Fentanyl has many side effects, including:
- Weakness and fatigue.
- Feelings of elation (euphoria).
- Dry mouth.
- Difficulty urinating.
- Difficulty breathing.
- Constipation, which may be severe.
- Talk with your doctor about using Reference laxatives to prevent constipation.
- You can Reference prevent constipation at home. Make sure you drink enough fluids. Most adults should drink between 8 and 10 glasses of water or noncaffeinated beverages each day. Include fruits, vegetables, and fiber in your diet each day.
- Skin reactions, such as irritation, itching, or hives.
Fentanyl should be used with caution by older adults and by people who have lung disease, such as Reference chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) Opens New Window or Reference asthma Opens New Window.
Fentanyl can cause your body to expect this medicine daily (drug dependency). Dependency is not the same as addiction, which is a behavioral disorder marked by craving a drug.
Reasons not to use fentanyl
Fentanyl can cause serious or life-threatening respiratory problems (hypoventilation). For that reason it should not be used in:
- Cancer patients who have not been taking continuous opioid pain medicines.
- The management of pain that responds to other pain medicine.
- Doses greater than 25 mcg per hour at the beginning of opioid therapy.
See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: October 31, 2011|
|Medical Review:||Reference E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference Michael Seth Rabin, MD - Medical Oncology