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If Prince Died of Overdose, He May Not Have Had Personal Naloxone Kit or May Not Have Had Enough Narcan

Fri April 22 2016 7:52 am
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TMZ: Prince treated for drug overdose days before his death in Moline.

UPDATE: TMZ reported after this article that sources in Moline, Illinois told TMZ that Prince’s entourage told responders he had taken Percocet (opioid painkiller) after his Atlanta concert, and that Prince was taking Percocet for a hip problem following hip surgery about 2010. Percocet contains a combination of acetaminophen and oxycodone (a semisynthetic opioid). Opioids (regarding the naming of the drugs) include opiates (drugs derived directly from the poppy) and semisynthetic opioids. Oxycodone by itself is well-known by the trade name Oxycontin.

The symptoms of oxycodone withdrawal are the same as for other opiate-based painkillers, which includes anxiety, panic attack, nausea, insomnia, muscle pain, muscle weakness, fevers, and other flu-like symptoms.

Legal use of Percocet is associated with the risk of death from accidental overdose.

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The day before Prince died, The Cardinal reported on the fact that naloxone kits may not be effective to combat drug overdoses when Fentanyl is involved in the overdose. Fentanyl drug varieties are up to 100 times more potent than heroin, and 80 times more potent than morphine. Fentanyl has been reported as an illegal additive when illegal drug dealers distribute heroin that is low-quality. In 2006, illegally manufactured, non-pharmaceutical fentanyl mixed with cocaine or heroin caused an outbreak of overdose deaths in Chicago, Illinois; Dayton, Ohio; Detroit, Michigan; and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Many police departments now carry naloxone as an antidote to opiates that may cause a miracle reversal of symptoms for heroin. However, Fentanyl-related overdoses may require several administrations of the naloxone antidote. Police use a nasal spray effective for heroin, but an effective antidote for Fentanyl may require intravenous administration by paramedics or emergency room staff. Paramedics carry a version of naloxone (Narcan) that can be administered intravenously. Personal naloxone is available as for use with (1) a vial for use with a syringe for intramuscular injection, (2) an auto-injector for intramuscular injection, and (3) a nasal spray. While “miracle saves” are possible with personal kits, one of these personal methods are as effective as intravenous administration of naloxone. The personal kits are clearly accompanied with warnings that they are not a substitute for emergency care. Narcan was the initial most well-known name brand for naloxone. Evzio is another brand name for naloxone.

TMZ is reporting that when the private jet for Prince made an emergency landing in Moline, Illinois last Friday April 15, 2016, Prince was rushed to a hospital where he was given a “save shot” to counteract the effects of an opiate overdose. The so-called “save shot” fits the description of Narcan, Evzio or naloxone.

One would presume that Prince might have a personal naloxone kit in case of a drug overdose if he was using heroin. If he had a naloxone kit onboard the aircraft, the kit might not have been an adequate antidote in the case of a heroin overdose that was contaminated with Fentanyl. That would explain the emergency aircraft landing, after those on board the aircraft perceived Prince’s own naloxone was not working. Another scenario, could be that Prince was not abusing heroin and therefore did not keep a personal naloxone kit. He may have abused cocaine in Atlanta where he performed before the flight, or during the flight. The cocaine may have been contaminated with Fentanyl, which would have brought down the rock star, alarmed other passengers on the aircraft, and resulted in the aircraft crew requesting an emergency landing for a medical emergency.

Our sources further say doctors advised Prince to stay in the hospital for 24 hours. His people demanded a private room, and when they were told that wasn’t possible … Prince and co. decided to bail. The singer was released 3 hours after arriving and flew home.


On February 9, 2016, Walgreens announced the launch of a program to make naloxone available without a prescription at its pharmacies in 35 states and Washington, D.C. The launch of the program (along with a drug disposal program) was supported and attended by Michael Botticelli, White House Director of National Drug Policy, Senator Mark Kirk, Representative Bob Dold, Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Office of Diversion Control, Drug Enforcement Administration, Lou Milione, and Michael Nerheim, Lake County, Ill. State’s Attorney.

Walgreens’ naloxone program was planned for roll out state-by-state throughout this year. Walgreens said naloxone can be used in the event of an overdose to reverse the effects of heroin or other opioid drugs, and is administered by injection or nasal spray. Naloxone was initially made available in New York, Indiana and Ohio.

In February 2016, Walgreens announced naloxone would be available without a prescription in the following states …

Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin.

TMZ obtained a photo of Prince leaving a Walgreens near his home in Minnesota Wednesday night, April 20, 2016 at about 7 PM. Sources told TMZ that Prince had “frequented the Walgreens for years — but last night, people at the store were concerned because he looked much more frail and nervous than usual.” He was at the Walgreens just hours — the night before his death — and also for the fourth time in the past week.

On February 9, 2016, Walgreens announced a plan to make naloxone, a lifesaving opioid antidote, available without a prescription in 35 states and Washington D.C., in accordance with each state’s pharmacy regulations (Video shows a 3-unit Evzio naloxone HCl 0.4 mg auto-injector product).



The Cardinal “Narcan” (Naloxone)-Carrying Police Not Catching Up, Fentanyl-Related Deaths Spike in Cook County

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