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Fentanyl Side Effects

Fentanyl is a powerful generic synthetic opioid that physicians initially prescribe to treat severe chronic pain. It is also a narcotic with a high potential for tolerance, dependence, and, eventually, addiction. Physicians prescribe fentanyl to patients already tolerant of other opiate drugs. Pharmaceutical companies also market this controlled substance under the names Duragesic, Fentora, Sublimaze, and Actiq. All forms of fentanyl are extraordinarily potent and possibly fatal. In fact, this drug is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine.

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Side Effects

A side effect is secondary to the main effect of a drug or therapy and can be undesirable. Not every person experiences side effects in the same way. If you take fentanyl or any other opioid pain reliever with other substances, including alcohol, medications, and herbal supplements, please let your prescribing physician know because the interaction can lead to dangerous side effects. Furthermore, patients who take fentanyl in conjunction with sedatives, tranquilizers, and muscle relaxers experience harmful sedative effects, including passing out and slow breathing. Factors that could influence how and when a person experiences side effects of certain drugs also include mental health and how he or she metabolizes the drug.

Fentanyl Side Effects Can Be Very Serious

Although fentanyl can cause similar side effects to those of other opioids. It is essential to remember that its powerful potency can make the side effects to set in faster, be more intense, and last longer than other drugs in its class.

So many people pick up their prescriptions and begin taking them without familiarizing themselves with side effects, warnings, and interactions. It’s important to know what symptoms to look for because some can be quite serious. Less severe but commonly reported side effects associated with fentanyl can include:

  • constipation
  • dry mouth
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • palpitations
  • agitation
  • mood changes
  • dizziness
  • drowsiness
  • headache
  • tremors
  • stomach
  • muscle and bone pain.

Medical professionals urge patients to seek emergency medical treatment immediately if they experience signs of an allergic reaction to fentanyl which can include:

  • hives
  • difficult breathing
  • swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • lightheadedness or fainting
  • cold, clammy skin
  • weak or shallow breathing and unusual weakness
  • confusion or drowsiness.

It is essential to know that dependence and addiction are also harmful side effects of fentanyl and other opiate painkillers. Addiction to this drug has become a plague in our society. Fentanyl overdose continues to reach unseen levels every day. The results of such crisis are tragic and are affecting every city in this nation.

Addiction and Treatment

Since opioid abuse impairs the thought process, many users disregard the significant risk, fentanyl addiction poses. The drug’s potency creates a much higher likelihood of accidental overdose. In fact, fentanyl-related overdoses continue to skyrocket throughout the country. Overall across the U.S., these overdose deaths increased more than 14% from 2017 to 2018.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition (DSM-%) recognizes Opioid Use Disorder as a condition. The DSM also provides 11 symptoms associated with this disorder.
In the case of fentanyl abuse, some symptoms include when the person is:

  1. Fentanyl is taken in more significant amounts or over a more extended period than was intended
  2. A persistent desire or unsuccessful attempts to cut down or control use
  3. A person spending a great deal of time in activities to obtain, use, or recover from the drug effects
  4. Craving or a strong desire for the drug
  5. Repeated use while failing to fulfill and meet obligations at home, school, or work
  6. Ongoing use despite the adverse and persistent issues to social or interpersonal life.
  7. Giving up meaningful social, occupational, or recreational activities
  8.  Fentanyl use in situations regardless of physical harm
  9.  Continued use, regardless of the understanding of having physical or psychological issues likely caused or exacerbated by fentanyl.
  10.  Tolerance, as defined by either the need for increased amounts of the drug to achieve the desired effect or the significantly diminished effect with the same dosage.
  11. Withdrawal, as manifested by either of the following symptoms of opioid withdrawal syndrome or more opioids are taken to relieve or avoid symptoms of withdrawal.

** 2 to 3 of the above symptoms represent mild Opioid Use Disorder, 4 to 5 represents moderate, and six or more shows the presence of a severe case.

When the body receives a certain drug continuously, it naturally adjusts. One of these adjustments is tolerance, and the other is physical dependence. The moment someone reduces or stops using fentanyl, withdrawal symptoms emerge. The following withdrawal symptoms are the most common:

  • Restlessness
  • Chills and sweating
  • Anxiety and irritability
  • Runny nose
  • Muscle and joint aches
  • Stomach cramps and diarrhea
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Increased heart rate
  • High blood pressure


Attempting to detox from fentanyl without medical guidance is not usually advisable. Fentanyl detox can be particularly uncomfortable and, in some cases, dangerous.

Where to Seek Help From Fentanyl Addiction

Misusing fentanyl in any way can be dangerous to your health. Moreover, taking it in higher doses or more frequently than recommended can lead to serious side effects, addiction, overdose, even death. Receiving a full health evaluation and supervision through an inpatient medical detox is often the best approach to safely and effectively start treatment for someone suffering from fentanyl addiction.

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Medical Detox

Clearly, medical doctors are the most knowledgeable and equipped health care professionals to deal with physiological distress and health events related to fentanyl detox. There are a number of medical detox programs available; for this reason, it is crucial to understand the benefits and drawbacks of each treatment program clearly.


Waismann Treatment™ has been providing one of the most successful opioid detoxification for nearly two decades. Although most people recognize us as the premier rapid detox center in the world, we provide much more. We clearly understand that patients are different and have unique needs; therefore, a single modality would not successfully meet the needs of every individual. That is why we offer a multitude of medically assisted fentanyl detox methods, with and without anesthesia. Only this way, can we successfully meet the specific needs of each client.

In addition to our medical detox, we provide patients with recovery care at our private drug treatment and post-detox facility, Domus Retreat. Domus is an integral part of this successful treatment. It is made available, so patients recover in a tranquil, private, and safe setting.

At Domus, people can work on their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs without having to share their most intimate thoughts or feelings with other patients. Domus guests stay in their own, individual suites, to ensure their space is as private, sanitary, and as comfortable as possible. Various recovery services are also available to assist guests in making their recovery smoother – a staff of healthcare professionals, therapists, and addiction specialists.

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