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Fentanyl Side Effects

Fentanyl side effects have the potential to cause discomfort, injury, and even death in patients. Pre-marketing clinical trials have found dozens of Fentanyl side effects that can be experienced by patients taking this powerful opioid medication. The most serious and life threatening Fentanyl side effects occur when an individual overdoses on this medication.

About 81 times stronger than morphine, fentanyl is a potent pain reliever that is typically prescribed in the treatment of breakthrough cancer or chronic pain. "Breakthrough" pain refers to persisting pain that does not respond to or dissipate with use of milder pain medications.

Despite its effectiveness as relieving pain, fentanyl is known to cause a range of mild to serious side effects. In the worst cases, fentanyl side effects can be deadly.

Those who develop serious side effects of fentanyl (and families of deceased fentanyl patients) will likely be entitled to a settlement by pursuing a fentanyl lawsuit.

Severe Side Effects of Fentanyl

Mild side effects of fentanyl, which occur commonly, may include nausea, constipation, headache and/or stomach pain.

However, in rarer circumstances, fentanyl patients may develop severe, life-threatening health complications, including:

  • addiction (A history of drug or alcohol addiction can cause people to attempt getting high off the fentanyl pain patch, as this medication reportedly has similar effects to heroin.)
  • liver damage
  • respiratory depression (not inhaling sufficient oxygen)
  • severe allergic reaction, marked by hives, breathing difficulties and facial swelling
  • death

Patients can significantly reduce their risk of develop any of the above fentanyl side effects by discussing their complete medical history with their doctor before using fentanyl transdermal patches.

Fentanyl drug use is typically inappropriate and dangerous for those with a history of addiction, breathing disorders, kidney disease and/or seizures.

Fentanyl life threatening side effects

Hundreds of deaths have been linked to overdose of the Fentanyl patch (brand name Duragesic patch). In response to these reports, the FDA issued a public health advisory and ordered the strengthening of safety labeling about Fentanyl side effects and overdose risks. Experts are currently investigating reports to determine whether these patient deaths are attributable to improper use of the patch or the quality of the product itself.

Effect of Fentanyl on Asthma

Given that fentanyl can negatively affect respiration, those with asthma or other breathing disorders will want to consult their doctor before starting a course of this pain medication.

Doctors will weigh out the benefits versus the risk of using fentanyl patches for these patients with a higher risk of developing serious fentanyl side effects.

Lingering Fentanyl Side Effects: Symptoms of Fentanyl Withdrawals

In addition to causing side effects when used, fentanyl can also cause lingering health problems when patients who have been taking using the drug for longer periods of time stop taking it.

Symptoms of fentanyl withdrawals may include:

  • constipation
  • hot flashes
  • insomnia
  • loss of appetite
  • night sweats

Should these symptoms significantly impair an individual's quality of life, (s)he should seek immediate medical attention for a thorough examination and diagnosis.

Fentanyl manufacturers

Fentanyl, manufactured by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, was approved by the FDA to treat long term pain in patients who have not achieved adequate pain control through use of similar medications. The Fentanyl patch is designed to deliver a consistent dose of medication over a period of 72 hours. It is important that a patient learn proper application, storage and disposal of the patch. Patients should keep this medication out of reach of children and anyone for whom the medication is not prescribed.

Fentanyl side effects statistics

Pre-marketing clinical trials produced reports of numerous Fentanyl side effects in adult and pediatric participants. More than 500 adult patients participated in clinical studies to determine the safety and effectiveness of the Fentanyl patch. The results indicated that the following Fentanyl side effects were experienced by more than ten percent of these participants:

  • excessive sweating
  • fatigue
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • constipation
  • dry mouth
  • weakness
  • confusion

The following Fentanyl side effects were experienced by more that three percent of clinical trial participants:

  • headache
  • loss of appetite
  • diarrhea
  • dizziness
  • nervousness
  • hallucinations
  • breathing problems

Pre-marketing clinical trials were also conducted on a pediatric population of 291 children with chronic pain. The most common Fentanyl side effects reported in this patient population include fever, vomiting, and nausea. These young participants also reported the following Fentanyl side effects with significant frequency:

  • headache
  • sleepiness
  • anxiety
  • weakness
  • insomnia
  • local itching
  • patch site skin reactions

Fentanyl Extraction and Abuse

Because fentanyl is a potent opiate medication, some have abused this drug by:

  • using it without a prescription
  • using too much of the drug (i.e. not using it according to doctors orders)

Fentanyl drug abusers have been known to try to extract fentanyl from patches and then smoke, snort or inject it. The abuse of fentanyl reportedly has effects similar to heroin, and overdoses on fentanyl are usually classified as heroin overdoses.

It's vital that fentanyl patients use this medication only as directed. Illegal or inappropriate use of fentanyl can have deadly complications.

Fentanyl side effects overdose

The most deadly of all Fentanyl side effects are those that accompany a drug overdose. Symptoms of a Fentanyl overdose are characteristic of central nervous system depression and can include:

  • slowed breathing and heartbeat
  • pinpoint pupils
  • cold clammy skin
  • loss of or change in consciousness
  • seizures
  • other Fentanyl side effects

The culmination of these side effects and symptoms resulted in a voluntary Fentanyl recall, issued Dec. 31, 2008.

Compensation for Fentanyl Side Effects: Fentanyl Lawsuits

Patients injured after using fentanyl, as well as families of deceased fentanyl patients, will be entitled to compensation for their:

  • funeral and burial costs (in the event a fentanyl death has occurred)
  • past hospital bills
  • ongoing treatment costs
  • lost wages
  • permanent disabilities
  • future living costs, should fentanyl side effects cause lasting disabilities that prevent patients from being about the earn a living
  • pain and suffering

Prospective plaintiffs can find out if they have a case by meeting with an experienced fentanyl lawyer for a free initial consultation.

Contact a lawyer if you are experiencing fentanyl side effects!

A Fentanyl overdose can be deadly; therefore it is crucial that the patient receive immediate medical attention. If you have experienced non-life threatening Fentanyl side effects, you may wish to speak with your physician, who can discuss your questions and concerns in greater detail. If you or a loved one has suffered serious injury or illness from Fentanyl side effects, please contact a Fentanyl lawyer to speak with a qualified and experienced attorney who can evaluate your case to determine and protect your legal rights and options.

Have you or a loved one been injured by a Fentanyl side effects? If so, contact us today to schedule a FREE consultation with an experienced Fentanyl attorney who will help you file a claim.

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