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Is fentanyl a problem for you?
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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 brain and 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. Therefore, it is very easy to overdose on the drug. 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.

Download the fentanyl fact sheet.

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Prescribed fentanyl can be administered in many ways. In Australia, the most common form of fentanyl prescribed is as a patch which is applied to the skin. Other forms of fentanyl include lozenges and inj​ections.

For more information visit NSW Health

Immediate effects can include

  • pain relief
  • indigestion or cramps
  • nausea or vomiting
  • constipation 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. 

  • feeling of wellbeing
  • sleepiness
  • 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 (the longer you use opioids, the greater your risk of overdose)
  • damaged veins from injecting
  • loss of appetite
  • skin abscesses (sores with pus)
  • long-term constipation

General information

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Your Room > A-Z of Drugs > Fentanyl