Serenity Lane Portland West Outpatient Office, a treatment center for drug abuse and alcoholism based in Portland, OR, has recently released a blog post that explains fentanyl side effects. Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid that doctors may prescribe for chronic or severe pain, but there are two available types of fentanyl: pharmaceutical and illegally manufactured fentanyl.

Fentanyl is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine and is usually prescribed for: chronic pain, anesthesia, breakthrough pain, childbirth, and active military injuries. Fentanyl directly affects the central nervous system (CNS,) which is why it has many physical and mental side effects, both long-term and short-term. Some effects include sedation, drowsiness, and consciousness impairment. Because it affects the CNS, it can cause problems with the ability of the person to communicate, lead to sleep disturbances, and make it harder to move. It can also affect other parts of the body, such as the respiratory, digestive, cardiovascular, immune, and hormonal/endocrine systems.

Long-term mental side effects of fentanyl include: memory problems, depression, coordination and movement problems, and attention span problems. Long-term physical effects include: constipation and bowel obstruction, gastrointestinal bleeding, sleep disorders from breathing abnormalities, sexual dysfunction, a diminished immune system, and dental problems. Short-term mental side effects include: falling in and out of consciousness, trouble concentrating, and irritability. Short-term physical effects include: nausea, slowed breathing, itching, and a slowed heart rate.

Common side effects of fentanyl include: pin-point pupils, feelings of pleasure and pain relief, shallow breathing, hiccups, drooling, and appetite changes. Rare side effects include: painful urination, sexual dysfunction, seizures, hives, and vision problems.

Physical dependence on fentanyl typically sets in as short as two weeks of repeated fentanyl use. After that, fentanyl users will suffer withdrawal symptoms if they stop using it consistently. Some withdrawal signs include: flu-like symptoms, hot and cold flashes, a runny nose and sneezing, anxiety or panic attacks, high blood pressure and heart rate, restlessness and insomnia, seizures, and hallucinations.

The problem is that after some time, the use of fentanyl can cause the slow down of the natural production of dopamine, which is known as the “feel-good chemical” in the brain. The patient will eventually depend on the opioid for dopamine rather than producing its own. When the brain stops making dopamine, several side effects may be experienced. These include: lack of motivation, depression, trouble concentrating, anhedonia or the inability to feel pleasure from everyday activities, short-term memory loss, and physical tremors.

Hallucinations are quite common as part of the withdrawal symptoms. There have been some reports of hallucinations in the hospital setting. However, it is not yet clear whether fentanyl triggers these hallucinations or if they are the result of another psychiatric condition.

Established in 1973, Serenity Lane has been licensed as a specialty hospital for treating addiction. All of the programs they offer have been accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). They are the only treatment center in Oregon that is completely licensed as a specialty hospital that can provide medically assisted detox. They have introduced many new programs in Oregon, such as residential step-down and outpatient programs that integrate residential and outpatient services. They have also been the provider of the only Addiction Counselor Training Program in Oregon. Some of their graduates are now offering their services through several treatment programs throughout the country.

People who would like to know more about the addiction treatment services available through Serenity Lane Portland West Outpatient Office can visit their website or contact them by telephone or email. They are open from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday to Friday.


For more information about Serenity Lane Portland West Outpatient Office, contact the company here:

Serenity Lane Portland West Outpatient Office
(503) 244-4500
[email protected]
10920 SW Barbur Blvd
Portland, OR 97219

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