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New Restrictions on Painkillers: Tramadol and Hydrocodone

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Tramadol-and-Hydrocodone

In their ongoing effort to curb prescription drug abuse, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has recently changed the classifications of two painkillers that are sometimes prescribed for fibromyalgia: tramadol and hydrocodone. While the tramadol change will have only minimal impact on patients, the new hydrocodone restrictions are much more severe and could be problematic for many patients.

Tramadol

Effective August 18, 2014, tramadol – previously an unscheduled prescription medication on the federal level – became a Schedule IV drug. A number of states had already proactively reclassified it as a controlled substance due to its potential for abuse.

Tramadol is also known by the brand name Ultram. It is a centrally acting synthetic opioid analgesic approved to treat moderate to moderately severe pain. It works primarily by binding to the mu-opioid receptors to block pain and in a weaker way, by inhibiting the reuptake of serotonin and norepinephrine – similar to the way antidepressants work to help reduce pain.

Schedule IV drugs have only limited restrictions:

  • Prescription orders are valid for 6 months.
  • Five refills are allowed in a 6-month period.
  • Oral prescriptions are allowed.

If you’ve been taking tramadol, you probably won’t notice a great deal of difference unless your doctor has been giving you more than 6-months worth of refills. Also, depending upon the laws in your state, you may now have to show identification when you pick up your tramadol prescription.

Hydrocodone

Under a new federal regulation, beginning October 6, 2014, hydrocodone combination products (HCPs) will be reclassified from Schedule III to the more restrictive Schedule II. Vicodin and Lortab are two of the best-known HCPs.

According to the DEA, “The Controlled Substances Act (CSA) places substances with accepted medical uses into one of four schedules, with the substances with the highest potential for harm and abuse being placed in Schedule II, and substances with progressively less potential for harm and abuse being placed in Schedules III through V. (Schedule I is reserved for those controlled substances with no currently accepted medical use and lack of accepted safety for use.) HCPs are drugs that contain both hydrocodone, which by itself is a Schedule II drug, and specified amounts of other substances, such as acetaminophen or aspirin.”

DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart explained the reason for the new ruling. “Almost seven million Americans abuse controlled-substance prescription medications, including opioid painkillers, resulting in more deaths from prescription drug overdoses than auto accidents. [This] action recognizes that these products are some of the most addictive and potentially dangerous prescription medications available.”

There are significant restrictions on Schedule II drugs:

  • Prescriptions must be written. Doctors may not call or fax prescriptions to the pharmacy.
  • No refills are allowed. A new prescription is required each time.

If your doctor is willing to do so, the DEA does allow physicians to write up to 90 days worth of an HCP at one time by giving you three separate prescriptions, dated 30 days apart. That way you would only have to make a trip to your doctor’s office every three months.

Whether or not an office visit is required each time you need a new prescription is left up to each individual doctor. Your doctor may allow you to just pick up the prescription.

If you take an HCP on a regular basis, you will need to contact your doctor to find out how your prescriptions will be handled under the new regulations. It would be best not to wait until you need a refill in case there are any problems or delays. You don’t want to find yourself facing withdrawal symptoms because you’re unable to get the medication you need.

What happens if you still have refills left on your current HCP prescription?

When the new ruling was first issued, it was thought that HCP prescriptions with remaining refills would not be honored. However, since then the DEA has issued a clarification determining that existing prescriptions for HCPs with remaining refills my be refilled until April 8, 2015.

The problem is, no one really knows how individual pharmacies will handle these prescriptions. It’s possible they may not be aware of the clarification or may simply decide not to honor the remaining refills. So if you have an HCP with refills left, it would probably be a good idea to check with your pharmacy ahead of time to see how they are going to handle them.

You can see the full ruling in the Federal Register: “Schedules of Controlled Substances: Rescheduling of Hydrocodone Combination Products From Schedule III to Schedule II

Sources:

Schedules of Controlled Substances: Placement of Tramadol Into Schedule IV.” Federal Register 79 (02 July 2014) 37623-37630.

Drug Scheduling.” U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. Retrieved 18 August 2014.

DEA to Publish Final Rule Rescheduling Hydrocodone Combination Products. (2014, August 21). Retrieved September 28, 2014.

Twillman, R. (2014, September 26). Clinical considerations related to hydrocodone rescheduling – American Academy of Pain Management. Retrieved September 28, 2014.

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40 thoughts on “New Restrictions on Painkillers: Tramadol and Hydrocodone”

  1. TonyGunn says:

    Many articles report that with no tamper resistance, pure hydrocodone such as ZOHYDRO will be “snorted, smoked, injected”. That is poor journalism as hydrocodone MUST be ingested orally. It has to be metabolized in liver to work. In liver it metabolizes into hydromorphone. Absolutely WILL NOT WORK BY NOSE, NEEDLE, SMOKE. alarmists, get your facts straight. Also, consult with patients in chronic pain! Get to know their suffering. If you have no chronic, intractable pain, you have NO REAL VALID OPINION. PERIOD.

  2. VestaVenus says:

    Head of the DEA, Michele Leonhart needs to RESIGN immediately…it’s obvious she is more concerned with political posturing than actually helping people with chronic pain. I’m suspected of being a criminal instead of being treated for my pain because of this absurdity! It’s cruel to take this medicine away from people that actually need it because the doctor’s are afraid of the DEA!

