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

The travel alert posted Friday says Americans should really “exercise caution when acquiring medication in Mexico.”

Compact pharmacies in tourist places and border regions at times sell medicines advertised as OxyContin, Percocet, Xanax and other people devoid of a prescription.

The State Division warned that such tablets are usually counterfeit and “may include deadly doses of fentanyl.”

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

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

UCLA mentioned the study, published in January, identified that “brick and mortar pharmacies in Northern Mexican tourist towns are promoting counterfeit tablets containing fentanyl, heroin, and methamphetamine. These tablets are sold primarily to US vacationers, and are usually passed off as controlled substances such as Oxycodone, Percocet, and Adderall.”

“These counterfeit tablets represent a critical overdose danger to purchasers who consider they are acquiring a identified quantity of a weaker drug,” mentioned Chelsea Shover, assistant professor-in-residence of medicine at the David Geffen College of Medicine at UCLA.

Anecdotal proof recommend that the challenge exists in beach resorts like Playa del Carmen and Tulum, not just in border cities.

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

A State Division spokesperson wrote in response to the request that “The U.S. Division of State has no greater priority than the security and safety of U.S. citizens overseas. We take seriously our commitment to present U.S. citizens with clear, timely, and trusted information and facts about just about every nation in the globe so they can make informed travel choices.”

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