Dr. Paul Jansen synthesized fentanyl in Belgium in December 1960. It was developed as an IV analgesic and was first published around 1963 for clinical use. In 1968, fentanyl was introduced into the United States and is one of the best-known intra-operative analgesics in the country.

Fentanyl is a dose group of opioids. Opioids connect to brain opioid receivers that provide diverse responses across the body, including inputs and sensations of pain relief, pleasure, and happiness. Fentanyl can be available in many ways including transdermal, oral, buccal, sublingual and transmucosal treatments for a number of conditions, including severe, recurring and cancer and palliative discomfort.

Fentanyl is now a popular treatment for relieving severe pain associated with serious trauma and diseases in prehospital emergency care. Its popularity stems from the minimal cardiovascular effects of its products, lack of increase in histamine plasma, rapid start-up, relatively short half-life, and low production costs.

How is fentanyl used by people?

Fentanyl can be given as administered by the doctor, as an injection, as a patch on the surface of an individual or as lozenges swallowed as cough drops.

The fentanyl most frequently illegally employed in laboratories is the reason for recent overdoses. This synthetic fentanyl is illegally sold as pills that look like other opioids on the prescription, filled with paper, put in eye droppers, or made into a nasal spray.

How it affects the brain?

Unlike cocaine, morphine and other prescription medications, fentanyl acts by connecting the opioid receptors of the body that are present in the brain in places where discomfort and anxiety are regulated. While consuming drugs or other substances, the brain adapts to them and reduces the responsiveness, making it difficult for people to feel joy outside of their substance of choice.

The symptoms of fentanyl use may include:

  • extreme happiness
  • dizziness
  • vomiting
  • hallucination
  • constipation
  • sedation
  • problems breathing
  • unconsciousness

Can Fentanyl cause an overdose?

Yes, fentanyl overdose is extremely likely for users. A person can easily overdose on fentanyl since it is one of the most potent substances out there. When people overdose on fentanyl, they can slow or stop their breathing. This can reduce the oxygen flow to the brain, a condition known as hypoxia. A coma and permanent brain damage, and even death can be brought about through this.

What are the sign and symptoms of Fentanyl overdose?

It may require fewer than two milligrams of fentanyl, including death, to cause serious side-effects. Since fentanyl can be difficult to recognize and is strong in small quantities, it is easy to overdose on.

Signs and symptoms of an overdose:

  • slow, light breathing
  • loss of consciousness
  • coma
  • extreme dizziness
  • pale lips and nails
  • small pupils
  • low body temperature

How to treat Fentanyl overdose?

Most drug dealers blend inexpensive opioids with other items like morphine, cocaine, MDMA and methamphetamine in order to make their income even more challenging. Naloxone is a drug that can effectively handle an opioid overdose. This functions by easily connecting to opioid receptors and preventing opioid medicines’ effects. However, fentanyl is safer than most prescription medications, such as morphine, which may take multiple naloxone doses.

It ensures that the most important step is to dial 911 should you believe someone has died, so he or she can seek immediate medical treatment. Upon arrival, medical staff will use naloxone if an opioids drug is suspected of involvement. Naloxone administered people should be monitored for another two hours after the last dose of naloxone to ensure that the respiration is not slow or stopped.

Several states have laws enabling pharmacists without specific authorization to dispense naloxone. It allows families, relatives and other people in the community to use Naloxone’s oral or auto-injector models to save someone who is an overdose. Persons who are at risk of overdose with medication may be informed to provide naloxone and may be brought in an emergency with them.

A hand-held injection (EVZIO ®), a nasal spray (NARCAN ® nasal spraying) and an injectable (needle) drug are given.

Can Fentanyl cause addiction?

Due to its strength, fentanyl is addictive and extremely dangerous. If a person is able to use fentanyl without overdosing, they will easily become addicted. Due to the potency of this drug, it holds many addictive properties. Though most people are not able to continuously use this drug without overdosing, some are able to monitor their use enough to not overdose. Fentanyl-addicted individuals who stop using fentanyl may have serious symptoms of withdrawal which begin a couple of hours last use. The following signs are:

  • muscle and bone pain
  • sleep problems
  • diarrhea and vomiting
  • cold flashes with goosebumps
  • uncontrollable leg movements
  • severe cravings

Such effects can be very painful and individuals can find it difficult to actually abstain from regular use. Medicines for fentanyl and other drugs were produced to help in the withdrawal process. The FDA has licensed a non-opioid drug called lofexidine, which aims to reduce the effects of opioid retraction.

What are the treatments for addiction?


There are medications that can help fight off fentanyl addiction and withdrawal. Naltrexone, another medication, blocks opioid receptors and helps the body avoid any further damage fentanyl may cause.


Treatments with drug addictions such as fentanyl can help people shift behaviors, encourage healthier lifestyles, and allow them to maintain care.

Cognitive behavior counseling to change the patient’s substance usage actions and desires, and handle causes and tension efficiently.
Contingency treatment using a voucher-based system that provides patients with “points” on the grounds of adverse drug tests. You can use points to collect items that promote healthy living.
Motivational interviews that are patient-centered, mixed feelings of a patient to improve

These approaches have been effective, particularly in combination with medicines. These treatments have proven effective.

Final thoughts about Fentanyl

The value of fentanyl in pain patients is significant and has a multitude of medical applications. Regrettably, there is no indication that its illicit production, distribution, and use will be stopped despite the best efforts of law enforcement officers.

Fentanyl can not be permitted to threaten its legal use through mass panic and myths. Law enforcement officials, suppliers of EMS, paramedics and other first responders must be adequately trained to deal appropriately with cases with unrequested opioids. This guidance is the best available evidence and can serve as a standard for all stakeholders.

The general public needs input from public safety experts and we must follow valued best practices in order to will their distrust.

Talk to Someone Who’s Been There. Talk to Someone Who Can Help. Scottsdale Recovery Center holds the highest accreditation (Joint Commission) and is Arizona’s premier rehab facility since 2009. Call 602-346-9142.