  3. drLC says:

    Sorry but hydrocodone is absorbed more rapidly through the nasal mucosa into the bloodstream. From there, just like if it’s absorbed into the bloodstream from the gut, it goes to the liver and is metabolized to its active form hydromorphone, so yes, you can and many addicts do snort hydrocodone and it’s effective. The issue with Zohydro is with other prescription opioids, they need to be made as abuse-proof as possible, as Oxycontin now is. Zohydro should not have been released.

  4. TinaMD says:

    I wish every single person who works for the DEA would get intractable, chronic pain for 3 months and feel like killing themselves everyday because the pain is too much to bear and then I want them to have NO access to any type of pain relief, especially not from any opioid pain relievers. I want them on their knees begging for mercy. Then I want most doctors to have the same thing happen to them and the people they love, so they can experience this pain and watching a loved one in pain. The DEA and the doctors want to control how we get pain relief and have little to no compassion what so ever, so I would love to see them suffer for a long time. What is humanity coming to?? This is nothing but evil and cruel. The drug addicts will continue to get drugs from Mexico and other countries, the same way it has always been. Also, our boarders are not guarded and the USA opens their arms to illegal immigrants and they bring in the drugs. I am wondering how many people in pain will turn to using heroin because that is 1,000 times easier to get and cheaper to get on the street than pain meds. BTW….the DEA provided this information to let everyone know how cheap heroin is and how easy it is to get, but then they say how worried they are about the overdoses of heroin. Well, people in pain are not just going to say, OK, take my pain meds and I will endure the hell my pain puts me through without looking for something to help them. What idiots, the DEA. This is all so outrageous. Tramadol is nothing but a HUGE joke! I do not know many who find any relief from it and I have never heard from anyone that they feel any kind of high from it. Suicides will also be on the rise when those in so much pain, who cannot handle it any longer cannot tolerate it. People with so much pain usually cannot sleep, eat or function and the opioids help them do the minimal, like take a shower, get dressed and maybe do something more. If this little bit of help is taken from them, you may as well have kicked them, beat them with a baseball bat and kill them yourselves, DEA. DEA, you are NOTHING but cruel and you better hope karma does not come back on you, but I am praying it does, in ten fold. I want to hear about DEA workers who are responsible for these restrictions to be in physical, emotional and mental pain. Yes, I am enraged over this. People in chronic pain should not ever be punished because of an illness or disease they have and that is what is happening here, they are being punished.

  5. flexxcia says:

    I just wanted to state that I have been using this drug for about 5 yrs. it makes me want to move about when anyother time I wouldn’t. I would take 2 pills 2xs a day. but after my heart attack doctors changed it to only one pill 2xs a day. it has helped a lot.

  6. Meds2014 says:

    As someone who works in healthcare and uses hydrocodone legally and even at time used a form of opiates recreationally I have a great insight into the drugs pain relief and recreational use. In my teens I was misguided and sold drugs as a way to support myself. I learned while doing this that my customers were not all drug addicts looking to get high. Some were people that suffered with chronic pain whose doctor refused to prescribe them something that worked. I also saw many of these people end up using heroin. In the years that I was involved in this life it was nover hard to find the supply of drugs I needed to sell. Amazingly the price I paid for these drugs never went higher it actually became cheaper and more pure in concentration.
    I say that to say this. The FDA has bigger problems then hydrocodone. I will admit that this drug is abused and can lead to a lot of heart ache and an addiction that can ruin your life. What needs to be considered is that addiction is different then dependence. If you are in pain that needs to be treated. I suffer with DJD in my lower back and work in a Neurovascular x-Ray lab where I am required to wear 10lbs of led and scrub in for a case that can last 4 hrs the whole time on my feet hunched over an x-Ray table. I also suffer with stage 2 kidney disease so I am not allowed to take any anti-inflammatory meds. I am left with only low grade opiate pain killers to give me the relief I need. That being said I don’t think the FDA is making these drugs unavailable just not as easily attainable. Who really needs a 6 month script at one time. If taken as prescribed one with pain should be able to function and I am already required to see my doctor every 3 months so I think we will all be fine. If your Doctor won’t treat your pain find a new one.

    1. ritafranco56 says:

      While I understand that the head of the DEA wants to protect citizens from abusing drugs, for people like me who live an agonizing life in chronic debilitating pain, time & money would be better spent on drug dealers & buyers. Until you have walked in the shoes of another person, you really have no idea how horrible it is to live in unbearable pain, which barely reduces the pain for people like myself with Fibromyalgia. As others have stated it’s not about addiction when someone is in intolerable pain. It’s about improving our quality of life so that I might be able to attend Thanksgiving dinner with my family, which hasn’t happened in four years. It’s about being able to attend my daughter’s plays, sporting events, or just going out for a family dinner or celebrating a family birthday. It’s about being able to take a walk or a light swim.

      Living with chronic debilitating pain affects every aspect in a person’s life& I mean EVERY aspect from intimacy with your partner, never having friends over or living on take-out food because you don’t have the energy to do anything but breath. And on the really bad days, you wish you would stop breathing just to be free of the pain.

      Can we begin a National Conversation that reframes the use of taking medicine to alleviate pain for those who truly can’t go on living without it & distinguish it from illegal drug use & abuse!

      I’m asking the DEA to change the culture of thinking that anyone who is prescribed pain medicine is automatically labelled “At Risk” of being an addict. It’s about allowing us to have a better quality of life so that we then can have the energy to pursue Alternative & Integrative Medicine, which could lead to needing less medicine over time. In the meantime, can you give us pain sufferers a break!

