Police found pills at Prince’s Minnesota home which were marked Watson 385. According to Drug.com, that would be a mixture of acetaminophen and hydrocodone. But when the pills were analyzed, they found that the pills had fentanyl in them, which is 50 times more powerful than heroin. Police and health officials have noticed a sharp increase in overdoses and in some of the cases it can be attributed to the presence of fentanyl.
The autopsy of Prince was released in April, which concluded that the singer died of an accidental overdose of fentanyl. Prince did not have any prescriptions for pain killers in Minnesota and the dozen or so pills were found in an Aleve bottle. Many people overdose on these fake pills, not knowing how strong they really are. Police still have not determined whether Prince know what was in the pills or whether he actually knew what they were.
Some of the counterfeit pills were found to contain not only fentanyl but also lidocaine and U-4770. U-4770 is a synthetic drug which is 8 times more powerful than morphine. They are so very addictive and it makes sense that the longer you take them, the more you need.
The official said Prince had many of these pills with him on April 15 when the airplane he was on made an emergency stop in Moline, Illinois, after he fell ill from a suspected drug overdose as he was heading home from a performance in Atlanta. Prince was given two doses of Narcan, an antidote used to reverse suspected opioid overdoses, the official said.
U-4770 can be tested for in toxicology screens, but is not done routinely because it is a relatively new chemical. Presence of the drug was not tested in Prince’s case, but the levels of fentanyl in his system were more than enough to be toxic, the official said.
Tests on Prince prior to his death did not show fentanyl in his system, which means he wasn’t a long-time abuser of that drug, but likely took the fatal dose sometime in the 24 hours before he died, the official said.
The official did not elaborate on those tests. But at least one doctor, Michael Todd Schulenberg, saw Prince on April 7 and again on April 20, the day before he died. According to a search warrant, he told a detective he had ordered tests for Prince and prescribed medications. Schulenberg’s attorney, Amy Conners, has said patient-privacy laws do not allow her to say what the prescriptions were.