The FDA has recommended stricter controls over hydrocodone-containing painkillers such as Vicodin and Lortab, due in part to rising levels of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. The recommendations would reduce by half the refills patients can obtain without an additional clinical visit, and would require patients to take their prescriptions to a pharmacy for refill instead of allowing physicians to call it in. The agency also will seek reclassification of hydrocodone-containing drugs as "Schedule II" medications.

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