    2. sanedrac says:

      Lol. Someone posted if your dr isnt helping find a new one. They must not have been hurting very long. Drs call that dr shopping. You are put into a category of being a drug seeker. Yes when in so much pain you want relief the problem with that is you want relief. With every dr afraid of losing their liscense anything you do is scrutinized. Then you have no dr that wants to help you at all. IF you have a dr that will help you need to never disagree or have a thought of your own! Because then you become a problem they don’t want to deal with. Having chronic pain so far for me makes you more than a criminal.

    3. hawaii90 says:

      I am off opioids and miserable, but refuse to be at the mercy of all these jerks. Yes, I am in pain, yes it is horrible, but I am not going to put myself through withdraws every month the pharmacy decides they are “out if medication. Come on, you say find another doctor? Obviously you live in a city that has a lot of choices. You would have my 80 year old mother doctor shop for Meds for her arthritis? Because her liver and kidneys are not that great and can’t take anything else? She lives in a town, not a city. She doesn’t drive, so now I am to drive my aged, pain ridden mother around looking for doctors or drugs to the next city two hundred miles away to find out they won’t help either and start all over again? You need to understand that this is affecting rural USA! And I wish the dea would have chronic pain. Because to me they are the only chronic pain we can’t get rid of!

    4. hawaii90 says:

      I am off opioids and miserable, but refuse to be at the mercy of all these jerks. Yes, I am in pain, yes it is horrible, but I am not going to put myself through withdraws every month the pharmacy decides they are “out if medication. Come on, you say find another doctor? Obviously you live in a city that has a lot of choices. You would have my 80 year old mother doctor shop for Meds for her arthritis? Because her liver and kidneys are not that great and can’t take anything else? She lives in a town, not a city. She doesn’t drive, so now I am to drive my aged, pain ridden mother around looking for doctors or drugs to the next city two hundred miles away to find out they won’t help either and start all over again? You need to understand that this is affecting rural USA! And I wish the dea would have chronic pain. Because to me they are the only chronic pain we can’t get rid of!

    5. 2pissedoff says:

      The new laws have to be some of the dumbs laws ever put on paper. Me and my wife have to use pain medication, and you act as if we are Criminals because we hurt and have to take pain medication. I’m 78 and she is 80 you cut down the pain killing in our medication, when we told our Doctors this, we was both told to take tylenol with our pain pills (thanks for the added cost) for either of us so we now take a arthritis pain pill more added cost and three pills four times a day where it was four, 12 pills where it was 4. Now I have to two more trips to the doctors office each month. This has add from $50 to $70 per month, due to added trips and over the counter drugs. This is stupid beyond belief congratulations you’ve outdone yourself. I hope you remember this, because some day age well cause you pain and maybe some smart person will pull crap like this on you.

    6. 2pissedoff says:

      The big drug Companies have just about screwed their self into a corner because there’s countries that don’t recognize our prescription drug Laws and will start manufacturing drugs, that are the very same drugs and they can be manufactured for pennies on the dollar. A pill that American drug companies are selling us for $15 can be made for 1 cent and they will be on the street market, for $3 or $4. I can’t understand why it’s been so long in coming. Look how afraid the big drug companies are of marijuana they know it can be grown in the backyard or in the flowerpot. Marijuana is a known, very good painkiller.

  7. Enfys2004 says:

    So here’s the DEA putting restrictions on Hydrocodone and Tramadol now. Just another way to get the American people under the government’s thumb. Eventually, it’ll be impossible to get nearly any prescription for pain due to DEA “restrictions” and their need to “police” us as much as possible.

  8. JoGreig58 says:

    I can’t take Tramadol; I’m already on an SSRI. I can’t take ibuprofen because it raises my blood pressure dangerously high. I can’t take Celecoxib because I am allergic to sulfa drugs. Tylenol does absolutely nothing…and neither does naproxen. So, where does that leave me? I was seeing a pain mgmt doc for my chronic pain from diagnosed Fibromyalgia and a bulging disc in my C-4/5/6. Most days my pain level is at 7, yet I do not qualify for SSDI; I HAVE to work. With the DEA putting the fear of God in doctors to NOT overprescribe narcs, where does this leave me. I WANT to work; I don’t want to live on the government’s dole. I’m no slacker, but when pain overshadows quality of life it becomes difficult. I use alternative solutions such as heating pad, hot showers and self-massage where I am able to reach the truly tight knots in my shoulder muscles. The DEA should not paint using the broad brush and put everyone in one basket. Those who are on a narcotic for pain mgmt are less likely to abuse their meds. Those who take narcs when it isn’t medically necessary will abuse them. Wake up and smell the coffee, DEA! Peace out!

  9. Chippers51 says:

    Hello everyone!
    I too was subject to the nth degree of questioning when my MD provided me with a new Rx for Lyrica for my nerve/neuropathy pain. She, the pharmacist, asked about my pain, where, etc. I was taken by surprise. Is this what we do now? Answer questions like I you are talking to a DEA agent? Under cross-examination? This is the society we have become—engorged with rules and laws that make no sense and plow right into your privacy. Those questions asked by the pharmacist should only be brought up between you and your MD. I posed this issue to our duly appointed reps in congress and received the form type response that really did not answer any part of my statement or question—–missed the point entirely. I give up on this government. No longer represents the people of this country.

    1. sanedrac says:

      The power to dispense pain medication has gone to many of these peoples heads. No matter what a dr has given you they question if you should get it. Why are you taking it, how much, how often etc. Then they get to abuse their position by saying no im not filling what your dr wrote! First I need to call & verify. Ok do that. Oh but its gonna take 2 days or so. Or ive even gotten I think you shouldn’t have this you need to find another pharmacy. No your pain isnt between you & your dr anymore! Everyone has an opinion. Just one day one day is all I ask for them to feel how bad the pain gets with no relief. See if they want an opinion on what they think you should have or take.

