Acetyl fentanyl is an opioid painkiller and an analog of the drug fentanyl. An analog drug is designed to function in a manner similar to the original drug. However, the chemical makeup is slightly different. Analog drugs are created to avoid detection on toxicology tests, as well as the legal ramifications associated with the parent drug.
As of this writing, the drug had been placed on the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) list of Schedule I drugs.
Acetyl fentanyl is estimated to be 15 times more potent than morphine, but much less potent than actual fentanyl. It was discovered around the same time as fentanyl, and has not been licensed or indicated for any medical use.
In fact, it was not even on the DEA radar until the last few years. The drug can be easily substituted for heroin, another opioid, or laced into them. It can also be placed into capsules and falsely sold as oxycodone. Thus, users don’t always know what they are getting.
Another dangerous analog that has recently surfaced is furanyl fentanyl.
Side Effects and Overdose
Side effects of acetyl fentanyl are very similar to those of other opioids. And like other opioids, overdose can result in death, or life-threatening central nervous system depression.
To date, acetyl fentanyl and other analogs have killed many people throughout Europe, the former Soviet republics, and the United States. Lately, deaths have occurred in Rhode Island and Pennsylvania. Just recently, a man in Maryland was convicted of selling a death overdose victim the drug.
Acetyl fentanyl overdose looks a lot like a heroin overdose. The user presents as lethargic and disoriented, or unconscious. He or she has shallow breathing, low blood pressure, and slow heart hate. The treatment for acetyl fentanyl overdose is the same as other opioids – naloxone. However, a stronger dose may be required.