Dr. JoonYoung Ji returns on Oasis Discussions to speak about Fentanyl, a potent opioid that has surfaced in recent times as an abused substance responsible for many overdoses and deaths. Dr. Ji explains what Fentanyl is and why it would be found in a dental practice if ever.
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Chiraz Guessaier, CDA Oasis Manager
Fentanyl and carfentanyl have recently been in the news related to drug overdose deaths.
Patients who have been opioid substance abusers in the past are often on methadone therapy. Methadone is a long-acting drug that builds gradually and leaves the system gradually. Because of the slow onset and offset, the patient gets his/her opioid “fix” that the body requires.
Fentanyl, on the other hand, has a very quick onset and the “high” lasts about 15-30 minutes and its clinical effect lasts in the body for 50 minutes. Fentanyl can be administered in several ways. It is 100 times stronger than morphine.
Fentanyl and all opioids decreases the body’s sensitivity to CO2 which is the main trigger to initiate the act of respiration i.e. the body will not initiate breathing until a higher level of carbon dioxide is in the blood.
Carfentanyl is used in veterinary medicine for large animals. It is 10,000 times stronger than morphine and the users have no idea of what their body will experience. The body’s instinct to breathe is completely blunted.
Fentanyl is still a good drug of choice and is used for deep sedation or general anesthesia. A small amount of Fentanyl will provide pain relief and sedation. Its use allows for the reduction of other medication in larger quantities during anesthesia.
Full Interview (7.48″)