Duragesic Pain Patches
Our South Carolina Injury Lawyers Know The Danger
On December 31, 2008, Ortho McNeil Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a unit of consumer and health care products company Johnson & Johnson, announced that its PriCara division had recalled two lots of 50 mcg Duragesic pain patches. Cuts in the patches that could expose users directly to the product’s powerful fentanyl gel, causing a potentially fatal overdose, led to a recall. This is the latest in a long line of defective product recalls and FDA Public Health Advisories that have plagued fentanyl pain patches over the last several years.
In November 2008, the family of an Illinois woman received a multimillion-dollar jury verdict as the result of a family member who died when her Duragesic pain patch leaked and caused a fatal overdose of fentanyl. Because of fatal fentanyl overdoses in the past several years, manufacturers of time release fentanyl patches have come under scrutiny for defective products. While the fentanyl contained in the patches was safe, a malfunction of the patches caused an excessive amount of fentanyl to leak and to absorb into patients, resulting in life threatening side effects and even death.
Fentanyl is an odorless, rapid acting opioid (or synthetic opiate), which depresses the central nervous system and respiratory function. It is one of the most powerful opioid analgesics, with a potency approximately 80 times that of morphine. Its classification as a Schedule II drug in the United States is due to its high abuse rate.
Fentanyl patches (Durogesic/Duragesic) are for use in chronic pain management. The patches work by releasing fentanyl into body fats, which then slowly release the drug into the blood stream over 48 to 72 hours, allowing for long lasting relief from pain. Fentanyl patches are available in five patch sizes. The size of the patch determines the dosage, since the skin absorption rate is generally constant at skin temperature. Rate of absorption is dependent on a number of factors including body temperature, skin type, amount of body fat, and placement of the patch.
The South Carolina injury attorneys at McGowan, Hood & Felder, LLC have made a mission out of protecting injured consumers and are now pursuing cases involving all manufacturers of Duragesic (fentanyl) pain patches. If you know of anyone who may have suffered personal injuries or death because of using any brand of a Duragesic (fentanyl) pain patch, contact our South Carolina injury lawyers immediately for a free consultation.