Medical Uses of Fentanyl
Unlike some other commonly abused rugs, fentanyl does have legitimate medical uses, but what is fentanyl prescribed for? The most common use of fentanyl is for the relief of severe post-surgical pain. Fentanyl can be delivered in the form of a skin patch or IV pump immediately after surgery, controlling pain and keeping the patient comfortable as they heal.
Fentanyl can also treat other forms of chronic pain, including cancer pain and discomfort from other illnesses. But no matter how it is used, fentanyl carries a high risk of addiction, and patients need to be carefully monitored the entire time they are using it.
What Is Fentanyl?
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid used for pain control, and it is incredibly potent. Depending on how it is delivered, a dose of fentanyl is between 50 and 100 times as powerful as a similarly sized dose of morphine. The fact that fentanyl is so potent can create problems for its users, including the risk of addiction.
What Is Fentanyl Used For in Medicine?
Unlike some other drugs, fentanyl does have some legitimate medical uses. Fentanyl is used to treat moderate to severe pain, often in a medical setting like a hospital room or operating room.
Patients recovering from operations and painful procedures may be prescribed fentanyl to control their pain, often through an IV pump that can be used to deliver the medication’s proper dose.
How Is Fentanyl Delivered?
If your doctor determines you need fentanyl for pain relief, you may be prescribed the drug in several different ways. Here are some of the ways fentanyl is delivered to the body:
- Transdermal patch
- IV pump
No matter how it is delivered, fentanyl can be just as dangerous. If you or someone you care about has been using this powerful pain medication, it is important to be aware of the warning signs of a looming addiction.
Can You Become Addicted to Fentanyl if a Doctor Prescribes it?
There is a widespread misconception that only drugs bought on the street are dangerous and that the medications prescribed by doctors are totally safe. And while it is true that the use of street drugs comes with a host of benefits, including adulteration and contamination, the fact that fentanyl is legally prescribed does not make it safe.
It is essential for anyone who has been prescribed fentanyl for the pain to watch out for addiction’s warning signs. It is entirely possible for patients taking fentanyl to become addicted, especially if they fail to follow their doctors’ orders.
Can You Overdose on Fentanyl?
Some drugs that cause addiction have no legitimate medical uses, but others are even more problematic. For drugs with legitimate medical usage, it is easy for users to think that what they are doing is safe and there is no risk of an overdose, even if they take a bit more than prescribed.
No matter what you might think, it is entirely possible to overdose on fentanyl, even if the drug was prescribed by a doctor and not bought illegally on the street. If you or someone you care about has been using this powerful but potentially addictive painkiller, it is important to watch out for the warning signs of addiction.
One of the best ways to prevent a possible overdose is to monitor your use of the drug carefully. Fentanyl is incredibly potent, so using it exactly as directed is vital. If you have any doubts about how much to use, when to use it or how to stop, talk to your doctor immediately.
Signs of Fentanyl Addiction and How to Get Treatment
If you or someone you care about has been using fentanyl to treat severe pain, it is important to monitor them carefully. Fentanyl is an excellent medication for treating severe pain, and in the right circumstances, it can keep patients comfortable and save them from suffering.
Even so, if you notice any of these signs of fentanyl addiction, it is crucial to reach out for help right away:
- Rapid heartbeat
- Ringing or pounding in the ears
- Issues with balance
- Delusions and hallucinations
- Chest tightness
- Changes in mood
- Opening fentanyl patches to expose the beads inside
At WhiteSands, we have the training, the staff expertise, the facilities, the amenities, and the experience needed to help you or your loved one heal, so you manage your chronic pain effectively without falling further into addiction. Please contact us today to learn more about what is fentanyl prescribed for and why it can be dangerous.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.