Fentanyl

Definition - What does Fentanyl mean?

Fentanyl is a potent synthetic opiate employed for treating immediate pain following surgery. In some cases, fentanyl is used to provide temporary relief from chronic pain for individuals already using different opiates of weaker strength. Fentanyl is considered a schedule II prescription medicine that can be administered either by oral ingestion (pills/lozenges), transdermal application (patch), and intravenous injection.

WorkplaceTesting explains Fentanyl

Fentanyl blocks pain receptors in the brain, increasing levels of dopamine responsible for causing feelings of euphoria and decreased pain sensation. Because fentanyl provides short-lived effectiveness, people are at considerable risk of developing addictive behavior to experience the initial high with ever increasing amounts due to developing physical tolerance. Although fentanyl use is dangerous alone, mixing it with other drugs such as cocaine or heroin, amplifies the chances of overdosing.

People can encounter a broad range of signs and symptoms from fentanyl use such as appetite loss, difficulty breathing, depression, nausea/vomiting, and profuse sweating. Treatment modalities are available to combat fentanyl abuse, involving a therapeutic program designed to help people gradually wean off the substance to mitigate withdrawal symptoms.

While fentanyl is classified as an opiate drug, it is not included in standard 5-panel and 10-panel drug screens. The Department of Transportation (DOT) has instituted an expanded opiate panel for prescribed medicines not previously listed under routine opiate drug panel testing. Although, fentanyl does not fall into the expanded opiate category, it can be added with traditional panel tests as requested to non-DOT tests.

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