Life Without Vicodin Will Be OK, Doctors Say

"There will be other drugs, it just may require a little adjustment in thinking for those doctors who consistently prescribe Vicodin and Percocet," said Viscusi.

Other Drug Alternatives

Percocet, for example, could be given to patients by prescribing them Oxycodone – which does not include acetaminophen – and then instructing the consumer to take Tylenol as well.

Still, Viscusi is advocating for better labeling on over-the-counter drugs in addition the ban of combination agents as well as more education for consumers and medical professionals alike.

Kim agrees with Viscusi and said that with more training and education, doctors will realize the Vicodin and Percocet are not the only options for pain management.

"Many doctors don't readily have the experience or knowledge of prescribing other agents that either reduce the amount of acetaminophen or take it out completely, such as Norco, Roxicodone, OxyIR, OxyFast or hydromorphone," said Kim.

"These can be safely and effectively used on patients with quality of life-dependent needs who many not be candidates for the acetaminophen, yet need the adequate pain relief to function in their daily lives," he added.

But those who would likely be directly affected by an FDA ban on combination drugs – patients of chronic pain – are still worried.

"This will hurt a huge amount of people who look to those medications to help manage the pain so they can be a productive part of society," said Penney Cowan, the executive director of The American Chronic Pain Association, who has been suffering from chronic pain herself for more than 30 years.

"It will narrow the field even more when it comes to treatment for pain," said Cowan. "There is going to be a point where there just won't be any other options."

"The problem with pain is that we don't see it, and we can't measure it," said Cowan. "People don't understand just how much pain we are in."

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