Oxycodone, sold under the brand name OxyContin among others, is an opioid medication used for the treatment of moderate to severe pain, and a common drug of abuse. It is usually taken by mouth and is available in immediate-release and controlled-release formulations. Modifications of the promotion and marketing of controlled drugs by the pharmaceutical industry and an enhanced capacity of the agencies for food and drug administration around the globe to regulate and monitor such promotion can have a positive impact on the public health. Controlled drugs, with their potential for abuse and diversion, can pose public health risks that are different from and more problematic than those of uncontrolled drugs when they are over-promoted and highly prescribed. An in-depth analysis of the promotion and marketing of OxyContin (Purdue Pharma, Stamford, CT) illustrates some of the key issues. When Purdue Pharma introduced OxyContin in 1996, it was aggressively marketed and highly promoted. Sales grew from $48 million in 1996 to almost $1.1 billion in 2000. The high availability of OxyContin correlated with increased abuse, diversion, and addiction and by 2004, OxyContin had become a leading drug of abuse in the United States. However, fundamental changes in the promotion and marketing of controlled drugs by the pharmaceutical industry, and an enhanced capacity of the FDA to regulate and monitor such promotion, have positively affected public health.
A safe medicine supply is fundamental for public health. A fake drug is a drug product which is not what it purports to be. It is any drug product which is formulated or made to appear to be better than it really is. The term can also refer to a drug which is deliberately and fraudulently mislabeled with respect to identity and/or source or with fake packaging. The deadly consequences of using counterfeit OxyContin are well understood to be a challenge to the integrity of public health systems around the globe, and also a threat to our individual health and welfare. Fake OxyContin are responsible for many oxycodone related deaths. Fake oxycodone pills found after overdoes in Grady County in October 2020, are responsible for at least 10 deaths in the last five months and more people could be at risk.
In their latest report on fake online pharmacies that ply their trade in the United States, the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) found more than 1,500 new websites that it considers “Not Recommended,” and of these, 31% are offering illicit prescription drugs, such as codeine, fentanyl, oxycodone, Adderall, Valium, and Xanax. Falsified medicines are often the business of criminal cartels. Fentanyl-laced pills are responsible for most overdose deaths involving drugs that trigger highs. Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid that is similar to morphine but is 50 to 100 times more potent.
What does fake OxyContin look like?
A consumer, may not have access to most of the test equipment used by regulatory bodies to verify the identity of a drug product but there are simple guidelines that can help identify a fake OxyContin pill:
Check the OxyContin pill Packaging: This is the simplest and the easiest method to check the authenticity of OxyContin. Check the packaging for details like unusual fonts, print color, and missing logo. Analyze whether it appears the same or different from the one you have used before.
No Breakage in the Seal: An OxyContin packet that comes with a security seal should not be damaged. Look for a crack or break in the sealing tape.
Check the OxyContin pill Dosage Form: Look for dissimilarities in physical appearance of the drug-like its color, size, uniformity, consistency, shape, etc.
Physical Attributes of tablet: As stated by World Health Organization, the common physical attributes that need to be looked out for in medicine tablets are;
- Small pieces of tablets, excessive powder at the bottom of the medicine container, or brittle and crumbly capsules spilling powder.
- Cracks in the tablets or capsules.
- The appearance of crystals on the container walls or on the medicine tablets.
- Softening or hardening of the medicines.
- Swelling, spots, or discoloration of the tablets or capsule.
Allergies / Unexpected Side Effects from using OxyContin : Most of the medicines including OxyContin pill have side effects. It is important to consult your doctor before the usage to keep a check on allergies arising from it. If you notice certain unexpected or harmful side effects from your medication, report to your doctor immediately.
Price of OxyContin pill: If the price of an OxyContin pill is suddenly far cheaper than the usual rate, double-check the product as there may be a chance that the fake companies wanted to lure customers by providing medicines at much cheaper rates.
Verify Online or SMS: Many countries have unique methods for the verification of the genuineness of pills using authentication code or other online portals to confirm the authenticity of the OxyContin pill being purchased.
Fentanyl Test: Using a simple fentanyl test strip can help determine whether your Pill OxyContin is laced with the deadly fentanyl or not.
General Side Effects You Should Expect From a Genuine OxyContin
Nausea, vomiting, constipation, dry mouth, weakness, sweating, lightheadedness, dizziness, or drowsiness may occur. Some of these side effects may decrease after you have been using this medication for a while. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly. To prevent constipation, eat dietary fiber, drink enough water, and exercise. You may also need to take a laxative. Ask your pharmacist which type of laxative is right for you.
To reduce the risk of dizziness and lightheadedness, get up slowly when rising from a sitting or lying position. You may notice an empty tablet shell in your stool. This is harmless because your body has already absorbed the medicine.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including interrupted breathing during sleep (sleep apnea), mental/mood changes (such as agitation, confusion, hallucinations), severe stomach/abdominal pain, difficulty urinating, signs of your adrenal glands not working well (such as loss of appetite, unusual tiredness, weight loss). Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including: fainting, seizure, slow/shallow breathing, severe drowsiness/difficulty waking up.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, or trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.