According to the Food and Drug Administration (or F.D.A.), four out of the six most deadly prescription medications given to Americans are members of a class of powerful painkillers known as opioids. Opioids are related to opium, long known for its painkilling effects. Modern opioids, however, are up to 100 times more potent and are therefore relatively much more dangerous. Although all of these drugs, which include oxycodone (also known as OxiContin), fentanyl, morphine, and methadone, have legitimate medical uses, they also have all proven to be very deadly.
As powerful painkillers, these drugs are used to treat those suffering from great pain, including patients recovering from surgery and those with severe long-term pain, such as some cancer patients. However, opioids are often overprescribed by doctors, leading to patient addiction. Even if properly prescribed, accidental misuse of these drugs is common and can result in a deadly overdose.
Overuse of or overdosing on any of these drugs can cause respiratory arrest or respiratory depression, both of which can lead to death. The drugs also have other side effects, which can get worse the longer their use is continued. If you or someone you know has used these opioids and suffered a bad outcome from using them, contact us. You may be eligible to file a lawsuit and be compensated for your loss.