How Long Will it Take “Subsys” to Show Up on Drug Overdose Autopsies?

The FDA approves the new sublingual fentanyl spray, but will this super-strong painkiller make it easier for people to overdose on this drug? In January 2012, the FDA announced the approval of a new form of painkiller: a formulation of fentanyl meant to be sprayed under the tongue (sublingual). The new drug is called Subsys and is meant for those suffering from breakthrough pain from cancer.1 This means that Subsys is only supposed to be used when the patient is already on a painkiller and experiences pain that breaks through the existing opioid barrier. But fentanyl is already a common…

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