Fentanyl is an opioid* used as pain medication. Since it is so strong, it is used together with anesthesia in severe cases of pain. However, fentanyl is abused as a recreational drug by being mixed with non-medical drugs such as heroin and cocaine, producing a long-lasting high.
Like many other drugs, fentanyl has many side effects, some severe and potentially fatal. The more common side effects include constipation, nausea, vomiting, drowsiness and headaches. You may also experience loss of appetite, but this varies from person to person.
SERIOUS SIDE EFFECTS
The most severe fentanyl side effects occur in the form of mood changes, hallucinations, and confused or angry states of mind. There may also be severe abdominal issues, urinary issues, or an abnormal heartbeat as a result of fentanyl overdose. Shallow breathing induced by fentanyl may cause hypoxia (lack of oxygen) and you can also expect sudden seizures. In the worst case scenario, the drug user can end up in a coma or die, especially if alcohol is consumed with fentanyl.
Cases of serotonin toxicity have been reported, which usually occur when multiple drugs are taken at the same time. Symptoms in these cases include fast heart rate, loss of coordination, nausea, vomiting, and restlessness.
In rare cases, side effects of fentanyl include allergies. Symptoms include rashes, facial and other swelling, and breathing issues.
PREGNANCY AND NEWBORN ISSUES
Fentanyl is dangerous for women during pregnancy. Its effects can be life threatening for the child and produce symptoms such as hypertension, crying, vomiting, minimal weight gain, and diarrhea.
These side effects are only common when the pregnant mother regularly takes fentanyl. Adults’ bodies can handle the strain temporarily, but for newborns, they can be the difference between life and death. Mothers should absolutely avoid using drugs like fentanyl during pregnancy as doing so puts two lives at risk.
Addiction to fentanyl is one of its most notorious side effects. Fentanyl is 100 times stronger than morphine and continued usage numbs the patient. This ultimately creates a void in the patient’s life where it is impossible for them to feel relaxed without using fentanyl or other strong opioids. Because of this feature, fentanyl has become infamous in the music industry, taking the lives of many musicians via overdosing. Fentanyl’s strong effect and rapid action, plus its mixture with other drugs, creates a lethal combination.
In summary, fentanyl is a very strong and dangerous drug. It is the last resort pain reliever for patients in very severe cases as its effect is much stronger than morphine. Fentanyl has a plethora of side effects and should never be used recreationally, with dosages assigned only in specific medical contexts by experienced doctors.