Home ยป Classification of Hydrocodone as a Schedule II Drug

Classification of Hydrocodone as a Schedule II Drug

by Uneeb Khan

In October 2014, the DEA changed buy hydrocodone analgesics combination from Schedule III to Schedule II of the Controlled Substances Act to the more strict Schedule II to reduce drug usage.

The number of prescriptions and tablets dispensed has dramatically decreased, according to an article published in January 2016 published by JAMA Internal Medicine.

The shift in the scheduling of appointments and legislation recently passed to allow pharmacists from a variety of states to prescribe naloxone pharmacists having a bigger part in the administration of prescription opioids.

12 months after the rescheduling was completed the hydrocodone-hydrocodone combination prescriptions, they dropped by 22%, while the number of tablets decreased by 16 percent. This represents a reduction of 26.3 million prescriptions in addition to 1.1 billion tablets.

“We receive a large number of post-surgical patients. Prior to the rescheduling, patients could see prescriptions for up to 80 tablets. You’re fortunate to get 30 tablets for surgery outpatients,” said Paul Brand, PharmD, AE-C the proprietor of Florence Pharmacy in Florence, MT.

Updates On Changes In Hydrocodone Prescribing Practices

To fill prescriptions Schedule II controlled substances cannot be faxed, telephonically in, or placed on auto-refill. The study paper said that refills were responsible for 73.7 percent of hydrocodone drops combination tablets which are dispensing.

Brand said that doctors will continue to write prescriptions for 3 months. However they’ll also write three prescriptions in one month with precise dates on when patients are allowed to get the prescribed medications. While patients do not need to see their doctor every month to ask for refills, they will not receive a three-month supply of hydrocodone in a single visit.

Certain doctors are taking voluntary measures to ensure proper utilization of pain medicines. Brand has seen an increase in the usage prescription pain agreements. These are agreements between patients and prescribers that provide that the patient will not be able obtain an prescription for narcotics from a different doctors or fill prescriptions in multiple pharmacies.


“You would typically see these agreements in pain clinics. These days, you’re seeing them with family doctors too,” Brand explained.

A growing number of doctors prescribe prescriptions for 28 days rather than 30 days, meaning that they’ll end up being out on a work day. Brand stated that “Patients can pick it up every four weeks on a Thursday, for instance, and they know and comprehend that they’re not going to be able to get it a few days early.”

Prior to rescheduling those who are known for not filling their prescriptions on time may be eligible for a few more prescriptions every year. If a patient needs to fill a prescription the first time because of a legitimate reason, the date of their first fill will be exactly the same.

Hydrocodone Addiction News Reports On Signs Of Success

The change in scheduling was accompanied by a rise in prescriptions for non-hydrocodone combining products with opioid analgesics. This is according to the JAMA study letter.

However, the percentage of Americans who took illegal substance in 2014 was higher than any other year in the period from 2002 and 2013. This was due in major part to the use of non-medical painkillers, such as heroin, marijuana and cannabis in 2014 according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

A study published in New England Journal of Medicine states that the increase in heroin use isn’t related to hydrocodone rescheduling but it is due to increased access and lower prices in the market, as well as the pureness of heroin.

In the final analysis, Brand sees that his patients who are ranchers or farmers who suffer from chronic pain can continue to receive the medicines they require. “I was a bit cautious when I first learned the news that it was scheduled to be changed. I wasn’t sure that it would be an ideal thing and I’ve reverted my position in the last few days.”

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