Sublimaze, a brand name for the opioid fentanyl, is an injectable drug that is generally restricted to a hospital setting but may be illegally diverted and taken recreationally. Taking Sublimaze with other central nervous system depressants can lead to life-threatening side effects, including severe respiratory depression. Even those who take the medication as prescribed may still develop a physical dependence or psychological addiction.
Article at a Glance:
- Although Sublimaze is generally used only in hospital settings, it can be diverted for recreational use.
- As a Schedule II controlled substance, it can put a person at high risk of abuse, dependence and addiction.
- Sublimaze side effects include nausea, vomiting and rigid muscles.
- Medical detox can help you get Sublimaze out of your system, and rehab can help you on the road to recovery.
Table of Contents
Fentanyl-based drugs are highly addictive and carry a high potential for overdose. For these reasons, Sublimaze is tightly regulated. Sublimaze should only be given by medical professionals specifically trained in the administration of intravenous or intramuscular pain medications. Specialized knowledge is required to safely manage the respiratory depressant effects of powerful opioids.
Sublimaze is categorized as a Schedule II substance by the Drug Enforcement Administration. Although it rarely makes it into the hands of recreational users, many individuals who misuse narcotic opioids were first introduced to them in a hospital setting.
When a person’s prescription runs out, drug cravings and opioid dependency may remain. Those who have become reliant on opioids may engage in drug-seeking behavior such as faking injuries to gain admittance to the emergency room. Emergency room staff are trained to identify drug-seeking behavior and to recall frequent visitors. Programs are in place within the US to track the number of narcotic medications prescribed to individuals across hospitals.
If you begin to suspect someone in your life is addicted to opioid pain medication, seek professional help as soon as possible.
What is Sublimaze?
Sublimaze is a brand name for the injectable form of fentanyl citrate. It is often used for the management of pain associated with surgery and may be given during or after surgery.
Sublimaze has a rapid onset and short duration of action. It can be given as an injection into a vein or muscle. When given intravenously, Sublimaze takes effect almost immediately and provides pain relief for 30 to 60 minutes. When given via intramuscular injection, the drug can take up to eight minutes to take effect and lasts up to two hours.
Signs, Symptoms & Side Effects of Abuse
Signs that point to addiction include exhibiting “drug seeking behaviors” such as becoming obsessed with finding and taking Sublimaze. A person may also lose interest in daily life or the hobbies, activities and social interactions they once enjoyed.
Common Sublimaze side effects include:
- Rigid muscles
- Blood pressure changes
- Slow heart rate
As a narcotic, Sublimaze has a high risk of overdose. Symptoms of an overdose include a decreased level of consciousness, severe respiratory depression and pinpointed pupils. These three symptoms are known as the “opioid overdose triad.”
Respiratory depression, or slowed breathing, is the most dangerous side effect of an opioid overdose. Sublimaze inhibits the brain stem’s ability to regulate automatic breathing. When a person overdoses, the brain stem becomes unable to monitor the blood for elevated carbon dioxide levels. As a result, the body becomes unaware of the need to breathe and the person may stop breathing.
Sublimaze and Alcohol
Due to the risk of additive effects, Sublimaze should not be mixed with alcohol. Using Sublimaze or other fentanyl drugs with alcohol increases the risk for severe respiratory depression, overdose and blood pressure changes. If you take Sublimaze or another opioid product and feel you need to drink alcohol, you should talk with your doctor.
People who take Sublimaze for a prolonged amount of time may develop a tolerance as a long-term effect. Tolerance means that your body gets used to a certain dose and that you may need a dose increase if your pain increases. However, you should never adjust your dose without instruction from your doctor.
If you abruptly stop taking Sublimaze or any other opioid, you will have a risk of experiencing unwanted, severe withdrawal symptoms. You should never adjust your opioid dosage levels or treatment schedule without consent from your doctor.
Doctors will often gradually lower your dose over time. This tapering off strategy gives the body ample time to adjust to less and less of the medication. This strategy can also minimize the risk of experiencing withdrawal symptoms.
Those who are having trouble managing withdrawal symptoms may want to seek a medical detoxification program to support them during this difficult time. In this program, you can detox under the supervision of medically-trained staff.
