Fentanyl Withdrawal Symptoms & Detox Timeline

If you are opioid-dependent and misusing fentanyl, the thought of facing withdrawal can be a scary one, but it doesn’t have to be. This article will help you understand what symptoms to expect if you’re planning to detox from fentanyl or other opioids, the typical timeline of withdrawal, and how professional medical detox can make your withdrawal experience easier.

If you’re ready to start your recovery now and want immediate help, you can call us right now at .

What Are the Symptoms of Fentanyl Withdrawal?

Man in withdrawal

Fentanyl withdrawal occurs when a person who is physically dependent on the drug attempts to cut their dose significantly or stop using it altogether. Fentanyl withdrawal symptoms are similar to those of other opioids and include:1,2

  • Aches and pains in the muscles and bones.
  • Insomnia or poor sleep.
  • Increased sensitivity to pain.
  • Irritability.
  • Uncontrollable leg movements.
  • Enlarged pupils.
  • Chills.
  • Goosebumps.
  • Sweating.
  • Yawning.
  • Runny nose.
  • Teary eyes.
  • Nausea.
  • Vomiting.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Fever.
  • Severe opioid cravings.

How Long Does Fentanyl Withdrawal Last?

Fentanyl withdrawal symptoms will usually arise within about 6-12 hours of the last dose.2

The acute symptoms of withdrawal tend to be at their worst between day 1 and 3 and often subside over the course of about one week.2

Post-acute symptoms—symptoms that persist beyond acute withdrawal—may last longer (weeks to months).2 These may include:2,3

  • Sleep problems.
  • Anxiety.
  • Inability to feel pleasure (anhedonia)
  • Dysphoria.

How to Cope with Fentanyl Withdrawal

Fentanyl withdrawal can cause a lot of discomfort and pain for those dealing with it. In fact, just trying to avoid difficult withdrawal symptoms can keep people who want to quit using fentanyl returning to fentanyl or other opioid use.1

Withdrawal symptoms often come on quickly and intensely, and relapse as ell as overdose and overdose death is a major risk for people who attempt to quit cold-turkey without any outside help.

Medically Assisted Fentanyl Detox

Medical detox and medically assisted withdrawal management refers to medical interventions used to manage acute withdrawal.5 Detox and withdrawal management alone are not considered primary treatment for an opioid use disorder. When used as part of a comprehensive treatment strategy, often with pharmacologic and behavioral treatment components, it is a first step for those who need help beginning their recovery from opioid addiction and offers many benefits. It can:4,5

  • Reduce the pain and discomfort associated with opioid withdrawal.
  • Reduce the risk of experiencing physical and psychological complications.
  • Decrease cravings for opioids.
  • Reduce the risk of relapse during withdrawal.
  • Retain patients for longer-term treatment of OUD.
  • Reduce the risk of overdose and overdose death. –

Medically assisted withdrawal management can take place in both inpatient and outpatient settings and typically involves the use of medications to reduce the distress of acute withdrawal and transition a person into treatment.4,6 The medication(s) used will depend on the detox provider and their medical protocols. In some instances, opioid agonists, such as methadone or buprenorphine, are given. They may be tapered down over a predefined time period or continued as a person transitions into treatment. Additional medications may also be given to treat specific symptoms. For example, anti-anxiety or anti-diarrheal medications be given as needed.4

Apart from managing the discomfort of withdrawal, another goal of medical detox or withdrawal management is to prepare patients for and transition them to further addiction treatment. Opioid detox, in the absence of other interventions, does not represent a complete course of treatment and increases a person’s risk of relapse, overdose and overdose death.4,7

Medical Detox and Treatment at AdCare

adcare hospital facility

Medical detox at AdCare is offered in two inpatient settings located in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Our inpatient hospital environment provides a drug-free space and the 24/7 support of our medical staff. We provide an easy transition from detox to inpatient rehab, as our detox programs are located inside our inpatient rehab facilities. We also offer numerous outpatient programs across MA and RI for those who wish to transition to some form of outpatient care.

AdCare also understands the importance of and offers medication-assisted treatment, or MAT, for opioid addiction. MAT involves the use of medications with behavioral therapy. FDA-approved MAT medications for opioid addiction include methadone, buprenorphine (Suboxone), and naltrexone. Both methadone and buprenorphine may be introduced during detox; however, naltrexone is not initiated until after detox is complete. MAT medications may be used for months, years or even a lifetime to promote remission and help prevent relapse, or a return to compulsive opioid misuse.6

Don’t let addiction take control of your life any longer. Call us today at to learn more about addiction treatment at AdCare. There are two inpatient AdCare facilities, one medical drug detox center in Massachusetts, and one medical drug detox center in Rhode Island. AdCare also offers outpatient treatment and has sister facilities across the United States as well. Call us today to learn more about our comprehensive addiction treatment options.

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