Medication Guide for prescription drugs that contain fentanyl warn users against misuse of these drugs, as well as against giving this drug to children or any one whose pain is not cancer related and who is not opioid tolerant, otherwise, the consequences can be fatal.
Subsys is one of the drugs that bears this warning. Though approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treatment of late-stage breakthrough cancer pain, the FDA also strictly orders that it should only be given to cancer patients who have developed a tolerance for opioid drugs.
Subsys was introduced by Insys Therapeutics, Inc. in 2012. This sublingual spray medication contains fentanyl, an extremely potent opioid painkiller that is 80 to 100 times more powerful than morphine. Fentanyl is usually the next option when morphine and other types of painkillers can no longer provide relief from breakthrough pain due to cancer. Being a powerful and powerfully addictive opioid (narcotic) pain medicine, Subsys is declared as a federally controlled substance (CII) due to the high possibility of it being misused and abused.
Despite claims that Subsys effectively controls breakthrough cancer pain and Insys Therapeutics’ expressed commitment to developing products for the supportive care of patients, more that 250 individuals have already died, with their deaths being reported (to the FDA’s Adverse Events Reporting System) as adverse reaction (with another drug) triggered by Subsys.
There are many other side-effects associated with the use of Subsys, including nausea, vomiting, somnolence, constipation,respiratory depression (which can lead to apnea),circulatory depression, hypotension, shock, slow heart rate, feeling like passing out, loss of appetite, dizziness, worsening tiredness or weakness, and fatal breathing problems.
According to a Subsys attorney, so many individuals, who are not even cancer patients, have been prescribed with Subsys due to Insys Therapeutics’ aggressive marketing strategy and claim that their drug may be used for non-approved treatments (or off-label use).
Those who have been harmed by Subsys, especially those who, in the first place, should not have been prescribed with this drug, should file a lawsuit to bring this drug’s manufacturer, as well as those who inappropriately prescribe this drug, to justice.