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Fentanyl, a pain killer 80 times stronger than opium, is used medically to treat moderate to severe chronic pain. Fentanyl is available in many forms including a transdermal (applied on the skin) patch. This patch is sold under the name Duragesic Patch and also generically. In the past few years, death and serious side effects have been reported from overdoses in use and application of the Fentanyl patch. If you or a loved one has suffered injury as the result of using a Fentanyl skin patch in California, please contact an attorney immediately to learn your rights. Call The Rudman Law Firm, APC now for your free consultation at 1-800-ALAWPRO.

Fentanyl Overdose Symptoms
Following are signs that an overdose of Fentanyl may have occurred. Overdoses leading to death are causing by respiratory events. Seek immediate medical attention for any of the below-listed symptoms in association with a Fentanyl skin patch:

  • Shallow or difficulty breathing
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Extreme tiredness, sleepiness or sedation
  • Faintness
  • Inability to think, talk or walk normally

Overdose of Fentanyl from a skin patch can lead to death.

Fentanyl History and Use
Fentanyl is an extremely potent opioid-analgesic. It was first developed in Belgium in 1959 by Janssen Pharmaceuticals. Used initially as an intravenous anesthetic, Fentanyl was first utilized during heart and other surgeries. Since its creation hundreds of thousands of people have been prescribed Fentanyl.

Eventually Fentanyl was developed in other forms, including a skin patch and lozenge or lollipop. Fentanyl is used to treat pain in a variety of situations. The Duragesic Patch (the transdermal or skin patches containing Fentanyl) and its generic counterparts are used to treat chronic pain.

Duragesic (Fentanyl) Skin Patch
Fentanyl is available in a transdermal patch, called Duragesic, Durogesic, or in a generic version. This patch is applied the skin where it releases Fentanyl into the body fats, then into the blood stream over a 72-hour period. Pain relief can take up to 8-12 hours to begin, and often, other pain killers are prescribed in conjunction with Fentanyl patches. The long-term release of the patch can relieve pain for up to 3 days.

Patches are available in different sizes, with the amount of medication dependent on the size of the patch. The rate of absorption of the medication into the body also depends on patch placement, body temperature, and skin type.

Duragesic Transdermal Patch FDA Warnings

  • July 15, 2006: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a public health advisory regarding Fentanyl skin patches (both Duragesic and generic versions), alerting doctors and patients about the risks of Fentanyl patch usage, including death and injury from overdose.

  • December 21, 2007: Due to continued death and injury reports from the Fentanyl skin patch, the FDA updated its warning to include and highlight appropriate prescribing, dosing and usage. The new warning urges users and prescribers to follow the directions provided regarding the application of the patch and provides specifics about who and how the patch is best used.

Fentanyl Skin Patch Risk and Overdose
Overdose from Fentanyl-containing skin patches, also known as the Duragesic Patch, cause serious injury and death. Overdose can be caused by:

  • Incorrect usage of the patch
    • Application of patch after heat exposure
    • Application of too many patches
    • Too frequent changing of patch
  • Defective Patches, where the medication is leaked into the skin too quickly
  • Prescription of patch to patient who cannot or has not tolerated opiates

If you or a family member has suffered adverse side effects or death from the use of a Fentanyl skin patch in California, please seek the help of an experienced lawyer. The team at The Rudman Law Firm, APC is here to protect you and your rights. With over 50 years combined experienced, we understand the needs of people who have been needlessly injured. Call us now at 1-800-ALAWPRO (1-800-252-9776) for your free and confidential assessment. Let us help you in your time of need.

Los Angeles Injury Lawyer Blog