What is Duragesic?
Duragesic is an adhesive “pain patch” that is applied to the skin that delivers a steady dose of fentanyl to persons suffering from chronic and/or debilitating pain. It is manufactured by the drug company, Janssen. Due to the dangerous nature of the drug, Duragesic contains a black-box warning label explaining the risk of accidental fatal overdose and respiratory depression or hypoventilation. Medical professionals are concerned that patients using the Duragesic pain patch are susceptible to accidental overdose which can be fatal. In July 2005, the FDA issued a Public Health Advisory regarding the safe use of transdermal fentanyl patches in response to reports of 120 deaths in patients using the patch for pain management, Some of these deaths have led to litigation. In December 2005, surviving family members of two Utah women filed lawsuits against Janssen Pharmaceutica and Alza Corporation, the manufacturer and distributor of the Duragesic skin patch, which the families say leaked and caused the deaths of both women. However, many of the injuries cited by Duragesic may very well have been attributed to misuse of the drug.
Symptoms of a fentanyl overdose include slow breathing, seizures, dizziness, weakness, loss of consciousness or coma, confusion, tiredness, cold and clammy skin, and small pupils. Continued exposure to uncontrolled amounts of fentanyl can lead to addiction and dependency. Janssen also warns of other side effects and potential damage to the cardiovascular system and the central nervous system. Long term effects, however, are not known.
If you are someone you know has suffered an injury or death from the use of Daragesic, you should contact a lawyer to see if you have a potential claim against Janssen.