Signs, Symptoms And Side Effects Of Ionsys (Fentanyl Transdermal System) Abuse

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Ionsys is a transdermal delivery system for the opioid drug fentanyl. Ionsys is a battery-operated device placed directly on the skin of the patient. Following surgery, Ionsys can be prescribed to treat severe pain that can’t be managed with other treatment options. Ionsys allows the patient to control their own delivery of medicine. The device has a dosing button the patient can push as-needed. Ionsys can only be used as directed by a physician in a hospital setting. Once someone is leaving the hospital following surgery, they should have the Ionsys removed. The medication is delivered through the skin and directly into the bloodstream of the patient. As a result, it starts to work quickly. Fentanyl, which is the active ingredient in Ionsys, is a very powerful narcotic. As with other narcotic pain medications, fentanyl has the potential be addictive and to lead to dependency. Fentanyl is much more powerful than morphine, despite the similarities in the mechanisms of action.
Signs, Symptoms And Side Effects Of Ionsys (Fentanyl Transdermal System) Abuse
Ionsys can be a drug of misuse, but because it’s a tightly regulated medication-dispensing device, the situation can be a bit different from other opioid drugs. First, while Ionsys is only for use following surgery in a hospital setting, it can be illegally diverted from medical use. Also, someone could potentially start using Ionsys as directed, but following their stay in a hospital, could begin misusing fentanyl or other opioids as a result. Symptoms of Ionsys misuse are the same as symptoms of fentanyl misuse in general. Signs of Ionsys misuse can include taking the medicine to achieve certain effects, such as euphoria or relaxation. Other signs of Ionsys can include taking the fentanyl more often than needed or using it in any way outside of how it’s prescribed to be used.
One side effects of Ionsys misuse is the development of a tolerance. Drug tolerance means someone needs larger doses of a drug to achieve the same effects. Along with tolerance can come dependence. If someone is dependent on Ionsys or fentanyl and they stop using it suddenly, they may have withdrawal symptoms. Some of the side effects of Ionsys misuse can include:

  • Changes in mood or behavior
  • New or worsening anxiety or depression
  • Cravings
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Gastrointestinal problems such as ongoing constipation
  • Coordination problems
  • Slow breathing
  • Weakness
  • Slurred speech
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Hallucinations
  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Swelling of the arms or legs
Ionsys misuse isn’t the same as addiction. Addiction is a diagnosable and complex disease. Misuse of Ionsys makes it more likely that someone will become addicted to fentanyl or other opioids, however. Addiction is defined as the compulsive, out-of-control use of a substance. Addiction changes the thinking, behaviors and physical health of the affected person. Addiction changes the function of the brain as well. Signs someone could have an Ionsys addiction or a fentanyl addiction include:

  • Continuing to use Ionsys or fentanyl, despite harmful side effects or consequences
  • Feeling out of control over the use of Ionsys
  • Intense cravings
  • Failed attempts to stop using fentanyl or cut down
  • Social and relationship problems because of the use of Ionsys or fentanyl
  • Putting oneself in risky or dangerous situations
  • Most of a person’s focus and energy are put on the drug
  • Problems with meeting responsibilities
When someone becomes addicted to the active ingredient in Ionsys, which is fentanyl, it’s difficult to know what the long-term effects might be. Fentanyl is such a potent opioid that it often leads to overdoses. With the potency of fentanyl, there often isn’t an opportunity to see what the long-term outcomes are of using the drug, since it leads to fatalities. However, there are certain long-term effects of opioids in general. Long-term use of opioids can lead to emerging mental health disorders. Other possible Ionsys long-term effects and long-term opioid effects can include:

  • Severe constipation
  • Suppressed immune system function
  • Infections and damage to the heart and liver
  • Endocrine and hormonal problems leading to complications like decreased libido and infertility
  • Increased pain sensitivity
  • Impaired mental function and cognition
  • Damage to the respiratory system

Rather than continuing to let addiction control your life, contact The Recovery Village. We believe that treatment for addiction isn’t just possible, but it works. Reach out to learn more.

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.