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An Online Survey of Patients’ Experiences Since the Rescheduling of Hydrocodone: The First 100 Days.

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ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE
To conduct an Internet patient survey through the National Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Association (NFMCPA) on reactions to the first 100 days following the rescheduling of hydrocodone.

METHODS
Face-valid survey questions were created with expert consensus along with repurposed questions used on previous NFMCPA surveys covering domains such as demographics and symptoms. The questionnaire was designed to be administered over the Internet.

RESULTS
6,420 responders met screening criteria and completed the survey. Most (5,181, or 82.5%) had been prescribed hydrocodone for more than 1 year. 2,296, (39.0%) reported no changes in access to hydrocodone, while the majority experienced some barriers. Of those who could no longer get hydrocodone, 1,067 (18.1%) borrowed pain medications, 1,007 (17.1%) turned to marijuana, 773 (13.1%) used alcohol, and 135 (2.3%) used illicit drugs. Most respondents had to visit their healthcare providers more often (N = 3,699, 64.2%) and 1,735 (30.3%) reported some type of issue interacting with their pharmacy. Most felt that the rescheduling was neither a fair nor appropriate solution to the abuse of hydrocodone (N = 4,938, 88.3%). For those still working, 801 (46.2%) reported that they had missed work because of the stricter regulations. 1,462 (27.2%) reported having thoughts of suicide since the rescheduling.

SIGNIFICANCE
The unintended consequences for people with chronic pain that have been caused by the rescheduling effort to impede hydrocodone abuse are negatively impacting thousands. These consequences include suffering from being placed on less effective drugs, increased cost, inconvenience, and negative influence on physician-patient and pharmacist-patient relationships.

Source:  Chambers J, Gleason RM, Kirsh KL, Twillman R, Webster L, Berner J, Fudin J, Passik SD. An Online Survey of Patients' Experiences Since the Rescheduling of Hydrocodone: The First 100 Days. Pain Med. 2015 Dec 26. pii: pnv064. [Epub ahead of print]

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One thought on “An Online Survey of Patients’ Experiences Since the Rescheduling of Hydrocodone: The First 100 Days.”

  1. rakiethebird says:

    I still need to read the article and I think I contributed my experience, but its worth repeating here.

    had to change pharmacies because (which violated my pain contract) because the original one publicly humiliated me and refused to fill my prescription.

    the imminent implementation of the draconian guidelines on opioids and chronic use is about to be published and implemented across the country. This has caused me a lot of stress, but also triggered a lot of research on my part. I now have a plan B.

    Plan B
    If the clinic I go to decides to apply the guideline across the board, I will be denied my hydrocodone which has allowed me to continue working and being more-or-less productive.
    I plan to convince my doctor (who is sympathetic and will cooperate, barring other clinic restrictions on providers) to prescribe low dose naltrexone (LDN) off-label to replace the hydrocodone. Suggest you all discuss this with your doctors. It has been studied in small trials at Stanford University for pain control and found to be effective for most wit few to no side effects. No one will conduct larger trials because Naltrexone is already a generic. Big Pharma will derive no profit from a new indication and will not support it. In fact it will compete with with any new drug they come up with that they can charge ridiculous prices for.

    Off-label LDN means you will pay full price for it, regardless of prescription coverage, but it won’t be prohibitively expensive because it is generic.

    Of the course the next step will be that Big Pharma will find a way to stop this too via the FDA so they can force you into paying a fortune for their alternatives.

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