The counterfeit Percocet pain pills believed to be responsible for over 30 overdoses and as many as five deaths in middle Georgia since June 3 have been identified.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation announced Tuesday evening that the pills have been found to contain cyclopropyl fentanyl and U-47700.
Cyclopropyl fentanyl is a fentanyl analogue, chemical similar to fentanyl. Fentanyl is used medically as an anesthetic and as a patch for severe pain. Fentanyl and its analogues can be absorbed through the skin.
This is the first time that cyclopropyl fentanyl has been found in Georgia, according to the GBI.
“It is unknown how the human body will react to this drug since it is not intended for human or veterinary use,” said GBI Public Affairs Director Nelly Miles in the press release.
U-47700 is also a synthetic opioid “research chemical.” “Research chemical” is a term for substances created to mimic other drugs, or for chemicals created as part of the development of new pharmaceuticals that were never approved for human use.
U-47700 is approximately 7.4 times stronger than morphine, according to the GBI.
Because both drugs can be absorbed through the skin, they should not be handled.
“They are extremely toxic in even the smallest quantities,” Miles said.
According to The Macon Telegraph, some of the victims had taken a single Percocet pill when they went into overdose.