Abuse of painkiller Opana can cause blood disorder-US FDA

Oct 11 (Reuters) - People who abuse the prescription pain drug Opana ER by injecting it into their bloodstream risk developing a serious blood disorder that could result in kidney failure or death, U.S. health regulators warned on Thursday.

Opana is produced by Endo Pharmaceuticals .

The blood disorder, thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura, resulted in kidney failure requiring dialysis in some cases, and at least one death, the Food and Drug Administration said.

The disorder causes clots to form in small blood vessels throughout the body, limiting or blocking blood flow to the organs.

Platelets, a certain type of blood cell, help the clotting process. When this disorder occurs, however, platelets clump together in the blood clots, making fewer platelets available in the blood in other parts of the body to help clotting there.

This can lead to bleeding under the skin and purple-colored spots called purpura, or to bleeding inside the body.

Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura can cause death or lead to other complications with permanent damage, including brain damage and stroke, in addition to kidney failure.

The FDA said problems appear to occur with Opana ER only when it is abused and injected intravenously. Opana ER is meant to be taken orally, and should be taken only when prescribed and as directed.

(Reporting by Debra Sherman in Chicago; Editing by Dale Hudson)