"We have changed slightly, but not much. We have a law, at least here in Texas, where there’s a special, triplicate type of prescription pad for class III medications like morphine.
Vicodin and hydrocodone have been added to that list, meaning they are more controlled and we’re keeping better track of those prescriptions.
Many patients who would have received hydrocodone postoperatively for pain may now go home with tramadol instead—not always but frequently. And they’re doing just as well on tramadol as the patient who received hydrocodone after surgery. A few of them still need something more, but it works for a lot of patients.
Opioid dependency has been a long-standing problem that’s still ongoing. I don’t think it’s getting any worse than it has been, and hopefully it is getting better, but there are a lot of people using opioids who don’t need them.”
William A. Elfarr, MD / Athens, TX
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