Fentanyl Pain Patch Wrongful Death Lawsuit Results in $13.3 Million Verdict

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By: AboutLawsuits | Published: October 30th, 2008

A Florida jury has returned a verdict in a wrongful death lawsuit that calls for Johnson & Johnson subsidiaries to pay $13.3 million to the family of a woman killed by their Duragesic fentanyl pain patch.

The lawsuit was filed in Seminole County, Florida by Susan Hodgemire’s husband and five children. The 34 years old mother died in June 2002 of a fentanyl overdose after placing two Duragesic pain patches on her skin for pain relief after back surgery.

Duragesic is the brand name for fentanyl pain patches, which are also now available under several generic labels.

They are designed to provide pain relief over an extended period of time by gradually releasing fentanyl directly through the skin in a controlled fashion. However, hundreds of fentanyl overdose deaths have been caused by manufacturing defects and inadequate warnings provided by the manufacturers.

The Seminole County Jury awarded the family $13.3 million on October 29, 2008, in the third fentanyl patch lawsuit to reach trial.

The first two fentanyl patch lawsuits to be decided by a jury resulted in combined verdicts of $6.3 million in favor of the plaintiffs. The first case was won in July 2006 by the family of a Texas woman and the second case was won in June 2007 by the family of a Florida man.

A fourth fentanyl pain patch was scheduled for trial to begin this week in Chicago.

Johnson & Johnson and their subsidiaries currently face over 60 Duragesic patch lawsuits according to an August 2008 filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. However, lawyers investigating fentanyl patch cases are continuing to review other cases and the total number of lawsuits filed is expected to eventually top 200.

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There Are 69 Comments So Far • (Add Your Comments)

  1. Most lawsuits involving Fentanyl involve the Fentanyl patch. I’d like any information about any deaths involved in the use of Fentanyl through intravenous push. I suspect that no doctor in their right mind would introduce Fentanyl through this method, except for the incompetent “quack” that executed my 85 year old mother a few weeks ago. Official cause of death: severe coronary. Still awaiting the toxicology report.

  2. 1. the mother of 5 that died in this article is my mother. No amount of money will ever bring her back or make the pain just go away. The only thing that would EVER do that is to get her back and not lose her to carelessness like this again!! 2. on the comment by R. Jesterhoudt being pregnant with my 2nd child and having severe problems in the pregnancy the only thing that the hospital can give me due to an asprin allergy is fentanyl and they give it to me intravenously with losing my mother due to the med. can you imagine how terrified i am to even get checked out for pain anymore? but i am not an incompetent quack so “YES” they are administering it to anyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. my wife used these patches for years and she passed away on nov 13th 2008

  4. My grandparents and uncle were killed by a man wearing this patch in a car accident in ’06. He had 3-4 times the amount that is suppose to be in one patch. All this man gets is probation because the prosecution won’t take it to jury do to this class action lawsuit, and because the doctors that prescribed the patch don’t have to show up to court because it is a federal hospital “VA” .

  5. My husband used these patches for years and he died on september 26,2007. He had a massive heart attack. he was 47 years old!!!!!!!! so I’m a widow trying to raise , support ,and comfort my 3 daughters and two step-children. I hated those patches because they totally change him. I can’t get him back but if i could stop someone else losing a loved one due to the fentanyl patch it would worth the fight. i see them as DEATH!!!!
    Fenetanyl patches should be more monitior when prescribe by doctors.

  6. JAMIE- you have to remember that this article is very vague and does not go into alot of the details of the case or of the drug itself. I know you’ve suffered alot, all of us have. But you cannot lash out at people that comment on this because they really don’t know all the subtelies of what is really happening here. You should see the mess your borther is going though in school as a result of all this. Keep your head up kiddo. We all love and miss you. -Dad

  7. My brother in law died on April 16, 2009. He was only 49 years old Manner of Death was accidental Fentanyl overdose. He was perscribed the patch only a month before he passed. He only took what was perscribed to him and no more. He had a major heart attack from the fentanyl patch. The medical examiner confirmed this and the toxicolgy report. Very sad. His life was cut short, because of this drug. With all the lawsuits and overdoses caused from this drug, why hasn’t the FDA pull the patches off the market? My sister is a 47 year old widow now and my 3 neices lost a loving father.

  8. Gosh Jacqueline,
    Your story is the same exact one as my sister. I am so sorry for your loss. My sister has 3 daughters also. Her husband died on April 16, the day of your post. He was only 49. My sister said the same thing, how different he was on the patch. He even hated how it made him feel. He was only on them for a short time. He suffered with cronic back pain. It seems like these stories are the same……people suffering heart attacks on this patch and calling it accidental overdoses. I wonder if these doctors check the patients hearts, before perscribing this drug. I know in my brother in laws case, the doctor never did any test on his heart. He was giving the patch about a month before he died. The medical examiner also said that he had heart desease. If that is the case and this crap causes heart attacks, this doctor should have checked his heart for desease first, before allowing this drug to take my brother in laws life. My thoughts and prayers are with you, your family and all the other families who had their loved ones life cut short because of this patch. Again, why hasn’t the FDA pull this drug off the market is my question?

  9. My son died 2-25-07 due to fentanyl intoxication, he turned 34 the week before. He left behind 3 daughters as well as his mom, dad, brother, wife etc. We were gathered for a family birthday party and my mom (82 yrs old) found him in the bathroom, dead . After investigating on my own I found out less than 2 days before he was a patient at a local ER and was given an IV of morphine. When the EMS squaud got there one of the responders said he could guarantee us that the fentanyl patch would be the cause of death. He was right. How long can the FDA ignore this?

