Drug dealers are now producing fake pills laced with Fentanyl. This is because it takes very little to produce a high with fentanyl, making it a cheaper option. This is especially risky when people taking drugs don’t realize they might contain fentanyl as a cheap but dangerous additive. They might be taking stronger opioids than their bodies are used to and can be more likely to overdose.
Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid that is similar to morphine but is 50 to 100 times more potent. Mortalities due to fentanyl derivatives are on the rise with novel fentanyl analogues wrecking havoc on a global scale.
Recently, the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office arrested a 33-year-old man for having over 1,000 fake oxycodone pills. According to the Sheriff’s Office, Anthony Allen Wong was wanted for violating his probation and was pulled over on August 12 near the 1800 block of Shepherd Drive in Paso Robles. Deputies say Wong is a known drug dealer and was suspected to be selling drugs while on probation. Detectives searched Wong’s vehicle and found over 1,000 fake oxycodone pills that later tested positive for Fentanyl.
What is 512 pill?
The white round pill with the imprint 512 has been identified as Acetaminophen and Oxycodone Hydrochloride 325 mg / 5 mg supplied by Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals. 512 pill is used in the treatment of pain and belongs to the drug class narcotic analgesic combinations.
This pain reliever has two active ingredients: oxycodone and acetaminophen (also known as Tylenol, and often abbreviated as APAP). Too much acetaminophen can damage the liver and cause death. Risk cannot also be ruled out during pregnancy. Acetaminophen/oxycodone 325 mg / 5 mg is classified as a Schedule 2 controlled substance under the Controlled Substance Act (CSA).
How to Spot Fake 512 pill
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. Studies have shown that, poor quality medicines represent a global threat to the public health that can result in treatment ineffectiveness, drug resistance, increased morbidity and mortality rate, economic loss and problems to the healthcare system.
As a consumer, you may not have access to most of the test equipment used by regulatory bodies to verify the identity of a drug product. The following tips will serve as a guide to purchasing genuine 512 pills and help you avoid fakes;
Visual inspection as stated by the World Health Organization (WHO) (1999) still remains the first step in identifying potential fake drug irrespective of the analytical methods used. This is because such observation serves as a lead to identifying fake products even in the absence of the knowledge of the physical characteristics of a genuine drug product. You are expected to examine carefully both the package and its content before purchase or use.
Visual inspection of the Package
- Examine the package and check if it appears suspicious or different from what you previously know.
- Check if the security seal has been tampered with by looking for breaks or tears in the sealing tape and seals.
- Look for unusual fonts, font sizes, print color, and spelling errors.
Visual inspection of the Dosage form
At this stage, you are meant to Check for differences in the physical appearance (color uniformity, size, shape, consistency etc.) of the drug. As stated by WHO, commonly encountered physical defects that should be looked out for in tablets include:
- Excessive powder and/or pieces of tablets at the bottom of the container (from abraded, crushed or broken tablets);
- Cracks or chips in the tablets, swelling, mottling, discoloration, fusion of tablets;
- Appearance of crystal on the walls of the container or on the tablet.
The source of the drug also determines if you are buying a fake 512 pill or not. Buying a foreign 512 pill exposes you to a lot of risk. Filling your prescription in a reputable pharmacy greatly reduces your chances of buying fake drugs while buying from illiterate and unqualified vendors who hawk drugs in buses, motor parks and in the streets increases your chances of buying fake drugs.
This is another way of identifying fake 512 pill. If the price is far cheaper than what is expected, then you have to think twice. However, this may not always be true especially for some products (fake innovator/generic brands) which may be sold at the same price as the genuine one.
Unexpected side effect
Counterfeit 512 pill most of the time contains substances other than the appropriate Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API). They may contain incorrect substances, improper dosage or hazardous substances like fentanyl which produce unusual side effects, worsening medical condition after taking it. The medication should be stopped once any of the above is noticed.
Fentanyl testing is one of the most reliable ways of telling a fake from a real 512 pill. A new University of Maryland study found fentanyl tops the list of drugs detected in overdose patients at two Baltimore hospital emergency departments. The finding suggests that hospitals and medical systems throughout the United States consider adding fentanyl, a potent synthetic opioid linked to most fatal overdoses in Maryland, to their routine drug testing panels. That is the conclusion of researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) and the Center for Substance Abuse Research (CESAR) at the University of Maryland, College Park. Currently, fentanyl is not routinely included in these panels nationwide. The procedure described below can help law enforcement agents and public health officials to pick out fentanyl laced powders and pills.
- Crush pill or pour powder into a clean bowl or test tube
- Add ¼ inch of clean water to the powder in the tube or bowl and mix properly
- Dip the end of the test strip into the residue for 15 seconds, remove, and lay on a clean flat surface
NOTE: If the strip does not either have one or two lines, the test is invalid.
According to the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, consumers who purchase medications online should avoid the following: sites that are located outside of the U.S. that do not indicate any physical address; sites that do not have a license by the relevant State Boards of Pharmacy; sites without a licensed pharmacist to answer questions; and websites that do not require a prescription.
Consumers who wish to purchase drugs over the Internet should look for websites that have the Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites seal. These sites, which are created by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy, are licensed pharmacies selling FDA-approved medications to discourage the sale of counterfeit drugs from illegitimate online sources.