Fentanyl Withdrawal Symptoms (5 Signs to Look Out For)

Fentanyl opioid with a syringe on a white background

Fentanyl is an extremely potent opioid pain medication with a strong potential for addiction. Regular use of fentanyl can lead to dependence, which causes withdrawal symptoms when the use is stopped or reduced significantly. 

After conducting extensive research, I have gained insight into all you need to know about fentanyl withdrawal symptoms, including their severity and duration, and compiled my finding in this article.

Quick Summary

  • Withdrawal symptoms similar to other opioids can occur when fentanyl use is abruptly discontinued or substantially reduced.
  • American Addiction Centers state that individuals may experience withdrawal symptoms from fentanyl as early as 8-24 hours after their last use.
  • Fentanyl withdrawal symptoms include insomnia, nausea, abdominal cramps, flu-like symptoms, and anxiety.

What Is The Duration Of Fentanyl Withdrawal?

Fentanyl tablets pouring out of a jar

The duration of fentanyl withdrawal depends on age, height, weight, and length of drug abuse.

According to American Addiction Centers, withdrawal symptoms may start 8-24 hours after the last use and can last for a few days to a week or sometimes up to 10-14 days [1].

Fentanyl withdrawal typically occurs in two stages. The first stage consists of the first two days, with day one being marked by the following possible early symptoms:

  •  Anxiety
  •  Diarrhea
  •  Insomnia
  •  Sweating
  •  Vomiting
  •  Muscle aches
  •  Runny nose
  •  Nausea

On the second day, the individual may experience similar symptoms but with increased sweating, fatigue, anxiety, and diarrhea. Days three and four are the second stage of the withdrawal process. 

Some people may experience worsened withdrawal symptoms during this time, which can be challenging. However, by day five, the symptoms usually start to ease up. It’s important to remember that these symptoms may persist for several months but to a lesser degree.

If someone suddenly chooses to quit cold turkey, they can suffer severe withdrawal symptoms. However, those seeking treatment at an inpatient rehab center can access options that can make the detox process more comfortable.

The Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior states that up to 90% of people recovering from opiate addiction may experience post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS).

This syndrome can occur a few months into the recovery process, even after completing detox [2].

Also Read: How Long Can Fentanyl Be Detected in Your System

5 Recognizing Withdrawal Signs from Fentanyl

A constricted eye pupil as a fentanyl withdrawal symptom

Fentanyl withdrawal symptoms are similar to withdrawal from other opioids. Withdrawal from fentanyl may cause physical and psychological symptoms, along with behavior change, such as:

  • Missing work or school frequently
  • Neglecting daily responsibilities
  • Spending more time acquiring and using the drug
  • Slurred speech
  • Constricted pupils

If you or someone you know is showing these symptoms of fentanyl withdrawal, it is important to seek professional assistance in managing the fentanyl addiction and its underlying causes.

Related Articles:

5 Factors to Consider for Fentanyl Withdrawal Treatment

A doctor and patient discussing the factors to consider for Fentanyl withdrawal treatment

Although outpatient treatment allows individuals to continue their daily routines while recovering, some factors must be considered.

Acknowledging the severe symptoms that may occur during the initial stages of withdrawal is essential. You need to consider several key factors to ensure a successful recovery from addiction. These include:

  • Having a responsible adult present at home to supervise outpatient recovery
  • Identifying and addressing any potential triggers 
  • Assessing the ability to travel to and from treatment centers
  • Having adequate social support and coping skills to handle temptations
  • Being prepared to take emotional and psychological shifts that may arise during the recovery process

By taking these factors into account and addressing them proactively, individuals can increase their chances of achieving and maintaining sobriety.

To successfully overcome fentanyl substance abuse, it is typically necessary to undergo a medically supervised detox program along with emotional support.

This can be achieved through partial hospitalization or inpatient treatments, which offer medical help to manage withdrawal symptoms and therapeutic options for ongoing care. 

How Can Fentanyl Substance Abuse Be Treated?

A close up shot of Fentanyl opioid

Fentanyl substance abuse can be treated in various ways, including detoxification, pharmacotherapy, and psychotherapy.

  • Detoxification: removing fentanyl from a person’s body by flushing out toxins. This is usually done through medication-assisted treatment (MAT), during which opioid medications are prescribed to help reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms while detoxing. In some cases, it can be done by consuming detox drinks.
  • Pharmacotherapy: is the use of medication to treat acute opioid withdrawal symptoms. According to the Substance Use and Mental Health Services Administration, medications like methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone help manage opioid cravings and symptoms while continuing addiction treatment.
  • Psychotherapy: helps individuals identify and change addictive behaviors resulting from drug abuse. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is one type of psychotherapy that allows people to modify their thoughts and behaviors associated with drug use. 
  • Medical detox: is most effective during the initial stages of fentanyl withdrawal management. To achieve long-term success, individuals in recovery should undergo a complete treatment program that begins with medical detox. Ongoing medical detox treatment can significantly reduce the risk of relapse.

“The use of medications, in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies, to provide a “whole-patient” approach to treating substance use disorders. Medications used are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are clinically driven and tailored to meet each patient’s needs.”
Substance Use & Mental Health Services Administration


Is Fentanyl An Opioid?

Yes, fentanyl is an opioid medication that is used as a pain relief to treat severe pain. It is a synthetic opioid that is similar to morphine but is much more potent.

What Are The Signs Of Opioid Use Disorder?

The signs of opioid use disorder can vary depending on the individual. Still, common signs may include mood changes, changes in behavior, and physical symptoms such as constricted pupils, drowsiness, and difficulty breathing. 

What Medication Is Best For Opioid Withdrawal?

The medication best for opioid withdrawal can vary depending on the individual and their specific needs. A common medication used for opioid withdrawal includes a partial opioid agonist such as buprenorphine and naltrexone. These medications can help reduce withdrawal symptoms and cravings and can be used as part of a comprehensive treatment plan.

Do You Want To Ease Your Detox Process?

Fentanyl withdrawal symptoms are difficult, but with proper medical supervision and emotional support, it is possible to recover from opioid addiction. 

Detox drinks are one of the most effective ways to ease withdrawal symptoms and make detoxification smoother.

After considering the different products in the market and testing them for efficacy, I’ve boiled it down to review of Clear Choice Rescue Cleanse.

The Rescue Cleanse formula helps your body to naturally eliminate toxins by activating certain processes. It contains antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and other helpful substances that can help overcome withdrawal symptoms.


  1. https://americanaddictioncenters.org/withdrawal-timelines-treatments
  2. https://www.semel.ucla.edu/dual-diagnosis-program/News_and_Resources/PAWS

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