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Fentanyl Withdrawal Symptoms and Signs, and Detoxification

Fentanyl, an opiate painkiller, is a Schedule II controlled substance. It can be up to 100 times as strong as morphine, which makes it very capable of causing dependence. Fentanyl cannot be stopped abruptly without making fentanyl withdrawal worse, so it is important to stop this drug on a tapering schedule.

Fentanyl is known for causing dependency and tolerances in the body. Because of this, the use of fentanyl is closely monitored by doctors and medical practitioners when it is being used in their patients. Large doses of fentanyl can cause withdrawal symptoms to occur, and acute symptoms are possible if it is stopped too rapidly.

If you or someone you know would like more information on opiate medications and where you can go to obtain treatment, call 1-888-935-1318 or speak with your healthcare provider.

Withdrawing from Fentanyl Treatment Methods and Options for Help

Over time, patients can form a dependency and tolerance to fentanyl. This can cause patients to need more and more of the drug to cover the same period of time and to reduce the same amount of pain. If the patient does not receive enough of the drug, he or she may experience some fentanyl withdrawal symptoms or be subjected to pain as a result of the drug wearing off too soon. Fentanyl withdrawal treatment may include increasing the drug if the patient requires fentanyl for recovery from serious pain or injuries. After the drug is no longer needed a doctor can begin the appropriate detoxification method.

Being up to 100 times stronger than morphine, this drug is often used for severe injuries that take a long period of time to heal. Because fentanyl can cause euphoria, it can be addictive and can cause a compulsive need to continue use. Fentanyl treatment should be completed under the watch of a medical provider. Doctors and patients can work together to make sure withdrawal symptoms are not occurring while the drug is being reduced. Fentanyl withdrawal symptoms include a number of side effects, such as:

  • Sneezing fits
  • Chills
  • Rapid breathing
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Tearing of the eyes
  • Seating
  • Vomiting
  • Anorexia
  • Nausea
  • Nervousness
  • Irritability
  • Shivering
  • Stomach cramps
  • Weakness
  • Anxiety
  • Muscle aches
  • Joint pain
  • Back pain

These symptoms may vary depending on the amount of fentanyl a patient is taking. A mild withdrawal is possible; however, the larger the dose, the more likely it is to have withdrawal symptoms that become bothersome.

Detoxing, Addiction Treatment Rehab and Recovery

Detoxification from fentanyl is done through a taper. Tapering is a method that requires a doctor to slowly prescribe less and less of a drug until the body no longer needs it or suffers from withdrawal symptoms. Fentanyl causes a physical tolerance in the body, and it can take over 17 hours for the drug to be reduced to half in the bloodstream. This is why it is important to be monitored by a doctor. This reduction must be completed slowly to prevent any of the more serious withdrawal symptoms.

Addiction treatment for fentanyl can be completed by a medical clinic, private practice, and inpatient or outpatient services. Because the main way to treat the addiction is tapering, many doctors are able to work with patients to discover the best method for reducing the drug. It can be reduced by as little as needed at a time, making it easy to remove the drug from the body without major side effects.

Addiction treatment can be completed over as long or as short of a time as the patient can handle safely. Many tapers are completed over a number of weeks or months to prevent any acute withdrawal from occurring. The body takes time after the fentanyl is removed to return to normal, as well, so patients can expect mild withdrawal symptoms to occur occasionally until the body is back to a pre-fentanyl state.

If tapering the medication is not working or withdrawal is seen as dangerous, a doctor may suggest treatment with buprenorphine. Buprenorphine is an opioid partial agonist, which means that it can work as an opioid, but has milder effects. Buprenorphine can be used for opioid-addicted individuals to help reduce or eliminate withdrawal symptoms.

Fentanyl Information at a Glance
Medication Name, Costs Class of Medicine
  • Generic Name: Fentanyl
  • Generic Name Variations: Prostrakan
  • Chemical Name: N/A
  • Brand Name: Abstral
  • Brand Name Variations: Actiq
  • Cost/Price: Varies with supplier and prescription
  • Used to Treat Addiction? No
  • Function or Use at Low Dose: Treatment of breakthrough cancer pains
  • Function or Use at High Dose: Severe pain relief
  • Chemical Makeup: C22H28N2O
  • System: Opioid Analgesic
  • Duration of Action: Up to 72 hours
Form, Intake and Dosage Interactions and Complications
  • Drug Forms: Tablets
  • Administration Routes: Oral
  • Dosage: 25, 50, 75, 100 mg
  • Overdose: Exceeding 200 mg/hour
  • Alcohol Interaction: Increased depressant effects
  • Illicit Drugs: N/A
  • Prescription Medications: Increase depressant effects with other opioid analgesics, sedatives, and tranquilizers
  • Contraindications: Opioid intolerant patients, Respiratory diseases
Effects and Adverse Reactions Substance Abuse
  • Short-Term: Respiratory depression, nausea, somnolence, headache, stomatitis, fatigue, dyspnea
  • Long-Term: Respiratory disease, dependence,
  • Risk of Substance Abuse: High
  • Signs of Abuse: Severe breathing problems, slow heartbeat, low blood pressure, drowsiness
Physiological Problem Signs and Symptoms Dependence and Addiction Issues
  • Withdrawal Syndrome Onset: 12-72 hours after last dose
  • Withdrawal Symptoms: Dizziness, irritability, vomiting, weakness, shortness of breath,
  • Tolerance:
  • Cross Dependence: N/A
  • Physical Dependence: High risk
  • Psychological Dependence: High risk
Legal Schedules and Ratings
  • Controlled Substances Act Rating: Schedule II


Questions and Answers (FAQ)

How Long Do Fentanyl Withdrawals Last?

The duration of withdrawals depends completely upon the length of time an addict has been taking Fentanyl and how much of the medication is currently in their system. A typical withdrawal timeline can last from one to several weeks.

Do You Have a List Popular Slang or Street Names for Fentanyl?

King ivory, goodfellas, friend, apache, murder 8, dance fever, china girl

What are Common Misspellings?

Fintanyl withdrawl, Fentanil withdrawls, Fentenyl withdrawel, Fentenil withdrawels

Are There any Home Remedies for Getting Clean Safely?

Although some patients believe that flushing the body clean with liquids can provide relief from withdrawal symptoms, there is no proven home remedy for easing withdrawal syndrome. For the best results, it is best to forego alternative or “natural” treatments for beating addiction and seek medical help. Rehabilitation centers and detoxification programs have proven methods to help relieve the detoxification process.

How Long Does it Take to Detox from Fentanyl?

The length of the detoxing process depends on how long an addict has been using Fentanyl . The average withdrawal symptom timeline lasts from 5 to 7 days with symptoms lasting up to several weeks after the last dose.

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