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FDA: Kids being exposed to pain-patch meds

April 24, 2013

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Silver Spring, MD – The Food and Drug Administration recently issued a reminder to properly dispose of fentanyl skin patches to help prevent children from exposure. Fentanyl is a painkiller used to treat chronic conditions.

An FDA review of 26 cases of accidental exposure to fentanyl patches that occurred over a 15-year period showed 10 victims died and 12 were hospitalized. Most of the cases involved children younger than 2.

Children may be exposed after finding lost patches, taking patches from the trash or coming into contact with someone wearing a partially detached patch.

To avoid accidental exposure, FDA recommends folding used patches and flushing them down the toilet.