  10. Good riddance. My father, aged 49, died a year and a half ago due to a fentanyl overdose, lawsuit pending. He left behind two sons and me, his daughter, along with a large loving family and two kittens he had adopted two montsh earlier. He had just moved into a new place and was ready to start fresh in a new town. My dad died of an overdose, not a heart attack or anything else. He was in pretty good health otherwise, just in chronic pain due to horrid back pain. My dad was never the same on those horrid things. Because of that one incident, I don’t think I’ll ever trust a doctor or a drug company again. Medicine is supposed to improve lives, not end them. I’m only 16, and unless you’ve been there, you have no idea how hard it is trying to grow up without your best friend there for you. The doctor that prescribed them to him never checked his weight. It dropped dramatically over a period of a few years he was on it. Instead of decreasing the dose as his weight went down, she upped it. She now is getting ready to lose her medical liscense. You have no idea how hard it is finding a lawyer who can take down these drug companies. They make you jump through every hoop because they know they have done wrong. It is only a matter of time before the FDA realizes this. I don’t want to see another daughter grow up without her father.

  11. My mother passed away Feb 4th 2007 from the fentanyl patch. She was on other medications and her doctor knew this and prescribed her this patch without thinking of the interactions and the strenth of this drug. I just got married 2 months ago and my mother was not there with my family to join in the happiest day of my life and will never meet my children when I have them. This drug is ruining peoples lives and they are still prescribing it to people without diclosing the side effects.

  12. My Mother just passed recently on 6-15-2009 from fentanyl toxicity thats what the toxicology report said. The day she died was the most dramatic day of our life she left behind 5 children me the youngest at age 24 and and just shy of my 25 birthday one week prior of her death. The worst is she was found in her bed by my father who yelled for me to save her and i did the best i could until the ambulance came i have to live with that day for the rest of my life because those stupid patches which should have not been prescribed in the first place. What kills me is that she was taking them for years until just recently she started taking the 25mcg/hr to cut off of them and it took the best of her she wasnt the same person that i knew growing up it drained the life right out of her. My mother was a respected LPN who just did not deserve to die and leave the ones she loves left behind. I Miss you mom, I wish i could turn back time and change every thing to be there that morning just alittle sooner to have saved your life, but i know that just wishful thinking RIP.

  13. My mother passed away in Feb of 2003. She died of congestive heart failure but she did use the duragesic patch for quite awhile. She had osteoarthritis and herniated discs. She wore several patches on her arms and I had to write the dates on them to know when to change them. The odd thing was she was still in pain. No one seemed to think this was out of the ordinary but now I wonder. When she went into the hospital several times the nurses seemed amazed she was still functioning. Does anyone think I have a case?

  14. My mother passed away march5, 2009 due to respitory failure. She used thoses patches daily for about 2 years. I watched her whole appearance and personality change, as well as breathing problems that came along with this patch. In the days prior to her passing she was delerious and saying things that didnt make sence. I miss my mother and she probably had alot more years left in her.

  15. My beautiful 25 year old daughter lost her life to accidental fentanyl poisoning in May 2009. She just picked up the 75mcg patch the day before and died several hours later from a lethal dose. No other medications were found in her toxicology report. She left behind two small children, a husband and her dad and myself and her brother. We all love and miss her so much. This is a pain that no one should ever have to endure. God rest her soul and may she never be in pain again.

  16. My husband has been taking percocet since 2003 for chronic lumbar pain. In July 2009, hebegan to experience intractable abdominal pain. He was started on the fentanyl patch in July 2009. On October 26, 2009, he suffered a heart attack at the age of 48. Fortunately, I was able to get him to the ER and had an EKG, which determined a heart attack…he was rushed to the cath lab and had a heart cath procedure, which revealed blocked coronary artery and stents were placed to open the artery allowing blood flow to the heart muscle. Thank God!!! That was a major scare since I could have lost him. I have wondered whether the fentanyl patch could have contributed to the heart attack. However, my husband continues with the patch and the side effects that he experiences are cold clammy skin, excessive sweating, increased fatigue, and loss of appetite. I am concerned about my husband since he mentioned that labs to check the fentanyl level in his blood were ot ordered since start of the fentanyl patch.

  17. My 54yr old sister collapsed face first on concrete from addiction to dilaudid in August concurently with spinal blocks every six weeks. A month later after acute withdrawls the same doctor prescribed a 25mcg along with a 75mcg patch and died six days later in her apartment. Wrongful death lawsuit?

  18. My Mother died August 19, 2008. Her death certificate states “accidental fentanyl patch overdose.” I contacted 1 attorney firm, they sent me a letter a month later stating they could not take my case. I don’t understand? Anyone have advice or knowledge in this area?

  19. My mum died suddenly this year from fentanyl overdose. She was found dead in a hot bath. She had no idea that it was dangerous to take a hot bath while wearing these patches, and had never been warned not too.

  20. My husband died October 25th of this year after being put on the 50mg Fentanyl Patch.Yes,he was terminal and on Hospice care but the patch sent him over the edge.It totally constricted his breathing…..This has caused hurt for our whole family…I complained to Hospice…got no results.He had been very alert and was dying a very natural death…not after being put on the patch.

