Early Signs of Fentanyl Withdrawal: Recognizing Symptoms and Seeking Support

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid painkiller prescribed to treat sudden and ongoing pain.  It’s often given to cancer patients and for post-surgery pain management. Although fentanyl is a strong painkiller, it’s highly addictive and 50-100 times more potent than heroin or morphine. People addicted to fentanyl usually have a challenging time trying to quit. Besides, most of them have no idea about the fentanyl withdrawal timeline and the symptoms. Read on to discover the early signs of fentanyl withdrawal and how to know it’s time to seek professional support.

Fentanyl Withdrawal Timeline

Fentanyl withdrawal timeline can vary from person to person, but symptoms usually begin within a few hours after the last dose. These symptoms can last for weeks and can have an adverse effect on a person’s life. They might make it hard for them to function without using fentanyl.

Nausea, Vomiting, or Diarrhea

Within the first few hours of the last fentanyl dose, a person might experience nausea, often followed by vomiting. The body has gotten used to having opioids in its system, and their absence is likely to cause an adverse system. So, the lack of it can cause the gastrointestinal system to become highly irritable, leading to persistent nausea, vomiting, or even diarrhea.

These symptoms can make it hard for the person to eat or drink anything, leading to dehydration and nutritional deficiencies. You can better manage these problems by increasing your fluid intake. Also, consider seeking medical advice, as a doctor can prescribe medications for the digestive problems you’re facing.

Trouble Sleeping

Fentanyl can cause some to feel high and might alter how the brain works. It can cause sudden bursts of euphoria. When a person tries to quit it, they might struggle with restlessness and insomnia. Sadly, after struggling with a lack of sleep, most people decide to take fentanyl, although they’re trying to quit. 

Anxiety and Agitation

The other common fentanyl withdrawal symptoms are anxiety and agitation. The person might feel uneasy, and some might pound on things. They might also experience severe panic as they have an impending fear that something bad is going to happen. This emotional turmoil can make quitting fentanyl an uphill battle. 

Fever, Heavy Sweating or Cold Chills

Fentanyl withdrawal can cause the body’s temperature to vary rapidly over a short period. A person might experience high temperatures (fever) and heavy sweating, only to start experiencing cold chills a few minutes later. These body temperature changes can cause massive discomfort. The person might have to keep altering their thermostat or wearing and removing clothes.


Managing fentanyl withdrawal alone can be challenging, and that’s why most people give up and resume using it. Sadly, fentanyl is highly addictive, and its long-term use can lead to massive health issues or even death. So, it’s necessary to seek professional medical support on the best way to handle fentanyl withdrawal symptoms. The medical expert can recommend alternative, safe medications you can take for ongoing pain. They may also guide you on the fentanyl withdrawal timeline and how long it takes.

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