Duragesic Overdose Lawsuit

February 17, 2011

The Fentanyl filled Duragesic Patch, also known as the Duragesic Fentanyl Patch, Duragesic Transdermal Fentanyl Patch, Duragesic Fentanyl Transdermal System or Durogesic Transdermal Fentanyl Pain Patch has been linked to over 120 overdose deaths and has been subject to multiple US FDA recalls & Public Health Advisories.  If you or someone you know has died or been severely injured as a result of using a Duragesic brand pain patch, or any other fentanyl pain patch, talk to a Duragesic Fentanyl Lawsuit Lawyer at the Willis Law Firm for legal advice about filing a potential Duragesic Lawsuit.

A recall in cooperation with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is currently being conducted regarding Fentanyl Gel Leaks in the Duragesic brand of pain patches. Duragesic 25 mcg/hr (fentanyl transdermal system) and Sandoz Inc. 25 mcg/hr fentanyl transdermal system patches being recalled may have a cut along one side of the drug reservoir within the patch. The result is a possible release of fentanyl gel from the gel reservoir into the pouch in which the patch is packaged, exposing patients or caregivers directly to fentanyl gel. Exposure to fentanyl gel may lead to serious adverse events, including respiratory depression and possible overdose, which can lead to death or permanent diasability.

Duragesic Pain Patch Recall

In February 2004, a leading fentanyl supplier, Janssen Pharmaceutica Products, L.P. recalled one lot of fentanyl (brand name: Duragesic) patches because of seal breaches which may allow the drug to leak from the patch. The recall notice warned that “exposure to the Duragesic hydrogel contents could result in an increased absorption of the opioid component, fentanyl, leading to increased drug effect, including nausea, sedation, drowsiness, or potentially life threatening complications.” Janssen also later recalled additional lots; a series of Class II Recalls were then initiated in March 2004 due to a potentially life-threatening manufacturing defect. At least one fatality, possibly due to the defect, has been reported to the American FDA.

The 25 mcg/hr Duragesic patches manufactured by ALZA Corporation were also recalled in February 2008 due to a concern that small cuts in the gel reservoir could result in accidental exposure of patients or health care providers to the fentanyl gel. Overexposure in patients, or even slight exposure in non opioid tolerant people, could possibly result in a fatal overdose.

PriCara Recalled 25 mcg/hr Duragesic Fentanyl Transdermal Systems and CII Pain Patches from PriCara, Division of Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc.  All lots of 25 microgram/hour (mcg/hr) Duragesic (fentanyl transdermal system) CII patches sold by PriCara in the United States and all 25 mcg/hr fentanyl patches sold by Sandoz Inc. in the United States have been voluntarily recalled as a precaution from wholesalers and pharmacies. All 25 mcg/hr fentanyl patches manufactured by ALZA and sold in Canada also were also recalled.

As per the approved product labeling for Duragesic, fentanyl is a potent Schedule II opioid medication. Fentanyl patches that are cut or damaged in any way should not be used. Anyone who comes in contact with fentanyl gel should thoroughly rinse exposed skin with large amounts of water only; do not use soap. Immediately safe-guard affected patches with cut edges by storing them in a plastic container in a safe place, using caution not to handle them directly.

Defective fentanyl patches should be kept away from children and animals and not disposed of until you have spoken to a Duragesic Lawsuit Lawyer – Fentanyl Lawsuit Attorney or healthcare professional. Patches with a cut edge that have leaked gel will not provide effective pain relief. Anyone who has 25 mcg/hr Duragesic or Sandoz Inc. fentanyl patches should check the box or foil pouch for the expiration date to see if they have patches that are being recalled. The recalled patches all have expiration dates on or before December 2009. The cut edge in affected patches can be seen upon opening the sealed foil pouch that holds the patch. Affected patches should not be handled directly. Patients using fentanyl patches who have medical questions should contact their health-care providers.

What are Duragesic Fentanyl Patches?

Duragesic Fentanyl 75 Transdermal Pain PatchDuragesic patches are used to manage persistent moderate to severe chronic pain that needs to be treated around the clock and which cannot be treated by: combination narcotic, short-acting, or non-narcotic pain treatment products. It should only be used by people who are receiving or have developed a tolerance to pain therapy with opioids. Duragesic should not be used if patients have pain that will go away in a few days, such as pain from surgery, medical or dental procedures, or short-lasting conditions. Any adverse reactions experienced with the use of fentanyl patches should be reported to your health-care providers. Duragesic brand and other fentanyl patches are available by prescription only, through pharmacies, and should be used only under the supervision of a physician.

