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Duterte admits using painkiller

Monday, 19 December 2016

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MANILA: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s admission that he used a powerful painkiller has prompted concern about his health, with lawmakers urging him to undergo a medical examination and disclose the results.

Duterte revealed last week that he used to take fentanyl, often prescribed for cancer pain and other chronic ailments, because of a spinal injury from previous motorcycle accidents.

However, his doctor made him stop using it after learning that he was “abusing the drug” by using more than the prescribed patches.

The firebrand leader has attracted controversy over his war against suspected users of illegal drugs, which has claimed thousands of lives, as well as his incendiary language against the United States and the United Nations.

Lawmakers said Duterte’s recent remarks had revived speculation about his health, including rumours during the election campaign that he suffered from cancer – a claim the President has repeatedly denied.

Fentanyl, highly potent and addictive, is estimated to be up to 100 times stronger than morphine.

At 71, Duterte is the oldest president of the Philippines.

He suffers from daily migraines and ailments including Buerger’s disease, a cardiovascular illness characterised by inflammation of blood vessels usually due to smoking.

Duterte has cited ill health as his reason for skipping events during summits abroad. In Cambodia last week, he said he might not even finish his six-year term.

Another critic, Senator Antonio Trillanes, said Duterte’s admission that he took more than the prescribed fentanyl dosage showed he “qualified as a drug addict”.

But Duterte denied any addiction on Saturday.

Source by: Internet

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