Mixing Alcohol Alfenta (Alfentanil) Side Effects, Interactions And Blackouts

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Alfenta is a prescription opioid drug. It’s a derivative of fentanyl, and it’s used as an anesthetic and pain reliever before, during and after procedures and surgery. Alfentanil is the generic name of Alfenta, and while it’s less potent than fentanyl, the effects are similar. Alfenta is a rapid onset drug. It’s only supposed to be administered either intravenously or through an epidural by a trained medical professional. Alfenta should only be used in a clinical or hospital setting. Due to the risks associated with Alfenta, such as respiratory depression, monitoring is required when someone is given the drug. Heart rate, breathing and other vitals should be monitored. While it’s a Schedule II controlled substance in the U.S., it can be diverted from medical use and misused.

As with other opioids, Alfenta binds to opioid receptors throughout the central nervous system. In doing so, Alfenta can cause a euphoric high due to the effects on the neurotransmitters in the brain. It’s possible to become addicted to Alfenta as well as physically dependent on it. When it’s used as prescribed and administered by a medical professional, this isn’t a big risk. When it’s diverted from medical use, this along with a fatal overdose can occur. Other potential side effects of Alfenta can include itching, nausea and vomiting.

Mixing Alcohol Alfenta (Alfentanil) Side Effects, Interactions And Blackouts

Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant. It works differently than opioids like Alfenta, but both have that effect in common. Central nervous system depressants slow vital functions like heart rate, blood pressure and breathing. When alcohol and Alfenta are used together, it can increase the likelihood of dangerous or fatal respiratory depression. The CDC reports that a significant amount of emergency room visits involving opioids also involve alcohol. Alfenta is very potent, which makes it one of the riskiest of all opioids to use with alcohol. Alfenta has more respiratory depressant effects than most other opioids. Even mild side effects of mixing alcohol and Alfenta can be somewhat dangerous. For example, someone mixing alcohol and Alfenta may experience short-term memory loss or blackouts, nausea and vomiting, and confusion. Even with milder opioids like a single oxycodone taken with a modest amount of alcohol, there is an increased risk of respiratory depression. This shows how high the risks are with a much more powerful opioid like alfentanil or a large amount of alcohol. The risks of mixing alcohol and Alfenta can be especially dangerous for older people.

Alfenta is different even from other opioid drugs. It’s incredibly potent and has to be precisely measured and dispensed intravenously to avoid respiratory depression. When Alfenta is given to a patient before or during surgery, even going over the proper dosage a small amount could lead to serious respiratory problems. When the drug is diverted from medical use and is misused for its effects, these risks are very significant. Adding alcohol to an already potentially deadly situation can be an irreversible decision. Along with the risks of a fatal overdose, mixing alcohol and any opioid can contribute to a polysubstance addiction problem, requiring specialized detox and treatment.

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Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.