Fentanyl and Blood Pressure

Fentanyl and Blood Pressure

Fentanyl is a hazardous drug that can have many adverse effects on our health. One of these effects is manipulation of the blood pressure, as well as dangerous strain on the heart and nervous system. To help you better understand these effects, problems, and dangers, we’ve gathered information on the subject to better inform yourself or loved ones. Fentanyl and blood pressure is an important issue to understand, so continue reading for more.

The Effects of Fentanyl on Blood Pressure

Short-Term Effects

When fentanyl is administered, whether through intravenous injection, transdermal patches, or other forms, it rapidly acts on the central nervous system to alleviate pain. However, alongside its pain-relieving effects, fentanyl can produce short-term cardiovascular effects. These effects can vary depending on the dosage administered and the route of administration.

Increase in Left Ventricular Pressure

Studies have shown that fentanyl administration can lead to an increase in left ventricular pressure (LV) first derivative, also known as LV dP/dt max. This increase in pressure development is directly proportional to the dose of fentanyl within a low concentration range (0.0025 to 0.03 mg/kg). However, high doses of fentanyl (0.03 to 0.16 mg/kg) do not affect LV dP/dt max, left ventricular pressure, left ventricular end-diastolic pressure, or central aortic blood pressure.

Decrease in Oxygen Consumption and Blood Flow

Another notable cardiovascular effect of fentanyl is its impact on myocardial oxygen consumption. Increasing doses of fentanyl have been found to cause a decrease in myocardial oxygen consumption, pressure time index (TTI), and coronary sinus blood flow. The maximum decrease observed in these parameters can reach up to 30 percent.

Decrease in Blood Pressure and Heart Rate

High doses of fentanyl have been associated with a greater decrease in mean peripheral blood pressure (up to 40 percent) and heart rate (up to 50 percent). However, subsequent injections of the same doses have shown little effect on these physiological values, suggesting the development of tachyphylaxis.

Long-Term Effects and Health Risks of Fentanyl

Prolonged use of fentanyl or other opioids can increase the risk of fractures, especially in the elderly. Chronic and severe constipation is another potential long-term effect, which can lead to serious health problems such as bowel obstruction and chronic constipation.

Breathing Problems and Heart-related Issues

Long-term use of fentanyl may also contribute to breathing problems during sleep, as well as an increased risk of heart attack and heart failure. It is important to note that fentanyl, like other opioids, can suppress the immune system and potentially affect hormonal and reproductive functions in both men and women.

Dependence, Tolerance, and Opioid Use Disorder

Prolonged use of fentanyl can lead to tolerance, where the body becomes accustomed to the drug's effects and requires higher doses to achieve the same level of pain relief. This tolerance can escalate into opioid dependence, where individuals experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop using fentanyl. Opioid dependence can further progress to opioid use disorder, characterized by uncontrollable drug use despite negative consequences.

Fentanyl Abuse and Blood Pressure

Fentanyl and Blood Pressure: Short Term

The short-term use of fentanyl, especially in high dosages, has been associated with changes in blood pressure. Fentanyl can cause a decrease in mean peripheral blood pressure, which can reach a maximum reduction of 40 percent. Additionally, the administration of fentanyl has been found to decrease heart rate by up to 50 percent.

Fentanyl and Blood Pressure: Long Term

While the long-term effects of fentanyl and blood pressure specifically have not been extensively studied, the overall cardiovascular effects of prolonged opioid use can indirectly impact blood pressure regulation. Chronic opioid use may lead to cardiovascular changes such as decreased cardiac output and increased peripheral vascular resistance, which can influence blood pressure levels.

Risks and Considerations

Individuals with pre-existing cardiovascular conditions, such as hypertension or heart disease, may be more susceptible to the cardiovascular effects of fentanyl and should exercise caution when using the medication. It is crucial for individuals using fentanyl to monitor their blood pressure regularly and consult with their healthcare provider if any significant changes occur. There are more than a few risks when it comes to fentanyl and blood pressure.


Treatment and Recovery for Fentanyl Addiction

Fentanyl addiction is a serious concern that requires comprehensive treatment and support. If you or someone you know is struggling with fentanyl abuse or opioid addiction, it is essential to seek professional help. Finding balance with fentanyl and blood pressure is crucial. Treatment options for fentanyl addiction typically include:

Medical Detoxification

Medical detoxification provides individuals with a safe and supervised environment to undergo withdrawal from fentanyl. During this process, medical professionals can manage withdrawal symptoms and provide necessary support to ensure a comfortable detoxification experience.

Inpatient Treatment

Inpatient treatment involves residing at a treatment facility where individuals receive intensive therapy, counseling, and medical support. Inpatient treatment is particularly beneficial for individuals with co-occurring medical or mental health conditions or those with a history of polysubstance use.

Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient treatment offers flexibility for individuals who do not require 24/7 medical supervision. It includes various levels of care, such as day treatment, intensive outpatient programs, and standard outpatient sessions. Outpatient treatment can be an effective option for individuals with a stable support system and the ability to maintain their daily responsibilities.

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)

Medication-assisted treatment combines the use of FDA-approved medications, such as methadone, buprenorphine, or naltrexone, with behavioral therapies to address fentanyl addiction.These medications help alleviate withdrawal symptoms, reduce drug cravings, and support long-term recovery.


Fentanyl, a powerful opioid pain medication, can have significant cardiovascular effects, both in the short-term and long-term. Short-term use of fentanyl can lead to changes in blood pressure and heart rate, while prolonged use can increase the risk of various cardiovascular complications. It is crucial to monitor blood pressure regularly and seek medical help if any concerning changes occur. Finding care with respect to fentanyl and your blood pressure is essential for your well being and longevity.

If you or someone you know is struggling with fentanyl abuse or addiction, there are various treatment options available. Medical detoxification, inpatient treatment, outpatient programs, and medication-assisted treatment can provide the necessary support for recovery and help individuals regain control over their lives.

Remember, seeking professional help is essential for a successful recovery journey. Reach out to healthcare providers, addiction specialists, or treatment specialists for further help and support.


NIDA: Fentanyl Drug Facts

NCBI: Addictive Effects of Fentanyl

OHSU: Opiates and The Immune System

Lippincott: Cardiovascular Effects of Fentanyl

The smarter way to stay accountable
Real-time group support and personalized feedback to help you overcome addiction — no matter how many times you’ve tried.
Learn Morean iphone with the text identify where boundaries may have slipped

Find Effective, Evidence-Based Treatment for Addiction in the Relay Program

There is help available to you if you or a loved one has a physical dependence or psychological dependence on a behavior or substance. These urges and compulsive behaviors can control your life, but you can take back control. Relay's addiction recovery program provides a comprehensive, outpatient approach to behavioral change - at home, at your own pace. To each new program member, we provide a personalized recovery plan, a peer support group, progress tracking, journaling, and intelligent insights about your behavior patterns, all within a simple and secure mobile app Our proven approach helps program members achieve the best chance at long-term recovery without the time or expense of rehab or therapy. Try the Relay program for free here; if you need help as you get set up, contact us now at

relay logo

Get connected and stay accountable
with peers

Join a team

A better way to recovery, right in your pocket.

a cell phone with a text message on the screen