The new classification goes into effect in 45 days.  In 2008 HHS received a petition to make this change and at that time the drugs were left as a Schedule III.   A year later the DEA made the request once again to be re-evaluated.  image

The change was made due to the extreme abuse of the pain killers and the fact that they are addictive.  The Federal Register has all the details on the change.  Schedule 3 drug prescriptions expire 6 months after the day they are written.  There’s more drugs on the Schedule III list than you think and you can take a look here for most of them, some are actually surprising.  BD

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has reclassified hydrocodone-combination products as the more restrictive Schedule II drugs in an attempt to curb drug abuse. The DEA published the Final Rule in the Federal Register on Aug. 22. The Final Rule will take effect in 45 days and will apply to “all pharmaceuticals containing hydrocodone currently on the market in the United States.”

“Almost 7 million Americans abuse controlled-substance prescription medications, including opioid painkillers, resulting in more deaths from prescription drug overdoses than auto accidents,” said Michele Leonhart, DEA administrator, in a press release. “Today’s action recognizes that these products are some of the most addictive and potentially dangerous prescription medications available.”

Schedule II drugs are substances with accepted medical uses that have a high potential for harm and abuse, according the Controlled Substances Act. Hydrocodone-combination products contain both hydrocodone (a Schedule II drug) and other ingredients like acetaminophen, and were originally classified as Schedule III drugs.


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