What Is Fentanyl?
Fentanyl is one of the most powerful and fast-acting synthetic opioid narcotics available. Fentanyl is available in prescription versions, but illicitly manufactured versions are also sold illegally on the black market. The use of fentanyl has been one of the primary contributing factors to the opioid epidemic as well as the surge in deaths related to opioids.
Fentanyl can be prescribed only in certain situations because of its potency and habit-forming potential. Fentanyl is intended to be prescribed to treat breakthrough pain for patients with cancer.
Someone prescribed fentanyl should already be on another around-the-clock opioid for constant pain management. Then, the fentanyl can treat any pain that occurs while the patient is on that constant opioid treatment. That’s what breakthrough pain refers to.
Fentanyl should only be prescribed to cancer patients 18 and older, or in a few cases, patients 16 and older may be prescribed some forms of the narcotic.