Painkiller Deaths

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The company behind a recently approved painkiller has reported four deaths in patients who where improperly using the drug.

The powerful drug, Fentora, was approved by the FDA for use in cancer patients who are already taking other prescription painkillers.

Manufacturer Cephalon says the deaths involved a suicide, a patient who was given the drug outside the recommended dosage and two who were given the prescription as a headache treatment.

Cephalon says none of the deaths involved cancer patients, so officials think those who died should not have been taking the drug. The company has sent letters to doctors and pharmacists, reminding them of who should take the drug, how often they should take it and how much.

The FDA says it's monitoring the situation to make sure the drug is used safely.


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