    2. dalegingery says:

      I guess because I can’t get the relief of my Lori-tab now, I will just have to become a drunk, at least I know when the government regulates it I now how to make it myself.

    3. sonyaferd says:

      Eventhough this new law/rule has been in effect, which will cause good people to probavly turn to stupid drugs. Real drugs. My dr hasnt even told me anything at all about any of this. He is scared i know. But when he’s treated me with the same med for 6 yrs and after finding out about the new laws/rukes…. he didnt even ever once tell me UNTIL now when i look at my tramadol bottle to call in my refill BUT there isnt one. Never once did he talk to me about abything. Now i call in they say u have to come in each single month for just my tramadols. I have no insurance so this is just great. Im going to remain alive as long as i can. But i do feel the SUICIDE rates will greatly increase in USA because good people just wont be able to handle the severity of their pain. I tried to sign up for OBAMACARE to have insurance, they quoted me $918 per MONTH for family of 3 and no im not rich. Im veey confused depreased about all this. I do NOT have faith in our country anymore. We THEY do not take care of US THEIR people anymore. In God we trust, yes in my home. But not the ones who will now witness countless suicides,murders, other addictions, people becoming DRUNKS because that may help ease pain if u can pass out. But unemployment will skyrocket worse than ever as good hard working people that bust their butts every day doing REAL WORK will now be unable to function for work because rhey’re own meds they’ve been on for years have now been taken away UNLESS u can afford to go PAY YOUR DOCTOR EVERY MONTH just to get same meds u been on for 6 yrs. LORD JESUS CHRIST PLEASE COME IN RAPTURE SOON FOR US YOUR PEOPKE. abd i dont wish harm upon anyone but i do hope each doctor each person behind this new law/rule could experience pain every hour every day and not have any of your medication gicen to u. And my dr needs not ever call me a drug addict etc.

      Jesus just pls stop satan from doing this to all us good people teying make it in this usa hellhole until u come baxk. No wonder so many americans WANT TO LEAVE AMERICA. lost hope in all

    4. crissypoo says:

      Why? This is not a drug one gets high on. I have had fibro for 15 yes. I also suffer from disc degeneration disease and quite a few other serious illnesses. I’ve been taking tramadol all that time without abuse or overdose. Now I’ve been told I have to go to my MD Every Month for a paper Rx! I then get to pee in a cup every 3 months! Why? The federal regulations don’t state these ridiculous rules. If these people suffered the same daily fatigue and pain, they would understand how much more difficult they are making our “lives”. There should be an exception for those of us in constant chronic pain and with severe illnesses and/or have been on this medication for extended periods. The federal government has done it again, punish the law abiding citizens for the transgressions of the bad.

      1. BonnieQ says:

        I have had fibromyalgia for most of my life, as long as I can remember. It is a shame that people abuse these pain killers or sell them on the street and spoil it for those of us that really need them. It is getting harder and harder to get the pain pills we need. Luckily I have gone to the same dr. for years and she so far gives them to me, but each time looks to see when the last time she gave them to me. Unfortunately fibromyalgia is not something that is seen, it is an invisable disease , but it is real, believe me the pain can be unbearable, sometimse the vicodin doesn’t even help. It’s terrible we are at the point we have to beg for help for our pain. I wish some of these people who make these restrictions could live one day with the severe pain we live with every day.

      2. Kate4968 says:

        I really don’t understand how people get hooked on these medications or what it does for them.
        The medications don’t completely stop the pain; they just make life a little more bearable and some days not even that. I take them for pain and don’t crave them if I happen to have a good few hours and don’t take them for that day. All I can do is thank GOD that I have a day of relief every few months or even a couple of rare days a year. I have had Fibro for 15 years now and there are so many times I would trade years off my life if I could have a week or two back like I used to be. I was always a Type A personality that could go at a run up to 18 hours a day. Now I can barely move. There are so many horrible things associated with Fibro, no one that doesn’t have it just can’t believe how horrific life is with it, and how many problems go along with it. People don’t seem to care or want to know how really bad life is.
        The only way I know how to give someone and idea is, “It’s like having the flu all the time.” There are never ending body aches, fatigue, IBS, nausea etc. and the list goes on and on.

      3. christine888 says:

