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Information about filing a Fentanyl patch lawsuit.

Fentanyl Prescriptions

Fentanyl is an extremely powerful opioid painkiller that is used to treat patients with severe pain, such as cancer patients. Fentanyl was first used as an anesthetic in the 1960s, but it was only with the development of the fentanyl pain patch in the 1990s that the drug became available for prescription use.

In the years since the release of the pain patch, fentanyl has also been made available in several other forms, including a lollipop, nasal sprays, tablets, and other prescription types.

Fentanyl Pain Patch

Fentanyl is most commonly prescribed in the form of a transdermal patch, which is placed on the skin and left in place for a period of about 48-72 hours until the medicine inside the patch has been absorbed into the bloodstream. The fentanyl patch is sold under the brand name Duragesic, which is manufactured by Alza Corporation and sold by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, two subsidiaries of Johnson & Johnson. Generic versions of the pain patch are also manufactured and sold by Teva, Mallinckrodt, Abreka, Actavis, Mylan and Watson.

Some fentanyl pain patches have a reservoir with a fentanyl gel inside. Others have no reservoir and the fentanyl is in the adhesive. For reservoir design patches, because of the high potency of the gel inside the fentanyl pain patch, care must be taken to ensure that this gel does not come into direct contact with the skin, which can lead to an overdose. Several manufacturers have been forced to recall the pain patch because of manufacturing defects that could cause the gel to leak from its protective reservoir onto the skin. Care must also be taken when disposing of used fentanyl patches to ensure that children are not accidently exposed to the fentanyl gel leftover on the surface of the patch.

Fentanyl Lollipop

More recently, fentanyl has become available in the form of a lozenge—also known as transmucosal fentanyl or the “fentanyl lollipop.” First sold under the brand name Actiq, the fentanyl lollipop is now also available in generic form.

The fentanyl lollipop is a berry-flavored white lozenge on a stick which is placed under the tongue or inside the cheek. By swabbing it on the inside of the mouth, the fentanyl medication inside the lollipop be absorbed into the body through the tissue in the mouth over a period of about 30 minutes.

Other Fentanyl Prescriptions

  • Fentanyl Nasal Spray: Sold under the brand name Lazanda, the fentanyl nasal spray can be used to treat severe pain by spraying the contents into the nostril. The spray bottle comes equipped with a counting window that tracks the number of times that the nasal spray has been used.
  • Fentanyl Tablets: The fentanyl sublingual tablet—sold under the name Abstral—is used by placing the tablet underneath the tongue until it dissolves. Fentanyl tablets are also sold as a buccal tablet under the brand name Fentora, which is used by placing the tablet in the back of the mouth between the cheek and gums. Generic versions of the fentanyl buccal and sublingual tablets have also been approved by the FDA.
  • Fentanyl Spray: A sublingual spray marketed as Subsys that is spray into mouth underneath the tongue to deliver a dose of fentanyl for breakthrough pain relief.
  • Fentanyl Injections: An injectable version of fentanyl known as Sublimaze can be injected into the muscles or the veins for surgical anesthesia.
  • Fentanyl Film: Onsolis is the brand name version of a dissolvable film that is placed inside of the cheek, allowing fentanyl to be absorbed into the bloodstream.

Fentanyl and the Risk of Overdose

Because of its extreme potency, care must be exercised when prescribing the fentanyl pain patch or other products drug to ensure that patients do not receive an excessive amount of the drug. When doctors, hospitals, or pharmacists give patients more fentanyl than is safe, prescribe the drug at excessive doses, or fail to properly instruct patients about how much of the drug they should take, serious and potentially deadly consequences can result.

If you or a loved one suffered a fentanyl overdose, you may be entitled to file a lawsuit and receive compensation. The lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson have handled hundreds of fentanyl lawsuits on behalf of our clients, and will work tirelessly to ensure the best possible outcome in your case.

For a free legal consultation from an attorney to find out whether you may have a case, contact Heygood, Orr & Pearson by calling toll-free at 1-877-446-9001. You can also reach us by filling out the free case evaluation form located at the top of this page.