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Extended-release hydrocodone – gift or curse?

Authors Krashin D, Murinova N, Trescot A

Received 27 September 2012

Accepted for publication 8 November 2012

Published 10 January 2013 Volume 2013:6 Pages 53—57

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/JPR.S33062

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3


Daniel Krashin,1 Natalia Murinova,2 Andrea M Trescot3

1Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, 2Department of Neurology University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA 3Algone Pain Center, Wasilla, AK, USA

Abstract: Hydrocodone is a semisynthetic opioid, which has been used for decades as a short-acting analgesic combined with acetaminophen (or less commonly ibuprofen). Several long-acting, non-acetaminophen-containing hydrocodone formulations are undergoing trials in the US under the auspices of the US Food and Drug Administration, and may be available shortly. This article reviews some of the advantages (including drug familiarity and lack of acetaminophen toxicity) and potential disadvantages (including altered use patterns and high morphine equivalent dosing) of such a medication formulation. We also discuss the abuse potential of long-acting versus short-acting opioids in general and hydrocodone specifically, as well as the metabolism of hydrocodone.

Keywords: hydrocodone, long-acting opioids, opioid abuse, acetaminophen toxicity, tamper-resistant opioids

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