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What Are Side Effects of Fentanyl?

a person sits on the floor with their hands on their face as they experience the side effects of fentanyl

Fentanyl is a deadly synthetic drug responsible for the most drug overdose deaths in the United States. Although chiefly used as an anesthetic or for pain relief, the drug is often illegally obtained and recreationally consumed, resulting in fatal side effects of fentanyl. However, with timely professional treatment, it is possible to recover from the effects of fentanyl. If you or a loved one is struggling with fentanyl side effects, reach out to Northpoint Seattle’s specialized fentanyl addiction treatment program.

By being more aware of the side effects of fentanyl, it is possible to recognize the early signs of chemical dependency or addiction and seek professional help. To know more about the various effects of fentanyl and our personalized and flexible treatment options, call us at 888.483.6031.

What Are the Side Effects of Fentanyl?

Fentanyl is an extremely potent drug that was first synthesized in 1959 by Paul Janssen. In its pill form, fentanyl can resemble other drugs, such as oxycodone. Often, it is mixed with substances such as cocaine or heroin. This is extremely dangerous, as it can delay the correct treatment in case of an overdose and lead to death.

In fact, taking the drug just once can lead to adverse fentanyl effects or an overdose.

Beneficial Effects of Fentanyl

Fentanyl has a few therapeutic benefits when used correctly in medical treatment. The main effects of fentanyl are as follows:

  • Pain relief (especially cancer pain)
  • Sedation and drowsiness
  • Suppression of the cough reflex

If the dosage and frequency of fentanyl consumption are not carefully monitored by a medical professional, fentanyl can quickly culminate in fatal side effects. However, most people who experience a fentanyl overdose end up consuming illicit forms of the drug or mistaking it for a different drug

Adverse Fentanyl Side Effects

Common side effects of fentanyl include the following:

  • Chest pain
  • Convulsions
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Difficult breathing
  • Loss of appetite
  • Decreased urine production
  • Muscle cramps
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Dry mouth
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Sneezing
  • Swelling of limbs
  • Lethargy and/or unusual tiredness
  • Sunken eyes
  • Unusual bleeding
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures

These side effects are common among many opioid drugs, not just fentanyl.

Long-term Side Effects of Fentanyl

Long-term use of fentanyl can lead to chronic health complications and negatively affect one’s quality of life. Some long-term fentanyl effects include:

  • Liver cirrhosis
  • Brain damage
  • Coma
  • Nasal congestion
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Lung damage
  • Impaired cognitive judgment
  • Memory loss
  • Seizures
  • Increased risk of suicide

Long-term opioid use can also increase the risk of seeking illicit forms of the drug when a prescription expires, which may lead to an overdose.

Fentanyl Effects: What to Do During an Overdose

If a person is experiencing such adverse fentanyl effects, arrange for medical intervention as soon as possible. In some cases, the above effects of fentanyl may lead to an overdose. In fact, just two milligrams of fentanyl can be enough to cause a fatal overdose.

A fentanyl overdose is usually characterized by the following symptoms

  • Small pupils
  • Shallow breathing
  • Loss of consciousness

A fentanyl overdose can be reversed by quick administration of naloxone. If you suspect that someone is experiencing a fentanyl overdose, call 911.

Get Help and Healing at Northpoint Seattle

At Northpoint Seattle, we are committed to helping patients overcome their addictions and live happy, meaningful lives.

We offer a plethora of programs and services, including partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient care, to suit the diverse needs, recovery goals, and budgets of our patients. We also follow a dual diagnosis approach, wherein we address both the physical symptoms of addiction, along with any co-occurring mental health conditions. Our confidential, one-on-one counseling sessions empower our patients to become optimistic and resilient, as they develop healthy coping mechanisms to respond to life’s challenges.

It is never too late to seek professional help and rebuild your life. Contact us today at 888.483.6031 to book an appointment.