In October 2014, hydrocodone combinations were rescheduled as Class II (CII) controlled substances. There had been years of debate and work to reschedule the drug, which in its pure form had always been scheduled as CII; however, in its typical retail form, in combination with acetaminophen and other drugs, it had maintained its CIII status for decades.
Hydrocodone combinations have historically been the most prescribed prescription drugs and were widely used to manage acute pain and, in some cases, breakthrough pain for chronic pain sufferers. By sheer volume, this made hydrocodone combination products the most abused prescription drugs in the United States. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Office of Diversion Control, with support from some law enforcement, made many attempts to reschedule the drug as CII, but kept failing. That changed in October 2014, but not everybody applauded the rescheduling. [Read more…]