Individuals can test drugs before they use them by mixing a small amount of the drug in water, inserting a how long does fentanyl stay in your system test strip, and reading the results to ascertain if fentanyl is present. One measure to prevent fentanyl overdose is distributing naloxone to bystanders. Naloxone can reverse an overdose as it occurs by blocking the effects of opioids. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that was originally developed as an analgesic – or painkiller – for surgery. It has a specific chemical structure with multiple areas that can be modified, often illicitly, to form related compounds with marked differences in potency.


The use of fentanyl citrate injection with CYP3A4 inducers or stopping the CYP3A4 inhibitor will require close and repetitive monitoring of the patient. The emergency and referral resources listed above are available to individuals located in the United States and are not operated by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). NIDA is a biomedical research organization and does not provide personalized medical advice, treatment, counseling, or legal consultation. Information provided by NIDA is not a substitute for professional medical care or legal consultation.

General fentanyl dosing information

The fatal transaction was arranged online, says Adam Gordon, the assistant US attorney who prosecuted the case. Fentanyl contributes to the insecurity – and the profits from its sale are huge. It’s estimated this synthetic opioid can be made for a hundredth of the cost of producing heroin. Hundreds, perhaps thousands of people live rough around the Tijuana canal, a concrete channel that cuts through the heart of the city. And, as so often happens in the United States, those who overdose in Mexico don’t always know they are taking fentanyl. Ms Blake also raised the idea of overdose prevention sites, where people could use drugs safely and under supervision.

However, since fentanyl is very strong, a person may need several doses of the drug. But the drug is also illegally manufactured and sold by criminal gangs. Most of the illegal fentanyl found in the US is trafficked from Mexico using chemicals sourced from China, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Fentanyl is a pharmaceutical drug that can be prescribed by a doctor to treat severe pain. More Americans than ever are dying from fentanyl overdoses as the fourth wave of the opioid epidemic crashes through every community, in every corner of the country.

What are fentanyl ‘lollipops’ or lozenges?

Typically, a fentanyl overdose manifests as an extrapolation of its pharmacological side effects. Although the clinical scenarios may vary among patients, one of the main concerns is the level of expression of OIRD. In such cases, oxygen administration and respiratory assistance are a priority.

Whether prescribed or obtained illegally, there are serious risks to using fentanyl when it’s not dosed or used correctly — especially if you take too much or combine it with certain other medicines or alcohol. Fentanyl misuse can lead to unconsciousness, compromise respiratory function and lead to overdose resulting in death. As an opioid, fentanyl travels through your blood to attach to opioid receptors in brain cells. It remains one of the most commonly used opioids in controlled medical settings or advanced cancer pain. Fentanyl also can increase feelings of pleasure, often referred to as euphoria. Other effects can include drowsiness, nausea, confusion, constipation and addiction.

Enhancing Healthcare Team Outcomes

However, most recent cases of overdose are linked to illegally made fentanyl, which is distributed through illegal drug markets for its heroin-like effect. It is often added to other drugs because of its extreme potency, which makes drugs cheaper, more powerful, more addictive, and more dangerous. Fentanyl is the most potent opioid pain reliever available for use in medical treatment. This information comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Although healthcare professionals consider fentanyl safe and effective when a person uses it in a monitored medical setting, the drug still carries a high potential for misuse, also known as abuse.

  • It is often administered in a patch; abusers figured out how to chew or smoke the patches or adhere strips of them to their gums.
  • Rates of overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids other than methadone, which includes fentanyl and fentanyl analogs, increased over 22% from 2020 to 2021.
  • Doctors can only administer the fentanyl patch to people who are already tolerant to opioid therapy of similar strength.
  • Producers of illicit fentanyl add it to or substitute it for other street drugs to increase profits and the potential for addiction — which keeps their customers coming back for more.
  • But in Mexico you still need a prescription – Smiley gets his supply from a local charity.
  • Fentanyl is a pharmaceutical drug that can be prescribed by a doctor to treat severe pain.
  • The Biden administration has pursued additional policies since taking office.

“The coroner’s office is seeing people overdose and die off of cocaine, off of crack, off of pills, with traces of fentanyl,” she said. But in 2019, “fentanyl becomes part of the drug supply in the Western US, and suddenly this population that had been insulated from it is exposed, and death rates start to go up,” Prof Shover said. At the same time, several drug dealers said in interviews, domestic dealers turned to fentanyl as a cheap way to bulk out thin wares. Fentanyl is the third wave of an opioid epidemic that began in the 1990s with prescription pills, followed by exploding heroin use.