Patients using the fentanyl pain patch or other prescription painkillers may face a greater risk of overdose or other side effects as a result of increased heat during the summer months, a Wisconsin physician is warning the public. Dr. Chris Eberlein—a physician at Gundersen Health System in La Crosse, Wisconsin—says that patients using fentanyl or other opioid painkillers should exercise caution during warmer months in order to reduce their risk of an accidental overdose caused by extreme temperatures.
Dr. Eberlein says that warmer weather can increase the rate of blood flow near the skin. This can lead to a faster rate of absorption of fentanyl into the bloodstream for patients who are wearing a pain patch. Because of the extreme potency of fentanyl—about 80-100 times greater than morphine—this increased absorption can place pain patch users at an increased risk of an overdose.
According to the warning label for fentanyl, patients using the pain patch may also face an increased overdose risk from other heat sources. The drug’s warning label states that heating pads, saunas, whirlpools, hot tubs, waterbeds, and sunbathing may also increase the rate at which fentanyl is absorbed into the body, putting patients at risk. Dr. Eberlein says that even sitting in a hot car or living in a home without air conditioning can also increase the overdose risk associated with fentanyl.
The Mayo Clinic has also warned about other risks caused by warm temperatures for patients using the fentanyl pain patch. The clinic says that increased sweating caused by higher temperatures may cause the pain patch to become loose on a patient’s skin. If patients with a loose patch come into contact with another person—especially young children—the patch may stick to the other person’s skin, putting them at risk of overdose from the fentanyl gel inside the patch.
If you or a loved one have suffered a fentanyl overdose or suffered a combined drug overdose caused by the interaction between fentanyl and other CNS-depressant medications, you may qualify to file a lawsuit. The first step in determining whether you are eligible to file a case is to talk with an attorney with the experience to handle your fentanyl claim from start to finish.
The lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson are committed to helping patients and their families who have been affected by doctors or other healthcare providers who irresponsibly prescribe painkillers or other dangerous drugs to patients. Our law firm has represented numerous patients who have suffered complications from opioid painkillers, including fentanyl.
Heygood, Orr & Pearson has represented numerous patients who have suffered complications from opioid painkillers, and have handled more cases involving the fentanyl pain patch than all other firms in the U.S. combined. Our law firm has achieved verdicts and settlements in fentanyl lawsuits on behalf of our clients totaling tens of millions of dollars.
For a free legal consultation from an attorney to find out if you are eligible to file a fentanyl case, contact the lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson by calling toll-free at 1-877-446-9001, or by filling out the free case evaluation form located at the top of this page.