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Fentanyl patches recalled twice in a week

/ Source: The Associated Press

Patches containing the prescription painkiller fentanyl in the U.S. were recalled for the second time in a week Monday, because of a flaw that could cause patients or caregivers to overdose on the potent drug inside.

Sold in the United States by Actavis South Atlantic LLC, the newly recalled patches have both this name and the company's former name, Abrika Pharmaceuticals Inc., on their packaging. The old name is on the pouches that contain the patches and the new name is on the outer carton.

Last Tuesday PriCara, a division of Johnson & Johnson, announced a recall of fentanyl patches manufactured by its affiliate ALZA Corp.

Monday's recall includes 25-microgram-per-hour, 50-microgram-per-hour, 75 microgram-per-hour and 100 microgram-per-hour patches with expiration dates of May through August 2009.

Some of the patches may have a defect that can cause them to leak, putting patients and caregivers at risk of coming into direct contact with the powerful "opioid" drug inside. This could result in difficulty breathing and a potentially fatal overdose.

The company has not received any reports of injuries related to this defect.

Damaged patches should be flushed down the toilet and not handled. Skin that has been exposed to the gel should be thoroughly rinsed with water, but not washed with soap.

The recalled patches were manufactured for Actavis Inc. by Corium International Inc. Activis Inc. is a division of Actavis Group HF.