Zohydro: Pain Reliever or Addictive Narcotic?

Doctors, activists, even state attorney generals are up in arms over the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) decision to approve the use of the new painkiller Zohydro, despite the FDA’s advisory board recommending against endorsement. The FDA believes it is more important to make the drug available and give patients a stronger remedy for pain, than it is to wait until a safer, equally effective drug is made. Critics fear the prescription painkiller will incite abuse, addiction, and death, and are standing firm in the hopes that the FDA will reevaluate its decision.

Blue Capsules on a Prescription FormWhat Makes Zohydro So Scary

Zohydro delivers an extra high dose of hydrocodone, the same opioid used in Vicodine at a much smaller concentration. It’s not just the high levels of opioid, but the fact that Zohydro is not coupled with acetaminophen (as is Vicodine)…rendering this new drug a pure narcotic. Acetaminophen acts as a deterrant, as people are less likely to develop a dependancy knowing that acetaminophen carries a high risk of liver damage. Dr. Michael Carome, Director of Public Citizen’s Health Research Group, is one of the doctors to speak out against Zohydro. He believes the FDA should have waited for a non-crushable version of hydrocodone, saying, “You can crush it and then you can snort it, dissolve it and inject it, or swallow crushed powder and then it’s no longer slow release, long-acting form and you get a quick high from that. For someone who is not used to taking opioids, it could be fatal.”

Natural Pain Relief

Drug overdose rates have tripled since 1990 and show no sign of slowing. Whether or not you are prone to addiction, prescription pain meds carry a host of side effects, including:

  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Skin rash
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Swelling of hands and feet
  • Increased appetite
  • Increased risk of infection
  • Osteoporosis
  • Cataracts
  • Constipation

Try instead to manage your pain with the following four natural remedies:

Turmeric: A natural anti-inflammatory, turmeric helps ease pain associated with bruises, sprains, strains, joints, as well as inflammatory skin conditions and digestive upset. Turmeric also has anti-cancer properties and helps to boost circulation and prevent blood clotting.

Valerian Root: This sedative herb regulates the nervous system (and associated pain), and is often called “nature’s tranquilizer.”

Ginger: The ultimate root for soothing upset stomachs and alleviating nausea, ginger is also an effective remedy for symptoms of arthritis, menstrual cramps, and sore muscles.

Encommia: For pain associated with aching backs and joints (especially the knees and hips), supplement with encommia. It strengthens bones, tendons, and ligaments.

Herbs are infused with Mother Nature’s most potent healing powers, and should be used under the guidance of a healthcare practitioner to make sure that any contraindications with current medications, such as blood pressure meds, are accounted for.