        Im so angry, not only do we deal w/ goverment, pharmacist, whispering and judgement from staff at doctors office, but if your a woman it is even harder to get relief!! I have a history of chronic pain, towed the line, never failed drug screen, tried every thing given, and still no respect if I am even given any relief. Tell the truth, cry, and your an emotional female drug seeking!! It has nothing to do with being in so much pain, cant have any kind of life, and when it comes to men, their treated much more aggresively w/ meds, I guess women dont know what real pain is compated to men!! Ive had a male friend go to Er more than once for me, because they will treat me like a drug addict, he can go in, absolutely not in pain and leave with 60 percocette!! Every pain doctor, Ive seen same story, I have my medical records Mri’ s and what happens meds are cut back to nothing or a couple pain pills a day…but let the man walk in same doctors, less problems, less pain, and their given long term pain relief meds, with break threw pain meds!!! This infuriates me, I know for a fact that, they dont even take or need that amount, so they sell or give to desperate woman who are refused pain relief, so they can trade for money, sex, anything basically because they are not going threw the biast woman are dealing with!!! Just another obsticle womam have to over come. And yes like I read one person said, if you are lucky enough to get anything, you go in their, keep your mouth shut, donot show any emotions!!! Why we cry, because we are in so much pain, then have to deal with all tje crap on top of it! Fine do surgery, do another injection, do whatever get me out of the pain and I wont need a pain pill…no one here would go threw this hell if we didnt truly have pain, why would we subject ourselves, our dignity, our money if we were not truly desperate in pain..I hate that the only thing that gives me relief is a pain pill, I am never given enough or strong enough meds to truly function…if I was given half the amount the men I know get, I could actually have a good day once and a while, have a job, a hobbie, get out of bed!! Maybe enjoy sec, but No not going to happen…so I talk myself off the cliff every other day, I hear so many thinking about ending their life, because its so unbearable, and Im only 50, what do I have to look fotward to!!! I had chronic pain, then was in an auto accident, rear ended by some jerk who took away any life I had left… And try being in a lawsuit treayed like a crimminal when I was a victum!*** No doctor wants to deal with a lawsuit patient, so tell me one thing in their office,put in the reports something competely different, because he does not want the hassle of being my doctor, so send me to another specialist, on & on, now I look like I been doctor shopping, or thats what they call seeking help on your money these days. Your suppose to accept treatment from any doctor no matter how rude, judgemental, and take whatever treatment the God tells me!!! Why should we not have a choice, if wete not having our pain managed, then why shouldnt we be allowed to find someone who will…not that their is such a doctor anymore…but it is called pain management, so manage my pain, not fill your pockets with money from expensive injections, that have only made me worse!!!! Guys in pain, I am not picking on you, anyone who goes threw this hell I feel bad for!!! The guys I know abusing there swinging dick, yea Im pissed at them!!!
        And worse is now there are several advertisements on the radio singleing out women, for opiate abuse and dying, no mention of men. The women are dying bevause they can not handle the pain and yreayment that comes with this whole aweful situation. So mote likely is they wait til they have enough meds to take to check out!!! Thats what they want, pure control, population control, having us beg and be at their mercy!!! Well the women ate sick of it and taking backthe only control they have, and it is so sad that ending their life is the only option!@@ but the adverstisement doesnt mention all of that, just that women dont need pain relief, we abuse, we dont know what real pain is, save that for the men!!@@ ohio

      4. justme321 says:

        I have several issues that cause chronic pain, and I have a good doctor who isn’t afraid to write prescriptions. However, now the pharmacies are out of pain medicine. If I could have gotten disability, I could stay home and deal with my pain. Hydrocodone is the only medicine I have found that will make the pain dissipate enough so I can go to work.

        So let’s get this straight. The government turned down my disability claim (yes I got an attorney and went to the hearing and broke my foot 3 weeks after), and now I can’t get the medicine that allows me to go to work. Our government is messed up, people. I have been working for over 35 years and have paid a lot of money into Social Security. Go to their website and you can see how much you and your employer have paid. I’m not old enough to retire, I’m in constant pain, and now you take away the only medicine that has been helping. Thanks, SS and DEA. My life is a living hell now. I see why so many people of 50 take their own lives. Physical pain is horrible, and right now I’m trying to force myself to make that drive to work.

      5. blythe5050 says:

        i have been on this med for 7 years it really doesnt help but i figure it beats being on percs or other meds where you have to go thru withdrawal. the issue i have is this new deal makes the pharmacist hold my meds till he wants to pass them out, so i have to take less than the four a day im prescribed to make sure i have xtra or go without for four or five days which means im unable to get up and do what i normally do. the only trick i have to make this mess do any good at all is to take motrin or tylenol with it. its a joke and now i have to wait. i hate this old ppl shit i hate it.

      6. wastingtime says:

        Really what do the Feds think they will accomplish. Do they really think they can control a market were money is involved. WHAT FOOLS THEY ARE!!! BIG MONEY. All they have done is move the manufacturing of prescripition drugs underground. this is what the government did on War against drugs HOW DID THAT WORK? More drugs stronger drugs made from chemicals such as K2 that you can buy on the internet which is 1000 times worse than marijuana. Now they think by taking pills away that pain medication goes away have they never heard of heroin which is 20 times much better than Hydrocodone for pain and 10% of the cost. So now people with pain must buy heroine and become heroine addicts to cure the pain they must live with. This is what happens when you have a communist type of government that controls not mandates and thinks irresponsible. If you dont live with pain you dont understand pain. People in the FDA are the stupidest of all agencies they think bust doctors for giving medication but leave the drug dealers along for they only sale heroine and they cannot control that so they go after the easiest pry the ones trying to follow regulations. So they find some that are doing it wrong and giving to much in an illegal fashion instead of shutting them down they close the whole enterprise every doctor legitimate or not from giving and prescribing drugs that actually help for pain relief. What complete FOOLS they are. I guess everyone find you a dealer with heroine it is a mush better alternative than the alternative of living a life of pain.

