Ratio-Morphine Tablets Recalled In Canada

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture
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Health Canada is warning consumers not to use the prescription drug ratio-Morphine SR in 15 milligram (mg), 30 mg, and 60 mg formats. Some tablets may contain more morphine than the label indicates, exposing patients to the potential risk of accidental overdose. Oversized tablets that are noticeably thicker than the regular tablets, and which may contain more morphine than the strength indicated, have been found on the Canadian market. Ratio-Morphine SR tablets are taken orally for the relief of severe pain.

Symptoms of an overdose include abnormal breathing, dizziness, confusion or extreme drowsiness, cold or clammy skin, and abnormally low blood pressure and heart rate. A severe overdose may result in coma, cardiac arrest and death.

The Canadian distributor, ratiopharm, has initiated a recall of the affected lots after two separate complaints were received by the U.S. manufacturer, KV Pharmaceutical.

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Health Canada advises consumers currently using ratio-Morphine SR at the 15 mg, 30 mg or 60 mg strength not to take these products and to contact their treating physician immediately to obtain a suitable alternative product for their medical condition. Consumers should return the product to their pharmacist for safe disposal.

Consumers who have used this product and are concerned about their health should also contact their health care practitioner for advice.

A separate communication will be sent by ratiopharm to doctors and pharmacists notifying them of the recall and the affected lots.

As of June 30, 2008, no adverse reactions from the use of oversized ratio-Morphine SR tablets had been reported to Health Canada.

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The Dangerously Euphoric Violet Delight Often, medications for pain are made from what are called opoid plants. These purple-flowered plants produce poppies that are used in the production to make the analgesic, opium. Poppy plants exist and are grown in areas of Asia. The country of Afghanistan is the number one producer of poppy plants. The United States is the number one country that consumes what is derived from these plants. Opium is what we in the U.S. call narcotics, and they essentially dull and numb those in pain who ingest these opium-based medications. The narcotics are the drugs of choice for pain management. Some narcotics are from natural opium, such as cocaine. In addition, the opiates from the poppy seeds can be used to create semi-synthetic narcotics, such as Heroin. Heroin was marketed by Bayer Pharmaceuticals for 12 years, and during that time this company told potential users of Heroin that it is a non-addicting form of morphine (pure opiate drug). This was believed to be a welcome relief for those many soldiers who became addicted to morphine after the U.S Civil War. During that same period of time, Bayer marketed heroin for other medical conditions, such as young children with coughs. Of course, we now know that Heroin is very addictive in fact. Ironically, Morphine has been given to Heroin addicts who are recovering. Opium-derived medicines once could be bought freely in the U.S. by anyone less than 100 years ago. Yet now, they are classified by the Drug Enforcement Agency as narcotics, and are scheduled accordingly to monitor and limit the use of such drugs by others, as there is a very real element of danger with narcotic usage by others. Internationally, the opium trade has been actively placed throughout the world. Historically, brutal force has been implemented by various nations to control what opium plants provide that others desire, as there is a pleasant euphoria experienced by the consumers of narcotics in addition to relieving pain. While prescribed to patients for such issues aside from pain on occasion, such as chronic coughing and diarrhea, the intended use of opium drugs is for pain management. Vicodin, which is comparatively a mild narcotic, is the most frequently prescribed and abused drug in the United States presently out of the narcotics available by prescription. Overall, there are about 10 opium-based medications available, and each has a length of effectiveness after administration for a period of about 4 hours If patients take opium-derived drugs for long periods of time, tolerance may develop with such patients. When this occurs, this patient needs and desires more of the opiate medication to acquire a level of relief. As a result, such patients may develop a dependence on these types of drugs, which is what often leads to addiction and possible abuse of the narcotic drug. This is why overdose of these types of drugs have occurred. The reasons for taking these drugs initially become replaced with a desperate need for relief due to addiction in some who take narcotics for a long period of time. www.hazelden.org Dan Abshear