Fentanyl: Why It Matters
Fentanyl (C22H28N2O) is a synthetic opioid-receptor agonist used to treat severe pain. It is a member of the phenylpiperidine family and is a modification of meperidine. It is classified by the US DEA as a Schedule II controlled substance. Fentanyl is a very fast-acting and powerful analgesic administered for medical use by injection, transdermal patch, nasal spray, or by mouth. The World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines* for safe and effective care in health systems includes fentanyl patches for severe pain related to certain types of cancer. Since 2013, fentanyl illegally acquired or illicitly manufactured has also become an increasingly common drug of abuse.
Fentanyl is 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine, with a lethal dose in humans of 2-3 milligrams. Over the past few years, fentanyl has surged to become the leading chemical agent cause of overdose deaths in the United States, resulting in over 25,000 deaths per year. Often, the drug is consumed unknowingly in conjunction with heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine, resulting in a spike in deaths related to use of those drugs.
A recent study by Millenium Health** of more than a million urine drug tests (UDTs) submitted by clinicians for patient care between 2015 and 2019 revealed a substantially increased rate of fentanyl positivity in UDTs also positive for other drugs. The tests showed fentanyl co-positivity with heroin increased by 111%, with cocaine by 210%, and with methamphetamine by 438% across the United States over 4 years.
Testing for multiple drugs is important for individual patient care as well as for understanding usage trends for community care. Conventional methods for detecting drugs of abuse in biological samples include enzymatic immunosorbent assays (EIA or ELISA) and lateral flow tests. These tests can reveal not only the presence but also the concentration of a distinct antigen with varying degrees of precision through chromatographic analysis. This requires high-purity antibody and drug conjugates to target and bind to antigen molecules in a biological analyte.
Pyxis provides fentanyl-BSA and fentanyl monoclonal antibodies useful for detecting fentanyl in biological fluids as well as a wide range of drug antigen conjugates and drug antibodies for drug test batteries, including but not limited to:
Cannabinoids, natural and synthetic
For a complete list of our products, please visit our catalog here: https://www.pyxislabs.com/products/
*WHO List of Essential Medicines: https://www.who.int/medicines/publications/essentialmedicines/en/
**Millennium Health: https://www.millenniumhealth.com/news/millennium-healths-signals-report-2020/