* The Food and Drug Administration is recommending that drugs containing the narcotic hydrocodone be reclassified as schedule II controlled substances, indicating that they carry a higher potential for abuse than was previously believed.
* The agency also recently approved an extended-release form of hydrocodone, Zohydro ER, as a single entity for the treatment of severe and chronic pain when other treatment options have been inadequate.
* Like other extended-release and long-acting narcotics, Zohydro ER's labeling will carry strong warnings of its potential for abuse or overdose and its possible adverse effects.
Diane S. Aschenbrenner recently retired as course coordinator for undergraduate pharmacology at Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing in Baltimore, MD. She also coordinates Drug Watch: firstname.lastname@example.org.