Fentanyl is commonly used to treat severe pain, especially after surgery and when low-dose painkillers don’t work. Fentanyl is 100 times more potent than morphine and is mainly recommended for short-term use.
Although fentanyl can bring that needed relief, it is highly addictive. It is not uncommon to overuse it. Quitting any opioid addiction is hard, but fentanyl poses its own challenges due to the severe withdrawal symptoms you or your loved one may experience.
Keep reading to learn about fentanyl withdrawal symptoms, the timeline, and how to manage them best.
The Timeline of Withdrawal From Fentanyl
If you suspect you became addicted to fentanyl, you must be prepared for your body’s reaction when you stop taking it. You may experience the first fentanyl withdrawal symptoms as soon as 12 to 30 hours after the last time you took it.
However, as with any other opioid addiction, the timeline will vary. Factors such as lifestyle or how fentanyl was administrated play a role here. The withdrawal timeline may differ depending on your genetics, other health risks, and the length of the addiction.
Most users feel the worst symptoms in the first days. After that, the fentanyl withdrawal symptoms lessen in the following weeks. But it is not uncommon for some users to still feel mild withdrawal symptoms months later.
Fentanyl withdrawal symptoms can last anything from 4 up to 20 days. The recovery speed will depend on the support system, available healthcare, and counseling.
It is worth noting that fentanyl can still be detected in urine 24 to 72 hours after you stop using it. And 5 to 48 hours in blood test results.
Most Common Fentanyl Withdrawal Symptoms
Firstly, you need to understand that opioids cause physical dependence. This means that you will become dependent on the drug to avoid withdrawal symptoms. The dosage will vary from person to person, but as you build tolerance towards the drug, a higher dosage will be needed to receive the same result.
Because you become physically dependent on fentanyl, you need to allow your body to cope without the drug again. The severity of your fentanyl withdrawal symptoms will depend on the dosage and your individual health.
You may experience both physical and psychological symptoms. Here are the most common fentanyl withdrawal symptoms:
- Intense cravings for fentanyl
- Heavy sweating
- Pain (muscle cramps, bone pain)
- Abdominal cramps
- Chills or goosebumps
- Runny nose and yawning
- Trouble sleeping
Different symptoms may be experienced at different phases of fentanyl withdrawal. But you need to be prepared for the three stages of withdrawal from fentanyl.
Your first fentanyl detox symptoms may occur as soon as 2 to 4 hours after your last dose. You may feel intense cravings for fentanyl, followed by discomfort in your body. You may have aches and chills and yawn a lot.
The second stage of detoxing from fentanyl may occur 24 to 36 hours after the last dose. Usually, you may experience more intense bodily discomfort from the early-stage symptoms. In addition, you may experience vomiting or even fever.
Some symptoms may appear weeks after you start detoxing fentanyl. They may also recur and last longer. For example, you may experience mood disorders, an outburst of anger, pink cloud syndrome, trouble sleeping, or increased pain sensitivity.
Although fentanyl withdrawal symptoms are non-life threatening, they can pose health risks. Depending on the type of symptoms, it is recommended to watch for fluid levels, especially if you suffer from vomiting and diarrhea. Dehydration may require additional medical care and slow down your recovery.
How to Manage Fentanyl Withdrawal
Detox from fentanyl can be severe and can last for a long time. This is why seeking medical help is vital in your journey. Depending on the withdrawal symptoms, you may benefit from medical supervision. Ensure that you enroll in withdrawal management or a rehab program.
Many rehab programs help with addressing both physical and psychological symptoms.
Medical professionals from a rehab center can assist with the intense cravings for fentanyl you may experience, especially at the beginning. They may be able to prescribe some medication to help, as going ‘cold turkey’ usually leads to quick relapses.
They can also help relieve the muscle pain and aches brought by the withdrawal. And monitor your overall health.
But reliving physical symptoms is half the battle. Find a Ventura recovery center that can help you elevate the psychological symptoms of withdrawal from fentanyl.
You may need to deal with anxiety, depression, anger, or even self-harm. Qualified therapists can help you to cope with the triggers of your fentanyl use. And address any unsupportive thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors that possibly led to overuse in the first place.
The best way to manage detox from fentanyl is by building a long-lasting recovery plan. You don’t have to do it alone, especially since you may feel most vulnerable at this time.
If you suffer from fentanyl overuse, know you are strong enough to stop.
However, you need to be prepared for the fentanyl withdrawal symptoms. You may experience physical and psychological symptoms—anything from dizziness, vomiting, muscle pains, and aches to anxiety, depression, and irritability.
A trusted rehab center that helps you cope with both symptoms and build a long-lasting recovery plan is key to your wellness journey.
Contact us today if you or your loved one needs to overcome drug addiction. You are not alone.