FDA Warns about Risk to Children from Pain Patches

pain patches

The FDA recently warned about the risks to young children from the use of skin patches that contain fentanyl.

The FDA recently warned about the risks to young children from the use of skin pain patches that contain fentanyl.  The agency is concerned enough about the risks to issue a Drug Safety Communication. The notice warns caregivers, patients as well as healthcare workers about the dangers to children when they are exposed to the pain patches.

This risk is from accidental exposure to the fentanyl pain patches. Typically, that accidental exposure occurs as a result of improper storage and disposal of these patches.  The Food and Drug Administration says that it aware of at least 32 cases involving children who were accidentally exposed to the drug since 1997. In most of the cases, the children were below the age of two.

Many of these cases involved fatalities. In 12 of the cases, the children died as a result of this exposure, and in 12 cases, the children were injured seriously enough to require hospitalization.

The Food and Drug Administration is not mincing words. According to the agency, these events are very tragic, and the agency is currently evaluating ways to reduce the risk to children. Right now, the main way of preventing these risks is for product liability lawyers to educate patients as well as their families about the right ways to store these pain reliever patches, and the right ways to dispose of used patches.

The fentanyl that is contained in this pain patches is an opioid painkiller, which is often sold under the brand name Duragesic. Generic versions are also available. Exposure can occur when a child applies one of the patches to the skin, or puts it into his mouth. Symptoms can include slow breathing due to increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the blood.

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