Fentanyl and Carfentanil
Fentanyl is a potent, synthetic opioid pain medication with a rapid onset and short duration of action.
Fentanyl is estimated to have about 80 times potency of morphine.
Fentanyl is used as a part of anesthesia to help prevent pain after surgery or other medical procedure.
The signs and symptoms of fentanyl, used medically or illicitly, are not desirable.
Signs and symptoms:
- dizziness or lightheadness
- dry mouth
- retention of urine
- suppression of breathing
- severe constipation
- itching or hives
- nausea or vomiting
- loss of appetite
- weight loss
- difficulty seeing
- bad dreams
- difficulty sleeping
- swollen extremities
There are 2 types of fentanyl:
Pharmaceutical fentanyl – is primarily prescribed to manange acute and chronic pain associated with advance cancer
Non-pharmaceutical fentanyl – is illegally made and is often mixed with heroin and/or cocaine — with or without the user’s knowledge — in order to increase the drug’s effect.
Carfentanil which is a fentanyl analog with a potency approximately 10,000 times that of morphine.
Carfentanil is used as a sedative or general anesthesia for large animals such as elephants. It has not been approved for human use.
If carfentanil is misused in animals, it can cause severe respiratory and cardiovascular complications and even be deadly.
Carfentanil has been linked to a significant number of overdose deaths nationwide.
In August 2016, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), posted carfentanil warning in Ohio and Florida. It is likely that carfentanil is being mixed with heroin and other drugs.