MEXICO CITY (AP) — The U.S. State Division has issued a travel warning about risky counterfeit tablets sold in pharmacies in Mexico that normally include fentanyl.

A travel advisory issued Friday mentioned Americans ought to “use caution when acquiring medicines in Mexico.”

Little pharmacies in tourist regions and border regions at times sell drugs advertised as OkiContin, Percocet, Xanax and other folks devoid of a prescription.

The State Division has warned that such tablets are normally counterfeit and “can include lethal doses of fentanyl.”

“Counterfeit tablets are very easily advertised on social media and can be bought at modest non-chain pharmacies in Mexico along the border and in tourist regions,” it mentioned.

A study led by researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles identified that 68% of 40 Mexican pharmacies visited in 4 cities in northern Mexico sold oxycodone, Xanax or Adderall, and that 27% of these pharmacies sold fake tablets.

UCLA mentioned the study, published in January, identified that “pharmacies in tourist towns in northern Mexico are promoting counterfeit tablets containing fentanyl, heroin and methamphetamine. These tablets are sold mainly to American vacationers and are normally passed off as controlled substances such as Oxycodone, Percocet and Adderall.

“These counterfeit tablets pose a critical overdose threat for consumers who assume they are acquiring a recognized quantity of a weaker drug,” mentioned Chelsea Schover, assistant professor of medicine at UCLA’s David Geffen College of Medicine.

Anecdotal proof suggests the challenge exists in beach resorts such as Playa del Carmen and Tulum, not just border towns.

The State Division did not respond to a request for comment on no matter whether any Americans have overdosed or died from drug sales in Mexico.

A State Division spokesman wrote in response to the request that “the US State Division has no greater priority than the security and safety of American citizens abroad. We take seriously our commitment to offering US citizens with clear, timely and trustworthy data about each nation in the planet so they can make informed travel choices.

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