Iowa DPS warns of counterfeit pain pills laced with fentanyl

    File photo of oxycodone pills. (MGN Online)

    Leaders in Iowa are warning the public of pain killer drugs that may be laced with synthetic opioids.

    The Iowa Department of Public Health, Department of Public Safety, Poison Control Center and Office of Drug Control say that counterfeit pills made to resemble oxycodone were found to test positive for more powerful and illicit synthetic opioids fentanyl and U-47700.

    “As the DEA warns, counterfeit pills like those found in Iowa that are not prescribed or dispensed by healthcare professionals may contain deadly amounts of fentanyls or other synthetic opioids. Because some illicit synthetic opioids can be highly lethal when touched or inhaled, Iowans are cautioned against handling or using prescription medicine, or anything resembling prescription medicine, if it’s not issued by an authorized health care provider. This warning also applies to law enforcement officers and other first responders who may come in contact with counterfeit drugs. Iowans are urged to talk with children about safe use of medicines, and report suspicious activity to local law enforcement. Recent cases are under investigation. Importantly, there is no cause for Iowans to be alarmed about prescription medicine obtained from licensed prescribers and pharmacies.”

    Synthetic opioids such as U-47700 (aka pink) and fentanyl are often mixed in powder for with heroin. Reporters of the new drugs and related overdoses have increase rapidly in Iowa.

    All Iowans with questions about synthetic opioids can contact the Iowa Poison Control Center at 800-222-1222 or

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