New pain medicine raises addiction fears - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

New pain medicine raises addiction fears

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A new pain medication is raising addiction fears among experts.

Zohydro is 5 times stronger than anything on the market now. It's the equivalent of taking 10 Vicodin. 

Bryan Coehrs is the director of the Promedica Pharmacy counter and he worries it will contribute to overdoes.

He's not alone. If the drug is taken as directed it can control high levels of pain, specifically in cancer patients.

A coalition of more than 40 medical groups around the country are petitioning the FDA to reconsider their approval.

The release of the drug comes at a time when opiate abuse is leading to an alarming increase in the number of accidental drug overdoses.

Coehrs says, "Zohydro has 5 to 10 times the amount of active drug so if patients crush or chew the tablet it releases the drug more quickly and can lead to overdose."

The CDC reports that the number of people dying from overdoses had quadrupled between 1999 and 2010.

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