Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid analgesic, which essentially means that it works in the brain to change how the body responds to pain. When taken as a prescription, fentanyl is used for ongoing pain that comes from diseases like cancer. When taken illicitly, fentanyl is sometimes misused and added to illegal drugs like heroin. Brand names for fentanyl include Abstral, Actiq, Fentora, Onsolis, Duragesic, and Ionsys. These medications usually come in the form of lozenges, films, tablets, and transdermal patches.
Side Effects of Fentanyl
The side effects of fentanyl may vary based on how someone uses it and which form they take it in. These symptoms are typically not dangerous or life-threatening, but can be extremely uncomfortable. Side effects of fentanyl may include:
These effects of fentanyl are likely to decrease overtime and should pass rather quickly. But how long does evidence of the drug stay in our systems?
Does Fentanyl Show Up In A Urine Test?
While standard drug tests do not test for fentanyl, some specific employers may use drug tests to monitor employees who are using prescription opioids. Employers who test for fentanyl will likely administer a urine test, but they could also use a blood test or hair test.
Here are the steps for taking a urine test for opioids like fentanyl:
- Wash your hands thoroughly
- Clean your genital area with a provided cleansing pad
- Urinate into a sample container up to a specific line
- Return the container to a lab technician or healthcare provider
Fentanyl can be detected in a urine test for up to 1-3 days. A person’s dose and metabolism may impact how long the drug can stay in the system. To fully get fentanyl out of the body, a person must stop taking the drug and give their body time to metabolize or eliminate it. If you take Benadryl or any prescription medications before taking an opioid test, tell your employer before the test begins. Medicines like Benadryl may result in a false positive.
Fentanyl Abuse and Addiction
Fentanyl is known as a Schedule II controlled substance. Schedule II controlled substances are available by prescription but have a high potential for abuse and addiction. Even if someone uses fentanyl as prescribed, they are at risk for developing a dependence. In fact, people may not even know how much fentanyl they are using in some cases. This could lead to accidental overdose.
Someone who is addicted to fentanyl has what is called an opioid use disorder. Opioid use disorders require substance abuse treatment from a rehabilitation center or other medical facility. Opioid use disorder should be treated with inpatient or outpatient treatment. Treatment plans will vary based on the individual, but options typically include medication-assisted treatment (MAT), harm reduction psychotherapy, and other programs to help people stop using.
If you use fentanyl according to prescription for chronic pain, tell your employer or other test administrator before taking a drug test. For more information on opioids like fentanyl, and potentially admitting into treatment to get help for struggling with addiction, call 866-345-2147.