Did you know that drug use is the highest among those in their late teens and twenties? What drugs do they usually use? Prescription pain killers and synthetic opioids.
What are synthetic opioids? They’re a class of drugs that are meant to alleviate pain—fentanyl being one of the most common ones.
As with all opioids, abuse can lead to significant health problems. For instance, it can cause shallow or labored breathing. Fatal overdoses are also uncommon.
But how is it different from other opioids? Take fentanyl and morphine, for example—how are they different?
Curious to know? Because that’s what we’re here to talk about!
Keep reading to learn more!
How are Fentanyl and Morphine Different?
Fentanyl, as mentioned earlier, is a synthetic opioid. It’s one of the most commonly prescribed drugs used for chronic pain.
It works by binding to the body’s opioid receptors, which are responsible for controlling pain. Over time, however, the body will adapt to it. As a result, the individual will need a higher dose for the same effect.
The same applies to morphine, except it’s a naturally occurring opioid.
The main difference between the two drugs is that fentanyl is 50 to 100 times more potent. In other words, accidental overdoses are much more common.
Both, however, are addictive.
Common Side Effects
Fentanyl and morphine are both opioids. Because of that, they have similar side effects.
Some of the most common ones include nausea, vomiting, tiredness, dizziness, constipation, diarrhea, and loss of appetite. Dermal patches can also cause irritation and redness on the skin.
One thing to note is that constipation from opioid-use is unlikely to go away by itself. As a result, you’ll often need to use a laxative.
Different Formulations of Fentanyl
Fentanyl, like many drugs, come in several forms. For instance, you can get it as a transdermal patch, which goes on your skin. Generally speaking, these are used by those who are opioid-tolerant.
Other options include tablets, sublingual tablets, sublingual sprays, nasal sprays, and oral lozenges. In some cases, doctors may also inject it as a solution.
Different Formulations of Morphine
Morphine is often given by mouth as a tablet or syrup. However, it also comes as an injectable solution (which goes either into the muscle or under the skin). In addition to that, it can be given rectally as a suppository.
What’s more, is that it’s available in both fast and slow-releasing forms. Generally speaking, most people will start with the former as it’s easier to adjust the dose.
Dosing For Fentanyl and Morphine
The dose for both medications depends on a variety of factors. For instance, you have to take into consideration your age and condition.
It’s important to note that dosing differs between different formulations as well.
As a general rule, your doctor will prescribe the least amount possible—this helps to minimize side effects.
Hopefully, that gives you a better idea as to how fentanyl and morphine are different. While they’re both pain killers, they differ in several ways! For one thing, the former is much more potent.
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