The fentanyl patch is an extremely powerful and highly addictive opioid pain medication that has been linked to serious side effects, a high risk of overdose, and death.
Free Confidential Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one suffered an overdose from a fentanyl patch, and were hospitalized or know someone who died from an fentanyl overdose, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit and our lawyers can help.
Update: Ohio Doctor Linked to 28 Fentanyl Overdoses
January 29, 2019 – Dr. William Husel, a critical care medicine specialist and anesthesiologist at Mount Carmel Hospital System in Columbus, Ohio, is being investigated for his role in at least 28 “significantly excessive and potentially fatal” overdoses on fentanyl, a painkiller 50-100 times stronger than morphine. Husel’s medical license was suspended on Friday by the State Medical Board of Ohio, which said the allegations against him were so serious that he was not even allowed a legal hearing before the board’s vote, and can no longer practice medicine in the state.
What is Fentanyl?
Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid anesthetic that is 30-50 times more powerful than heroin and 50-100 times more potent than morphine, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). The drug is most often used on patients who are already taking other opioids to relieve chronic or breakthrough pain (such as the pain caused by cancer), and on those who have recently undergone major surgical procedures.
How Does it Work?
Like other opioids, fentanyl works by binding to the body’s opioid receptors, which are found in areas of the brain that control pain and emotions. When fentanyl binds to these receptors, they can increase dopamine levels in the brain’s reward areas, producing a state of euphoria and relaxation.
Scope of Problem
It only takes a very small amount of fentanyl to cause a severe or potentially deadly reaction. As little as 2 milligrams can cause death in some people, according to the Oxford Treatment Center. As a result of its extreme toxicity, not only are users exposed to danger, but others who might encounter fentanyl, such as first responders and law enforcement officials.
Fentanyl Side Effects
According to the Mayo Clinic, side effects of the fentanyl patch may include:
- Decrease in the amount of urine or in the frequency of urination
- Seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there
- Chest pain
- Difficulty with speaking
- Mood or mental changes
- Problems with walking
- Redness, swelling, itching, or bumps on the skin at the place of application
- Spitting blood
How Addictive is it?
Fentanyl is an extremely potent opioid, and as such has a high propensity for addiction. The drug should be carefully prescribed and dosed by medical professionals only. Those who abuse fentanyl may use it outside of prescription guidelines or without a prescription altogether, which can drastically increase their risk of lethal overdose.
Individuals who become addicted to fentanyl put themselves at high risk of overdose. In 2015 alone, more than 33,000 people died due to overdose on opioids like fentanyl, according to DrugAbuse.com. Learning how to recognize the symptoms of a fentanyl overdose and getting professional substance abuse treatment may save a life.
Fentanyl Overdose Symptoms
- Cold, clammy skin
- Convulsions (seizures)
- Severe drowsiness
- Dilated eyes
- Slow heartbeat (bradycardia)
- Very slow or troubled breathing
Do I Have a Fentanyl Lawsuit?
The Pharmaceutical Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in fentanyl lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new addiction and overdose cases in all 50 states.
Free Case Evaluation: Again, if you or a loved one suffered an overdose from a fentanyl patch, and were hospitalized or know someone who died from an fentanyl overdose, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to a settlement by filing a suit and we can help.