Fentanyl is part of a group of drugs known as Opioids. Opioids interact with opioid receptors in the brain and elicit a range of responses within the body; from feelings of pain relief, to relaxation, pleasure and contentment. It is prescribed in the event of chronic, severe pain as a result of cancer, nerve damage, back injury, major trauma and surgery.
It is about 80 to 100 times stronger than morphine.
Fentanyl is available in many forms. Pharmaceutical fentanyl is used for managing acute or chronic pain. Illicit fentanyl can be manufactured for use in the illegal drug market.
Some people use fentanyl illegally by extracting the fentanyl from the patch and injecting it. This is very risky as it is extremely hard to judge a dose size. Fentanyl can be ‘diverted’. Diversion occurs when medication that is prescribed by a medical professional, is not used appropriately, or is given or sold to a third party. Fentanyl is sometimes mixed with other drugs to increase potency.
If the dose is too high, you might overdose. If you have any of these symptoms, call an ambulance straight away by dialing 999 or 112:
Naloxone reverses the effects of opiates (including fentanyl), in the case of an overdose. Naloxone can be injected intravenously (into a vein) or intramuscularly (into a muscle) by medical professionals, such as paramedics.
There is no safe level of drug use. Use of any drug always carries risk.
The effects of taking Fentanyl with other drugs including over-the-counter or prescribed medications can be unpredictable and dangerous.