Signs, Symptoms And Side Effects Of Alfenta (Alfentanil) Abuse

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Alfenta is a brand-name drug. The generic name of Alfenta is alfentanil, and it’s a derivative of the highly dangerous and often deadly drug fentanyl. Alfenta is an anesthetic opioid medication used before surgeries and procedures to put people to sleep and relieve pain. Alfenta may also be given to manage pain in critically ill patients. As with other opioids, Alfenta is a central nervous system depressant. As an anesthetic, Alfenta can cause drowsiness and sedation. Alfenta is only intended to be administered by an experienced healthcare professional in a clinical or hospital setting, due to risks such as respiratory depression. Alfenta is injected intravenously to put someone to sleep or manage pain. Then, the patient’s vital signs are monitored, including breathing and heart rate. There are risks associated with the use of Alfenta if it’s not administered by a medical professional. For example, along with the respiratory depression it can cause on its own, if it’s used along with another depressant such as benzodiazepines, it can cause even more profound respiratory depression. While Alfenta is used in tightly controlled hospital and clinical environments, there is the potential it can be diverted from medical use or sold on the black market much like fentanyl is.

Signs, Symptoms And Side Effects Of Alfenta (Alfentanil) Abuse

Drugs like Alfenta are many times stronger than morphine, and they can cause feelings of euphoria or relaxation when misused. Symptoms of Alfenta misuse can be similar to what’s seen with the misuse of other opioids. For example, symptoms of Alfenta misuse can include diverting it from medical use, purchasing it or stealing it illegally, and using it outside of a prescribed medical purpose. Other symptoms of Alfenta misuse can include euphoria and relaxation, lack of coordination, slow or shallow breathing, and nodding off. Alfenta has an immediate onset of action, so the symptoms of misuse might be noticeable nearly as soon as someone takes it. Essentially, any time a controlled substance like Alfenta is used outside of its intended and directed medical purposes, it can be considered a symptom of misuse. Other specific symptoms of Alfenta misuse may include:

  • Confusion
  • Changes in heart rate
  • Stiff muscles
  • Problems walking
  • Weakness
  • Fainting
  • Slurred speech
  • Hallucinations
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Scratching
  • Pinpoint Pupils

The side effects of Alfenta misuse can be similar to the effects of fentanyl misuse. Some of the side effects of fentanyl misuse can include changes in heart rate and new or worsening psychological symptoms such as depression. Side effects of Alfenta misuse can lead to loss of consciousness, coma or death. Alfenta can also cause addiction and dependence in people who misuse the medical opioid anesthetic. Other side effects of Alfenta misuse can include:

  • Uncontrollable shaking
  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Constipation
  • Headaches
  • Weight loss
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Breathing problems
  • Dry mouth
Signs, Symptoms And Side Effects Of Alfenta (Alfentanil) Abuse

Alfenta and other opioids interact with certain receptors found throughout the central nervous system. In doing so, opioids can trigger a pleasure and reward response in the brain. The brain is then exposed to artificially high levels of feel-good neurotransmitters like dopamine. That’s what leads to the euphoric high experienced with drugs like Alfenta. It’s also what leads to the development of addiction. Alfenta addiction is defined as the compulsive, out-of-control use of the drug. Someone addicted to Alfenta or any opioid might want to stop but feel like they can’t. The drug often becomes the central focus of a person’s life, and even when they try to stop, they’re unsuccessful. Addiction to a drug as powerful as Alfenta can be all encompassing and can lead to serious problems in a person’s personal and work life. Other responsibilities take a backburner or are ignored altogether, because when someone is in the midst of addiction, they feel like the drug is the most important thing. Addiction is a disease, which affects the brain and body of the affected person.

Alfenta is dangerous in the short-term. In the short term, it can cause a number of health problems and can lead to a fatal overdose since it’s a potent drug meant only to be administered by a medical professional. There are long-term Alfenta effects to be aware of as well. Over time someone who misuses opioids like Alfenta may experience physical effects, such as bowel obstruction and perforation, a weakened immune system, problems breathing and possibly seizures. Mental long-term Alfenta effects can include paranoia, delusions and changes in personality. The longer someone uses opioids, the more their tolerance increases. This means people take higher doses to get the desired effects, putting them at an ever-increasing risk of a deadly overdose. There are lifestyle effects of using opioids, too. Damaged relationships and problems at home, school or work can all stem from ongoing drug misuse and addiction. People who struggle with drug misuse may have legal and financial trouble, and their drug use usually ends up affecting every area of their life and the people around them.

Addiction is scary and overwhelming for everyone involved, and it’s very much a family disease. There are treatment options that can create real, sustainable recovery results. Reach out to The Recovery Village to learn more or have any questions you may have answered by addiction experts.

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.