Skip to content

Fake Dilaudid tablets with high overdose risk hit Interior Health region

The drug used to cut the fakes is 20-times stronger than the real thing
Counterfeit drugs in the Interior have been described as having a very high risk of an overdose by Interior Health. (Interior Health)

An Interior Health-wide alert has been issued over counterfeit drugs comparable to fentanyl.

The drugs, being sold as 8mg Dilaudid tablets, also known as Hydromorphone, have been found to contain Isotonitazene.

Isotonitazene is a synthetic opioid that works on receptors in the body similar to fentanyl.

As a result, the counterfeit drugs can be 20 or more times as potent as the actual drugs, and thus carry a very high risk of overdose.

The drug has been known to cause fatalities according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

The only way to be certain a tablet is genuine on purchase is if it is received directly from a pharmacist, said Interior Health.

Otherwise, it is recommended to have the drugs checked before using.

READ ALSO: Interior Health issues 4th fatal overdose drug warning in 4 weeks in Penticton

To reduce the risk of overdose, Interior Health has made several suggestions:

• Get your drugs checked before use, which can be done at ASK Wellness in Penticton, and at other locations listed at

• Avoid using different drugs at the same time or using drugs and alcohol together.

• Don’t use alone or ask someone to check on you

• Start with a small amount and work up

• Use at an overdose prevention site

• Know how to respond to overdose

• If you must use while alone, consider using the Lifeguard app which can connect you with 911 emergency responders if you overdose

Brennan Phillips

About the Author: Brennan Phillips

Brennan was raised in the Okanagan and is thankful every day that he gets to live and work in one of the most beautiful places in Canada.
Read more