Five Brits have died after accidentally coming in contact with skin patches containing fentanyl — the painkiller that ‘killed Prince’
AT least five Brits have died after accidentally coming into contact with skin patches containing the same drug that killed music legend Prince.
The patches are made with fentanyl – a painkiller 50 times stronger than morphine.
Getty Prince died of an accidental fentanyl overdose in 2016[/caption]
GPs prescribe them to combat severe pain.
But they can cause fatal overdoses – especially in children.
Health chiefs last night urged doctors to remind patients to dispose of them properly.
Even used patches still contain enough of the drug to kill a child.
Alamy Fentanyl is a painkiller 50 times stronger than morphine and even used patches contain enough of the drug to kill a child[/caption]
In June 2016, 15-month-old Amelia Grace Cooper, from Newquay in Cornwall, died after a fentanyl patch got stuck on her skin.
She was found dead in her parents’ bed.
A coroner ruled the tragic tot came into contact with the patch – used by her mother Sara Talbot – after sharing her bed.
Now the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Authority has confirmed there have been at least five UK deaths since it last issued a safety warning over the patches in 2014.
Amelia Grace Cooper died after a used patch got stuck to her skin
It’s not clear how many were children.
But the MHRA said toddlers chewing patches found in the bin is one of the biggest dangers.
The drug kills by shutting down breathing and increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the blood.
The MHRA said: “We continue to receive reports of preventable accidental transfer of fentanyl patches, with five fatal incidents.
“Patients should be given clear information on the risk of accidental transfer and ingestion of patches and need for appropriate disposal.”
It added: “Fentanyl patches should be stored out of sight and reach of children. After use, they should be folded so that the adhesive side of the patch sticks to itself and then placed back into the original sachet.
“Used patches should be kept out of sight and reach of children.”
Music icon Prince was 57 when he was found dead in April 2016.
Getty It is thought that Prince used fentanyl to feed a painkiller addiction[/caption]
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Subsequent tests revealed he was killed by an accidental overdose of fentanyl, which works by stopping pain signals from reaching the brain.
Some reports suggested he used fentanyl patches to feed a painkiller addiction.
The drug has also been linked with a steep rise in deaths among drug abusers who inject it to get high.
The Office for National Statistics said there were 75 fatalities in England in 2017, up from 58 in 2016.
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