Combination hydrocodone products, currently considered Schedule III drugs, will be reclassified as Schedule II because of their high risk for abuse. The new regulation from the Drug Enforcement Administration will take effect in 45 days.
“Schedule II drugs … are defined as drugs with a high potential for abuse, less abuse potential than Schedule I drugs, with use potentially leading to severe psychological or physical dependence,” according to the DEA’s definition. “These drugs are also considered dangerous.”
The move means the drugs will be subject to tighter government regulations, including more stringent prescribing practices. The most commonly prescribed combination product affected by the ruling is hydrocodone plus acetaminophen (marketed as Vicodin or Lortab).