Louisville Metro Police Sgt. John McGuire holds Opana, a drug similar to Oxycontin.(Photo: Michael Hayman, The Courier-Journal)
ATLANTA -- Federal authorities say they are working with
Tennessee officials to investigate why at least 12 patients in that
state who injected the pain reliever Opana ER for non-medical reasons
since February have a rare blood disorder.
The Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention issued the health advisory Friday night
regarding the pain reliever, an extended-release form of oxymorphone.
The CDC is working with the Food and Drug Administration and the
Tennessee Department of Health.
The investigation is focusing on a
cluster of patients with Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura, described
by officials as a blood disorder in which clots form in small blood
vessels throughout the body. It is an uncommon but serious illness.
say Opana ER is only supposed to be taken orally. The cases were
reported in Tennessee from April 16 to Oct. 19. Most of the women did
not have a prescription and reported a history of chronic IV use of the
opioid pain reliever for nonmedical reasons. All of the women were
hospitalized, but no deaths have occurred.