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  #1  
Old 03-02-2013, 13:00
gal68 gal68 is offline
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Blue watson 540 no longer available?

Good morning. I heard a rumor that the blue watson 540 will no longer be produced. Has anyone heard anything relating to this? I am in the healthcare field, so I thought I would have heard if it was true or not, thought I would throw this out to the forum and see if anyone else has heard? My source said they will no longer be available after January 2013. Thanks everyone for your responses.
  #2  
Old 03-02-2013, 16:46
Mindless Mindless is offline
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Re: Blue watson 540 no longer available?

Watson Pharmaceuticals recently bought out their Swiss competitor Actavis, they are now trading as Actavis (since late January of this year). I had a look at the Actavis website, Blue Watson 540s (NDC 0591-2609-05 for 100s and NDC 00591-2609-05 for 500s) are still listed as one of of their generic prescribed products. For those who don't know, Blue Watson 540 is a generic brand containing 10mg of hydrocodone and 500mg of acetaminophen.

There are contact details on the Actavis website, telephone numbers and an online form. The US Actavis Distribution Headquarters in Florida have a toll-free number. Alternatively, a pharmacist may be aware of any changes in availability. If you do contact Actavis and receive an answer please post the results, others will probably find this of interest. Actavis and other pharmaceutical companies are challenging patent laws constantly, including generic oxymorphone and other drugs. Rumours and misconceptions based on reports of legal proceedings are probably fairly common, perhaps this is one of those.

Last edited by Mindless; 04-02-2013 at 20:38. Reason: new comment
  #3  
Old 03-02-2013, 16:58
gal68 gal68 is offline
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Re: Blue watson 540 no longer available?

Thank you so much for your help and information, I will check it out and I will absolutely share any information that I come up with. If anyone else has input as well please feel free, its an interesting idea and I felt if true someone would have been posting about it by now, since it is now February, but I dont pay a lot of attention so its possible I missed the information. Thanks again.
  #4  
Old 07-02-2013, 11:19
OceanDreamer OceanDreamer is offline
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Re: Blue watson 540 no longer available?

I have heard from several Pharmacists that Hydro pills containing 500mg APAP are being phased out. This may be where the rumor started. A pharmacist that I have been known for years (he was in the Rotary with my Grandfather) recently told me that what is being proposed is that Vicodin will be reformulated to 5/325 and that Norco will be 5,7.5 or 10/200. He also said that the ES 7/750 will no longer be available at all..... He said there currently is not a set time frame for this, but that it is coming because of the damage that APAP does to vital organs.....
  #5  
Old 11-02-2013, 22:16
thespeedofdark thespeedofdark is offline
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Re: Blue watson 540 no longer available?

Yes, I have heard the same - that they are going to stop making combination products containing hydrocodone with more than 325mg of APAP in them due to the liver toxicity of APAP. However, I have not heard a date by which this will have to happen either. Also, the US FDA is now deliberating (under pressure from the US DEA) changing hydrocodone and products made with it from Schedule III to Schedule II, like oxycodone. This will change the prescribing of the drug (no refills, must have a new, written script for each month, etc) if the FDA actually does re-schedule the drug.
  #6  
Old 12-02-2013, 01:01
Mindless Mindless is offline
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Re: Blue watson 540 no longer available?

It makes sense that this issue may be related to reducing the acetaminophen content of these tablets. It also sounds quite feasible that this may reflect a planned change of policy and scheduling. The trouble is here-say has it's limitations.

Has anyone come across any news reports or legislation concerning legislative change (including change of schedules), change in formulation regarding acetaminophen content, or statements by the FDA or Acatvis? Perhaps if someone offers information the source could be obtained and verified. So far all I have seen are rumours.
  #7  
Old 12-02-2013, 06:48
OceanDreamer OceanDreamer is offline
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Re: Blue watson 540 no longer available?

So far it is just talk, but it is possible. They finally made Soma a controlled substance in 2011 after talking about it for 10+ years. Big Pharma and their lobby will have a lot to say about it though I am sure as Hydro is a cash cow for them. Here is 1 arivle I found:

DEA Proposes Rescheduling Hydrocodone
By Join Together Staff | February 19, 2004 | 1 Comment | Filed in Drugs, Legal, Other & Treatment
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is taking steps to make the narcotic hydrocodone, one of the most widely prescribed medications in the country, more difficult to obtain, the Washington Post reported Feb. 15.
Hydrocodone is a painkiller and cough suppressant sold as Lortab, Vicodin, and under 200 generic brands. According to the DEA, the drug was prescribed more than 100 million times last year.
The DEA wants to move hydrocodone from Schedule III of the federal Controlled Substance Act to the more restrictive Schedule II.
“Hydrocodone is one of the most abused drugs in the nation,” said Christine Sannerud, deputy chief of the drug and chemical evaluation section of the DEA. “The agency thinks it would be wise to move it to Schedule II, because that would help a lot in terms of reducing abuse and trafficking.”
Doctors, pharmacists, and pain specialists said restricting the drug would place a significant burden on them and pain sufferers. The drug is used to treat serious pain from arthritis, AIDS, cancer, and chronic injuries.
“Rescheduling the drug will bring more hoops and barriers to getting access to the drugs, and it may prevent some minimal amount of abuse,” said Richard Payne, president of the American Pain Society. “But my concern is that it will come at the cost of denying access to thousands of patients.”
Susan Winkler of the American Pharmacists Association added, “Our members and doctors would have increased liability if hydrocodones are rescheduled, and that will inevitably reduce prescribing. We urge the DEA to make sure their decision is based on science and will make the situation better, not worse.”
The DEA action is part of a comprehensive campaign to address the issue of prescription-drug misuse.

