What Is Fentanyl?
Fentanyl is among the strongest painkillers available. It is categorized as a schedule II medicine in the United States, meaning fentanyl can be abused. When a physician decides to prescribe this drug, it should be administered with caution and the patient will be screened first before being allowed to take fentanyl.
There are some approved medical uses for this drug. As a painkiller, fentanyl relieves surgical pain if a patient undergoes a heart operation or when he has weak heart function. This medicine can be prescribed for treating severe pain associated with cancer. It is highly suitable for a patient who needs a 24-hour pain management for cancer pain but experiences breakthrough pain also. Fentanyl can be administered to a patient who suffers from serious pain and is also resistant to some opioids.
What May Happen When a Person Takes Fentanyl?
Fentanyl affects your body in the same way like other opioids. It strongly affects the opioid receptors in the brain, which means this drug can alter the way your body experiences pain. If you take it in higher doses than what is recommended by doctors, or you abused it in any manner, you may feel a euphoric rush. You may also experience a sense of severe relaxation or sleepiness when you abuse fentanyl.
Therefore, what this drug can do to your body depends on the reality that it is activating the opioid receptors. It also affects the transmission of pain messages across your body within your spinal cord. It can also change the way these messages from the CNS (central nervous system) are relayed. Moreover, fentanyl can replicate the effect of the natural opioids present within the human body in a more profound manner.
Aside from relieving pain, fentanyl can also slow down a person’s breathing and his or her respiratory system. The following are the possible side effects of fentanyl:
- Urine retention
- Dryness of mouth
- Hives or itching
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Vision problems
- Hallucinations and bad dreams
- Sweating while sleeping
- Inflamed legs and arms
Long-Term Effects of Fentanyl
Fentanyl also has some long-term effects. When you use it for months to years, you’ll suffer from dependence and addiction. When somebody takes fentanyl for an extended time or he abuses it, this will result to tolerance, which is among the main ways how this drug is affecting the body. With tolerance, a person’s brain and body will turn extremely used to the medicine’s availability.
You will need to take fentanyl at higher dosages to attain a similar effect. If you stop using it or you don’t take the drug, you will experience some withdrawal symptoms. It can result in addiction and a drug-seeking behavior, which are a typical and harmful long-term indication of what this medicine does within the body. The possibility of these negative effects is quite reduced if you take fentanyl at a controlled and recommended dose.
If you take the medicine in a larger dose, it can result in an overdose that comes with symptoms such as coma, slowed respiration and death. There can be more negative effects that a person may experience if he or she abuses fentanyl. However, it’s never too late for anyone to recover and make things right, so seek help right away.