OTC Pain Medications More Effective for Acute Pain: NSC

With hydrocodone combination products being moved to Schedule II, Americans may not be able to refill their prescriptions.

A new white paper from the NSC, Evidence for the efficacy of pain medications, compiles research showing the combination of over-the-counter pain medications ibuprofen and acetaminophen are more effective at treating acute pain than opioid painkillers, according to its news release.

This study coincides with the DEA's reclassification of hydrocodone combination products, such as Vicodin, from the Schedule III to Schedule II drugs. This makes it harder for doctors to prescribe the drugs, and patients can’t refill their prescription without seeing their doctor.

"There are alternatives to highly-addictive opioids for treating severe pain," said Deborah A.P. Hersman, president and CEO of NSC. "Prescription opioid overdoses resulted in more than 16,900 deaths in 2011. We must change the paradigm of treating pain if we are to curb this national health crisis."

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