Zohydro: FDA Approves a New Opiate

The FDA just approved a new prescription painkiller, called Zohydro.

Similar to medicine’s current favorite painkiller, Oxycodone, but 10x more powerful, Zohydro is expected to be available next month. Considering the epidemic of opiate addiction and over-prescribing of medication, this new approval has many professionals concerned. It’s been developed with chronic pain sufferers in mind– specifically those with cancer–hence the very high dose (upwards of 50 mg in a single pill).


Professionals are also concerned about the potential for accidental overdose: a single Zohydro pill contains enough hydrocodone to kill a child, and it would be reasonable to assume, what with patients already struggling to manage multiple medications, there could be fatal accidental overdoses with such a potent medication. Then, there’s the issue of pure tolerance for opioids: someone who hasn’t taken them before could overdose on just two pills.

Though the drug may prove to have benefits to chronic pain suffers, hopefully doctors and healthcare practitioners will be properly educated on the risks.


In response to the concerns expressed since its approval, the company that created Zohydro has said in a statement that the medication “will come with a warning label.”

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Abby Norman

Abby Norman is a science writer who enjoys prodding topics that range from the mundane to the insane. She currently works as a health guide working with high risk diabetes patients. When she's not at her desk, she can usually be found in the hospital library, the OR or the morgue. When she's not researching or working, she also write part-time for BHM Healthcare Solutions.