Get Addiction Help (888) 804-0917

Zohydro: A “Super” Painkiller

You might not have heard this news, but it caught my interest as soon as I heard the news-story. Of course I work in the field of addiction and recovery, so I’ve probably trained myself to notice medical news that might affect our clients here at Pat Moore Foundation. Another group who might be tuning into the news release of Zohydro, a 12-hour pain relief medication, is exactly the group we try to help.

What’s the News Behind Zohydro?

Well, it all depends on who you ask. There are many who are touting Zohydro as being a super painkiller that is ten times stronger than Vicodin, which is another pain relief medication that’s wreaked havoc on those in the addiction community. But, if you ask the makers of Zohydro, they will tell you this is not the case. This, I think is typical of both sides. Other than OxyContin, Hydrocodone is the second most abused prescription painkiller. So, what’s the worry? Well, the worry is that this pure hydrocodone (Zohydro) could quickly replace OxyContin as the number one most abused prescription painkiller. Although Zohydro is being developed as a time-released medication, addicts could get around that by crushing the pills and using them intravenously.

What is Zohydro?

Zohydro is an oral, extended-release formulation of pure hydrocodone in development for people with severe chronic pain requiring around the clock opioid therapy. It provides 12-hour pain-relief. What makes Zohydro different is that most marketed hydrocodone products contain an analgesic combination ingredient of acetaminophen, which is what Vicodin is. The concern is that high levels of acetaminophen over time can cause liver toxicity, and this is why Zohydro is in development.

Videos About Zohydro


Thoughts to Consider for Zohydro

  1. I think many of us, meaning everyone and not just people with addiction issues, can see the benefit of a medication like this. We probably don’t look to the company developing Zohydro as being irresponsible, but more that they are looking for a medication with less physical side effects, such as liver toxicity. Of course that’s not to say they aren’t looking to turn a dollar or two, or more. After all, they are a business with investors. Not everything is altruistic. On the other side of this slippery coin, is addiction. We’ve seen what Vicodin and other opioids have done and helped create. Once Zohydro hits the streets, there may be no stopping its effects on all communities.  
  2. Zohydro should be combined with a drug similar to Naloxone. Although I am not a chemist, but I know this works with a popular drug detoxification medication named Suboxone. Naloxone is an opioid antagonist that is used to counter the effects of opiate overdose. Naloxone also dissuades patients from grinding it up for abuse in combination with opiates.  
  3. Before Zohydro is released, there should be strict regulations in place. I think this medication should be prescribed by doctors who have been specially certified. Zohydro should not be prescribed for those with anything other than severe and chronic pain. It might seem a severe approach, and in some way rudimentary, but I think it would be a good start to making culpability an issue.

If you have opinions you’d like to share with regard to Zohydro, please feel free to comment below. Good conversation is what I hope to inspire here.

Thank you.


Recovery Rob is a 47-year-old man who has more than nineteen years of sobriety, whose drugs of choice at one time were alcohol and drugs, and he has worked in and around the field of addiction for more than 20 years. Recovery Rob is a professional writer who has published two novels and is currently working on his third. He has been writing and working as Pat Moore Foundation’s premiere blogger and content writer, which helps keeps Pat Moore Foundation’s addiction and recovery blog top-rated.


I’d be remiss if I did not place a disclaimer here. The thoughts and opinions placed in this blog are mine alone, and NOT those of Pat Moore Foundation. Although we might feel similar in some way, I feel this is an opinion I am solely expressing.