Deciding whether or not to go on a medication like fentanyl requires a consultation with your doctor and an understanding of just how intense the effects of a drug like fentanyl are. If you or someone you love has been misusing opioids and/or is suffering from addiction, call 800-442-6158 Who Answers? today for help finding rehab.
Fentanyl Prescriptions for Pain
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, fentanyl is a Schedule II prescription drug, which means it has a very high potential for abuse. It is normally used to treat individuals with pain after surgery or those who are in severe pain. However, it can sometimes be used as a treatment for individuals with chronic pain issues who are:
- Already dependent on and tolerant to the effects of opioids
- Normally managed on another type of opioid drug
- Experiencing severe, breakthrough pain that their regular opioid prescription cannot treat
Fentanyl is one of the strongest prescription opioids on the market and can be up to 100 times more potent than morphine. Because the drug has such intense effects, no one should go on fentanyl unless they absolutely need it.
The Side Effects of Fentanyl
Fentanyl has a high risk for fatal overdose, especially for those who misuse the drug. Abuse is also a serious risk, which is another reason why fentanyl isn’t prescribed unless absolutely necessary. The drug can also cause a number of side effects, which, according to the National Library of Medicine, include:
- Stomach pain
- Weight loss
- Difficulty urinating
- Changes in vision
- Unusual thinking
- Unusual dreams
- Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
- Dry mouth
- Sudden reddening of the face, neck, or chest
- Uncontrollable shaking of a part of the body
- Back pain
- Chest pain
- Pain, sores, or irritation in the mouth where the medication was placed
- Swelling of the hands, arms, feet, ankles, and legs
These are all common side effects of the drug, but patients should still tell their doctors if they begin to experience them, as they could be indicative of more dangerous issues. However, there are also severe side effects of the drug which must be dealt with immediately, such as:
- Changes in heartbeat
- Twitching or muscle stiffness
- Inability to get or keep an erection
- Irregular menstruation
- Decreased sexual desire
- Hives or rash
- Extreme drowsiness
- Difficulty breathing or swallowing
- Shallow breathing
Talking to Your Doctor
If you still think fentanyl is necessary for the treatment of breakthrough pain that accompanies your chronic pain issues, it is absolutely necessary that you speak to your doctor before taking the medication. Fentanyl is only available by prescription, and your doctor may have other ideas about how your pain can be treated with a safer, less intense medication.
Do You Need Help?
Seeking treatment for an opioid addiction syndrome isn’t always easy, but we can help make the process much smoother. Call 800-442-6158 Who Answers? now for help finding professional treatment that will allow you to put an end to your substance abuse issues.