Opioid painkillers are leading cause of prescription drug deaths, FDA says

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by Heygood Orr and Pearson

Opioid painkillers are the leading cause of death among prescription drugs, according to statistics released by the Food and Drug Administration. Between 1998 and 2005, four out of the six most deadly prescription drugs in the U.S. were prescription painkillers, according to the health agency.

The most deadly drug over the course of the study’s eight year period was oxycodone, also known as OxyContin, which accounted for at least 5548 overdose deaths. The fentanyl pain patch was the second most deadly drug with 3545 deaths, even though it is not a drug that is frequently prescribed. This made Fentanyl the most deadly drug from 1998 to 2005 (the most deaths per dose taken). Morphine was fourth on the list with 1616 deaths, followed by methadone in sixth place with 1258 deaths.

Hundreds of opioid painkiller lawsuit have been filed on behalf of patients who were injured after using oxycodone, fentanyl, morphine, methadone or other drugs. Patients who were injured after using these or other prescription painkillers may wish to contact a lawyer to learn more about filing a lawsuit.