07 Feb What Are The Possible Adverse Effects Of Fentanyl?
If you or a loved one has been prescribed fentanyl, you may be wondering about the adverse effects of such a powerful drug. What are the adverse effects of fentanyl? When should you reach out for help? Read on for the information you need.
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What are the adverse effects of fentanyl?
Fentanyl is the strongest opioid painkiller available for medical use and is approximately 100x more potent than morphine. Typically, it is prescribed to people who experience severe pain and already have an established tolerance with other less powerful opioid prescriptions. Like any medicine, patients may experience side effects of fentanyl.
Common adverse effects of fentanyl include:
- Loss of appetite, nausea, or vomiting
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Feeling cold or increased sweating
- Tiredness, dizziness, or feeling cold
- Headache or trouble sleeping
- Skin irritation at application site (for medicinal patches)
Some of these common adverse side effects, like constipation, may require treatment for relief. Others may go away on their own. If symptoms persist past a couple weeks, or if they are severe in nature, you should speak to your doctor about them.
Fentanyl can have dangerous side effects, such as:
- Serious difficulty breathing – this can include shallow breathing in which your chest does not move much
- Fainting or confusion
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Adrenal insufficiency, which can cause extended fatigue, muscle weakness, or abdominal pain
- Androgen deficiency, which can cause fatigue, difficulty sleeping, and decreased energy
If you or a loved one experiences any of these symptoms while using fentanyl, you should seek emergency medical treatment. Fentanyl overdose can result in fatal respiratory system failure, so it’s extremely important to not ignore warning signs that something is wrong.
Dependency and addiction – the most dangerous adverse effect of fentanyl
Fentanyl, like other opioids, is highly addictive, especially if not used properly. Examples of improper use include taking more per dose than prescribed or taking doses more frequently than your doctor recommends.
When prescribed fentanyl, your doctor will likely give you a detailed medication schedule to follow. Following these recommendations makes it less likely that you will develop an addiction to fentanyl.
Signs you may have developed dependency or addiction
If you are concerned that you or a loved one has developed a dependency on fentanyl, here are some of the warning signs:
- Intense euphoria, very relaxed state, or feeling “off” without enough fentanyl
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking fentanyl
- Nausea, vomiting, constipation
- Headaches, dizziness, or blurred vision
- Seizures or slowed breathing
- Mellowness, drowsiness, or itching
- People who do not have an established tolerance to opioids who abuse fentanyl are at increased risk of fatal overdose.
Fentanyl withdrawal symptoms
Someone can experience withdrawal symptoms even if they take fentanyl as prescribed by their doctor. The severity of withdrawal symptoms you may experience is dependent on a number of factors, including general overall health, how long you have been taking fentanyl, and how much you have been taking.
Symptoms of fentanyl withdrawal include:
- Abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea, or vomiting
- Muscle spasms or tremors
- Agitation or anxiety
- Fluctuating blood pressure, insomnia, or constricted pupils
- Runny nose or sweating
Symptoms can onset as soon as 3-4 hours after the last dose taken. The most severe symptoms typically peak during the first 72 hours after the last dose. Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS) symptoms can linger for much longer. It can sometimes take the body up to 2 years to fully recover from fentanyl abuse.
What should you do if you think you may be dependent or addicted to fentanyl?
If you believe you may have a dependency or addiction to fentanyl, you should NOT stop taking fentanyl cold turkey. Withdrawal symptoms can be serious, especially if you have been using fentanyl for an extended period of time. A medical professional with experience in addiction medicine can evaluate your health and create a custom medication withdrawal plan, which guides you in safely tapering down the amount of fentanyl you take.
Opioid withdrawal can be extremely uncomfortable as well. An experienced doctor will know how to treat withdrawal symptoms while keeping you on track during detox. Generally, people who seek professional medical treatment during detox and aftercare have higher success rates in avoiding relapse in the future.
Elite Home Detox Can Help You Let Go Of Fentanyl
If you think you or a loved one is struggling with fentanyl abuse, contact Elite Home Detox. We are a mobile medical practice offering addiction rehabilitation services in the comfort and privacy of your home. We recognize that the traditional clinic program is not for everyone, and instead work with patients to develop a detox and aftercare plan around their needs.
We understand the health challenges people face during recovery and seek to minimize physical and mental discomfort to the furthest extent possible while ensuring patients remain safe and healthy. We also believe in the importance of learning how to handle real-life triggers with support, rather than trying to apply techniques learned in a controlled clinical environment on your own.
Elite Home Detox can help you overcome fentanyl dependency safely and discreetly. Reach out to us today!