      7. Laurakim says:

        I am tired of being in pain and the reduction that they have made on me!! It has made my life miserable I can barely walk and the fatigue is out of this world and they want to treat it with psychotropic medications when my problem isn’t a mental problem, it’s purely a pain problem of deterioration of the bones & joints which causes me not to be able to walk without the use of some kind of medication and I am not terminally ill so they can’t give me more than 120mg morphine equivalent this is my understanding which cut my pain medication that I’ve been on for eight years significantly and I’m not unhappy about being cut down I’m just about the significance of what it had to go down to which may sound like a lot to some people but when you’ve been put on high doses then cut down to 10% if that of what it was I was happy at 30% but it could not be so I’m just trying to learn to live with it but believe me it is very challenging and I’ve read many of the comments on this website and I agree I am tired of being chastised for being on pain medication!!! I don’t understand why the people who have significant pain and can prove it have to go through all of this nonsense as I see it !! I agree with the person who said that the drug dealers and the people who abuse the pain medication are the ones that need to be disciplined and/or prosecuted not the people who are not abusing them! I know many people have turned to the streets to get Herion Ect.to treat their pain but I refuse to turn to the streets I have a job that I have to be responsible and be able to handle many situations and this is just ridiculous !??????????. My family my children and my work and Envirament all suffers!!
        I am having a hard time functioning but just sitting around a lot and I have gained 30 pounds actually 50 over the year and a half that I have been cut down I’m glad to be on lower dose medication but I think that there needs to be a balence!! I hope and pray someday whoever made these roles have to have pain and are unable to get the medication that they need to relieve them of the pain so they have to be miserable and live with it for many years to come maybe the rest of their lives and then maybe they will understand what pain really is and what works and doesn’t work !!!

      8. rebabove says:

        I just learned today that my pain management can no longer write
        me a prescription for a 3 month supply for hydrocodone. I told him
        that it saves me trips to the doctor’s so much and it saves on my co-pay’s because I am on a fixed income. I am outraged that not people that abuse there pain medication and overdose or sell them are making it impossible for people like me to get the medications I need because I suffer from fibromyalgia and stay in chronic pain every day and I don’t think it’s right that the people who take there hydrocodone safely and are responsible should be the ones being punished. My heart goes out to all those patients are going through the same thing I am.

      9. rebabove says:

        I just learned today that my pain management can no longer write
        me a prescription for a 3 month supply for hydrocodone. I told him
        that it saves me trips to the doctor’s so much and it saves on my co-pay’s because I am on a fixed income. I am outraged that not people that abuse there pain medication and overdose or sell them are making it impossible for people like me to get the medications I need because I suffer from fibromyalgia and stay in chronic pain every day and I don’t think it’s right that the people who take there hydrocodone safely and are responsible should be the ones being punished. My heart goes out to all those patients are going through the same thing I am.

      10. mrgunter1969 says:

        We have gone from having to see a Dr every month for prescriptions to what my Dr explained today is a 3 tier program where Dr’s will eventually not be able to write prescriptions. Many pain clinics have already gone out of business. I recommend everyone with chronic pain call or email your Senators and Congressmen. ASAP because will go into effect in the next couple of months. The only way to beat them is to stand together and email and call politicians in control of this crap.

      11. DEARetired says:

        I am retired from the DEA and suffer from chronic pain due to a lifetime of injury, stress and the onset of mild osteoarthritis. My unique understanding of the situation has given me empathy for the plight of doctors trying to balance patients needs and straight regulations concerning the prescribing of Hydrocodone and Tamadol. The fact is (and it is undeniable) opiates have been misused to epidemic proportions in the US. We are seeing so many you adults raid relatives drug cabinets to obtain these drugs for recreational use. In addition, the practices of many suspect “pain clinics have added to the availability of massive amounts of the drug being available on the street. Unfortunately, as most of you know, the euphoria we all desire for opiates slowly (or not so slowly for some) diminishes, generally leaving us needing higher dosages to obtain the same degree of relief. The main problem with this is that our youth are moving on from hydrocodone (which becomes harder to scavenge and results in less pleasure) almost directly to heroin. And the heroin market in 2016 became exponentially more dangerous with the introduction of fentanyl and its analogs into illicit heroin formulations. The rate of overdose among our youth has skyrocketed. This is a serious social problem for the US.

        The DEA and the FDA had been following these trends in anticipation of our current situation. But the pharmaceutical companies with their insatiable appetite for profits had fought the move for tighter restrictions for some time.

        So now the diversion unit of the DEA has been pressuring doctors for serveral years to reduce the number of prescriptions. They face very harsh penalties including imprisoment if they are found non-compliant. Indeed many pain clinics have been shut down for very good reason and the street availability has decreased significantly as a result.

        This is all very good for our society as it deals with the epidemic of opiate abuse. But it is very bad for the segment of honest citizens suffering terrible from chronic pain. To this end I have some recommendations.

        1). The absolute worst thing you can do is appear desperate and overly emotional about needing opiates for pain relief. Trust me, I have been in my doctors office in excruciating pain hoping to be prescribed what I need to function in my daily life, dreading the same questions and forms to fill out that make us feel like a criminal…guilty until proven innocent. However, for most doctors the encounter is just as unpleasant and in conversations I have had with a few very frustrating. Generally (and I know this does not emcompass all doctors) they truly want you to feel better. But if they evaluate you as someone that is not in complete control, you are less likely to get what you came for.

        2). Do not argue or insist they give you the prescription. Definitely do not infer you may seek another opinion. This throws up red flags and you are liable to be recommended for drug rehab.

        3). Do go in prepared. Outline your treatment history. Be positive, support your treatment history with dates and a list of alternatives that you have tried. Do your research. Many alternative medicines have some very harsh or undesirable or serious side effects. Hydrocodone and Tramadol by comparison have almost no serious side effects (it is the acetaminophen you have to watch out for) the potential for abuse being the primary health concern. Calmly reason with your doctor that ultimately they are in control. They can have you come in for pill counts, drug tests and of course limit the amount and dosage. Now that being said, unless they have real reason for concern, they neither have the time or desire to take those measures. However, reminding them that you have no problems with conforming to current regulations goes a long way in building trust.

