Discover Fentanyl’s Potential Physical & Mental Health Effects
What Is Fentanyl?
Fentanyl, which is in the opioid agonist category of drugs, is a human-made prescription used to treat chronic pain. It is designed for individuals with pain that does not respond to traditional opioids medications. Fentanyl is most commonly prescribed in the form of a transdermal patch with the brand name ‘Duragesic.’ It can also come in the form of a tablet, an oral lozenge, an oral spray, a nasal spray, or an injectable.
Side Effects of Fentanyl Use
This medication can stay in the system for anywhere from 24 to 72 hours. However, the side effects may last much longer. Symptoms of fentanyl typically last for several days or one week. If they don’t go away after two or three weeks, call your doctor and schedule an appointment.
Side effects of fentanyl may range from slightly uncomfortable to extremely dangerous, so it’s important to use this drug responsibly. Just in case you experience serious symptoms, make sure a loved one is nearby when you use this drug. You may also want to keep a list of all the side effects you experience so that you can tell your doctor about them at your next visit.
Common side effects of fentanyl may include skin redness & irritation, nausea, vomiting, tiredness, dizziness, trouble sleeping, constipation, sweating, feeling cold, headache, diarrhea, and appetite loss. While these symptoms are not pleasant, they can typically be treated at home and should go away once your body gets used to the medication. Serious side effects, on the other hand, could be a sign of a bigger problem and require medical attention as soon as possible. Below are some examples of the serious side effects of fentanyl use:
- Shallow breathing
- Fast breathing
- Fast heart rate
- Dilated pupils
- Stomach cramps
- Muscle aches
- Muscle weakness
- Long-lasting tiredness
- Low energy
The side effects above might point to health concerns like serious breathing problems, low blood pressure, physical addiction to fentanyl, adrenal insufficiency, androgen deficiency, and more.
Fentanyl Risks & Warnings
Since it comes with such a high potential for addiction and abuse, fentanyl should only be taken according to dosage. Your doctor will decide your dosage based on factors like your age, weight, and medical history. The fentanyl patch can trigger allergic reactions, so tell your doctor about all of your allergies before using this medication. Patches should be changed once every 72 hours and shouldn’t be exposed to heat. Don’t combine fentanyl with alcohol or other drugs.
If you are taking fentanyl, do not stop using the drug without talking to your doctor. Quitting suddenly will likely result in withdrawal symptoms like restlessness, irritability, trouble sleeping, fast breathing and heart rate, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, sweating, diarrhea, and more.
Taking too much fentanyl could result in an overdose, which can cause potentially fatal side effects. Signs of a fentanyl overdose may include slowed breathing, trouble speaking, confusion, extreme tiredness, cold & clammy skin, skin turning blue, low blood pressure, slow heart rate, dangerous heart problems, low heart rate, and muscle weakness. If you witness someone overdosing on fentanyl, contact emergency services as soon as possible.
Fentanyl Abuse Treatment
Do you think that you or a family member could be dependent on fentanyl? If so, you may require substance abuse treatment. Many rehabilitation centers offer programs for individuals who are dependent on fentanyl and other prescription medications. These programs may involve talk therapy, medication, group meetings, education, and more treatment methods.
To learn more about fentanyl and its potential side effects, contact our team of substance abuse treatment professionals for additional information and details about our programming options. Give us a call at 866-345-2147.