A recent article from CBC News out of Canada caught our eye and we wanted to share.
A coroner has made a statement to health care professionals in Canada warning them that OxyContin replacement drugs (like OxyNEO) are still very dangerous and increased caution should be used in prescribing them.
His statement comes as a result of an opiate overdose and in his words: “Transitioning from one opiate to another does carry some risks, and this death … highlighted the case for heightened vigilance,” Wilson said.
Users May Subconsciously Seek Higher Doses of OxyNEO
Wilson wanted to highlight the dangers that are inherent in switching drugs. Many users who are not happy with the sensation of OxyNEO (or another OxyContin replacement like OxyIR or fentanyl) might prescribing physicians to clarify any questionable increases in dosage.
Dr. Wilson encourages pharmacists to screen prescriptions for patterns indicating increased dosages and to contact prescribing physicians to clarify any change. Dr. Wilson has also requested other coroners to be on alert for similar deaths.
“It is highly likely that some people may find themselves on medications — either properly prescribed or obtained illicitly — and they may not be aware what their tolerance to these new medications would be,” Wilson says.
Wilson reminded doctors that they have access to resources like conversion charts to help them determine the proper equivalent dose of OxyNeo to OxyContin.
“The various opiates that are available don’t necessarily all share the same analgesic equivalents, and so the risk of a side effect or the risk of an overdose with a change to a new drug is heightened,” Wilson said.
This communique is a step in the right direction because it increases awareness about the dangers of OxyNEO (and all opiates).
If you or someone you know is abuse opiate medication and/or needs treatment for opiate dependence, it is recommended that you contact a treatment center in your area.