  21. My son is 34 and had he colon removed 7 yrs ago to ulcerative colitis, Because the steroids they treated him with did not work. But Thomas Jefferson Univeristy said the steroids caused his avascular necrosis, dead bone of all joints. Hip replacement, so far, shoulders, knees, wrists, all. He was given the fentanyl patch about 5 yrs ago. And has crashed his life twice to the gutter from pain meds at pain management. These are sick places in my eyes. The last time he was taken away and went through detox in June of 09. He was in 5 differnt mental health units through out PA.And tried kiling himself 3 times getting off of them. I had to move to 2 blocks from work. He can’t take care of himself. He can’t handle pain so he says without patch. So now it is February and the Dr put him back on 25 mg. I have power of attorney, disperse meds, and since Dr put him back on the patch in Dec. He has not gotten out of bed since. He lays day and night with the covers over his head. I am trying mental health for both him and I. He could care less now about anything but his meds. He hates the patch and is now wanting to go back on the methadone, because fentanyl is an OPIATE! WHAT in Gods name is with Dr’s and Pharmaceuiticals. If he sees 45 I will be amazed. I called counseling for myself yesterday, because I don’t know what to do. Please help. I have fairly descent job, work non stop, becuase I and he will never have a life. He won’t go anywhere or wants nothing. He just lays and gets up for diner and goes back to bed. He is so addicted to the patch I can’t stand it. So now he starts at the bottom of 12mg to 25 then on up the ladder till then something on top of that because no matter how much you take, you still need more, then more because after a period of time it does not work and you need more and more. And Pain Management gives you tests to make sure that you just don’t stop breathing on the stuff. He has not had a girlfriend since he started taking the patch. He will never have a normal life because of the disease and drugs they prescribe. Do I ask medicare for a nurse to come in and help me change bedding and bathe him? It went from trying to kill himself off the patch, then back on and he is laying in bed 24/7 since Nov/Dec.

  22. My Mother died from Fentanyl intoxication, November 2008. She died slowly from respitory failure and I believe could have been saved. She took Vicadin for pain from athritis and carpel tunnel. Why Fentanyl patches were prescribed is beyond me. My mother had a history of abusing pain medication…..So why would a doctor give a person with an addictive personality a drug so lethal. I realize that we are all responsible for our choices, but doctors should not have this type of power to use so irresponsibly. My mothers life had value even if she suffered from prescription abuse. The year my mother died was one of her happiest, she had a purpose which was to care for her mother full time as she spent her last days at home instead of with hospice. The crazy part of all of this was my grandmother, Her mother buried her daughter 5 months before her own death. She was lucid enough to realize that her daughter died from a poisoning of Fentanyl which could have been prevented.

  23. My grandma was diagnosed with breast cancer December 3, 2009. They removed her left breast January 18, 2010. However, within two weeks the doctor came it and told us the cancer had started to spread and was now in her liver. They sent her home with the diagnoses of a few weeks to a couple of months left to live. She was not goin to be in any pain he said and for the most part she wasn’t. She was put on Hospice, but she doin good she was still up and getting around and doin her normal stuff for the most part. Then she started complaining about some pain where her insision was so the hospice doctor (without coming out to see her) put her on hydrocodone but it didnt really seem to help so they gave me morphin to give her only 5mg but she didnt like the way it made her feel so again without coming to see her the doctor changed her meds and put her on the fentanyl patch and within a day of being on it she started sleeping alot more i couldnt hardly get her to stay awake to even eat. Then about three days later on Valetines night at 10pm she went to sleep and sisnt wake up again. She slept for two days and passed away on February 16, 2010 at 1:12pm. They say it wasnt the cancer that killed her that it was congestive heart failure. I can;t help but wonder after reading all these posts if it wasnt due to the fentanyl patch. Please those of you how have been through this please let me know what yall think. We haven’t got any reports back from the coroner yet.

  24. My mother was taking perscription drugs for years. My sisters and i began to complain because they would make her dose off. She was perscribed them for migraines and she also suffered from carportunel, from being a data entry clerk. So in 2008, she agreed to stop and her doc perscriber he the fentanly patch. And three months later my sister goes over there to drop her son her so she can go to work and my mother doesn’t answer the door and so she climbs through the window in her old back room and goes into mom’s room and finds her dead. We filed a lawsuit and were told we had a case rhen months later out of thin air we were told we didn’t. I was inspired by others peoples’ comments to post mine. So I would like to thank u all for sharing. Becacuse we will never forget our loved ONE.

  25. My mom passed away August 18, 2009, at the age of 50, due to a heart attack. She had been on the Fentanyl patch since 2006 due to chronic pain and injuries from a car accident. Her doctor had just increased her dosage from 50mg to 75mg about 1 month before she died. At the time, I didn’t realize Fentanyl could have been the cause of her death.

  26. I am dealing with my mother and losing her this was has been devestating

  27. My brother died on 2/15/10 from a fentanyl patch being placed on his chest by a man that he hardly knew, had just met him the day before this happened, My brother was 45 years old, He was found dead in my mothers livimg room floor, and was stiff when she and my step-father found him, I got his death certificate 2 days ago, saying (total effects of fentanyl), My mother cries ALL of the time, and it breaks my heart that he is gone, I love and miss him so much, I talked to an attorney, but since the patch was not by a doctor, There is nothing that we can do, But the money means nothing, I just want this man to pay for taking my brothers life…

  28. My 80 yr. old mother was diagnosed with uterin cancer Aug. 2009, and underwent 3 chemo treatments which was too much for her and the cancer was still spreading, we decided to use hospice to make her last days comfortable, and she was doing fine. For the pain management they were giving her 15 mcg of morphine twice daily with a supplement of darvocet as needed. But she wasn’t doing too good on the morphine, it wasn’t controlling the pain correctly and they upped her to 30mcg. which was too much. They then put her on a 10 and a 25 mcg Fentnyl patch and a week after that she was gone. After seeing a commercial on TV about the recall I have started some research into it, and found this website here with these few testimonies. I am now very concerned. I was able to hold her hand and watch her take her last breath, and it just seems like she went so quickly, when at first she was doing so well with hospice. They told us it would be 4 – 6 months, and it ended up being less than 2 months. I am open to discussions with anyone who wants to talk, and any advice. There was no autopsy done, and she was buried just a few weeks ago.

