Fentanyl deaths have reached a frightening level, with another fentanyl product as the subject of an FDA Alert issued in September 2007. Fentora is an extremely potent fentanyl-based pain relief medication prescribed to cancer patients who have already become tolerant to opioid medicines. It comes in a buccal tablet, meaning that the tablet is placed between the teeth and cheek, where it slowly dissolves. A large number of fentanyl deaths from Fentora misuse were reported to the FDA, prompting the Alert and other precautionary messages from the FDA.
Duragesic Pain Patches
It has long been known that fentanyl deaths can also be caused by leaking Duragesic transdermal patches that contain fentanyl. Because of the high potency level of fentanyl (it is at least 80 times stronger than morphine), it is classified as a Schedule II drug and monitored closely by the U.S. DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration).
Two large recalls of Duragesic patches were issued within recent years, following reports of patches whose manufacture was not adequate and had defects. Fentanyl leakage from a transdermal patch resulted in many fentanyl deaths.
Regarding the Fentora tablets, the FDA noted that physicians and other healthcare providers have made several mistakes that resulted in fentanyl deaths, including:
- prescribing Fentora to patients who are not opioid-tolerant
- giving incorrect Fentora dosing instructions to patients
- substituting Fentora for Actiq, a different fentanyl-containing product (whether the substitution is done by a pharmacist or by the prescriber)
The FDA's September Alert noted that Fentora should not be prescribed for any type of short-term pain such as migraine headaches or pain from a broken bone. As part of the effort to prevent more deaths and fentanyl overdoses, the FDA also asked Cephalon Inc., the maker of Fentora, to improve and clarify the dosage instructions and fentanyl warnings on the Fentora packaging,
Learn More about Fentanyl Deaths
If a Duragesic fentanyl patch or a Fentora tablet has caused a fentanyl death or overdose in your family, you can learn more about your legal rights from an attorney or law firm in your area. Contact a fentanyl lawyer today to discuss your case.
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