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Fentanyl

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What is fentanyl?

​Fentanyl is a very strong narcotic pain medication that is prescribed for severe, disabling pain and pain after surgery. Fentanyl acts on the central nervous system like other opioids such as morphine and heroin. 

Fentanyl is about 100 times stronger than morphine and there is a small margin between the therapeutic dose and toxic dose. Fentanyl acts very quickly inside the body and this fast action can cause you to stop breathing much quicker than other drugs and therefore has a much greater chance of overdose.

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Fentanyl
Fentanyl

Fentanyl

C22H28N2O

​Fentanyl is available in several forms including lozenges and injection. In Australia, the most common form of fentanyl prescribed is a patch which is applied to the skin. These patches are slow release formulations available in five strengths that provide strong pain relief over 72 hours. There are a number of brand names (including Durogesic®, Denpax ®, Fenpatch® and Dutran®). 

Immediate effects can include

  • make physical pain disappear
  • indigestion or cramps
  • feel nauseous or vomiting
  • make you constipated and/or diarrohea

Effect depend on...

What fentanyl does to you depends on how much you take, how often and how long you have been taking it, whether you use fentanyl on its own or with other drugs and the method of use. 

The effects can also depend on your general health, your height and weight and your past experience with fentanyl. 

  • feel really good
  • feel sleepy
  • slow pulse and lowered blood pressure

How fentanyl affects your body

Tap on a body part to learn more of the effects fentanyl places on your body

Long term effects can include

  • overdose
  • damaged veins from injecting a lot in the same site
  • lose your appetite
  • skin abscesses
  • long-term constipation

General information

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