What is Fentanyl (hydrochloride)?
Fentanyl is an opioid drug available by prescription, and it’s most often used in hospital settings to help people with chronic and often end-of-life pain stemming from things like cancer. It can be used in other applications, but that’s the main reason it’s prescribed. A candidate for fentanyl would usually be on around-the-clock opioids to treat the constant pain they experience, such as morphine, and then fentanyl could be used to deal with the severe breakthrough pain. It’s for people who are opioid tolerant in most instances as well. It can also be used for certain surgeries and procedures as part of anesthesia as well.
There are pretty strict guidelines as to how fentanyl should be prescribed and administered because of how potent this drug is. It’s up to 100 times more potent than morphine, and there’s a significant potential for abuse, dependence, and overdose with fentanyl. While fentanyl is approved for prescription purposes, it is often manufactured illegally and sold on the black market as well. Commonly not only is fentanyl sold on its own, but it’s being mixed with other drugs like heroin and Xanax
How Is Fentanyl Taken?
When someone is prescribed fentanyl, there are various routes of administration. One of the most common is the transdermal patch, which contains fentanyl in a gel. The patch goes directly on the skin, and then the skin absorbs a certain amount before it’s released into the bloodstream. With the patch, the medicine is controlled in terms of how much a person gets, and the effects last for several days. There are other ways fentanyl can be prescribed as well including as a tablet that dissolves and is absorbed by the oral mucous membranes, as a lollipop, and as a lozenge. In a hospital setting, it can also be given intravenously. As far as abusing fentanyl, it is much the same as heroin. It can be injected, snorted, smoked or the patches can even be chewed or eaten.
What Does Fentanyl Taste Like?
If someone is worried they’ve purchased heroin or another drug that’s laced with fentanyl they might question what does fentanyl taste like, as a way to identify it. Unfortunately, many forms of illicit fentanyl don’t necessarily have a certain color, taste or odor, which makes it extremely hard to identify whether or not you’re taking it. Fentanyl, in general, is white, but when it’s illicitly sold as something like heroin it may be off-white or tan. In some cases, if lactose has been added it can be a brown color.
It’s really difficult to determine unique characteristics of fentanyl in most situations, other than by looking at the chemical makeup of it, which is why it’s become so dangerous for people when they buy heroin and other drugs laced with it. In some cases, heroin may have a more yellow tint to it on its own, and it may look more white if it’s laced with fentanyl, but this may not always be a reliable distinguishing feature.