  29. While I have sympathy for everyone who has lost a loved one due to accidental overdoses, I have to say the Duragesic Patch literally gave me back my life. I have had very severe Lupus for 20 years and because of pain I was unable to work for 12 years. I’m a research DVM so it was hard to give up my career. After about 2 years my pain management doctor finally convinced me to try the patch. I was amazed by the relief I received. I have to see the doctor (who is with a large teaching hospital) monthly in order for him to monitor my general health and the level of medication in my system. I have been able to resume my career. Again, I’m sorry for any deaths this drug might have caused.

  30. I just got prescribed this patch a couple of days ago and just put it on yesterday. I have seen a plethora of reviews because I always like to do research on any medication I have no knowledge about. I’m taking this patch off as soon as I get finished posting this because I have read 128 posts from here and another site and about 7 have been positive and all the others have been the same! I’m a business owner with a lot going on and don’t need this bullsh** ruining what I have going on! The Vicodin works fine, so I don’t know why my Dr. would even prescribe me something like this! I’m done as of now! I haven’t noticed any of my pain being taken away anyway so F*** IT! And if I have to, I’ll change Dr.’s! I have kids and I am only 32. I was involved in a bad motorcylce wreck July 29, 2008, where I broke my sternum, neck in two places, both legs, both feet, knocked my left eye out of my head and on top of all that, when my head hit the median, it cracked my skull and my brains were exposed! I was air-lifted and pronounced dead in the helicopter, but obviously I’m not! People can’t tell that all this has happened to me by talking to me or looking at me (besides the scar that goes around my head) and everyone is amazed and I am currently working with Guinness Book of World Records because of the incident and the amazing recovery! This patch can kiss it, I’m done! I’ll just keep excercising like I do on a daily basis, take my normal vicodin once, 4 times a day and keep my businesses thriving!

  31. I lost my dad to a fentnyl patch Dec 20th 2008.A hospital overdosed him. He was only 49yrs old with 2 grandsons that he adorded but will not see them grow up because someone had to make a REALLY big mistake.No amount of money will ever be enought justice for him or my family.
    He went to the hospital for a massive migrain and now he is gone.My advice to EVERYONE is if you or a loved one is hospitalized for any reason, WRITE EVERYTHING down.what they/you are given, told exc and by who.If you hae questions of concerns don’t let them give you the run around.Get ANSWERS.ANd INSIST on getting help!!!
    I miss my dad so much and would do anything to have him back!

  32. Fentanyl as we all now know is a very potent analgesic, which is way over prescribed. However, it helped my mother function for four years after she suffered through several fusions on her back. I did notice a change in her mood and what not but it seemed to be the only medicine that worked. Later on in her life she battled cancer and it did turn terminal. The drs started off with less potent apiods and eventually she was back on fentanyl. It dullened her pain considerably. Anyway, the drs are the ones responsible for prescribing the very potent drug at potent doses. Fentanyl should be used as a last resort, but some drs use it as a 1st or 2nd line drug. It is a drug that works, if prescribed correctly and not abused. It helped my mother a lot.

  33. On October, 2009 my 31-year old son died of a fentanyl overdose when the patch they put on him at the hospital leaked. He had chronic, severe migraine headaches and he had only been prescribed fentanyl for five months. He read every thing he could find on the medication and it scared the heck out of him, but the doctor said it was the best way to give him “quality of life!” I saw him mid-morning that day and we talked about what we would be doing later. I came back in the early afternoon to see him and he was dead. I tried CPR but he had been down too long.He was my only child and had become a close friend. My advice to anyone who has been urged to use fentanyl, DO NOT USE THIS DRUG outside of a hospital setting. It is like playing Russian roulette with a silenced gun that has a hair trigger. You won’t know when it goes off and it WILL kill you. My heart aches everyday because he is gone.
    Pain management clinics provide you with drugs on a regular basis. They encourage and develop tolerance and addictions in their patients. I do not understand their thinking at all. Worse they step up the drugs until the patient is on the highest possible dose…..this is NOT healing, it is INSANITY!

  34. I was only using the Fentanyl patch for a few months but it wasn’t controlling my pain and I felt it was killing me, so I decided to wean myself off of it. My pain management doctor had tried to get me to use the patch for a long time and I refused, but I eventually gave in because the pain was so great. It helped at first but it quickly made me worse. The withdrawal was terrible and I’m so grateful that I survived. My heart goes out to all of you who have lost family members to this evil drug. One day I hope to be well enough to be able to speak to groups about the dangers of Fentanyl. I’m in a lot of pain but I’m still alive and I tell everyone who will listen to stay away from Fentanyl. I still can’t believe it didn’t kill me and I am so sad to see that it has killed so many and is still being used by doctors so freely.

