Fentanyl is a drug intended for pain relief. It’s legal and has a medical purpose, but it should be taken under the care of a doctor. Continue reading to learn how fentanyl affects your body and how to stay safe if prescribed fentanyl.
What is fentanyl?
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid, which is a class of drugs that block pain signals in the brain. They are prescribed to relieve pain in people who have had surgery, an injury, or undergoing cancer treatment.
Fentanyl does not derive naturally from the opioid poppy plant. Instead, it is created in a lab using chemicals that act like opioids. Fentanyl and naturally derived opioids, such as morphine, have a similar effect on the body. However, fentanyl is much stronger than morphine. In fact, it’s 100 times stronger.
Fentanyl mainly works to relieve pain, but it also has a relaxing or calming effect. That’s why fentanyl has a high chance of being abused. And this abuse has led to the current opioid epidemic, which is part of the larger prescription drug epidemic.
Side effects of fentanyl
The side effects of fentanyl vary, depending on how much of it is taken. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), fentanyl may cause:
- euphoria, or extreme happiness
- pain relief
- urinary retention
- pupillary constriction
- respiratory distress
When someone is overdosing on fentanyl, the symptoms and side effects may be more severe.
- slowed breathing
- changes in pupillary size
- cold and clammy skin
Always call 911 right away if you believe someone is overdosing from fentanyl.
Long-term side effects of fentanyl
According to WebMD, you should always let your doctor know if you experience any of these side effects and if they won’t go away:
- stomach pain or heartburn
- weight loss
- trouble peeing
- vision changes
- anxiety or depression
- unusual thinking or dreams
- trouble falling or staying asleep
- dry mouth
- sudden reddening of your face, neck, or upper chest
- shaking in any part of your body
- back or chest pain
- mouth pain, sores, or irritation in the location where you were given fentanyl
- swelling in your hands, feet, arms, ankles, or lower legs
Fentanyl safety tips
Fentanyl can stay in your system up to three days after taking it. To avoid accidents and overdose, always follow your doctor’s prescription and remember these safety tips:
- Avoid driving or using machinery after taking your medication.
- Do not drink alcohol with fentanyl.
- Do not combine your medication with others, unless approved by your doctor.
- Do not buy fentanyl from illegal dealers.
- Do not share your medication with others.
Treating fentanyl side effects at Skyward
Skyward Treatment Center has an expert addiction treatment team experienced in treating the side effects of fentanyl and helping people overcome fentanyl addiction in Houston and surrounding areas. We use a holistic approach, meaning we combine various therapies to address every need.
We’re available 24/7 and offer same-day admissions. Our treatment options range from monitored outpatient programs to inpatient residential programs for people who need more intense detox and treatment.
Call 713-815-4471 or complete our online form to learn about our treatment options.