An incredibly addictive and potentially deadly drug unnecessarily prescribed to an “alarming” number of patients.
That’s what a just-released report in the Journal of the American Medical Association reveals.
The study found thousands of patients received a highly potent form of the opioid fentanyl when they shouldn’t have.
Researchers said the US Food and Drug Administration and opioid manufacturers failed to closely monitor the use of the restricted fentanyl as part of a federal program, aimed at reducing abuse and misuse of the drug.
The class of fentanyl that goes into the bloodstream within seconds is 100-times more powerful than morphine and is highly addictive.
It’s designed for cancer patients already taking opioids for breakthrough pain.
Opioids bind to the areas of the brain that control pain and emotions and raise dopamine levels giving people a feeling of euphoria.
Because the brain gets used to the feel-good hormones, it often takes more and more of the drug to relieve pain.
All this can lead to dependence, addiction, and overdoses.
The FDA has not commented on the report.