  35. I do not even know where to start. I am 17 and I stay at home with my grandmother(64yrs.), my 9 month old baby girl, and my boyfriend. I take care of my grandmother around the clock. She has became a totally different person since she has been on fentanyl. All she does is sit in a chair all day long with her eyes closed. She will literally fall asleep with food hanging out of her mouth. She acts like such a zombie. She started recieving the version of fentanyl that is supposed to stick better because hers kept falling off. Yesterday was the first day the she had that kind on. I t is the same exact strength as the other one, but it is just bigger and stickier. SHE HAS BEEN WHEEZING SOOO BAD> BUT SHE REFUSES TO TAKE OFF THE PATCH.. I told her that that patch will kill her if she don’t take it off. She refused. She has told me before that she wouldn’t take off the patch if it came down to this. She has already been to the hospital once for respiratory depression, (at the time her wheezing was not even half as bad as it is now) and they specifically told her not to put on another patch after they took hers off. As soon as she got home, she went straight to the pain patches. Her doctor knew she had to go to the hospital and everything, and he is sitll perscribing them to her. He even increased the dose. She has severe asthma, congestive heart failure, diabetes, and just about anything else you can think of. She is among many others who should have never been given fentanyl in the first place because the benefits DO NOT out way the risks. FENTANYL HAS STOLEN MYGRANDMA…She may not be dead in the literal sense, but she might as well be, because she acts dead all the time. (except on the day she gets her pain patch changed) . Because of Fentanyl, my grandmother doesn’t do anything but wheeze, eat, and sleep. Over the past 5 months I have told her doctor about her breathing and her judt doesnt listen. I have tried to get my grandmother to switch doctor’s, but she says that she doesn’t want to risk getting her pain patches taken away. I’m stuck, because there is only so much I can do. SOMETHING DEFINATELY NEEDS TO BE DONE..AND SOON. More innocent people are going to keep dying until there is something done. If they would have done something sooner, maybe no one would have had to lose anyone. I’m pretty sure i will be back to post soon at the way things are looking over here.. IWE NEED TO FIGHT THIS SOMEHOW. EVERYONE WHO’S LIFE HAS BEEN NEGATIVELY EFFECTED BY THIS DRUG CAN HELP HONOR THE DECEASED BY FIGHTING TO SAVE OTHER PEOPLE FROM DYING AND SAVE THEIR FAMILY AND FRIENDS FROM SUFFERING….

  36. Losing a child is like having a hole in your heart and not being able to find the right plug. It just a drip, drip, the fear is over whelming, and your tomorrows just keep on coming with a ever new day there is increasing flowing of blood. If you are taking the fentenal patch please stop for the people that love you. I understand your pain but there must be a better way my sweet baby had used the patch for some time before it killed her. It is not like ever patch will kill you but it only takes one that is defected to end your life forever it forever. My baby was just 31, and all her dreams were destroyed.

  37. My father died Jan 27,2010 2 days after being started on fentanyl. He lived alone, and was proud of still being able to drive and take care of himself. He had multiple myeloma tho and had some pain but wasn’t using pain medicine a month before he died. He told his Optimal nurse and I at Christmas 2009 during her weekly visit that he was just taking a couple cocktails, cranberry juice with vodka when he had pain.

    He apparently became very confused within two days of starting the patch. He was writing nonsense words on the inside and outside of his home’s doors. He was outside in freezing weather with just boxer shorts and 1 sock, was locked out , couldn’t get help and died. What a terrible and embarressing way to pass away. His fentantyl blood concentration was 18.9 ng/ml, which is very high according to the toxicology report. No other medicines were found
    I don’t understand why they would give him 75mg patches to start

  38. My father-in-law died suddenly alone in his apartment in August 2005. He was 50 years old and wearing a fentynal patch. We have been in litigation for the past 5 years. Hopefully my husband and his family can get some kind of closure soon. Trial begins this November if no settlement can be made.
    I work at a childrens hospital and see very sick kids prescribed this patch or IV everyday. It’s amazing how it can help you heal or if defected, take away your life.

  39. im a 34 year old who has been perscribed the patch the 75s as a matter of fact ,i dont have any other options and now im kinda scared because of how people are dying from my meds……but the pain without them is insane ….wow alot to worry about huh?

  40. I just lost my brother August 26th 2010. He had back surgery in June, was treated with the fentynal patch while in the hospital. They covered it up, for him to shower and treated him with other meds. He stopped breathing and almost died. He entered a medical facility on August 24th, 2010 for depression with them administering him meds. He died while in their care, with them administering his meds, including fentynal. Someone didn’t do their job, didn’t check on him, he was deceased for 4 hours before found him and/or called someone. How does this happen???? How is this medication still being used????

  41. My husband was on 100 patch of fentanyl for many years. Many failed back surgeries required pain opiods. He went in for a considered routine gallbladder removal outpatient. He died the next day and never really was completely himself. Couldnt stand, barely could talk. He died sleeping at 56. Autopsy showed artherscleteric hypertensive cardiovascular disease. He was at doctors every month. He never in our life together of 40 years had bp over 110/70. Hated fatty foods. No other ailments like diabetes. etc. Non smoker/drinker. Just a bad back and narcotics combined with probably too much anethisia, any thoughts?

  42. My mother passed away in January 2010. She slipped and fell at work and hurt her leg. Her job called the ambulance and she was taken to the hospital for pain in her hip. Now what i cant understand is that if a patient tells you they have had heart problems and she is allergic to codeine, the only left to administer to a patient that has never taken an opiod is FENTYNAL! sHE DIED AT THE HOSPITAL. My mom left behind a husband, me, my younger brother, and her two grandchildren. Nowwhen i look at my daughters i think how my mom will never get to see them grow up and how she was murdered by pain medicine she would never take. I know that it was a mistake because they tried to bring her back from death with NARCAN. My mother was mother murdered. Nothing can bring her back. I cant explain how i feel.