        I hope this information is helpful to some. I know it has worked for me, even with my doctors suspecting they may be in the middle of a DEA sting operation. 🙂

        Cheers!

      12. Hacoal3! says:

        What is the law in Virginia concerning prescribing Tramadol? My PCP tells me that she can’t write any scrpits. The Veterans Admin. put me on Tramadol for pain about 8 years ago and I take only 2 150mg tabs daily. No more. The Tramadol has worked just fine in alleviating the pain. What does the State of Virginia say concerning Tramadol? Thanks.

      13. Kfisherprice says:

        Ok, first of all, I must admit to being an addict for several years…in my mind of course I was because I was unaware of actual damage I did to myself after being in a car accident where I was almost killed. I self-medicated because of actual pain I had on a daily basis which I ignorantly believed was just an addiction. When I finally found a doctor to help me “become clean”, I was never asked why I began taking medication to begin with so they put me on suboxonne as well as several other drugs. I soon noticed getting up, and not being able to walk on one leg or even feel sensation besides tingling or nothing because my leg and/or foot were numb, freezing, and being only 31, I used a cane or my husband carried me. Soon after that started, I began breaking put in hives, and waking up with a swollen face, tongue, throat, extreme itching etc. I knew I had to be allergic to something so I myself; because my doctor decided to prescribe meds to cover up my obvious symptoms of an allergy; slowly stopped taking any medications new to my system. I finally found out it was the 32mg of suboxonne I was taking daily. One day I wake up, and I can’t see or hardly breathe, and he still just tries to cover the symptoms: this all at the same time I’m telling him about the pain that worsened from no longer self-medicating. I was treated as a liar or “seeker”, and was refused procedures that could get the truth all because I willing sought addiction treatment …until my thearapist threatened to check into this situation, and then he reluctantly started me in pain management. Come to find out I have an obvious case of sciatica that, I admittedly, made worse by self-medicating for so many years. Eventually, they had me on 6 pain killers daily because they also foubd nerves crushed in both of my arms that most days rendered me useless…couldn’t even go outside alone because the feeling in my hands were gone so opening even my front door was impossible, and my children had to learn to cook and care for me. My doctors had this information and all medical records past and present, counted my meds every month, documented all random, PASSED drug screens, and file any other requirements/rules I abided for 4 years now. LONG STORY I KNOW, but I recently went out of state, and being hot tempered to boot was arrested. I explained clearly, as well as provided documented proof, my situation which was me having to leave every week for community service which this past visit required me to ask for early refill because, of course, I’m locked into one pharmacy, and Tennessee will not fill out of state prescriptions. She tells me, “No problem, I’ll call them as I send them!” I say thank you, and leave for the pharmacy. Get there, and they say my doctor never called them. I call my doctor who lies and says the pharmacist denied my request. She doesn’t know that I’m not just a dumb addict, and ive already confirmed with the pharmacist that all she has to do is approve early refill. I finally get fed up, inform her of the knowledge, and my records from the pharmacist. (By the way, I’d be leaving and not coming back home until 13 days after I run out of two needed, and dangerous drugs to just stop taking!) She tells me to make my medication stretch with 3 days of pills left! I shockingly asked her to explain this, and I get however you can. They already reduced my pain killer intake to an amount that hardly gets me to the evening, and I’m supposed to basically work and function. My response was so I’m supposed to fathom atretching 12 pain killers for 16 days, and what happens if I wind up in the hospital for withdrawl or possibly injuring a numb limb all because you think I elaborately concocted a story with court papers, lawyer statements, detailed bank statements showing a purchase every day I had been gone, just so I can what? Make sure my pain is only tolerable when my contract clearly states that I must report if my pain isn’t subsiding, and all because I foolishly thought I was just addicted. Now I know this is long, but if you’ve gotten here, please explain how she can ethically tell me to just go without because she finally admitted that she would not approve my refill. Am I ignorant in thinking she can’t lie and judge me after seeing me and my chart for the first time? After threatening a possible law suit, (which I’m unsure I have grounds for) my regular doctor gave me printed prescriptions, and had a nurse come tell me only,”You can try to fill these in Tennessee, but if they won’t there’s nothing we can do”…after sending me home for my proof AGAIN, and saying as long as I have that she’d approve my refill before I leave town. My law problems aside, do I have any grounds for malpractice? FYI: two people who have only been there for pain management with more severe cases have been turned away and denied medications they’ve taken for 10+ years for rescheduling because they wished to see another doctor in the same office.

    5. MidKid says:

      A DOCTOR started me on pain meds for chronic back pain about 12 years ago. I didn’t ask, he just offered. Actaully OFFERED them to me and made sure I always had a supply. Life was SO much more liveable as I had a job in elder care and needed to be OK each day to work (never took them at work). Fast fwd 12 years and I am 2 major back surgeries later, chronic pain and my surgeon takes me from 30mgs of oxycodone down to 5 mgs of Norco since oxy makes me really sick.I left his office in tears,4 weeks after MAJOR lumbar back surgery and he wants me on Ibuprofen!
      Seeing my GP, she was good for the first couple of months to keep me in Norco 7.5/325. Never talked about tapering off, just a quick visit and she’d write the scrip. Went in last week for the usual and she says “Oh, you need to stop taking anything”. In 3 days I was cold turkey off everything. FINALLY I got through to her that the withdrawal was making me suicidal(no sleep, vomiting, creepy crawlies..all of it) So she has prescribed Tramadol–never taken it, have no expectations but at least she finally listened. Docs are SO SCARED of the DEA coming down on them for writing too many scrips. I feel for people with no insurance, unfeeling docs and the stigma of being a drug abuser. Which I now am considered. Oh, and I told her that I had given my daughter some of my pills (thinking I was being a “full disclosure patient”) and NOW I am a “drug sharer”. What monster of a mother wouldn’t give their child pain relief if they have it? I forsee a lot more people just giving up and killing themselves rather than dealing with the gov’t crap this administration is enforcing. Drug abusers are still getting their fixes, trust me, but honest, chronic pain patients are miserable.

