Fentanyl medicine is a synthetic opioid drug used to treat severe pain, such as advanced cancer pain and chronic pain in patients who are sophisticated to less potent opioids.
Fentanyl is available in several forms, including a transdermal patch, lozenge, nasal spray, tablet, and injectable solution. It is usually found in powder, as a tablet, or mixed with other drugs.
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How does it work?
Fentanyl activates certain opioid receptors located in areas of the brain that affect pain and emotion. In addition, This drug also increases dopamine release from certain nerve cells in our brain. This can increase dopamine activity associated with a reinforcing sense of euphoria.
This drug can also slow breathing in those given Fentanyl’s potency, greatly increasing the risk of overdose.
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How strong is fentanyl?
Fentanyl is 80-100 times stronger than morphine. Fentanyl was formed as a pain management treatment for cancer patients, applied in a patch on the skin. However, because of its powerful opioid properties, Fentanyl is also diverted for abuse.
It’s deadly that Fentanyl is so much stronger than heroin. 3-milligram dose of Fentanyl is enough to kill an average-sized adult male.
How long does fentanyl stay in your urine?
Several drug tests are used to detect Fentanyl from your body, including urine, hair, and blood tests. A person may test positive for Fentanyl on a urine test for 24–72 hours after last use.
However, Fentanyl can be detected for up to 96 hours. Hair tests can detect Fentanyl for up to 3 months after last use. Blood tests can detect fentanyl use from 5 to 48 hours after last use.
Saliva tests are used to detect many drugs, but in the case of Fentanyl, saliva tests cannot detect it or its metabolites.
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How long does fentanyl withdrawal last?
People who have developed a significant physical dependency on Fentanyl are more likely to experience withdrawal symptoms when they try to go off this drug. However, the severity of withdrawal symptoms will depend on the length and intensity of use.
Fentanyl withdrawal symptoms firstly may begin within 12 hours after its last use. Fentanyl withdrawal symptoms can last for up to a week, with the first three days usually the most difficult.
Dealing with withdrawal symptoms of Fentanyl on your own can be very difficult and dangerous. However, asking for help is an important step towards a healthier lifestyle.
Typical withdrawal symptoms include:
- Feelings of depression
- Loss of appetite
- Trouble sleeping
- Increased blood pressure
- Increased heart rate
- Runny nose
- Watery eyes
- Muscle pain
Between 1975 to 1981, Fentanyl was widely adopted as an effective intraoperative analgesic agent with relatively few adverse effects.
In small-to-moderate doses, it combines with different intravenous supplements to produce “balanced” anesthesia.
In contrast, large doses are used to induce and maintain anesthesia in critically ill patients and those undergoing cardiopulmonary bypass procedures.
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What happens if you take too much fentanyl?
Fentanyl’s strength causes overdose, especially when the person combines substances such as alcohol and benzodiazepines with Fentanyl increases the risk of overdose and death by respiratory arrest.
The following are signs of overdose:
- Difficulty in breathing
- Blue lips and skin color.
- Cold, clammy skin
- Markedly constricted pupils
- Loss of consciousness
An overdose of Fentanyl can be fatal. Seek medical help immediately if you suspect one. Medical experts can give naloxone, an opioid receptor blocker that acts as an “antidote” to reverse the effects of Fentanyl. Naloxone is available in several forms, such as intravenous or intramuscular injection or as a nasal spray.
It may be possible for some regular fentanyl users to keep naloxone at home in case of an overdose. However, it is strange that a person would be prepared to take naloxone themselves during an overdose, so family members and loved ones must be familiar with using the medication in whatever formulation is on hand.
Buprenorphine and methadone are also opioid receptor agonist drugs. They activate the same receptor that Fentanyl acts on to reduce cravings and prevent Fentanyl from producing effects.
Behavioral therapies also help people adjust thinking patterns and behaviors around fentanyl use, develop better coping skills, and react more to any triggers encountered. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is perhaps the most well-known of these therapies.
- Talk to your doctor if you are allergic to Fentanyl, or ask your pharmacist or check the medication guide to identify the list of ingredients.
- Tell your doctor what other prescription and nonprescribed medications, vitamins, and nutritional supplements you are taking or plan to take.
- Consult with your doctor about which herbal products you are taking.
- Inform your doctor if you have drunk large amounts of alcohol, have ever used drugs, or have excessive amounts of prescription medications.
- Also, speak to your doctor if you ever had a head injury, a stroke, a brain tumor, or any other condition that caused high pressure inside your skull.
- Inform your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
- Discuss with your doctor about the risks of using Fentanyl.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Fentanyl made from?
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid. The primary effects of Fentanyl are pleasure and pain relief. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, unlike other opioids made directly from the opium poppy plant, Fentanyl is made in the lab.
If you’re concerned about the risks of Fentanyl or struggling with any opioid abuse, get help immediately. Various programs are available across the country that offers flexible schedules, intensity levels, and different payment options.
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