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Percocet and Vicodin

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009   11:33 am | Author: SJB | Health/Medical |
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Percocet has been on the market since 1976 and Vicodin has been on sale in the US since 1984.  These are two of the most popular painkillers in the world.

 

Both contain a drug called acetaminophen which is also found in Tylenol. In 2005 there were sales of  28 billion doses of medication with this drug in the United States.

 

Now an advisory panel has recommended banning both Percocet and Vicodin because medications with acetaminophen have been shown to cause liver damage.

 

Where has the FDA been all these years? this is an agency that is supposed to protect us. Most doctors have no problem prescribing these medications and prescribed Vicoden 100 million times each year.

 

Is this another case of lobbying that has kept these medications on the market far too long? what about much stricter laws to govern pharmaceuticals pushing medications to doctors? every time I visit my doctor some pharma rep is there unloading a truckload of medications for free.

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6 Comments
  1. RUKIDDING Jul 1st 2009  8:27 pm

    I am going to assume the original poster has never had chronic pain. If so, they would hold their opinions regarding these drugs. And last time I checked, there never seems to be obitiuaries about people dying from their prescription of percocet.

    We live in an era that seems to want to criminalize people who have chronic pain and not help them. I have chronic back pain and I am only 37. I have led a healthy life. Maybe I ran to many races or worked out too much, but whatever the cause, my back dics are deteriorating and I live in pain 24/7. The only bit of relief I get is by taking some percocet… and even then it isn’t as much help as I’d like. Now they want to ban those. This is ridiculous. Why don’t they ban alcohol or smoking?? Those things we really do hear about people dying from.

    The FDA is ran by a bunch of morons with NO compassion or common sense.

  2. SJB Jul 2nd 2009  2:56 am

    Rukidding my issue is with the FDA. I have a friend who has chronic back pain and I am not advocating banning all medications that alleviate the pain. The problem the way I see it is that too little testing and impartial analysis is done on medications to determine serious side effects. If a drug is on the market for 25+ years all side effects should be well known and addressed. Anyone taking these mediations should have been made aware of the risks before swallowing the first pill.

  3. Quin Jul 2nd 2009  10:19 am

    Well, acetaminophen can cause a bunch of problems at higher doses. So can codeine, so can morphine. It’s not a matter of ‘does this drug cause problems’ but one of ‘do the problems this drug could cause outweigh the risks of not giving it’. For most people with chronic pain, the risk of liver damage over many years or decades of treatment with APAP + codeine is vastly less than waiting for another pain drug to be developed or treating with other opiates or alpha-blockers.

    If you want to know which drugs are safest for folks with existing liver damage, or expected liver damage in the future, look at the treatment of those with Hepatitis C. Doctors still prescribe Tylenol and codeine, in it’s various forms, despite the existence of liver damage already.

    Yes, Tylenol is dangerous and the #1 cause of acute liver damage. How many of those people were taking drugs to get high, and not medically? While I’m not saying they deserve it, far from it really, the people who are using the pills responsibly and correctly should not be punished. The others may vastly number people who do not understand what they are taking. Say a doctor hands out vicodin for the flu, while I doubt they would there are probably a few. Someone takes a Vicodin, two Tylenols, and then some brand name cough syurp containing a fever reducer which is also Tylenol. They probably hit their daily dose in just that single treatment. Very dangerous. But user ignorance is not a reason to remove a very effective pain reliever from the market.

  4. Diane Jul 2nd 2009  4:18 pm

    The dangers of acetaminophen have been known since as far back as I became of legal drinking age, which is 30 plus years (and no, I didn’t research the date range, so knock yourself out). I remember back then all the press mortification about one particular woman who died after taking two Tylenol after consuming a glass or two of chardonnay. Newspapers published diagrams of the liver, the bloodstream, absorption timetables, etc., etc., ad nauseam, and the reformers were off to the races. I am pretty sure this latest uproar has nothing to do with how little we knew about acetaminophen before now, and probably everything to do with the reformer impulse.

  5. Todd Jul 12th 2009  8:28 am

    The use of Percocet and Vicodin is nearly 100% generic these days (you would never get actual Vicodin or Percocet at the pharmacy) , so use of these is not driven by pharma companies at all. There are no pharmaceutical sales reps wasting time on either of these drugs because it would be a waste of time and money.

    These agents are prescribed alot because they bot have a gazillion patients/years of use in the real world, unlike new scary drugs that have been used in only a few thousand patients for a few months before getting approved. Doctors and patients know exactly what to expect with these time-tested agents.

  6. Tim Jul 28th 2011  9:32 pm

    I am a 49 Y.O. male, who has lived with chronic pain for 15 years as a result of the effects of Hemachromatosis. For the first 9 years, nothing (Tylenol, Motrin, Lyrica, Celebrex, Alleve, Tramadol) worked, until I was prescribed generic Lortab. As my pain has worsened, I cannot complete a day of work (Injured worker lawyer/representative of those who have injured themselves at work) without Lortab. It allows me to live a close-to-normal existence. The maximum dosage for the Tylenol in the Lortab is 4,000 mgs. per 24 hour period. In addition, I do have some liver damage (which is monthly monitored be my doctor) as a result of the genetic disease Hemachromatosis. I and my doctor know what is best for me…NOT the FDA!

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