Carfentanil Side Effects| Warnings Of Carfentanil

Manish Mishra, MBBS

Medically Reviewed By: Manish Mishra, MBBS

on March 31, 2023

Although not approved for use in humans, side effects of carfentanil consist of profound sedation and pain relief. However, the drug has a high potential for abuse as well as a significant risk of overdose.

Carfentanil (brand name Wildnil) is an extremely potent fentanyl analog that’s 10,000 times stronger than morphine and 100 times more potent than fentanyl. Carfentanil is a synthetic opioid used by veterinarians as a tranquilizer to sedate large animals. 

According to the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), carfentanil is a Schedule II controlled substance which means it has a high potential for abuse and can lead to psychological or physical dependence.

Those who participate in carfentanil abuse may experience extreme side effects which can be life-threatening and result in an overdose death due to the potency of this opioid drug.

Side Effects Of Carfentanil

Carfentanil works by binding to the opioid receptors in the central nervous system (CNS). This creates profound sedation and other side effects that may include:

  • constipation
  • drowsiness
  • lightheadedness
  • pain relief
  • feelings of euphoria
  • dizziness

Those abusing opioids may find these effects heightened, resulting in more serious effects like withdrawal symptoms. Opioid withdrawal symptoms can include drug cravings, fluctuations in blood pressure, and sleeping problems.

Carfentanil Warnings

There are several warnings associated with taking carfentanil.

Counterfeit Opioid Drugs

Those who purchase drugs on the illicit drug market may inadvertently consume fentanyl or carfentanil, even if they are seeking other drugs such as the opioid oxycodone. Because of the lack of quality control, drugs purchased in this manner may have traces of carfentanil.

If this happens, ingesting the substance can lead to an increased risk of overdose and life-threatening symptoms.

 In fact, according to the DEA, exposure to the substance can take place accidentally when street drugs are purchased from drug dealers containing traces of carfentanil.

Carfentanil Overdose

Additionally, those who combine carfentanil with other CNS depressants have a higher chance of a drug overdose due to the severe respiratory distress which may occur. Carfentanil drug use in combination with other substances is a serious form of substance abuse which can result in death.

Some of the symptoms of a carfentanil overdose include:

  • cold or clammy skin
  • cardiac arrest
  • low heart rate
  • pinpoint pupils
  • respiratory depression
  • loss of consciousness

Naloxone (brand name Narcan) is an opioid antagonist which means it can help reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. 

Once law enforcement or first responders arrive at the scene, this medication may be administered. According to the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), multiple doses of naloxone may need to be administered.

Opioid Addiction Treatment

If you or a loved one live with opioid drug addiction, consider a treatment program offered at a drug rehab center in Ohio. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), those with a carfentanil addiction may require more than 3 months of treatment.

At Ohio Recovery Center, we provide inpatient treatment options that include evidence-based practices such as medical detox, behavioral therapy, and medication-assisted treatment.

To learn more about our treatment center, please contact us today.

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — Deaths Involving Fentanyl, Fentanyl Analogs, and U-47700 — 10 States, July–December 2016
  2. Drug Enforcement Administration — Carfentanil: A Dangerous New Factor in the U.S. Opioid Epidemic
  3. Food and Drug Administration — Reversal of high potency synthetic opioid overdose: literature review

Written by Ohio Recovery Center Editorial Team

© 2024 Ohio Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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