Opioid Lawyers Explain Which Opiate Drugs May Be Overprescribed
The opioid crisis affects millions of Americans in every state and represents billions of dollars in economic costs. Many different types and brands of opioids continue to contribute to the epidemic, which also involves various illegal drugs, such as heroin. According to the many lawsuits filed by states and counties nationwide, the crisis began in the 1990s, when large pharmaceutical corporations began aggressively marketing opiates and narcotics for general pain management. In fact, the original purpose of these drugs was for cancer patients and end-of-life care. As a result, these drug companies and the prescribing doctors may be liable for the losses suffered by victims of this epidemic.
The opioid lawyers at Martzell, Bickford & Centola are currently investigating this national health crisis. If you or a loved one have a claim for painkiller addiction, then contact us today. We can review your case and explain your legal options, free of charge. In the past, we have successfully represented individuals in class actions and multidistrict litigation involving crises like mesothelioma, oil rig explosions, and prescription drugs. Below, our attorneys discuss common opioid drugs and explain the dangers of over-prescription.
What Is an Opioid?
Opioids are a certain class of drug that affect the user’s brain chemistry and nerve receptors (called opioid receptors). Opioids act as sedatives and painkillers by altering the body’s pain-reward system. However, since these drugs change the body’s chemistry, they are also highly addictive as a result.
The term “opioids” comes from opium, an addictive drug manufactured from poppies. Opiates are drugs like morphine that are derived directly from opium. Opiates and synthetic drugs that work the same way are collectively called “opioids.”
Most opioids are controlled substances, and some, like heroin, are illegal nationwide due to their extremely addictive properties. However, many others are available as prescription drugs. The danger of these substances is that people who take opioids on the advice of doctors may become addicted. Then, after their prescribed medication runs out, these people may begin to look for cheaper and more dangerous drugs to satisfy the addiction.
What Are Common Prescription Opioids?
Prescription opioids all work in essentially the same way, but they appear in many different forms. Additionally, different companies sell the same opioids under different brand names. Some of the most common prescription opioids include:
- Oxycodone. This generic opioid is the main ingredient in some of the most common narcotic drugs. Labels include OxyCotin, Roxicodone, OxyIR, Xtampza ER and Percocet. Additional brands include Percodan, Endocet, Percolone, Dazidoz, Endocodone, Oxaydo and many more.
- Hydrocodone. This is a main ingredient in drugs like Vicodin, Lorcet, Lortab and Norco. It also occurs with acetaminophen in the drugs Zydone, Hycet, Anexsia, Ceta Plus, Maxidone and Stagesic; this combination may cause liver damage.
- Oxymorphone. Doctors often use this opioid together with anesthesia and/or acetaminophen. It is present in many brand-name drugs, such as Opana and Opana ER. The FDA also recently approved generic versions of these drugs.
- Hydromorphone. More powerful than oxycodone, hyrdomorphone is an ingredient in Dilaudid and Exalgo ER, as well as others.
- Fentanyl. Some experts estimate that fentanyl is 100 times more potent than morphine, making it the strongest opioid available for prescription. Introduced only a few years ago, illegally produced fentanyl is now a major problem. Brand names include Subsys (produced by Insys Theraputics) as well as Duragesic, Sublimaze and the Fentanyl Transdermal System.
Questions About Lawsuits for Painkiller Addiction? Call Our Opioid Lawyers
If you believe you may have grounds for an OxyCotin lawsuit, or a lawsuit for any opioid, then contact our law firm today. Martzell, Bickford & Centola is based in New Orleans, but we accept cases nationwide. In a free initial consultation, we can answer your questions and explain whether you may be able to file an opioid lawsuit.
Call (877) 722-9828 or contact us online to speak with our opioid lawyers today.