Josh Chandler | April 24, 2023

Fentanyl Side Effects

Overcoming Fentanyl Side Effects

Fentanyl is a prescription drug, a powerful opioid that is prescribed to treat pain. Fentanyl is synthetic; this means it is manufactured in a lab to produce effects similar to natural opioids. Fentanyl may be taken in pill form and administered as a patch, tablet, or injectable solution. Physicians prescribe Fentanyl to treat significant pain associated with certain types of health conditions, injuries, or post-surgical procedures. Like other opioids, Fentanyl is extremely addictive, so long-term use is not ideal as it can lead to the development of an opioid use disorder. The Fentanyl side effects can be serious; knowing what to expect and when to seek medical care is important.

Muse Addiction Treatment Center is a leading accredited drug rehab center in Los Angeles specializing in drug and alcohol addiction treatment. We treat clients who are addicted to illicit or prescription opioids like Fentanyl. Some clients may have polydrug addictions or a dual diagnosis. We can treat these conditions too. Muse offers a full continuum of care with programs such as residential treatment, outpatient rehab, medical prescription drug detox, sober living, and more.

Click here to call Muse Addiction Center today. Our staff is available 24/7 to provide answers and begin the admissions process. Call (800) 426-1818.

A Particularly Dangerous Opioid

The Fentanyl addiction crisis has made headlines nationwide because of its dangers. Fentanyl is known to be 100 times more powerful than morphine, an opioid that is synthesized from the opium poppy and also prescribed to treat pain. Fentanyl is 50 times more powerful than heroin, an illicit opioid that causes thousands of overdose deaths yearly.

As a prescription drug, Fentanyl is closely monitored by prescribing physicians, but the risk for Fentanyl abuse and addiction development remains substantial. Moreover, Fentanyl is also sold on the street. Unfortunately, illegal drug producers/sellers frequently lace street drugs with Fentanyl to deliver a more potent high to users, but users may have no idea the drug they take includes Fentanyl. As a result, overdoses involving Fentanyl have increased in recent years as have rates of Fentanyl addiction.

What Is Fentanyl?

Fentanyl is a prescription synthetic opioid and illegally manufactured and sold on the street. As mentioned, Fentanyl is a powerful painkiller. Like other opioids, Fentanyl binds to opioid receptors located in the brain. These receptors are located in the area of the brain where pain responses are controlled. By targeting the opioid receptors, Fentanyl can suppress pain. It also produces a sedative effect. Medical providers carefully monitor Fentanyl use among patients because of the drug’s power. Even a slightly increased dose can cause an overdose.

When Is Fentanyl Prescribed?

Fentanyl is prescribed to treat severe pain that is associated with painful health conditions such as cancer. It may also be prescribed after a person has suffered an injury or after surgery. Fentanyl changes the brain’s response to pain, resulting in pain relief. Physicians rely on Fentanyl when the pain is extreme. When the pain can be controlled by less powerful medications, including opioids, they generally will.

Fentanyl Addiction

When Is Fentanyl Especially Dangerous?

Fentanyl is always dangerous. However, it is most dangerous when taken outside a hospital or clinic without healthcare providers monitoring its use. Someone taking Fentanyl on the street is at increased risk of overdose, especially when they unknowingly take the drug. Street dealers may lace other drugs like heroin or ecstasy with Fentanyl to make them more powerful. A person who unknowingly takes Fentanyl is at high risk for overdose. Fentanyl is extremely dangerous on its own, but even more so when taken with other drugs or alcohol.

Fentanyl is also dangerous when abused; that is when someone takes it without a prescription or increases its dose without a doctor’s advice. Taking Fentanyl on a long-term basis also increases the risk of addiction.

5 Mental Fentanyl Side Effects

Someone who abuses Fentanyl is likely to experience various psychological side effects. These effects may range from mild to severe. These effects include:

Unusual Thinking

Fentanyl use can cause someone to experience unusual thoughts or reduce their cognitive function. When taking Fentanyl, users might find it difficult to focus. They may make poor decisions or have difficulty remembering.

Unusual Dreams

Someone taking Fentanyl is likely to feel drowsy and may sleep more. While sleeping, they may experience unusual dreams.


Someone taking Fentanyl, like other opioids, may experience mental health disturbances. Feelings of anxiety are not uncommon with Fentanyl use. Users might feel uneasy or nervous. If these feelings persist, the individual might even feel panicked.


Someone taking Fentanyl is also at risk for feeling symptoms of depression. Users might feel a loss of motivation or feelings of hopelessness.


Someone who is having hallucinations may be experiencing severe Fentanyl side effects. They need emergency medical treatment in this case.

7 Physical Fentanyl Side Effects

Someone dealing with Fentanyl abuse may experience any of several physical side effects. These effects may include:

Stomach Upset

Fentanyl can cause someone to feel stomach upset, resulting in nausea and vomiting. If nausea and vomiting persist, users should contact their medical provider. Dry MouthUsers of Fentanyl, as with other opioids, may experience dry mouth.

Weight Loss

Fentanyl can affect a person’s appetite, reducing it. Over time, this can lead to weight loss.


Someone taking Fentanyl may experience feelings of weakness and fatigue. Fatigue is a common side effect. Users are also likely to feel drowsy.


Someone might experience feelings of dizziness when using Fentanyl. Dizziness can be dangerous as a user could stumble and become injured as a result.

Reduced Heart Rate

Fentanyl use can cause a reduction in heart rate. Although this is a common side effect, it can become dangerous if the drop is excessive.

Reduced Respiratory Function

Fentanyl use can also cause slowed breathing. Keep in mind that Fentanyl overdose involves the suppression of the respiratory system. A sign of overdose is suppressed breathing.

Call Muse Treatment for Help With Overcoming Fentanyl Side Effects

If you are using Fentanyl and have developed a dependence or addiction, Muse Treatment can help. The side effects you experience from continued Fentanyl use are unlikely to disappear; they may worsen. Fentanyl addiction can be every bit as difficult to manage as heroin addiction. Treatment at Muse can help you achieve long-term recovery.

Muse Treatment features a full continuum of care, including inpatient and outpatient rehab programs. We offer alcohol and drug detox, sober living, medication-assisted treatment, and dual diagnosis treatment. Our clinicians customize treatment to ensure every client gets the personalized care they need.

Our clinicians combine evidence-based treatments like cognitive behavioral therapy and holistic therapies to help clients manage their conditions. Evidence-based therapies support the medical community because the therapies have been shown, through clinical research, to be safe and effective in treating substance addiction.

We include holistic therapies that enhance the recovery process. Holistic therapies support overall health and well-being. They can greatly enhance recovery and even support clients long after they leave rehab. Contact Muse Treatment at (800) 426-1818 to learn more about our enrollment process. The sooner you begin Fentanyl abuse and addiction treatment, the sooner you can put this dangerous opioid in your past.

Fentanyl,Fentanyl Addiction,Prescription Drug Addiction,Prescription Drug Rehab,
Josh Chandler
Josh Chandler
After growing up in Chicago and North Carolina, Josh chose to get help with substance use disorder and mental health in California because of the state's reputation for top-tier treatment. There, he found the treatment he needed to achieve more than five years of recovery. He's been in the drug and alcohol addiction rehab industry for four years and now serves as the Director of Admissions for Resurgence Behavioral Health. Josh remains passionate about the field because he understands that one phone call can alter the course of a person's life.

Research | Editorial
Call Now, We Can Help
Call Now Button (800) 426-1818