Fentanyl Side Effects

Fentanyl is an incredibly powerful medication that’s designed to help people cope with severe, overwhelming pain.

Not surprisingly, then, it’s associated with some very serious side effects in people who abuse it for recreational purposes. Specifically, it’s been linked to overdoses. In one study, published in the American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology, researchers note that people who overdosed had fentanyl amounts in their bodies ranging from 5 to 27 μg/L. That’s a great deal of fentanyl.

But overdoses aren’t the only side effects fentanyl can cause. In fact, there are many other health and emotional problems abusers of this pain medication might face, and many of those side effects can be effectively handled in an addiction treatment program.

Fentanyl Side Effects During Use

Mayo Clinic suggests that hallucinations and reduced urination are common in people who take fentanyl. Opioids like fentanyl are also associated with constipation. The drug attaches to receptors in the intestines, and when that happens, things move very slowly through the digestive tract. Sometimes, the movement is so slow that particles actually get stuck and/or blocked.

The way in which people abuse fentanyl can also cause side effects. For example, some people access patches that are filled with a fentanyl-packed gel. They load that gel into needles and inject the substance into the veins. Those injections can cause a host of problems, including:
  • Vein collapse
  • Infections
  • Abscesses
  • Clots

Snorting or eating fentanyl, on the other hand, can sometimes cause tissue death that leads to vomiting, runny noses, tooth loss, or breathing difficulties.

Fentanyl Side Effects During Withdrawal

When people with fentanyl addictions attempt to stop taking the drug, they may go through a withdrawal process that feels a lot like the flu. That can last for about a week, and the physical symptoms are augmented by deep cravings for more fentanyl.

The U.S. National Library of Medicine says those fentanyl withdrawal symptoms can be eliminated altogether if people taper their fentanyl doses instead of stopping cold turkey, but there is another avenue for people with addictions. Treatment programs use replacement medications to soothe withdrawal symptoms. They work a little like a brain trick, as they seem to convince the brain that fentanyl is present when it is not. With medications, there are few or no withdrawal side effects, and with a taper, sobriety is right around the corner.

Many of the persistent side effects caused by fentanyl can also be handled in a treatment program. Medical teams can assist with vein damage and infections caused by fentanyl injections, and they can provide special diets and medications for people with bowel problems caused by abuse.

Getting Started

The best way to recover from a fentanyl addiction is to enroll in a comprehensive treatment program. We can help. Just contact us, and we’ll connect you to a treatment facility that can assist with your symptoms and put you on the road to a healthier life. Please call and we’ll tell you more.

Further Reading About Fentanyl Side Effects

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