Schedule Change for Hydrocodone - page 2

Please be advised that a petition has been submitted to the DEA requsting that all products containing Hydrocodone (Lortab, Lorcet, Vicodin, Norco, Maxidone, Tussionex, ect...) be changed from a CS... Read More

  1. by   Dave ARNP
    Guess I shoulda cleared Legend drug up before now

    We refer to all non-controlled subtances as legend drugs. It's either controlled, or legend.

  2. by   P_RN
    Dave I've always wondered why Codeine is a II and Tylenol #3 with the same amount of codeine is a III. The APAP is as much a danger as the narcotic . Ultram is a good analgesic but I also recall Talwin injectable was once touted as not habituating. Docs would write for 30cc bottles for patients. I think ultimately Ultram will be considered habituating.
    I wonder about such things randomly.
  3. by   Dave ARNP
    Okay, lemme address T3 verses straight Codeine first.

    DEA scheduling is all about how big of a potential for abuse there is. Sometimes they get it right, sometimes they don't. IMHO, Ultram should be a schedule II. But I'll digress.

    Pain medication usually comes in two forms. Pure and compounded.
    When we speak of a pure form, we're referring to a medication that is not compounded with anything. Basically this means it's pure drug. Compounded drugs commonly have another agent combined in the tablet/injection. These combinations are designed to enhance the medications effects, or decrease side effects.

    Here are some example of pure medications:
    Oxy IR/Oxyfast
    MS Contin

    Here are some examples of compounded medications:
    Lortab/Vicodin/Norco/Lorcet/Maxidone/Anexisa (Hydrocodone and APAP)
    Percocet, Tylox, Roxicet (Oxycodone and APAP)
    Mepergan (Demerol and Phenergan)
    Tylenol II, III, IV
    Fioricet w/Codeine
    Empirin w/Codeine
    Soma Compound w/Codeine.

    Now, on to the question at hand.
    Why is codeine a class higher than codeine combined with APAP.
    This answer is simple. "Straight" codeine has a higher abuse potential.
    One of the things people look for in drugs of abuse, is their ability to isolate the pure opioid away from any compound. Abusers are smart enough to realize that you can only take so many Lortabs before the amount of APAP becomes toxic. In some instances, mainly liquid preparations, the active opioid can be isolated from the compound (APAP) and abused. When dealing with Codeine, you already have the drug isolated. There's no need to seperate it. Ofcourse with Tylenol III, you've got to pull away the Tylenol.
    Thus, "straight" codeine has a higher abuse potential.

    This clear things up?

  4. by   Dave ARNP
    Here is a page from


    Codeine is the most widely used, naturally occurring narcotic in medical treatment in the world. This alkaloid is found in opium in concentrations ranging from 0.7 to 2.5 percent. However, most codeine used in the United States is produced from morphine. Codeine is also the starting material for the production of two other narcotics, dihydrocodeine and hydrocodone.

    Codeine is medically prescribed for the relief of moderate pain and cough suppression. Compared to morphine, codeine produces less analgesia, sedation, and respiratory depression, and is usually taken orally. It is made into tablets either alone (Schedule II) or in combination with aspirin or acetaminophen (i.e., Tylenol with Codeine, Schedule III). As a cough suppressant, codeine is found in a number of liquid preparations (these products are in Schedule V). Codeine is also used to a lesser extent as an injectable solution for the treatment of pain. Codeine products are diverted from legitimate sources and are encountered on the illicit market.
  5. by   ChicagolandRN
    I know you're very passionate about pain mgmt. What resources would you suggest for me? I'm an onc RN and I plan to eventually go into hospice. I like to be knowledgable enough to offer my 2 cents about what my pts are getting. Thanks!
  6. by   Dave ARNP
    My new favorite place is

    They have a bunch of free CME's that are WODNERFUL!

    I also am using their SOAP for narcotic prescribing, and have ordered their book (which is free, too!)
    I would suggest this place to start!

  7. by   P_RN
    The reason I asked is in ortho/pain management we'd get a LOT of people who had great pain. Some minded doctor's orders for meds but some especially the younger men would pass around formulae for distilling the codeine out of a T#3. It's pretty easy to get a hit of over 100 mg using some of these techniques. All it took was water, 30 or so T#3, a coffee filter and a microwave.
  8. by   Dave ARNP
    There are all sorts of tricks that I have heard on ways to seperate meds at home.

    The BEST one I've seen was in a physician disciplinary action notice from a board of medicine against a MD. They actually told her in her orders how you could sperate the Hydrocodone out of Tussionex and thus didn't like her prescribing patterns.
    Seeing as how they have an open records policy I would just said "it can be done" and left things at that.

  9. by   aimeee
    Now that I know that the narcotic portion can be separated from the APAP, this all makes more sense. I had no idea that was possible.
  10. by   Dave ARNP
    Oh yes Aimee.
    I'd rather not discuss the exact how's and why's on a public board... but if you ever have some great urge to know. PM me.

    You would be amazed at how easy someone can make the procedure when they're trying to get high.