Healthcare advocates — including one of the FDA’s own committees — report Zohydro is even more dangerous than Vicodin because it contains straight hydrocodone. Here is what you need to know about Zohydro.
What to Know About Zohydro
The high-dose hydrocodone in Zohydro binds to the brain’s opioid receptors to enhance the body’s natural ability to reduce pain. At the same time this occurs, Zohydro activates the brain’s reward center by boosting dopamine levels. The brain quickly learns to associate euphoric feelings with Zohydro, and requires more and more to get the same high. The physical tolerance that develops is what allows Zohydro-addicted people to consume huge amounts of the drug — amounts that could easily kill a new user.
Other prescription painkillers, including OxyContin, feature anti-abuse mechanisms that prevent users from chopping and snorting to get the effects all at once. Unlike other prescription opioids, Zohydro’s manufacturer did not produce the drug with any anti-abuse mechanisms — an attractive feature for people who are addicted to painkillers.
Although the manufacturer insists that Zohydro is meant for difficult diagnoses — such as palliative care for end-stage cancer — advocates note that there are several other options available for these cases. With a high likelihood of abuse and no immediate need, healthcare professionals worry that Zohydro will add fuel to a fire that is already burning out of control.
Zohydro Side Effects
Zohydro causes a variety of side effects, including:
- Addiction and abuse. Taking more than the prescribed dose and modifying a dose to get a faster high are signs of addiction. Combining Zohydro with alcohol or other drugs can be fatal.
- Gastrointestinal discomfort or upset. Zohydro may cause nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and constipation.
- Profound sedation and respiratory depression. If you notice frequent nodding off with shallow breathing, an overdose may be occurring. Call for medical help immediately.
- Headache, dizziness, dry mouth and fatigue.
- Withdrawal symptoms. These may include severe flu-like symptoms, such as tremors, sweating, vomiting and diarrhea. You’ll also notice cravings, hallucinations, irritability and anxiety.
Is Zohydro Addictive?
Zohydro’s addiction severity is profound. If you suspect that someone you care about is abusing Zohydro, get help now. Overdosing on Zohydro can be fatal, and combining it with other substances, including alcohol, is extremely dangerous. If addiction is present, you may notice:
- Severe mood swings
- Attempts to get more drugs from different doctors or pharmacies
- Lying and denying abuse
- Taking more drugs than necessary for longer than necessary
- Switching to heroin because Zohydro becomes too hard or too expensive to buy
Zohydro Addiction Treatment
If you or someone you love is addicted to Zohydro, help is available. Take back control of your life. Don’t let an addiction to Zohydro call the shots.
For more information about opioid addiction and treatment, contact 12 Keys today.