Pharmaceutical fentanyl in liquid form can include nasal sprays, fentanyl patches, and fentanyl citrate. Fentanyl in these forms can be sprayed into the nose, applied on the skin, or injected through intravenous use, respectively.
Brand names of liquid fentanyl include Duragesic and Actiq.
On the illicit drug market, liquid fentanyl comes in nasal sprays, eye droppers, and concentrations of fentanyl and other drugs. Taking illicit liquid fentanyl is a form of drug abuse, which can cause side effects like a life-threatening overdose.
Fentanyl is medically used for analgesic (pain relief) purposes, especially for severe pain and cancer pain. It is a powerful synthetic opioid that is about 50-100 times stronger than morphine and has a high abuse potential in both legal and illicit forms.
Dangers Of Liquid Fentanyl Abuse</strong>
Liquid fentanyl can cause side effects even when taken properly. Common side effects of fentanyl may include:
Pharmaceutical fentanyl can also be illicitly converted to liquid fentanyl. Liquid can be extracted from transdermal patches or heated from lozenges, where it can be swallowed or injected.
Abusing liquid fentanyl can cause side effects unique to the method of use.
Injecting fentanyl can cause infections at the injection site or collapsed veins, while using nasal sprays can irritate and damage blood vessels in the nose. Ingestion of fentanyl taken from patches may also cause unintended side effects.
A fentanyl overdose happens when concentrations of fentanyl reach toxic levels in the central nervous system (CNS). Since the central nervous system controls vital functions in the body, high doses of fentanyl can cause these functions to shut down.
2 mg of powder fentanyl can cause a lethal overdose, and the number may be lower for liquid fentanyl. Signs and symptoms of an opioid overdose include:
- respiratory depression (severely slowed breathing)
- hypotension (low blood pressure)
- clammy skin
- vomiting or gurgling noises
- slowed heart rate
In 2021, synthetic opioids like fentanyl caused around 56,000 overdose deaths in the United States, the highest percentage of any opioid type. An overdose victim’s breathing can be restored with naloxone, but immediate medical assistance is still required for further recovery.
Opioid Addiction Treatment Options</strong>
Liquid fentanyl abuse can cause physical dependence, withdrawal symptoms, and life-threatening overdoses. Fentanyl on the illicit drug market, which may be called “china white” or “dance fever,” may pose a higher risk of serious side effects.
If you struggle with quitting fentanyl or fentanyl analogues like carfentanil, an opioid use treatment program can help.
Northeast Addition Editorial Team
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This page does not provide medical advice.