The February 2008 recall of Duragesic Pain Patches by Johnson & Johnson has left patients and doctors alike questioning the safety of this product. This is not the first time the medication has faced problems with the FDA. Although a popular pain management drug option, Duragesic Pain Patches have caused health risks since they were introduced in 2004. Are these pain patches really safe?
There are actually risks with all kinds of medications. Duragesic Pain Patches may have caused many deaths, but so have other kinds of prescription drugs. The lack of quality control and misuse of drugs can be blamed for millions of deaths every year in the Unites States.
While you as the consumer cannot control the quality of the medications approved by the FDA, what you can do is stay informed. Keep in mind that taking a medication of any kind is a huge responsibility. Know how to use this medication, as well as what is normal and what is strange in terms of symptoms. Every person reacts differently, but by talking to your doctor about your medications, you can stay as informed as possible. That way, even if there is a recall that you donít know about, you can notice problems in your own body quickly and stop treatment.
In the case of the Duragesic Pain Patch recall, the problem lies with the active ingredient fentanyl. This opiate is much, much stronger than morphine and is delivered through a patch so that it can be properly regulated. Fentanyl is used to treat chronic pain, and should only be prescribed when other, lower dosing medications are no longer working. Although the membrane of the Duragesic Pain Patch should protect you from overdosing, the recall occurred because of incorrect seaming, which allowed the fentanyl to escape the membrane and touch the skin directly.
If your body receives too much fentanyl, a number of problems could occur. The most major of these problems is hypoventilation. The body starts to have problems breathing, meaning that oxygen cannot find its way to the lungs. If this continues untreated, youíll slip into a coma. Over time, you can even die from too much fentanyl.
With the dangers surrounding overdose, is fentanyl safe? Yes, when used properly. However, in many cases, patients using Duragesic Pain Patches only were incorrectly exposed to fentanyl because of the leak in the membrane of the patch. Were you hurt because of this problem? If you were, or if a loved one passed away due to overdose, contact the law firm of Anapol Schwartz right away. They can help you learn about your legal options, which could provide the compensation you need for medical treatment, lost wages, funeral expenses, and more. Donít delay Ė contact Anapol Schwartz today to talk about your case.