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One Fentanyl Patch Almost Lethal Dose

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Haliburton, ON: A few years ago Stuart suffered a back injury from a boating accident that caused two herniated discs and a great deal of pain. Stuart was taking a lot of painkillers and discovered he was allergic to many narcotics, including morphine. His doctor was concerned that Stuart was becoming dependent on painkillers, so he suggested the fentanyl patch. Stuart was given the Duragesic patch because it is (supposedly) a slow-release medication, but just one was almost a lethal dose, likely because the patch he wore should have been part of the Duragesic recall.

Back PainStuart's pain was so bad that he was going to the hospital on a nightly basis for demerol injections and then he would go home and try to get some sleep. "That is when the doctor was concerned that I might become dependent on demerol so they suggested that I try the fentanyl patch," says Stuart. "I reminded him that I have a severe reaction to morphine but he said it will be OK due to the slow-release of the Duragesic patch.

"He happened to have some free samples and gave me about 5 to try, and see how I got on with them. If they work, he would write me a prescription. He applied a patch at the hospital and I came home. Within one hour I was itchy all over my body. Within about 2-3 hours I began to get nauseated and had hot and cold flashes. I remember that I didn't sleep at all that night. By morning I was throwing up and my whole body was covered in a bright red rash.

My wife, Melissa, and I had an appointment with an insurance agent that morning and as I was outside surveying the boat damage I couldn't stop throwing up. He said I looked really bad and we should suspend the meeting. I came back into the house, saw my wife, told her what was going on and suggested I go back to the hospital. I ran outside, threw up again and she came outside to see if I was OK.

She found me unconscious, face down in the snow. When Melissa turned me over, my eyes rolled back and I was totally out of it. She called 911 and the paramedics were there within a few minutes. All of my vitals had dropped and I was barely conscious—I don't remember any of this. Melissa said they put me into the ambulance and continued to work on me. We'd had a snowstorm so they couldn't send a helicopter to get me to the main hospital. Instead they took me to the local hospital and I was in their 'crash room' (trauma center) for several hours. They let Melissa come in; she told me that lots of doctors were working on me but they were also panicking; they didn't know how to get me back around.

When they first did some tests at the hospital, the doctors saw the patch on my arm and took it off. They knew, right away, that the patch had caused this—I had taken a massive overdose and it caused me to go into a convulsion. I had passed out and stopped breathing; the doctors told Melissa that I could have died.

My wife had been at the end of her tether since my boating accident but this was terrifying. I was in hospital for a month. They kept me on demerol and determined the fentanyl patch was likely faulty—I had received a 3-day dose in 12 hours.

I went to the hospital for tests last year and they noticed I'd had a small heart attack. The doctors don't know when it occurred but it is possible that the heart attack is also associated with the fentanyl. This happened when I was 39 and apart from my back injury, I am in good health; there was no explanation as to why I would suffer a heart attack.

I've since had back surgery and things are better but I still have a slightly herniated disc and I still have to take painkillers occasionally but never, ever will I take the fentanyl patch again.

I'm not the kind of person to go on the claims bandwagon but due to the bad press about fentanyl and discovering how many people have suffered from the faulty Duragesic patch, I want to help get this drug off the market. I read horrendous stories and some people have died—I almost died! How did it ever get approved? Seems that this medication has done way more bad than it has done good."

READER COMMENTS

Posted by
christie williams
on
Read. All instructions. I'm on the patch and it works for me. So you guys wanna sue/ get the medicine off the market. You guys are a bunch of selfish people.

Posted by
Ken
on
My daughter was prescribed the fentanyl patch. It was defective. She died one night. I will never get her back. Is my objection to this medicine considered selfish too?

Posted by
Daniel Maloney
on
Stuart was merely trying to sue someone for his boating accident...damn freeloader.
Try real pain what I live with 30 years 10 spine operations.
You use Fentanyl for chronic pain after you are opiod tolerant,
as I have done.
Stuart should go get a job.

Posted by
bo worley
on
will 50 x 50 x 5 mcg fetanol trnsdemal hewewd up kill you

Posted by
rabidmama
on
This is why Drs won't give people who need pain relief this. Everyone is sue happy... This is why I have had to fire Drs so my kid who is terminal can get the pain relief she needs.

Posted by
Franci
on
Wait, you want to try and get this vital painkiller that helps thousands and thousands of pain patients and cancer patients live a life without excruciating pain off the market....because you're allergic to it!?!

Clearly this drug is not for you, but this doesn't mean it should be taken off the market for your sake! Very selfish.

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