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  #8  
Old 13-02-2013, 16:29
Fmarsystem Fmarsystem is offline
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Re: Blue watson 540 no longer available?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gal68 View Post
Good morning. I heard a rumor that the blue watson 540 will no longer be produced. Has anyone heard anything relating to this? I am in the healthcare field, so I thought I would have heard if it was true or not, thought I would throw this out to the forum and see if anyone else has heard? My source said they will no longer be available after January 2013. Thanks everyone for your responses.
My experience is simply anecdotal, but my last Rx was switched from Watson to Mallinckrodt with no explanation. I will ask next time I fill.
  #9  
Old 06-03-2013, 07:44
gal68 gal68 is offline
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Re: Blue watson 540 no longer available?

Well I finally have an update. Picked up my script for Watson Lortab 10/500 and to my surprise the pharmacist informed me that the blue pills would no longer be available.

Instead they are now white, same pill, same identification number just white. Maybe this was the hype being talked about. In fact the rumor was for them to be no longer producing the blue ones, instead they changed the color. They are legit, I looked them up. I did not wish to ask the pharmacist any other info, just smiled and said OK and thank you.

Hope this helps for anyone wondering or currently taking this medication.
  #10  
Old 26-03-2013, 18:55
HoustonGuy HoustonGuy is offline
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Re: Blue watson 540 no longer available?

Hello!

I have taken hydrocodone 10/500 aka WATSON 540 for a very long time after a couple of injuries. I refilled my monthly script this month and to my surprise, they were white instead of light blue. There is no difference between the two except for the absence of blue dye. Effective February 2013 Watson drug company discontinued the blue tablets & started making their generic Lortab 10 without the blue dye. They still contain 10 mg of hydrocodone & 500 mg of acetaminophen. Watson just chose to remove the blue dye; theories suggest that people were allergic to the blue dye. The tablets are the same size, shape, & have the same Watson 540 imprint. To answer the other half of your question, all strengths of hydrocodone/apap above 10/325 will be discontinued in the future in compliance with a new FDA regulation that mandates that any pain relievers not have greater than 325 mg of acetaminophen (APAP or Tylenol) per tablet. So, if you were prescribed 10/500 or 10/650, you will start to get only 10/325. They still contain the 10mg of hydrocodone, so it should still be as effective.
  #11  
Old 27-03-2013, 05:51
N0rthrnCa707 N0rthrnCa707 is offline
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Re: Blue watson 540 no longer available?

I was unfortunate enough to recieve the blue 10/500 a few times.
They seemed far inferior to even a 5/500 Vicodin. No pain relief at all it seems like. So I will be happy to see them go. I get the 10/325 and I like them better than perc 10s.
  #12  
Old 05-04-2013, 13:51
gal68 gal68 is offline
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Re: Blue watson 540 no longer available?

For me personally, I just want relief. You know we only get so many of them each month and those of us who take them know that sometimes its so hard to make them stretch. (Thus the nature of the beast) I have been fortunate enough to find relief as prescribed with the 10/500 Watson brand.

When I take the 10/325 for me personally, they work but don't have the long-lasting effects that the 500mgs do. I have tried to supplement with APAP, but its in the formulation somewhere, has to be. I take more when they have less APAP.

I appreciate everyones input, these are just my own personal experiences. The best were the 10/650, my MD will no longer prescribe them for me due to the APAP. They lasted all day long....ah memories.

Per my Davis drug guide, the combination of the hydrocodone and apap together produces the most effective pain relief. Each drug alone works but when combined they have the greatest pain reducing results. That is why they were put together in the first place.
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Old 14-04-2013, 02:26
hookedonhelping hookedonhelping is offline
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Re: Blue watson 540 no longer available?

This is true as well in my area. 10/500 are now white, same oval shape, imprinted with Watson 540. Attached to the bottles they are dispersed in is a little sticker that reads, "This is the same medication you have been Taking. Color size or shape may appear different"

They don't seem as strong as the blue ones, but it's hard to judge when you have been taking them for so long. I probably need to take two at once to get the relief I need but for the sake of not abusing them and going through a script 15 days early I accept mediocre relief. I am seriously considering surgery because waking up in so much pain 2-3x a night makes for a miserable day.

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