Drugs found in Prince’s home were falsely labeled as fentanyl, according to reports.
Speaking to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, officials investigating Prince’s death said the pills were labeled as hydrocodone, a weaker type of opioid.
Autopsy results released in June revealed Prince died of an accidental fentanyl overdose.
Officials told the Associated Press Prince, 57, had no prescriptions for controlled substances at the time.
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The artist was found dead in an elevator inside his Paisley Park home in April.
According to the Star Tribune report, Prince weighed just 110lbs at the time of his death and had significantly more than a fatal dose of fentanyl in his system.
Fentanyl has been linked to a surge in overdoses in parts of the US after being incorporated into counterfeit pills.
The counterfeit pills found in Paisley Park contained a variety of drugs, according to the Associated Press, including fentanyl, lidocaine and U-4770, a synthetic drug eight times more powerful than morphine.
Tests on the musician prior to his death did not show fentanyl in his system, AP said, citing an official involved with the investigation, indicating the singer was not a long-term user of the drug.
The official said Prince had many of these pills with him a week before his death when his airplane made an emergency stop in Illinois after he fell ill.
Prince reportedly received two doses of Narcan, an antidote used to reverse suspected opioid overdoses.
Medical examiners have found that Prince died from an accidental overdose of the painkiller fentanyl.
The Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office’s report comes more than a month after Prince was found slumped in a lift at his home.
Detectives have already questioned a doctor who saw Prince twice in the weeks before he died.
Prescription painkillers were Prince’s possession following his death at the age of 57, officials told media last month.
A police warrant has also revealed that Dr. Michael Schulenberg prescribed medication to Prince on April 20 – the day before he died.
The warrant does not say what was prescribed or whether Prince took the drugs.
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According to the autopsy report, Prince self-administered fentanyl, an opioid many times more powerful than heroin.
In March 2015, the US Drug and Enforcement Administration warned the drug, which it said was often laced in heroin, was a “threat to health and public safety”.
The agency said even small doses of fentanyl could be lethal and that “incidents” and overdoses related to the drug were “occurring at an alarming rate”.
Prince was found unresponsive in a lift at his Paisley Park Studios on the morning of April 21, local officials said. First responders tried to revive him with CPR but he was pronounced dead shortly afterwards.
The singer is believed to have suffered from knee and hip pain from years of performing, the Associated Press news agency reports, citing a friend.
Artists from around the world and Prince’s numerous fans later paid tributes to the star.
Prince was cremated in a private ceremony on April 24. His family is understood to be planning to stage a public memorial in August.
French scientists say that a painkiller as powerful as morphine, but without most of the side-effects, has been found in the deadly venom of the black mamba.
The predator, which uses neurotoxins to paralyze and kill small animals, is one of the fastest and most dangerous snakes in Africa.
However, tests on mice, reported in the journal Nature, showed its venom also contained a potent painkiller.
They admit to being completely baffled about why the mamba would produce it.
The researchers looked at venom from 50 species before they found the black mamba’s pain-killing proteins – called mambalgins.
Dr. Eric Lingueglia, from the Institute of Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology near Nice, said: “When it was tested in mice, the analgesia was as strong as morphine, but you don’t have most of the side-effects.”
Morphine acts on the opioid pathway in the brain. It can cut pain, but it is also addictive and causes headaches, difficulty thinking, vomiting and muscle twitching. The researchers say mambalgins tackle pain through a completely different route, which should produce few side-effects.
He said the way pain worked was very similar in mice and people, so he hoped to develop painkillers that could be used in the clinic. Tests on human cells in the laboratory have also showed the mambalgins have similar chemical effects in people.
But he added: “It is the very first stage, of course, and it is difficult to tell if it will be a painkiller in humans or not. A lot more work still needs to be done in animals.”
Dr. Eric Lingueglia said it was “really surprising” that black mamba venom would contain such a powerful painkiller.