WASHINGTON - It's a new way to treat pain and it comes in the form of a lollipop.
Navy Corpsmen working with Marines in Afghanistan are using what they call a "morphine lollipop," slipping it into the mouths of wounded servicemen to dissolve fentanyl into the bloodstream.
Delivering fentanyl -- a painkiller more powerful than morphine -- in a berry-flavored lozenge attached to a plastic stick helps the drug enter the nervous system more quickly, the Navy Times reports.
The top Navy medical officer to the Marine Corps tells the Times that because it's not injected into a shocked muscle it's also easier to stop the painkiller if needed.
Special Operations forces have been using the lollipops for a while.
Fentanyl can be highly addictive, but is also very effective in pain relief.
WTOP's Max Smith contributed to this report. Follow WTOP on Twitter.
(Copyright 2011 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)
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