how long does fentanyl stay in your system

How Long Does Fentanyl Stay In Your System?

Last Updated: Fri, January 19, 2024

Fentanyl is a type of synthetic opioid that’s 80 to 100 times stronger than morphine. But how long does fentanyl stay in your system?

In this article, we will talk about fentanyl and address the question: How long does fentanyl stay in your system? We will also talk about fentanyl abuse and how to recover from it. 

What Is Fentanyl? 

Fentanyl was mainly developed for the pain management treatment of cancer patients. Typically, it gets applied in a patch on the skin. 

However, due to fentanyl’s powerful opioid properties, it’s also prone to abuse. To increase its potency, it’s normally added to heroin. Sometimes, it can even be disguised as highly potent heroin. 

As a drug used for pain management, fentanyl interacts with brain receptors to create feelings of pain relief, relaxation, contentment, and pleasure.

A doctor prescribes fentanyl when a patient experiences severe pain due to cancer, nerve damage, serious injury, or major surgery. In a medical setting, it’s safe to take fentanyl, as per a doctor’s recommendation. However, some people abuse it. Oftentimes, fentanyl abuse can lead to an overdose.

Can You Get Addicted to Fentanyl? 

Yes. It’s a type of drug that’s highly addictive. Fentanyl is also one of the most common drugs that cause overdose death and addiction

In addition, fentanyl can be illegally manufactured. Dealers sell it as a standalone drug. Sometimes, dealers sell fentanyl as a counterfeit for another drug. 

Fentanyl can also be used as a low-cost additive to other types of drugs. These include heroin, methamphetamine, molly, and ecstasy.

If you accidentally take fentanyl through another drug, this can lead to an overdose, due to fentanyl being so potent.

Some people illegally take fentanyl. They do this by separating it from skin patches, then injecting it to themselves. This practice can be dangerous due to the difficulty of judging the dose size. 

Symptoms of fentanyl abuse include:

●      Slowed breathing

●      Seizures

●      Headaches

●      Dizziness

●      Blurred vision

●      Constipation

●      Nausea and vomiting

●      Itching

●      Euphoria

●      Mellowness

●      Drowsiness

Fentanyl abuse can be more dangerous to those without opioid tolerance. Its elevated risk of overdose can be multiplied when someone whose intolerant abuses it.

How Long Does Fentanyl Stay In Your System? 

Here’s how long does fentanyl stay in your system: 

●      Blood 

Fentanyl can be detected through blood tests between five and 48 hours after use. However, it depends on the dose ingested.

●      Urine 

Testing positive for fentanyl use can be possible through a urine test after even days after use. Commonly, employers use this type of test. Typically, fentanyl will show up in a urine test between 24 to 72 hours after use.

●      Saliva

Depending on the administration and dosage ingested, fentanyl can show up in saliva up to 24 hours after use.

●      Hair 

Employers less commonly use hair tests. A hair test can detect fentanyl up to three months after last use.

Factors Affecting How Long Does Fentanyl Stay In Your System 

How long does fentanyl stay in your system can depend on the following factors:

●      Dose 

Huge amounts of fentanyl doses will take longer for the body to fully eliminate it.

●      Metabolism 

Impaired renal or liver function can lead to slow metabolism of the substance.

●      Location of the Patch 

The thickness of the skin and distribution of subcutaneous fat in the body varies. This means that fentanyl’s absorption rate depends on where the patches got placed.

●      Age 

Older people have slower metabolism. This makes them eliminate substances more slowly.

●      Weight and Fat Distribution 

Fat cells often store drug metabolites. The more fat cells a person possess, the longer fentanyl can be detected in the body.

Recovering from Fentanyl Addiction 

Even if fentanyl is taken as prescribed, it still poses a high risk for dependence.

If you decide to transition off from fentanyl, your doctor may prescribe other medications. These medications can help ease withdrawal symptoms and prevent breakthrough pain. 

In addition, if you experience chronic pain or are worried about stopping the medication, your doctor can help you get access to pain relief that won’t compromise your substance use disorder.

If you experience difficulty in stopping the use of the substance or getting into a treatment program, make sure to employ the following harm reduction methods:

●      Take only the prescribed dose of medication

●      Follow a safe supply

●      Use a prescription instead of purchasing a substance with unknown purity.

●      Seek out a supervised and  safe space you can stay


It’s extremely dangerous to abuse fentanyl. If you’re abusing fentanyl, it’s only a matter of time before you suffer from addiction or an overdose. 

If you desire to stop fentanyl abuse, seek help. There are various treatments available out there, including sobriety apps, therapists, the right support system, and recovery centers. 

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