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July 16, 2005

Pain-killing patches linked with deaths

Topics: Medicine

The government warned yesterday that pain-killing skin patches could cause drug overdoses and said it was investigating reports of serious side effects and 120 deaths that might have resulted.

The patches contain the narcotic fentanyl and are marketed under the name Duragesic by Janssen, a company owned by Johnson & Johnson. Mylan Laboratories marketed a generic version in February. Duragesic had sales of more than $2 billion in 2004.

The patches are intended for people with moderate to severe chronic pain that requires treatment around the clock for an extended period of time and that cannot be controlled by other narcotics alone, the FDA and the manufacturer say. Only those already tolerant of narcotics, as some cancer patients are, should use the patches. People recovering from surgery, or suffering from short-term pain for other reasons, should not.

Sourced by Debra Donham Barr

Posted by Hyscience at July 16, 2005 2:23 PM

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