Fentanyl is 100 times more potent than morphine as an analgesic. It is a mu opioid receptor agonist with high lipid solubility and a rapid onset and short duration of effects. Fentanyl rapidly crosses the blood-brain barrier. It is similar to other mu opioid receptor agonists (like morphine or oxycodone) in its pharmacological effects and produces analgesia, sedation, respiratory depression, nausea, and vomiting. Fentanyl appears to produce muscle rigidity with greater frequency than other opioids.

Duragesic Class Action Lawsuit vs. Individual Duragesic Fentanyl Lawsuit

There are distinct differences between a Duragesic Fentanyl Transdermal Pain Patch class action lawsuit and a more typical individual Duragesic Fentanyl Transdermal Pain Patch lawsuit. A Duragesic Fentanyl class action lawsuit would be a form of Duragesic lawsuit in which a large group of people (plaintiffs) collectively bring a lawsuit to court in the form of a “class action” against the manufacturer of the Duragesic Fentanyl Transdermal Pain Patch (defendant).

In a class action lawsuit involving personal injury, resulting from defective Duragesic Fentanyl Transdermal Pain Patches, all Duragesic lawsuit plaintiffs would typically be grouped together into a single Duragesic Fentanyl Transdermal Pain Patch class action lawsuit, regardless of the degree or severity of their injuries. In this type of Duragesic Fentanyl Transdermal class action lawsuit, plaintiffs with injuries ranging from minor ones not requiring further attention, all the way to the most severe injuries including potentially life threatening complications and even death by accidental overdose, would be grouped into one single Duragesic Fentanyl Transdermal Pain Patch class action lawsuit. All plaintiffs in the class would share any award or settlement resulting from that Duragesic Fentanyl Transdermal Pain Patch class action lawsuit.

In Duragesic Fentanyl Transdermal Pain Patch lawsuits involving catastrophic injury or death, an individual lawsuit, in most cases, is more appropriate and in the plaintiff’s best interest. Duragesic Fentanyl Transdermal Pain Patches have been linked to severe injuries, including potentially life threatening complications and death. Duragesic Fentanyl Transdermal Pain Patch cases such as these are better suited to an individual Duragesic Fentanyl Transdermal Pain Patch lawsuit because of the severity and degree of injury to the plaintiff. In an individual Duragesic Fentanyl Transdermal Pain Patch lawsuit, each plaintiff’s case is filed, presented and considered individually, based on its own strength and degree of injury.In many cases involving Duragesic Fentanyl Transdermal Pain Patches, with medical care, victims may be able to lead mostly normal and productive lives.

An individual Duragesic Fentanyl Transdermal Pain Patch lawsuit allows each Duragesic Fentanyl Transdermal Pain Patch victim, their injuries and their future needs to be considered on an individual basis when determining damages, awards and settlement amounts, and not as part of a class action lawsuit.

Duragesic Lawsuit Attorney

Poorly designed medications like the Duragesic brand pain patch or any other fentanyl pain patches may cause accidental overdose or other severe and devastating injuries. Seek immediate medical attention if you are suffering an emergency situation resulting from the use of a Duragesic brand pain patch or any other fentanyl pain patch.

If you or someone you know has been severely injured as a result of a Duragesic brand and other fentanyl pain patch, talk to a Duragesic fentanyl lawsuit Attorney at the Willis Law Firm for legal advice about a potential Duragesic lawsuit.  You are not alone.  Join other Duragesic fentanyl pain patch victims and their families in fighting for their legal rights. It may be too late to recover from some of the devastating effects of the Duragesic Pain Patch, but an experienced pharmaceutical products liability attorney at the Willis Law Firm can assist you in a legal action against PriCara, a Division of Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, the makers of the Duragesic Pain Patch and in filing a Duragesic Lawsuit.

Please fill out the Free Case Evaluation to the right or call us toll-free at 1-800-883-9858. Please keep in mind that certain states have a statute of limitations that limits the amount of time you have to file a Duragesic fentanyl lawsuit or to seek legal action. Contact our law firm immediately so we may explain the rights and options available to you and your family.

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