Though the details surrounding this event remain scarce — such as whether he was prescribed the drug or not — we already know a lot about this potent and fast-acting painkiller.
Using data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, OpenFDA and recent news events, HealthGrove compiled important information you should know about Fentanyl.
Death and Other Adverse Reactions by Fentanyl
Even when prescribed by a doctor, some people still experience serious adverse side effects from Fentanyl. The New York Times referred to it as heroin’s deadly cousin, an apt description given recent trends.
Fentanyl is up to 50 times more potent than morphine and dealers cut it into other drugs to sell to unsuspecting buyers. This cheap tactic gives a stronger high and keeps addicts coming back. U.S. law enforcement officials believe that much of the supply crosses the border from labs in Mexico or via mail-orders from factories in China.
In the case of prescribed usage, from Jan. 1, 2000 to Jan. 1, 2016, Fentanyl, under any and all of its brand name derivatives, has been included in 44,284 adverse reaction reports, of which 32,389 were reported as serious, according to OpenFDA. Of those, Fentanyl was the primary suspect in 17,169 of the reports.