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      Extended-release hydrocodone – gift or curse?

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          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.

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          Most cited references 34

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          Results from the 2011 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: summary of national findings

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            Abuse risks and routes of administration of different prescription opioid compounds and formulations

            Background Evaluation of tamper resistant formulations (TRFs) and classwide Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies (REMS) for prescription opioid analgesics will require baseline descriptions of abuse patterns of existing opioid analgesics, including the relative risk of abuse of existing prescription opioids and characteristic patterns of abuse by alternate routes of administration (ROAs). This article presents, for one population at high risk for abuse of prescription opioids, the unadjusted relative risk of abuse of hydrocodone, immediate release (IR) and extended release (ER) oxycodone, methadone, IR and ER morphine, hydromorphone, IR and ER fentanyl, IR and ER oxymorphone. How relative risks change when adjusted for prescription volume of the products was examined along with patterns of abuse via ROAs for the products. Methods Using data on prescription opioid abuse and ROAs used from 2009 Addiction Severity Index-Multimedia Version (ASI-MV®) Connect assessments of 59,792 patients entering treatment for substance use disorders at 464 treatment facilities in 34 states and prescription volume data from SDI Health LLC, unadjusted and adjusted risk for abuse were estimated using log-binomial regression models. A random effects binary logistic regression model estimated the predicted probabilities of abusing a product by one of five ROAs, intended ROA (i.e., swallowing whole), snorting, injection, chewing, and other. Results Unadjusted relative risk of abuse for the 11 compound/formulations determined hydrocodone and IR oxycodone to be most highly abused while IR oxymorphone and IR fentanyl were least often abused. Adjusting for prescription volume suggested hydrocodone and IR oxycodone were least often abused on a prescription-by-prescription basis. Methadone and morphine, especially IR morphine, showed increases in relative risk of abuse. Examination of the data without methadone revealed ER oxycodone as the drug with greatest risk after adjusting for prescription volume. Specific ROA patterns were identified for the compounds/formulations, with morphine and hydromorphone most likely to be injected. Conclusions Unadjusted risks observed here were consistent with rankings of prescription opioid abuse obtained by others using different populations/methods. Adjusted risk estimates suggest that some, less widely prescribed analgesics are more often abused than prescription volume would predict. The compounds/formulations investigated evidenced unique ROA patterns. Baseline abuse patterns will be important for future evaluations of TRFs and REMS.
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              The relative abuse liability of oral oxycodone, hydrocodone and hydromorphone assessed in prescription opioid abusers.

              Abuse of prescription opioids has risen precipitously in the United States. Few controlled comparisons of the abuse liability of the most commonly abused opioids have been conducted. This outpatient study employed a double-blind, randomized, within-subject, placebo-controlled design to examine the relative abuse potential and potency of oral oxycodone (10, 20 and 40 mg), hydrocodone (15, 30 and 45 mg), hydromorphone (10, 17.5 and 25mg) and placebo. Healthy adult volunteers (n=9) with sporadic prescription opioid abuse participated in 11 experimental sessions (6.5h in duration) conducted in a hospital setting. All three opioids produced a typical mu opioid agonist profile of subjective (increased ratings of liking, good effects, high and opiate symptoms), observer-rated, and physiological effects (miosis, modest respiratory depression, exophoria and decrements in visual threshold discrimination) that were generally dose-related. Valid relative potency assays revealed that oxycodone was roughly equipotent to or slightly more potent than hydrocodone. Hydromorphone was only modestly more potent (less than two-fold) than either hydrocodone or oxycodone, which is inconsistent with prior estimates arising from analgesic studies. These data suggest that the abuse liability profile and relative potency of these three commonly used opioids do not differ substantially from one another and suggest that analgesic potencies may not accurately reflect relative differences in abuse liability of prescription opioids.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                J Pain Res
                J Pain Res
                Journal of Pain Research
                Dove Medical Press
                1178-7090
                2013
                10 January 2013
                : 6
                : 53-57
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA
                [2 ]Department of Neurology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA
                [3 ]Algone Pain Center, Wasilla, AK, USA
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Andrea Trescot, 3066 E Meridian Park Loop, Wasilla, AK 99654, USA, Tel +1 907 373 9460, Fax +1 907 373 9461, Email DrTrescot@ 123456gmail.com
                Article
                jpr-6-053
                10.2147/JPR.S33062
                3555555
                23358452
                © 2013 Krashin et al, publisher and licensee Dove Medical Press Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article which permits unrestricted noncommercial use, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Categories
                Original Research

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