  43. I first off would like to say that I am currently taking this patch for management of pain due to a spinal cord injury I suffered early this year. When I first got out of the trauma center and off the IV Dilaudid I was being given for 2 weeks I was put on the Duragesic patch. My friends hated what this patch did to me and they forced me to refuse my medication and undergo some of the most intense pain and withdraw from this medication. I was again put back on it but this time I chose to go with Mylan and Sandoz who now make this patch available inside of a Matrix instead of the gel. This medication is extremely dangerous still and I am not really monitored while on this medicine. Going to a hospital and being administered IV morphine and dilaudid while on the patch I have had some very very close calls where I never thought I’d wake up again. I don’t know what will happen to me because there aren’t many other medications that work for me, I really suffer still 9 months later after my accident which left me partially paralyzed from the waist down for life it is sad to think that I might be another statistic in the ignorant neglect of patients who require pain management. I could not ever obtain the proper help that I needed because of insurance reasons. I don’t know what to think about this stuff anymore… This drug is a monster but it has helped me live with a little bit of relief it is like having one foot in heaven and the other in hell. I’m so sorry for all of your losses

  44. I was addicted to heroin for 2 years and then I found fentanyl it knocked me out and made me feel warm and happy. I tried to eventually stop using the patch and even tried to use heroin to combat the withdrawl affects and its like nothing worked I became a slave to heroin and fentanyl. I’m happy to say I’m 2 months clean but I thank god I’m still alive. There are so many times I would dozz off hi and think I wasn’t going to wake up. This is a deadly drug. U mite feel good for ten mins but then u start nodding out wich is so dangerous. If you are prescribed these patches please don’t ever share them or sell them with anyone who is not prescribed them. Also please be very carefull with them cuz u can overdose easily.

  45. My mother died recently in August of 2010 of fentanyl toxicity. She had been in a horrible car accident years ago and repeatedly abused pain medication. She even suffered slight brain damage from her car accident. I was shocked after researching fentanyl to find that my mother fit every single characteristic of who should not be prescribed fentanyl. How could a doctor prescribe something 80 to 200 times stronger than morphine to a woman with a history of drug and alcohol abuse and mental illness amongst other things? Aren’t doctors supposed to ask what other medications a patient is on? She was taking two anti-depressants along with several other medications that would clearly spell out that fentanyl should not be prescribed to her. I don’t believe my mother wished to die that day. For all of the others who have shared their stories….thank you. It is incredibly sad that so many people are dying of this drug and yet doctors continue to prescribe it like its candy. I am searching for a lawyer to take on our case.

  46. My mom passed away right before Christmas but we haven’t gotten the toxicology report back yet. I’m convinced this product is to blame. Me ring 18 and seeing my mom act so different on the patches scared me to death but I know how bad her back hurt her. I hope it was this products fault because I want a lawsuit. No one else needs to loose someone they love because of this product that is supposed to help people.

  47. maybe u should read the directions, all of you people are so money hungry. That’s like sueing mcdonalds bc u didn’t know coffee was hot. It wasn’t the drug companies fault or the doctors. It was your own idiocy and negligence. Putting 2 patches on won’t immediately kill u. Your blood pressure will drop and your respirations will slow. Red flag? I’d say so. Shoulda gotten yourself to the hospital.oh wait. You were too dumb to even read directions.. I’m sure you wouldn’t even be able to find your way. So lesson learned? Let’s hope so. Especially before u start administering class II narcotics to yourself. Idiots.

  48. i feel just terrible for those who have lost loved ones who were wearing patches. i truly hope my family doesn’t join you. i wear the patch and have for about 3 years now.i really hope the fda DOES NOT pull the patches away.!!! those patches give me a quality of life that i didn’t have before i was forced by an insurance company to try several pain meds , including morphine tabs, before they would cover the oxycontin i had been taking for about 2yrs. just last month i asked the Dr, to give me a prescrip for oxy’s again as the adhesive was causing some major irritations on my upper arms where i alternate arms with each 72hr change. the difference in the quality of life and how i felt on a daily basis , made me curse myself for having a good reason to be allowed to go back on oxycontin for one month !! the month of february was one long for me , i’ll tell you !! i didn’t ever imagime that i would notice that the difference in how i felt over all , would be so big !! all i’m trying to say is that the patch is really making my life more liveable !!! so please FDA , don’t pull it off the shelves , some of us DO need it !!!

  49. My father passed away before days before christmas. He had C.O.P.D and was in a lot of pain most of the time. Right after he began taking this patch he became a hermit and would sleep for 18 hours out of the day. Then one day my grandfather went to his apartment to make him get up and eat breakfast, (a normal routine) and found him dead in his bed. He died in his sleep. We had talked to his doctor about the sleeping and was assured that it was normal. However, his autopsy reveled that he had died from this pain patch. Just one more victim of this patch. It was also noted by the medical examiner that he had been prescribed a pain medication that should not have been prescribed with the pain patch. His doctor apparently did pay enough attention to the chart to see what he had already prescribed, nor did the pharmacy for that matter. The corner was unable to tell if it was the pain patch or the combination of the patch and the other medication that had killed him. Although he did have a very large amount of the pain patch in his system and on his calendar it showed that the patch had only been applied early the next morning. Either way, My father died at the age of 42 and now he will never get the chance to watch his grandchildren grow up. We currently have a lawsuit pending against the pharma company, the doctor and the pharmacists. These people should be held responsible for their actions or non action!!!!!


