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Fentanyl Withdrawal: Signs, Symptoms + Timeline

fentanyl withdrawal symptoms

Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid, often prescribed for severe pain management. However, its potency and addictive nature have contributed to a rising number of dependency cases. When someone decides to stop using fentanyl, they may experience withdrawal symptoms that can be both physically and emotionally challenging. Understanding the signs, symptoms, and timeline of fentanyl withdrawal is crucial for managing the process effectively and seeking appropriate help.

Serenity Grove, an addiction recovery center located in Athens, Georgia, is here to provide comprehensive support for those navigating fentanyl withdrawal. If you or a loved one are struggling with fentanyl, we can help. Our comprehensive and compassionate fentanyl detox programs can help you. Call us now at 844-904-3485 or verify your insurance now.

What Is Fentanyl Withdrawal?

Fentanyl withdrawal occurs when a person who has developed a dependence on the drug reduces or stops its use. Dependence on fentanyl means that the body has adapted to the presence of the drug and requires it to function normally. When fentanyl use is discontinued, the body struggles to adjust, leading to a range of withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms can vary in intensity and duration depending on the level of dependency and the individual’s overall health.

Symptoms of Fentanyl Withdrawal

Withdrawal from fentanyl can trigger a variety of symptoms, which can be categorized into early and later stages:

Early Symptoms (within the first 24 hours):

  • Anxiety
  • Muscle aches
  • Increased tearing
  • Runny nose
  • Sweating
  • Yawning
  • Insomnia

Later Symptoms (after the first 24 hours):

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Goosebumps
  • Dilated pupils
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • High blood pressure

These symptoms can be severe and may require medical supervision to manage safely and effectively. Fentanyl withdrawal may also include irritability, fever, uncontrollable leg movements, and severe cravings for the drug. The intensity of these symptoms often leads individuals to seek professional help to navigate this challenging period.

More: How Long Does Fentanyl Stay in Your System?

How Long Does Fentanyl Withdrawal Last?

The duration of fentanyl withdrawal varies based on factors such as length and intensity of use, dosage, and individual health conditions. Generally, symptoms can begin within a few hours to a day after the last dose and can last for several days to weeks.

Typical Timeline:

Days 1-2: Initial symptoms like anxiety, muscle aches, and insomnia start to appear.

Days 3-5: Symptoms peak, with severe issues such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Days 6-10: Symptoms gradually decrease, though some discomfort may persist.

Weeks 2 and Beyond: Psychological symptoms like anxiety and cravings may continue, requiring ongoing support.

Most individuals dependent on short-acting opioids like fentanyl start experiencing withdrawal symptoms within 6 to 12 hours of their last dose, with acute symptoms peaking within 1 to 3 days and subsiding over 5 to 7 days. However, chronic symptoms such as mood changes and insomnia can last for weeks or months. Understanding this timeline helps individuals and their support networks prepare for the withdrawal process and seek appropriate help.

kratom withdrawal

Detox for Fentanyl Withdrawal

Detoxification, or detox, is the process of eliminating fentanyl from the body and should be conducted under medical supervision to ensure safety and effectiveness. At Serenity Grove, a structured detox program is provided, which includes:

Medical Monitoring: Continuous assessment by medical professionals to manage and mitigate withdrawal symptoms.

Supportive Care: Emotional and psychological support to help individuals cope with the mental challenges of withdrawal.

Customized Plans: Detox plans tailored to each individual’s health, history of use, and specific needs.

Medically supervised detox involves 24-hour monitoring and support from a team of doctors and nurses. This team continually assesses needs, monitors progress, and administers necessary medications to alleviate withdrawal symptoms. Both comfort medications and proven treatments designed to aid in the withdrawal process are typically used. This approach helps reduce the risk of complications and lays a solid foundation for long-term recovery.

Fentanyl Withdrawal Medications

Certain medications can significantly ease the symptoms of fentanyl withdrawal and support the detox process, forming an essential part of a comprehensive treatment plan. These medications include:

Methadone: Methadone is a long-acting opioid receptor agonist that reduces withdrawal symptoms and cravings by acting on the same receptors as fentanyl.

Buprenorphine: Buprenorphine, a partial opioid agonist, helps alleviate withdrawal symptoms and can be used for long-term maintenance therapy. It partially activates opioid receptors, reducing cravings and withdrawal symptoms.

Clonidine: Originally approved to treat high blood pressure, clonidine is used off-label to address withdrawal symptoms like anxiety, sweating, and cramps without affecting opioid receptors.

Naltrexone: Naltrexone blocks opioid receptors, preventing the effects of opioids and reducing cravings.

Lofexidine: Lofexidine, FDA-approved for opioid withdrawal, is a non-opioid medication that reduces withdrawal symptoms.

These medications help manage withdrawal symptoms, reduce the risk of relapse, and are often combined with behavioral therapies to promote long-term recovery. Comprehensive treatment plans tailored to individual needs, incorporating these medications, can significantly enhance the effectiveness of the detox process and support sustained recovery.

Begin Detox in Georgia Today

By understanding the signs, symptoms, and timeline of fentanyl withdrawal, you can better prepare for the challenges ahead and seek the appropriate help needed to overcome addiction. Navigating fentanyl withdrawal can be challenging, but you don’t have to do it alone. 

With the right support and treatment, recovery is within reach. Navigating fentanyl withdrawal can be challenging, but you don’t have to do it alone. At Serenity Grove, we offer comprehensive support and treatment programs tailored to your needs. Our experienced team is here to guide you through every step of your recovery journey, providing the care and support necessary for a successful outcome. If you or a loved one is struggling with fentanyl addiction, contact us today to learn more about our programs and how we can help you achieve lasting sobriety.