Washington Drug Board Warns Of Methadone Risks - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Washington Drug Board Warns Of Methadone Risks

SEATTLE (AP) - A Washington state drug board has decided to warn pharmacies about the risk of overdose deaths from prescribing methadone as a painkiller.

The Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee voted Wednesday to send a health advisory next week to more than 1,000 pharmacists and drug stores. That will be followed by an advisory to about 17,000 health care professionals.

The Seattle Times reports it's a public acknowledgment that methadone can be more unpredictable than other pain drugs.

An investigation by the paper found that at least 2,200 people have died since 2003 from unintended overdoses linked to methadone.

The state steers Medicaid patients, workers' compensation recipients and state employees toward methadone because it costs less than a dollar a dose.
     

      
      (Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)
   

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