Iowa agencies warn about fake pain pills

No concern about medicine from licensed prescribers, pharmacies

A Linn County Sheriff’s Office squad car. (file photo)
A Linn County Sheriff’s Office squad car. (file photo)

DES MOINES — State officials are warning Iowans about fake pain pills containing powerful and illegal opiates.

According to the advisory issued by the Iowa Department of Public Health, Department of Public Safety, Poison Control Center and Office of Drug Control Policy, the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation’s laboratory has seen multiple cases recently of pills designed to resemble oxycodone but actually contained synthetic opioids fentanyl and U-47700.

“As the DEA warns, counterfeit pills like those found in Iowa that are not prescribed or dispensed by health care professionals may contain deadly amounts of fentanyls or other synthetic opioids,” a statement from the agencies reads. “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.”

The agencies emphasized that there is no concern over prescription medicine obtained from licensed prescribers and pharmacies.

l Comments: (319) 398-8238;



Cedar Rapids - Leslie Hess said she will never forget what it was like to run for her life on October 1, 2017, in Las Vegas. She also said her heart now 'shatters' for those at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, wh ...

Smoke generated by a morning fire that continues to smolder near NewBo is being pushed toward the city by winds out of the South. People are advised to 'limit exposure.'The Cedar Rapids Fire Department is on the scene of a buildin ...

Give us feedback

Have you found an error or omission in our reporting? Tell us here.

Do you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.