Remember, everyone experiences withdrawal differently. Do not be afraid to seek help if you are having trouble during this time.
Common Sublimaze withdrawal symptoms are similar to those of other opioids and include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Trouble sleeping
- Hot and cold flashes
- Muscle cramps
- Watery eyes and nose
Withdrawal Timeline and Symptom Duration
The Sublimaze withdrawal timeline is different for everyone. This is due to each person’s unique physiology, which influences how medications are removed from the body.
Sublimaze Addiction Treatment & Detox
Those who are suffering from Sublimaze addiction can greatly benefit from The Recovery Village’s resources and programs. The Recovery Village offers many treatment options that can lead you into a happier, healthier, substance-free life.
- Inpatient Rehab
Inpatient rehab is a program that allows you to live on campus at one of The Recovery Village’s designated inpatient centers while you recover from addiction. This program can be extremely beneficial for those experiencing severe Sublimaze addiction or those who may find recovery difficult while living at home.
- Outpatient Rehab
Once you complete inpatient Sublimaze rehab, you can enter the next leg of treatment: outpatient rehab. In this program, you attend scheduled appointments at The Recovery Village while you are living at home. In some cases, those with less severe Sublimaze addiction may choose to skip the inpatient rehab program entirely and begin your recovery with outpatient Sublimaze rehab. Teletherapy may also be an option.
Before entering either inpatient or outpatient rehab, you will need to come off Sublimaze. The Recovery Village offers a medical detox program to assist with this. In medical detox, you stop taking Sublimaze in a medically-supervised inpatient setting to minimize withdrawal symptoms. After detox, you can access individual and group counseling sessions as well as recreational therapy activities at The Recovery Village.
Choosing a Rehab Center
Many different kinds of rehab centers exist. Choosing one that has experience in helping people overcome Sublimaze or fentanyl addictions is important to help you on your road to recovery. Rehab centers that offer all three services — medical detox, inpatient rehab and outpatient rehab — can help you maintain sobriety.
If you or someone you love is suffering from a reliance upon Sublimaze, it is important to seek help as soon as possible. The Recovery Village is staffed with experts in opioid addiction who offer medical detox, inpatient and outpatient rehab options and will be with you every step of the way on your journey to recovery. For more information, contact us today.
FAQs & Related
- How is Sublimaze used?
Sublimaze is generally restricted to hospital environments because it is often given intravenously and requires close medical monitoring. The drug is designed to be used during and immediately after painful surgical procedures.
- In the event of an emergency, should naloxone be administered to reverse a Sublimaze overdose?
Sublimaze is generally given in a hospital setting. If you suspect someone is overdosing on Sublimaze, you should let medical personnel know immediately. Symptoms of opioid overdose include slowed breathing, pinpoint pupils and extreme sedation. The person’s skin may also take on a bluish tint. Medical staff will assess the person and, if the person is overdosing, they will likely give naloxone. Naloxone is a drug that reverses opioid overdoses.
- How long does Sublimaze stay in your system?
Fentanyl, the active component of Sublimaze, has a half-life of about 475 minutes, or around eight hours, in adults. A drug’s half-life tells you how much time it takes the body to clear a single dose of the drug. Because it generally takes five half-lives for your body to fully eliminate a drug, this means that Sublimaze can stay in your body for around 40 hours.
Fentanyl can be found in your body for different amounts of time depending on what is being tested. It can be found in your plasma for up to 12 hours and in your urine for up to three days. The drug can be found in saliva for up to two days and is found in hair. In general, a 1.5-inch hair sample can show if a drug has been taken in the past 90 days.
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Hallare, Jericho; Gerriets, Valerie. “Half Life.” StatPearls, April 30, 2020. Accessed September 6, 2020.
ARUP Laboratories. “Drug Plasma Half-Life and Urine Detection Window.” January 2019. Accessed September 6, 2020.
Gryczynski, Jan; Schwartz, Robert P.; Mitchell, Shannon D.; et al. “Hair Drug Testing Results and Self-reported Drug Use among Primary Care Patients with Moderate-risk Illicit Drug Use.” Drug and Alcohol Dependence, May 17, 2014. Accessed September 6, 2020.
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Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with 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 providers.