What Is Fentanyl and What Should You Know About It?

Fentanyl is the most potent pain reliever out there. It is even more potent than morphine and heroin. Although taking fentanyl using free pill reminder app and under a doctor’s supervision is considered safe, it has a high potential of abuse.

Because fentanyl is extremely potent, accidental overdoses are very common. Moreover, since it can be easily counterfeited and mixed with heroin, the amount of deaths caused by its improper use is increasing each day.

Both fentanyl and heroin are extremely potent, and using them together increases the risk of overdose and death.

In this article, we will take a look at various aspects of fentanyl. Read on to learn in detail about this medication.

What are the street names for fentanyl?

Common street names of fentanyl include drop dead, china white, shine, apache, goodfella, jackpot, china girl, serial killer, dance fever, murder 8, and TNT.

What are the commercial names for fentanyl?

Sublimaze, Fentanyl citrate, Duragesic, Lazanda, Nasalfent, Durogesic, Actiq, Subsys, are some of the commercial names for fentanyl.

What are common uses of fentanyl?

Fentanyl is a pain medication which helps relieve severe ongoing pain. It does so by altering the way your brain or body responds to pain.

Fentanyl’s common medical uses include:

  • Anesthesia for patients undergoing surgery.
  • Management of persistent pain caused by cancer or some other condition.
  • Pain management in patients with moderate-to-severe chronic pain requiring continuous care.
  • Pain management in patients who have developed tolerance to other opioids.

What are the side effects of fentanyl?

The risk of fentanyl side effects is higher in older patients than younger individuals. Therefore, extreme caution and regular monitoring must be followed for older patients.

Side effects of this medication include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Weakness
  • Dry mouth
  • Confusion
  • Constipation
  • Nausea
  • Sweating
  • Flushing
  • Constricted pupils
  • Unconsciousness
  • Tight feeling in the throat
  • Decreased heart rate
  • Confusion
  • Stiff or rigid muscles
  • Difficulty in concentrating, and more.

These are only the side effects of fentanyl medication. Adverse effects of fentanyl patches include redness, swelling, rash, or itching at the site of application.

What are the risks of using fentanyl?

There is a high risk of dependency, abuse, tolerance, and addiction with regular fentanyl use. Withdrawal symptoms may also appear if you abruptly stop taking the medication.

Fentanyl withdrawal can last for 1 week and typically occurs after 12 hours of the last dose. Withdrawal symptoms can include vomiting, diarrhea, goosebumps, dilated pupils, hot and cold flashes, chills, runny nose, insomnia, anxiety, agitation, and severe pain.

Regular use of fentanyl can cause you to develop tolerance, implying that you will need higher doses to attain the desired effect. And doing so can lead to addiction. Consequently, the user will end up with an irresistible urge to use fentanyl despite its harmful aftermaths. Seeking and using fentanyl becomes their primary goal in life.

Treatment for fentanyl addiction depends on the severity of the addiction. Detox, behavior therapy, and taking medication using the best med reminder app are the most common treatments for fentanyl addiction.

What are fentanyl precautions?

Before taking fentanyl, tell your doctor if you have any allergies. The inactive ingredients of fentanyl can cause allergies or other negative effects.

Also, tell the doctor about your medical history before using this medication. Individuals with a history of brain disorder, breathing issue, kidney disease, liver disease, mood disorders, or with a personal/family history of substance use disorder should avoid taking this medication.

Additionally, this drug produces a dizzy or drowsy effect. And using it with alcohol can increase that effect. Therefore, avoid using it with alcohol. Also, never drive a vehicle or perform tasks that require alertness unless the effect is gone.

Tell your specialist if you develop a fever while using this medication.

Avoid doing activities that raise your body temperature (running or exercising in hot weather) or it may cause an overdose.

Older adults are more sensitive to fentanyl’s negative effects. They should use this medication with extreme care and monitoring.

If you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, use fentanyl only when needed. This is because it can pass into breast milk and leave undesirable effects on an infant. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding and inform them right away if your baby develops breathing issues, unusual sleepiness, or trouble in feeding.

What are the signs and symptoms of fentanyl overdose?

Common symptoms of fentanyl overdose include:

  • Shallow breathing
  • Severe sleepiness
  • Slow heartbeat
  • Trouble walking or talking
  • Cold, clammy skin
  • Feeling faint, dizzy
  • Confusion
  • Unresponsiveness

What are common causes of fentanyl overdose?

Opioid addicts sometimes use fentanyl as a substitute for heroin. However, this is a very dangerous practice because of its increased potency and can result in deadly overdoses.

Pure fentanyl powder is another potent form of this medication. It is extremely strong and can be dangerous even for people with high opioid tolerance. Besides, overdosing on it can result in instant death.

Fentanyl patches are potent pain killers and may cause death from overdose. Therefore, doctors should always prescribe these patches at the lowest effective dose. Moreover, these patches should only be used by patients with high opioid tolerance.

In case of a fentanyl overdose, immediately use naloxone which is an opioid analgesic and releases fentanyl from brain receptors. If a single dose of naloxone is being ineffective, try multiple doses to diminish fentanyl’s effect.

How does fentanyl interaction with other medications?

Taking fentanyl with other medications such as cimetidine, nefazodone, calcium channel blockers such as diltiazem verapamil, HIV drugs, and certain anti-seizure medicines such as carbamazepine can affect fentanyl’s working and cause it to produce negative effects.

Taking MAO inhibitors such as methylene blue, moclobemide, phenelzine, selegiline, procarbazine, safinamide, tranylcypromine with fentanyl can cause fatal interactions.  Most doctors suggest that the use of MAO inhibitors should be stopped for at least two weeks before beginning treatment with fentanyl.

Also, the risk of fentanyl side effects increases if you use it with other pain relievers or cough suppressants (codeine, hydrocodone), drugs for sleep or anxiety (alprazolam, lorazepam), muscle relaxants (carisoprodol, cyclobenzaprine), or antihistamines (cetirizine, diphenhydramine).

Using fentanyl with allergy products can be harmful because these products may contain ingredients that produce drowsiness. So, consult with your doctor or pharmacist to ensure the safe use of these products.

Finally, taking serotonin boosting drugs may increase the risk of serotonin syndrome (hyperactivity in nerve cells). MDMA/ecstasy, and certain antidepressants (fluoxetine, paroxetine, duloxetine, venlafaxine), are some examples of serotonin boosters. Increasing dose of these products may increase the risk of serotonin syndrome/toxicity even more. Therefore, you should always consult with your doctor or pharmacist before taking these medications using medicine taking app.