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Fentanyl Pain Patches: Risk of Lethal Overdose from Manufacturing Mistake Leads to Recall

The Food and Drug Administration has just released another medication recall, this time for Fentanyl pan-relieving patches, after manufacturers discovered that the patches were releasing medicine into the bloodstream faster than intended.

Fentanyl is a synesthetic opiod that acts quickly to treat pain, but has a short duration of relief. It is commonly used both as an anesthetic and a pain-reliever, and it is estimated to be more than 100 times more powerful than heroin, per dose. Fentanyl patches are prescribed to patients suffering from chronic, severe pain. When the patch is designed correctly, it slowly releases a very small dose of medication. However, if too much of the medication is delivered or the fentanyl from the patch comes into direct contact with the skin and too much fentanyl is released into the bloodstream, there is a risk of fatal overdose.

There have been a number of problems with fentanyl patches since they were first put on the market in 1994 as a result of manufacturing issues, and several Illinois wrongful death lawsuits have arisen as a result of problems with the patch’s design.

This particular patch, the Actavis Fentanyl Transdermal system is the generic version of Johnson & Johnson’s Duragesic patch. The FDA stated that this particular patch may release lethal amounts of the painkiller into the bloodstream. Although no [Illinois wrongful death cases] have yet been brought against this particular manufacturer, a number of users have reported excessive sedation, respiratory depression, and difficulty breathing.

As the manufacturer of a drug that is available to consumers, Avtavis is responsible for ensuring the safety of their product. When a company manufactures a product to be marketed to the public, the company is responsible for ensuring the safety of those products. There are three main types of Illinois product liability claims:

1. A manufacturing defect, which generally occurs when an otherwise safe product is assembled carelessly;
2. A design defect, which occurs when, no matter how well the product is put together, its intent or layout is inherently dangerous;
3. A failure to warn, which can occur when a product markets a product that they know to be potentially hazardous, and fails to warn consumers of the latent danger.

In this case, when the manufacturing defects lead to injuries or death of consumers, Actavis may be held legally responsible for damages arising from those injuries. This may lead to an Illinois personal injury lawsuit which would serve to compensate the victim for hospital and medical bills, or, in more serious cases, the death of a loved one.

The recall affects lots of the Actavis Fentanyl Transdermal System 25 mcg/hour C-II patches at the wholesale and retail level. They are boxed in packages of 5, and marked with one of the following lot numbers: 30041, 30049 and 30066 with an expiration date of 12/2011; 30096 and 30123 with an expiration date of 01/2012; 30097, 30241, and 30256 with an expiration date of 02/2012; 30257, 30258, 30349 and 30350 with an expiration date of 03/2012; 30391, 30392, 30429, 30430, 30431 and 30517 with an expiration date of 04/2012.

Consumers are advised to throw away the packages or return them to a retail store for a full refund. Additionally, if users note adverse reactions, contact a physician immediately. Additionally, report symptoms to the FDA. Individuals may also want to contact an attorney to be advised of their rights under the law.