Fentanyl, also called Duragesic, was developed in 1959, is used to treat post-operative and chronic pain, and also used in clinical practice as a general anesthetic. Fentanyl is also used illegally, becoming popular in drug culture for its euphoric effects. Fentanyl has been used as a direct substitute for heroin; however, its extreme potency increases the rate of overdose and can lead to respiratory problems and even death.
Fentanyl Pain Patch Recall Update 7/23/12: Healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson (J&J) is now recalling more than 53,000 Duragesic pain patches due to problems where crystals of fentanyl may have formed in some of the patches. Fentanyl is a potent painkiller approximately 100 times more powerful than morphine, and its accumulation into crystals in the patch has the potential to lead to overdoses and other adverse events. Click here to learn more.
Free Fentanyl Patch Case Evaluation: If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of a defective fentanyl Duragesic patch, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a lawsuit and we can help.
A Brief History of Duragesic Patches
- February 2008 – In February 2008, Johnson & Johnson issued a recall of all lots of Duragesic CII 25mcg patches. The patches may have a cut edge that could lead to the fentanyl gel leaking out and potential for overdose. The recalled fentanyl patches were sold by Sandoz and Pricara in the U.S. and Canada. None of the other Duragesic patch strengths (12.5, 50, 75, and 100mcg patches) were affected in the recall.
- September 2007 – In 2007, the Institute for Safe Medication Practices and the Division of Public Health Sciences, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, conducted a longitudinal Adverse Events Reporting System Review of the U.S. FDA’s most dangerous drugs. The study revealed fentanyl to be the second most dangerous drug available on the market with the second highest number of suspect drug deaths. Over the eight years of the study, fentanyl was involved in no fewer than 3,500 suspect drug deaths during the 8-year period.
- July 2005 – In July 2005, the FDA issued a Public Health Advisory regarding the safe use of transdermal fentanyl patches in response to reports of deaths in patients using this potent narcotic medication for pain management. In addition, a patient information sheet and an alert to healthcare professionals were issued identifying several important safety precautions for the use of fentanyl transdermal patches. These safety precautions include but are not limited to patient education regarding signs of overdose, proper patch application, use of other medications while using the patch, safeguards for children, and proper storage and disposal.
- April 2004 – In April 2004, Janssen expanded a Duragesic patch recall to include a total of 2.2 million patches. Health officials believed at the time that over 20 percent of the recalled patches are still in use.
- February 2004 – In February 2004, Janssen and the FDA notified healthcare professionals of a Class I recall of DURAGESIC 75 mcg/h. Only Control Number 0327192 (expiration October 2005) was subject to this recall. A potential seal breach on one edge may allow the drug to leak from the patch and could result in an increased absorption of the opioid component, fentanyl, leading to increased drug effect, including nausea, sedation, drowsiness, and potentially life threatening complications. Over 400,000 patches were included in the initial recall.
The FDA is working closely with the manufacturers of fentanyl patches to fully evaluate the risks associated with their use and to develop a plan to help patients avoid accidental fentanyl overdose.
Do I have a Fentanyl Duragesic Patch Lawsuit?
The Product Liability Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus exclusively on the representation of plaintiffs in fentanyl patch lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new cases in all 50 states.