Fentanyl is a powerful pain-relieving narcotic belonging to the analgesic family of drugs; it is similar to opioids and packs an impressive potency 500 times more than that of morphine. This drug is employed as a pain medicine in patients who’ve developed high tolerance against opioids and is lethal as it can cause damaging side effects; it is prescribed as a last resort.
It is available under the brand name Duragesic and is present in the form of injections and skin patches.
A doctor’s supervision is essential while using this drug, People without opioid tolerance are not recommended to use this drug.
The most prevalent side effects include:
- Excess sweating
- Dry mouth
Other side effects are:
- Abdominal pain
- Loss of appetite
- Stomach cramps and weight loss
The drug also induces hallucinations, though this side effect is rare under supervision. Depression, anxiety, confusion, unusual thought or behavior, and restlessness can also occur
Using Fentanyl can also cause:
- Tearing or watery eyes
- Trouble falling or staying asleep
- Pain in the muscles, joints, or back
- Enlarged pupils
- Rapid breathing and heart rate
- Runny nose
Fentanyl can also cause these rarely occurring adverse effects:
- Dyskinesia, or trouble with voluntary movement, nightmares
- Stinging skin
- Feeling like the room is spinning
- Kidney damage
- Throat irritation
- Skin disorders like eczema
- Bloating or swelling of the face or limbs
If side effects like heavy breathing, swelling in the tongue and lips, sore throat and itchy irritable skin (hives) are manifested, then these are signs of an allergic reaction. Get to the emergency room immediately.
How to use?
The clear liquid solution of this drug is injected into the bloodstream by an intravenous route – via IV drip and infusion. It is recommended to wear safety gears such as gloves while handling the liquid suspension, and while injecting it. It should only be administered in an air-way controlled atmosphere where a professional is keeping the air-way under supervision.
How it works?
Fentanyl functions by stimulating the pain receptors present in the brain and increases their pain enduring capability. These receptors are responsible for sensing pain and once their pain threshold is increased, thus making sure you don’t hurt too much. They also change the way our brain perceives pain, thus lessening the pain experienced.
Before using Fentanyl ensure to take these precautionary measures:
This drug induces sedation and renders your physical and mental vigilance ineffective and impaired. It is advised to refrain from activities that require your cognitive attention and motor intelligence such as driving or operating heavy machinery etc.
The use of this drug during pregnancy can lead to dependency and withdrawal symptoms in the unborn baby. Plus, hyperactivity, trembling, and vomiting are common in addicted babies. This is an incredibly potent drug and should only be administered as a last resort. Professional supervision is necessary if this drug is to be used in pregnant women.
Using Fentanyl with alcohol, anti-depressants, and other opioids can result in severe sedative effects that often lead to a coma, and gradually death. Doctors should monitor the patient’s result and administer minor doses to ensure the patient remains safe.