    6. Limpinalong says:

      I think it is terrible that the DEA is punishing everyone because a handful of people abuse drugs. If the DEA truly cares about our health, why don’t they outlaw alcohol too? Alcohol is more dangerous and worse for the liver. Just another example of how government has failed us. Where are the gun control laws? This country has its head up its butt! I say we abolish the DEA, they are clearly useless. And where is big Pharma on this? Aren’t they losing money?

      1. Limpinalong says:

        Perhaps we should move to Iceland. The people are the happiest in the world because their government and citizens know how to mind their own damn business.

    7. Kfisherprice says:

      To any who take this drug and also take pain killers, anti-depressants, or anxiety medication, please go.to the website and absorb the shocking information that’s printed as side effects especially how much higher and dangerous they become if you take one or all of the listed drugs. It is rare, they say, but tell that to my brother who was babysitting my.three children and called me (not remembering) threatening to kill himself in front of my kids. When I found him, he wouldn’t wake up and didn’t for days. When he did he didn’t know his family, and couldn’t speak coherently before having a seizure. The doctor didn’t warn him or even ask about past medical issues. He had only taken one lyrica and one hydrocodone, after being hurt at work. His supervisor informed me the day after this incident that he crawled and rolled to his car before coming to my house while foaming from the mouth, and screaming uncontrollably. He watched my.girls for years before this, and now they’re too scared to be near him. He even called his daughter 400 miles away telling her goodbye and that he made sure she was taken care of after he was gone. He has no memory of this at all.
      Yes this is a more severe case, but just look out for warning signs that you’re not yourself.

    8. Ssocha says:

      The regulations are the cause of the heroin epidemic. People want their pain gone. They don’t want heroin but it is all they can get. Thankfully i still get my meds but that could change tomorrow because i have to go to a pain management clinic my regular doctor said i had to. I have arthritis in every vertebra in my neck and a headache everyday. Injections have not helped so far. These regulations won’t even allow doctors to be doctors. It’s bull.

  10. dawna28 says:

    I may be in a truly obnoxious amount of pain since the pharmacist didn’t want to fill my RX. But I don’t feel more under the government’s thumb, but less. For decades I was bounced around my HMO begging the MD’s for my Vicodin when my nice doc retired. Now I’m facing just living in this blazing no sleep pain hell. I think I would survive pretty well in a concentration camp or prison at this point…all cuz I was getting Norco from a doc outside of my health plan. Oh, boo hoo!So I had two doctors. So shoot me. The weak pills got chucked mostly cuz they were useless. I wonder how mr white house and the DEA folks would feel if a red light runner slammed a pickup truck directly into their back. Everyone from veterans to cancer patients is having trouble filling their RX. Congrats, dingbats, on the national nightmare chronic pain patients are now living. I’m praying fervently for some kind of turnaround in this situation. The sad part is the ones who made the laws obviously don’t know that much about addiction. Folks with addictive personalities will just go look for another chemical source. Meanwhile, pain patients just suffer. Very sad. Hang in there, everyone. I’m so sorry y’all have to go thru this pain cuz Heaven knows it’s brutal. But a house divided against itself will eventually fall. Obama and the DEA really messed this one up. It’s simply oppression of a portion of the population.

  11. clumley says:

    Thank you for your comments which I believe were the most concise and helpful I have read here. After beginning Fibromyalgia pain in 2008 and trying every natural remedy I could find my symptoms got worse over the years and I just lived with it. Until I was in so much pain that I couldn’t function at all and it was starting to cause depression, and I need to work. I am self-employed in a high stress job with clients that have relied on me for almost 20 years. I am the major bread winner. I tried Natural paths, Kineseology, Supplements, Dietitians, Regular doctors, and even Scripps. I got some meds to try all of which had major side effects and or didn’t work or didn’t work very well. The only one that I was given a limited sample to try was the hydrocodone/ace 10/325’s. Worked like a charm. No pain, helped with stress, could move around and could think without a problem. My doctor retired. Now I am getting major push-back from even the pain clinic. They gave me Tylonol 3 with codeine (which works to a degree) and another med with terrible side effects and couldn’t function. I know these docs are under terrible pressure not to be accused of handing out narcotic pain pills to addicts and I get that. But, I have been a functioning professional for twenty years and at the new pain center I have just gone to, I am still treated as if I am just some addict. I suffer through on 1/3 speed many days because I need something to take away the severe joint pain. What do I do? I don’t want to lose my career or let down my clients. But being in pain all the time is distracting, depressing and causes my ability to think and reason be diminished. Let alone I have no quality of life to help my clients. Any advice on how to get a doctor to give me the prescription I need so that I can function? My goal is NO PILLS EVER. Just need something to function now until any of my other natural “cures” can start to work. Any help please? I would really appreciate your comments to me personally at my e-mail if you can. Thank you.

  12. Limpinalong says:

    so sorry Christine.

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