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Oxycontin – pain medication may result in Injury and Death

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Oxycodone is a central nervous system depressant.  In this family of drugs is the pharmaceutical OxyContin®, which is manufactured by Defective Products Lawyers – Oxycodone Lawyer Purdue Pharma LP.  Oxycodone’s action appears to work through stimulating the central nervous system receptors which create feelings/effects of analgesia, euphoria, and, respiratory depression.  Generally speaking, as with any over-utilized medication, people can develop a tolerance or resistance to the drug’s effects after repeated and/or prolonged use.  This is particularly true with OxyContin because of the amount of oxycodone contained in the tablet.  At this time OxyContin is available for prescription in 10 milligram (mg), 20 mg, 40 mg, 80 mg , and 160 mg tablets.  Two other popular pain medications, Percocet and Percodan, contain only 5 mg and 2.25 mg of oxycodone, respectively.

OxyContin® is a form of synthetic morphine which is normally taken in tablet form.  OxyContin is extremely potent and effective at reducing pain for a period of several hours. It is primarily used by cancer patients.  However, it is also used for other ailments and its popularity has grown as the ‘pain-killer’ of choice by many doctors and patients.  The drug itself, as indicated above, is extremely potent, which increases the possibility of overdose.  These factors heighten the concern that doctors may be prescribing OxyContin to patients who, while in need of a pain reliever, are not in need of this particular drug or are over-prescribing OxyContin to patients.  Both could lead to addiction and possibly death.

As a matter of comparison, to see the harm that can be caused by improper use of this drug one must only look at the recent accounts of its abuse by drug addicts looking to secure a ber ‘fix’.  Addicts intensify OxyContin’s heroin-like effects by injecting or snorting it.  In order to use the drug in this manner it must first be crushed.  By doing this the time-release capacity of the drug is eliminated and the entire effect of the drug is immediate.  The effect is euphoric and highly addictive.  The Associated Press reports that, as of the time of this writing, Florida “recorded 152 deaths attributed to overdoses of OxyContin and other morphine-like prescription drugs in the last six months of 2000, a report by the state’s medical examiners shows.”  For the full article, please read Defective Products Lawyers – Oxycodone Lawyer here.

Some states are making plans to curb the abuse of OxyContin.  For more information, please read this Defective Products Lawyers – Oxycodone Lawyer article.  Additionally, Pfizer, the manufacturer of OxyContin, is planning to reformulate the drug to prevent future abuse.  This will be done by inserting adding a chemical (which does not affect authorized consumers) which negates the effects of OxyContin when crushed.  Crushing OxyContin is the method by which most people currently abuse OxyContin.

This action by government, Purdue Pharma LP, and doctors, is intended to protect patients and to head off the possibility of liability.

 

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Symptoms of Overdose:

 

Side Effects:
  • Dizziness
  • Slow breathing
  • Seizures
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Confusion
  • Small Pupils
  • Weakness
  • Cold Clammy Skin
  • Coma
  • Constipation
  • Dryness of the mouth
  • Light-headedness
  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Sedation
  • Respiratory Depression
  • Sweating
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

 

Doctor Charged With Murder Over OxyContin

July 30,2001

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) – A doctor was charged with murder for allegedly improperly prescribing the painkiller OxyContin to a man who died of a drug overdose.

Denis Deonarine, 56, also was charged with racketeering and drug trafficking in an 80-count indictment issued Friday. The indictment was sealed because other defendants remained at large, prosecutor Barry Krischer said.

Deonarine was jailed pending a bail hearing. He was charged in May with related Medicaid fraud charges. His office manager also has been charged with fraud, trafficking and racketeering.

The first-degree murder charge involved the death of Michael Labzda, 21, who died Feb. 8.

Richard Lubin, Deonarine’s lawyer, said the murder charges were inappropriate because alcohol and other drugs were found in Labzda’s body.

“I’m very surprised the state chose to charge Dr. Deonarine with a drug overdose,” he said. “I don’t know what their thinking is.”

A handful of other doctors around the nation have been charged with manslaughter in similar cases. But Deonarine could face either the death penalty or life in prison without parole if convicted on the first-degree murder charge.

“It is a new concept,” prosecutor Barbara Burns said. OxyContin is a slow-release narcotic painkiller intended to relieve moderate to severe chronic pain from such problems as arthritis and cancer. One pill is designed to last 12 hours, but those who abuse OxyContin usually crush pills and then snort or inject them to unlock a quick, heroin-like high.

OxyContin has been linked to overdose deaths across the county. Florida has recorded 152 deaths attributed to overdoses of OxyContin and other morphine-like prescription drugs in the last six months of 2000, a report by the state’s medical examiners shows.

Copyright 2001 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

 

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