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Fentanyl Prescription Errors

Hundreds of deaths each year occur because of fentanyl patches that are wrongfully prescribed by doctors. Patients who are improperly prescribed the pain patch or other fentanyl products may be at risk of suffering an overdose or other serious complications.

Fentanyl is an extremely powerful painkiller that is about 100 times more potent than morphine. The drug is often prescribed as a transdermal patch, which is sold generically and under the brand name Duragesic. Fentanyl is also sold in the form of a lollipop called Actiq, a pill called Fentora, or as a nasal spray called Lazanda.

Because of its extreme potency, only patients with chronic pain who are already opioid tolerant, such as cancer patients, are eligible to be prescribed fentanyl products. When prescription errors cause fentanyl to be prescribed to patients who are ineligible to take the drug, serious consequences may result.

Some of the groups who should not be prescribed fentanyl products include:

  • Patients with acute or post-operative pain
  • Patients who are not opioid tolerant
  • Patients taking other medications which slow the central nervous system
  • Patients with pulmonary problems
  • Patients taking antiviral or antibiotic drugs known as P450 3A4 inhibitors

Even when prescribed to patients who are eligible to take fentanyl, prescribing errors can lead to an overdose or other side effects. Some doctors may overestimate the initial dose of fentanyl that a patient should be prescribed. In other cases, a physician or hospital may not properly instruct their patients on how to use their fentanyl patch, leading them to place more than one patch on the body or to replace the patch more often than necessary.

Fentanyl Lawsuits Filed by Heygood, Orr & Pearson

When fentanyl prescription errors lead to an overdose causing serious complications or death, the doctor or hospital that prescribed the patch may be at fault. Hundreds of patients or their families have filed fentanyl lawsuits against physicians and health care facilities which they allege were responsible for overdoses caused by medical malpractice.

If you or a loved one was injured due to a fentanyl overdose resulting from a wrongful prescription, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit. For a free legal consultation about your case, contact the attorneys at Heygood, Orr & Pearson by calling toll-free at 1-877-446-9001, or by completing the free case evaluation form located on this page.