  51. my father in law was given iv dose in prep for hip surgery and immediately had a major stroke – 4 attempts over 20 min. were tried to reverse without response – he had left brain event in eugene, oregon hospital, no stroke specialist or neurologist was consulted at the time of the event – hospitalist called 2o plus minutes later – they gave him little support, basically ready to usher him to usher him to next life within the week .. this was after he was admitted 2 months earlier and told he was end of life and was not being given any support or monitoring, although fully alert and oriented, just dehydrating him. any comments welcome

  52. My daughter died after taking a patch from a friend that was not hers. He knew she put it in her mouth, saw her breathing hard on a bed for hours and didn’t call for help. I now know of alot of kids ODing on these. They have a strict warning on them yet people ignore the warning. What can be done?

  53. Its sad to hear all of these tragic stories, im 32 and my mother passed away Monday, Jan 31st 2011…..she had just turned 50, my mom was on othet meds (seditives) her toxicology repory stated acute fentynol intoxication. This was sudden and the worst day of my life. I feel for all of you, thx for sharing your stories. They say you should not take these patches with any type of seditive.

  54. Although my mother was 82, when she passed September 10, 2011, she was in very good health. She had fallen a couple of times in the past few weeks, they had tried different pain medications on her. The last thing they tried was the fentanyl patch which my sister put on her on September 9, 2011 @ 11:00am. She was found dead the next morning, when my sister went in to wake her. Why are they still on the market if they cause death?

  55. I use the fentynol patches. I got a patch that was defective one time, the sticky material was missing on onver 2/3 of the patch. I took back to walgreens to get a replacement patch, they said they would have to contact the company that made them. and I would receive one in the mail. like i had a choice, so i waited for the patch. They sent me a check for 13, what i paid for after insurance. Walgreens could have gave me one and they sent one to walgreens. I want back to walgreens mad demanding my patch back and the manager said he just tossed it in the trash last week. and we know it is supposed to be destroyed before being tossed. They should have been fined. I filed a complaint with walgreens, they didnt reply, i filed a complaint with the patch maker, and they sent me a letter stating they do a 100 percent inspection of each patch and I could not have got a bad patch. So how did i have to take a patch back with no sticky on it. It would have leaked out faster, could have been dangerous if ya think about it..

    their inspection guarentee has no meaning to me, inspect each patch yourself before applying. if it is missing some of the sticky material, dont use. good luck getting a replacement.. take pics for proof to post online!

  56. I lost my daughter on September 18, 2011 and I am almost certain it is from Fentanyl Toxicity..Her doctor had upped her dosage of the patch from 50 mg to 100 mg that Friday…On the same week on Sunday they found her in bed dead. She was only 43 years old..Life cut way too short too soon…

  57. Wife of 58 years. Suffered broken hip, breast cancer, and then colon cancer; however, was in remission. Overprescribing doctor had her finally on three patches and allowed my wife to administer herself. Further added oxcodone and other drugs. Wife developed COPD, a direct side effect of all but especially Fentanyl. She started hallucinating but calls to doctor were hangups. Doctor did not see my wife when she sat up in bed and said, “Tom, I think I’m dying” but nurse arrived and through disinformation, my wife was dead four days later. Unknown to participants, another decent doctor had her examined at a Hospital several day previously and she had no cancer, some emphysema but not enough to worry the examiner, and was able to drive and work around the house. In other words, she was murdered by the medical system designed allegedly to save. It was deliberate and premeditated yet trying to get an investigation is becoming an exercise in futility.

  58. My uncle died this past Saturday ); he used these patches, and he had been using then for about six months. He had a massive heart attack, its been a tough time! ): </3

  59. my heart breaks for all of you who have lost loved ones please do to the fentanall patch. v

    on 6/5 i turned 65 years old.. I knew this had to be a special birthday for me. my 29 year old daughter Carrie gave me the happiest birthday I’ve ever had. Carrie was the beautiful young mother of 4 amazing children. the next day june sixth she was very happy and bubbly and have a great day.
    Carrie was my heart. later sat evening I found her collapsed in a strange position on her bed. my daughter was dead. my son in law did cpr on her but to no avail. I called 911 and all I could do was keep screaming her name. she had picked up my meds for me and they were in a brown bag is the bathroom. I’d check through my meds and discovered 1 of my fentanyl patches was missing. we do not have the results of that talks ology report but my greatest fear is that she use that patch and it caused her to stop breathing or coaster to have a heart attack. she knew where my meds were because she was helping me to use my meds responsibly responsibly and had even said that she wanted me to cut down on the patch so I could stop using them she worried about me using the patch. it is bad enough to have lost her that she will not be able to raise your children and their children for children will not have their mother. if this is what happened I don’t know how I’ll ever be able to live with the fact that if I had not been using the patch is she would not

  60. I was with my high school sweetheart, my soulmate for 13 years and we have two kids together . we finally saved up enough money to get married, and then one night on his way home ,he was brutaly attached and car jacked and stabbed four times and beat with a gun and left for dead. A man stopped and called the police and he was taken to a emergency trauma unit at st.louis university hospital and was treated for his injurys and released with pain meds and antibiotics. he was prescribed fentanyl pain patches,two days later he died at our home, from acute fentanyl intoxication.he was 30 years old.my son { was 10 years old} and i found him dead on the couch. we did cpr until the ambulance and emt got there.my 7 year old daughter was at a friends house at a sleep over {thank god} my kids and i was devistated. instead of a family wedding, we buried my fiance with our wedding money. I dont know how these drug manufacturers sleep at night and why are they not in jail. these big drug companys are no better than a common street drug dealer, {but thats ok with the fda because they pay taxes} my fiance survived a armed robbery and a carjacking, and being stabbed and he was murdered by a legal drug dealer that was supposed to help him .. i trusted these people to help my family and they know that fentanyl should not be used out side of a hospital ,this medicine is a loaded gun. my son and daughter are in a lawsiut but i was not married to travis yet so by missouri state law i may as well be a stanger. and there is nothing that i can do. SHAME ON YOU BIG DRUG MANUFACTURE COMPANY’S- WHEN YOU PEOPLE GET SICK OR NEED MEDICATION YOU SHOULD ONLY BE ABLE TO USE YOUR FENTANYL AT HOME WITH NO MEDICAL OBSERVATION JUST LIKE THE PUBLIC THAT YOU KILL EVERYDAY. THE MONEY THAT SOME PEOPLE GET IS NOT ENOUGH JUSTICE, YOUR DRUGS ARE STILL BEING SOLD AND ARE STILL KILLING PEOPLES HUSBANDS, WIFES,KIDS, MOMS,DADS,UNCLES ,AUNTS AND MORE..{ AMERICA HOW MANY DEATHS ARE ENOUGH TO STOP THESE MURDERING COMPANYS }

