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An article posted on WorstPills.org this month details new FDA warnings to consumers and health care professionals about the adverse effects of pain managing drug methadone.

Deaths and life-threatening changes in heart beat and breathing have been reported in association with methadone.

The professional product label, also known as a package insert, for methadone carries a black-box warning about respiratory depression and fatal heart rhythm disturbances. That warning accompanies this article. A black-box warning is the strongest type of warning that the FDA can request from a drug manufacturer and is usually reserved for those drugs that have caused death or serious injury to patients.

The full text of the FDA’s public health advisory is available on the agency’s Web site at http://www.fda.gov/cder/drug/advisory/methadone.htm.

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