Fentanyl is a brand name of the synthetic pain-killing drug fentanil that is considerably more powerful than morphine. It can be administered in a number of ways and has been shown to provide pain relief for individuals suffering from a myriad of exceedingly painful conditions. For many patients, it has offered effective and much-needed relief from excruciating ailments such as cancer. However, there have been allegations that some defective Fentanyl patches can leak and produce overdoses.
If you or a loved one has used a Fentanyl patch and suspect that you have suffered an adverse reaction, you can find out if you may participate in a class-action lawsuit by clicking the Join button on our Medical Lawsuits site. Information you provide will be forwarded for an evaluation to see if it might qualify for participation in legal action.
A brand name version, Duragesic, is manufactured by Johnson & Johnson; several other companies make generic versions.
Tracy King, on June 19, 2012, filed a wrongful death claim in the Philadelphia Common Pleas Court regarding her sister, Sonya Marshall, who died June 19, 2010. The claim states the cause of death was Fentanyl toxicity. King sued Alza Corp., Sandoz Inc., Sandoz Pharmaceuticals, Novartis Pharmaceuticals, Janssen Pharmaceutical Products and Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc., according to the Pennsylvania Record. King has asserted that her sister did not misuse the medication.
King's suit contends that Alza officials knew that Fentanyl was 80 times stronger than morphine and that the company had recalled patches in 2004 due to "leaking defects" and had undertaken another recall in 2008. The lawsuit alleges that the manufacturers knew the Fentanyl patches had "unreasonably dangerous risks and caused serious side effects" that Marshall and her doctors would not have known about. However, the manufacturers continued to market and sell the patches "knowing that there were safer methods and products available," according to the Pennsylvania Record.
Fentanyl has many uses and is commonly used intravenously for such things as anesthesia. It can be administered as a kind of lollipop or small disc that dissolves in the mouth as well as a spray that can be squirted under the tongue. In addition, it can be used as a transdermal patch to help control chronic pain.
Fentanyl patches slowly release the medication into the body over extended periods of time, which provides pain relief for individuals suffering from a myriad of exceedingly painful conditions and, for many of them, has provided much-needed relief from excruciating ailments.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration released a safety warning in 2005 regarding Fentanyl skin patches in which the agency advised the public and doctors to follow the product's directions "exactly in order to avoid overdose."
The FDA announced a second safety warning regarding Fentanyl skin patches in 2007. It stated: "[The] FDA has continued to receive reports of deaths and life-threatening side effects after doctors have inappropriately prescribed the patch or after people incorrectly used it.
"The agency is also asking manufacturers of all fentanyl patches to update their product information and to develop a medication guide for patients. The patch is marketed as Duragesic by Johnson & Johnson, and generic versions are sold by other manufacturers."
Fentanyl, a brand name for the powerful pain-killing drug fentanil, is a useful medication for patients who are experiencing extraordinary pain. However, some individuals allege that certain Fentanyl patches were defective and produced overdoses.