Lorcet OTC

  1. I've been thinking that it might be a good idea to make hydrocodone available over the counter. Right now enormous amounts of health care dollars are going to pay for patients using ERs to obtain Lorcet. If we could make it available kinda like alcohol (you must be 18, illegal to drive while on the stuff, tax the heck out of it...) think of the money we could save, in addition to using the tax money to fund rehab.

    Since I've been a nurse, many drugs that were previously availabe only by prescription have gone over the counter: sudafed, benadryl, actifed, claritin, tavist-d, rogaine, ibuprofen, naprosyn, tagamet, pepcid, prevacid, cortisone cream, monostat, pyridium, nicotine patches and gum... I'm sure there's more that can't think of right now. Plus in many places cough medication with codeine is available otc (although you must sign it out with the pharmacist). You don't need a prescription for insulin either (at least in my state). Several states are making the morning after pill available otc and the fda is thinking of adding cholesterol lowing drugs to the current otc list.

    What do y'all think?
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  2. 33 Comments

  3. by   SmilingBluEyes
    due to it's HIGH abuse potential (did you see OPRAH the other day) I have to say BAD IDEA.
  4. by   RainbowSkye
    Quote from SmilingBluEyes
    due to it's HIGH abuse potential (did you see OPRAH the other day) I have to say BAD IDEA.
    Oh, I totally agree. However, if people were not already getting it and abusing it right now and using very limited tax dollars to do so...I think it would be far better to take it out of the health care arena and use the tax monies for substantial rehab.

    Leaving it in the health care arena starts the problems we've been seeing right here on this loop: Every patient who says they have pain needs to be taken totally at face value with the result that many, many people who are abusing the medication are getting it. This leaves the patients who need it for pain relief (and please note here that I believe addiction is a horrible pain of its own) not getting what they need because many docs tend to look at patients seeking pain relief as drug seekers (for lack of a better word) until proven otherwise. Right now I really see it as a no win situation.

    Nope, I didn't see Oprah the other day (will check out her web site), but I'm pretty sure I live it every day. I see patients and families whose lives have been deeply affected by prescription drug abuse. I see patients who need bowel surgery because of an obstruction caused by opiate misuse. I've cared for teenagers who overdosed and died on oxycontin. I've taken care of critically injured patients who were in a car wreck where the driver of the car was stoned on Lorcet and Soma. I see entire families with vague complaints of pain requesting Lorcet because "nothing else work". I've worked with nurses who have lost their licenses because of stealing hydrocodone, demerol, whatever from the patients/hospital. I've had patients present false IDs requesting narcotic pain medication. It's an epidemic and we're all being hurt by it in one way or another.
  5. by   SmilingBluEyes
    so make it available OTC? and what? this will make the addictions and ill-advised use of narc's go away? Don't think so..............................
  6. by   MandyInMS
    Ummmm...not a good idea...these drugs are CONTROLLED substances for a good reason.
  7. by   BabyRN2Be
    While I'm against making stuff like hydrocodone, etc OTC, I know that England is more relaxed about what it sells OTC. I remember going over there in '90 and getting something for a bad headache (used to happen all the time when I'd fly above a certain altitude). I looked at the package afterward and saw that it contained something (codeine?) that would never be sold OTC in the US.

    If they still sell stuff like that OTC in England, I wonder how their drug abuse rates compare to the US? Do they have more trouble with drug abuse from these OTC products?

    I really can't remember at the moment exactly what they were selling. It was a really low dose of whatever it was... I'm thinking it was codeine.

    I do believe that if hydrocodone, Darvocet, etc. were made available OTC, we'd be trading one problem for another.
  8. by   veetach
    Oh I dont think it would be a very good idea. Vicodin can be an ugly drug taken in excess... Somone on here did suggest though, that if we had a candy dish filled with Vicodin, Percocet and Darvocet in the waiting room, then we would probably all see a decline in our ER patients on any given day.. :chuckle :chuckle :chuckle
  9. by   FROGGYLEGS
    This is a bit OT but we had this luncheon that was hosted by the state BON's Peer Assistance Program (for nurses with addictions) They said that Lortab was the #1 drug abused by nurses. I'm sure it ranks high with everybody, but I just found that interesting.
  10. by   Stitchie
    For certain drugs, like codeine, marijauna:

    Legalize, tax and treat the abusers. Just like alcohol. Keep the drug-seekers out of the ER.

    If we legalize everything then yes, we're asking for big trouble.
    Last edit by Stitchie on Apr 11, '04
  11. by   dansamy
    Lortab was the #1 drug abused by nurses
    I guess it's a good thing Lortab makes me puke, huh? :chuckle Although, Demerol can be nice....(j/k! ) I'm really not fond of the spacey-feeling I get when I'm buzzing on anything. I just don't get why people want to be high. I don't like feeling out-of-control of myself. I can't imagine seeking out the feeling deliberately.

    Anywho, I'm all for legalizing & taxing marijuana & a few other things. There are follks sitting in jail for an ounce of marijuana who'll never see the light of day again due to mandatory sentenciing laws, but someone who killed another person can be released on parole.
  12. by   LilgirlRN
    I look at it like this... if alcohol were controlled by the FDA, it would be a class II narcotic. Legalize everything and tax the hell out of it just like they do booze and cigarettes. Addicts will always find a way to get their drug of choice anyway, until they've had enough and want help. Why should drug dealers be making all the profit when the taxes raised could be used for oh, say paying off the deficit or something? For years Donnatal PG was available without a prescription but the pharmacy kept up with who bought it, why not with all kinds of drugs? There are many countries in the world that are much more relaxed about narcotics than the US is and they have much lower addiction rates than the US does. They must be doing something right.
  13. by   psychomachia
    Quote from RainbowSkye
    Right now enormous amounts of health care dollars are going to pay for patients using ERs to obtain Lorcet.
    Which will in turn have to be paid to treat their narcotic-induced constipation...

    My feeling is anything that leads to an increase of "can't poop" chief complaints in the ER is bad..bad...baaaaaddd...
  14. by   jaimealmostRN
    Are you guys looking at the bottom of the screen (under our posts) as you type? Maybe we're debating a moot point: "Lorocet, Percocet! US Doctors perscribing! Pill-depot.com, slimmeryou.com" This is crazy. I know the arguments about these sites, you don't know the concentrations, etc. But it seems like anyone with access to the internet and a credit card can get their fix pretty easily. But yes, the abuse is tremendous in the ER, maybe if we have these websites posted in the lobby...problem solved! (totally kidding for those that don't get it) :hatparty:

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