OPIOID PAIN MEDICATION MAY CAUSE DEADLY SIDE EFFECTS
Actiq (fentanyl citrate) contains the powerful opioid pain medication fentanyl in the form of a lollipop. The drug is indicated for breakthrough pain management in cancer patients 16 years of age or older who are already receiving and who are tolerant to around-the-clock opioid therapy. Fentanyl was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1968 and is marketed under many different brand names. Actiq was introduced to the market in 1998.
Fentanyl is a highly addictive narcotic that is approximately 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine. Although the drug is only indicated for use in patients with opioid tolerance, physicians prescribe the powerful pain medication to people suffering from headaches, back pains, and dental pain instead of a safer, less powerful alternative. This is a dangerous practice and can lead to serious injury and death.
The drug is associated with many side effects, including:
BLACK BOX WARNING: ACTIQ MAY CAUSE FATAL RESPIRATORY DEPRESSION
Fentanyl can produce respiratory depression by direction action on the brain stem respiratory centers. Respiratory depression, or hypoventilation, is when breathing is inadequate and can lead to complete respiratory arrest. When this occurs, all breathing ceases and death can occur within minutes. It can also lead to hypoxia, or lack of oxygen to the body, and carbon dioxide toxicity. Decreased responsiveness to carbon dioxide, electrical stimulation, and depression of the cough reflex can occur with a normal dose of the drug.
Children are especially vulnerable to respiratory depression if exposed to Actiq or fentanyl. A small dose of the drug can prove to be fatal in children and patients who are not already tolerant to opioids.
ACTIQ DRUGMAKER PLEADS GUILTY TO ILLEGAL OFF-LABEL MARKETING
In 2008, Cephalon, then-manufacturer of Actiq, plead guilty to criminal charges and paid $425 million after the U.S. Department of Justice alleged the company marketed the powerful opioid painkiller for unapproved uses, such as for migraine pain and sickle-cell anemia. Cephalon advertised the deadly drug to patients who had not developed an opioid tolerance, putting patients at risk of a fatal first dose of fentanyl.
Pharmaceutical companies that illegally push drugs with severe side effects on the public without sufficient warning deserve to be brought to justice. These drug giants continue to put profit before safety, and patients already suffering from pain have their lives put in danger.
HARMED BY ACTIQ PAIN MEDICATION? CONTACT OUR DANGEROUS DRUG LAWYERS
If you or a loved one have been injured after being prescribed a dangerous painkiller like fentanyl, you may be entitled to compensation. Opioid painkillers like Actiq continue to be overprescribed and cause severe injuries and death in patients looking for pain relief. Thomas J. Henry has the legal resources and financial means to take on healthcare systems and pharmaceutical companies that put their profit before your safety.
Our team of experienced pharmaceutical litigation attorneys are available 24/7, nights and weekends to evaluate your claim and provide you with a free legal consultation. Contact us today if you have been injured by a dangerous opioid pain medication.