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A UCLA-led research offers the primary scientific proof that brick and mortar pharmacies in northern Mexican vacationer cities are promoting counterfeit capsules containing fentanyl, heroin, and methamphetamine. These capsules are bought primarily to US vacationers, and are sometimes handed off as managed substances reminiscent of Oxycodone, Percocet, and Adderall.

The capsules can be found and not using a prescription—probably including to the already excessive variety of overdose deaths stemming from use of these potent medicine in Mexico and the US.

“These counterfeit capsules signify a critical overdose threat to consumers who suppose they’re getting a recognized amount of a weaker drug,” mentioned senior creator Chelsea Shover, assistant professor-in-residence of medication within the division of normal inner drugs and well being companies analysis on the David Geffen College of Drugs at UCLA.

A preprint of the research, which has not but been peer reviewed, is out there on-line on the medRxiv preprint server. A Los Angeles Instances investigation has additionally independently corroborated the UCLA researchers’ primary findings.

The UCLA workforce reported on 40 pharmacies in 4 cities in northern Mexico, discovering that about two out of three (68%) had a minimum of one managed substance on the market and not using a prescription, both in bottles or particular person capsules.

Counterfeit capsules containing fentanyl, heroin, and/or methamphetamine had been bought at 11 pharmacies. Of 45 tablet samples, 9 bought as Adderall contained methamphetamine, eight bought as Oxycodone had fentanyl, and three bought as Oxycodone contained heroin.

“It isn’t potential to tell apart counterfeit drugs primarily based on look, as a result of identically-appearing genuine and counterfeit variations are sometimes bought in shut geographic proximity,” the researchers write. “Nonetheless, US vacationer drug customers could also be extra trusting of managed substances bought instantly from pharmacies.”

Extra info:
Joseph Friedman et al, Fentanyl, Heroin, and Methamphetamine-Based mostly Counterfeit Tablets Bought at Vacationer-Oriented Pharmacies in Mexico: An Ethnographic and Drug Checking Research, medRxiv (2023). DOI: 10.1101/2023.01.27.23285123

Counterfeit capsules bought in Mexican pharmacies discovered to include fentanyl, heroin and methamphetamine (2023, February 2)
retrieved 3 February 2023

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