  61. My 70 yr old father in law fell and the dr gave him fentanyl patch for pain,knowing he had sever COPD and on oxygen. We applied the patch on a wensday and my father in law started to sleep a lot,very confused and not being able to follow directions and talk to us. we removed the patch on a friday and he slipped into a coma that night and we lost him saturday. I just heard about the risk with this drug and started checking it out on line. I believe he should never have been give this drug with his history. Someone needs to remove this drug from being used. Now my father was cremated and we have nothing to test… Lost and very hurt family

  62. My brother had been on prescribed fentanyl for years. He then had a stint put in his heart and and two weeks later passed away, while still on the patch. I have never done opiates, but I think the doctors might have taken the time to read the chart, and make a decision that the patch may not mix well with a stint. I’m not a doctor, but from what I’ve read it does not sound like he should have been on it after his surgery.
    I miss him.

  63. I’ve been on Fentanyl for about 4 years. I am now age 50. I have chronic pain, due to a severe whiplash injury. I want to be off the patches but my pain get so bad!
    I wonder what the STATISTICS are? Because many people die in plane crashes and car crashes too, yet people still drive and fily.

    I fear the LEAKING possibility. I wonder if Johnson and Johnson has worked on improving their safely.
    At the same time, SEVERE CHRONIC PAIN IS hard to live with and when pain is so high, we know there is a risk, but the risk is okay consideirng the intensity of the pain.
    PRAYS for you alll

  64. Wife dead from prescribed Fentanyl, Oxycodone, and Morphine to finish her off. Be careful with Nursing Services and Hospice Doctors or you may find yourself living alone. Do not wish to suit the violators. Want them to face Justice and that is difficult.

  65. My heart breaks reading all the story’s above. However I think you always hear the bad and never the good, I’m in need of a spinal fusion over 4 discs and am in crippling pain 24/7, fentalnyl patches have been my saviour, fair enough they do make me feel drowsy and I have had to stop driving due to this BUT the pain is now bearable and that’s due to wearing a 25mg and a 12mg patch constantly (started on 12mg) I am very careful about having a bath (heat) and changing/replacing as stated, and in most cases I’m sure when taken as prescribed these patches change people’s lives for the better, but unfortunately there are always bad sides, and for all who have loved and lost due to thee patches I’m truly sorry for your loss xxx

  66. To be fair….. depression runs high in people with chronic pain. So all of us need to look at that and not always the drug involved. To be fair suicide runs high in individuals with illness and chronic pain. To be fair, chronic pain is very hard on the body over all and that includes the heart muscle. To be fair, not everyone uses medicine as prescribed. So individuals overuse (not judging) pain is difficult to deal with and people are not always drug seeking, they are just tired of living in severe pain. To be fair no one can judge anyone\’s pain unless they have lived in that person\’s body. Unless someone\’s has lived day in and day out in severe chronic pain that steals one\’s life, you cannot judge someone for wanting a medication (not street drug) to help you release that torture. Healthy people do not get that battle at all. Until anyone has lost all of their freedom to pain and sickness they cannot judge someone for trying a medicine or any avenue to release their pain. It is called compassion. Saying all that, I am sorry for any loss anyone on here has gone through and I in no way feel the drug companies are out for anything other than themselves and cash. It is sad….yet I do not judge the patients.

  67. that patch killed my sister. She suffered from a messed up spine and the corperation that killed my sister there was a lawsuit filled against them and we lost and they tried to blame it on the docter for over perscibing fuck them i no longer have a sister!!!!!!!!

  68. Wife started on the patch and lasted about a year. She ended up on Oxycodone and then, the nursing agency sent in Nurse Death who called in Hospice (Brevard Country-Florida) and they together finished her off with Morphine. Told family she had a large Lung Cancer yet, after her death, it was found she had been examined in Vero Beach at the Hospital and had NO CANCER. Doctor filed a death certificate alleging COPD…this after the cremation. Whole system is rotten and fueled by money.

  69. My father was admitted to hospital with severe pneumonia. He was already having trouble breathing as a result of this. Then they gave him a shot of fetanyl and he had a massive heart attack not long later. He was in agony and terrified. I know without a doubt it was the fetanayl that caused it. He fought for his life the rest of the night, shallow, laboured breathing. I saw the heart attack. He came through the night by Gods mercy alone. The next day they tried to finish him off with morphine even though they tell you it’s to “help their breathing”. No it actually depresses breathing and kills an already compromised patient. I do not trust doctors anymore. They are stooges for the drug companies and the whole system is built on filthy mammon. The system is rotten from a combination of the love of money and false god-like delusions fuelled by egos. If you want your relative to stay alive avoid the doctors and hospitals as much as possible. The whole medical system is evil to the core.

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