What Is Purple Fentanyl?

Medically Reviewed by Johnelle Smith, M.D. on March 17, 2023

Purple fentanyl is a designer drug combination of fentanyl with a few other substances, including brorphine. This street drug can be attractive to young adults because of its color but it is very dangerous and can be lethal in a single dose.

Purple Fentanyl

Purple fentanyl is a designer drug that is usually a combination of fentanyl, brorphine, acetaminophen, and methamphetamine. It is the brorphine that gives it the purple color.

Unlike regular fentanyl, which comes in many forms, purple fentanyl is typically only found in powder form.

This type of fentanyl may attract young people because of its colorful appearance, but it can contain dangerous and potent opioids such as brorphine and carfentanil.

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Trends In Distributing Colorful Fentanyl

A recent trend in drug trafficking is the sale of rainbow fentanyl pills, which are pills containing fentanyl that come in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes.

Rainbow fentanyl is a deliberate effort to make dangerous pills containing fentanyl more appealing to young adults and teens.

Purple fentanyl, although it is only found in powder form, could potentially appeal to younger people in a very similar way.

Synthetic Opioids And “Designer” Drugs

Purple fentanyl is also sometimes called purple heroin or purple meth, although it may or may not actually contain either of those drugs.

It may, however, contain the following synthetic opioids.


Fentanyl is a very potent prescription opioid and severe pain medication. It is also known for causing pleasant euphoria and sedation, which makes it very addictive.


Carfentanil is a synthetic opioid that’s 100 times more potent than fentanyl.

This type of opioid is typically only used in veterinary medicine but has seen a rise in human use as well, and is a big contributor to the current opioid crisis.


Brorphine is a new synthetic opioid that was originally created in the hopes that it would decrease the risk of overdose deaths associated with opioids.

However, brorphine turned out to be just as dangerous as fentanyl and even more potent. Even with no medical uses, brorphine has still found its way into the illicit street drug market.

The Risk Of Overdose With Purple Fentanyl

Using fentanyl without a prescription is always risky, but using purple fentanyl comes with its own unique risks as well.

Lack Of Transparency

With purple fentanyl, there is truly no way for a person to know exactly what they are using and in what amounts.

There is no form of purple fentanyl that is legal or regulated, and a single dose could potentially contain a lethal amount of the drug.

Negative Drug Interactions

It is also possible to experience negative drug interactions when fentanyl is mixed with drugs that have opposing effects.

Additionally, when fentanyl is mixed with drugs that have similar effects they will only heighten each other’s effects and make an overdose more likely.

Unexpected Side Effects

Purple fentanyl can be an unexpected combination of drugs at times, so the side effects experienced from using it can be unexpected at times as well.

Signs Of Purple Fentanyl Overdose

An overdose from purple fentanyl is a life-threatening situation and requires immediate medical attention.

Even if an overdose is just suspected or presumed, it is a good idea to seek treatment right away, as a fentanyl overdose can quickly turn fatal.

Signs of a fentanyl overdose may include:

  • trouble breathing
  • pale or bluish skin and lips
  • loss of consciousness
  • unresponsiveness
  • choking or gurgling sounds

What To Do If You Have A Drug Overdose

If you are around someone who is overdosing, it is important to take action fast. Below are some of the immediate actions you should take if a fentanyl overdose is occurring.

Administer Naloxone (Narcan)

Naloxone is an emergency medication that is an antidote for fentanyl overdoses and all other opioid overdoses. Narcan is a brand-name nasal spray version of naloxone.

Naloxone kits work by blocking opioid receptors in the brain, however, it only works temporarily and multiple doses are often required.

Call Emergency Services

Emergency medical services should always be called when someone is overdosing on fentanyl, even if they have been given naloxone and appear to be getting better.

A dose of naloxone only works for between 30 and 90 minutes, and a person will need continued medical care after it wears off.

Treating Fentanyl Addiction

Fentanyl can be a very addictive substance and people who try to stop using it abruptly may find it very difficult and are likely to relapse.

Medical Detox

Medically monitored detox can allow a person to go through drug use withdrawal safely and comfortably under the supervision of medical professionals.

This type of treatment usually makes use of certain medications, such as methadone or buprenorphine, to make the withdrawal process more comfortable.

Evidence-Based Treatments

Evidence-based treatments for opioid addiction may include medication-assisted treatment (MAT), behavioral therapies, group therapy, and more.

A person overcoming an addiction to opioids will generally have a choice between inpatient or outpatient treatment for substance use where they may participate in counseling and therapy.

FAQs For Purple Fentanyl

The following are some of the most commonly asked questions about purple fentanyl.

Purple fentanyl has only been present in the United States for a couple of years but has steadily grown in popularity and presence during that time.

Purple fentanyl does not always contain the same drug combinations, although it usually always contains multiple types of opioids or opiates. The rest of the drugs used can vary.

Purple fentanyl is illegal and too risky to be considered safe in any form. The best fentanyl overdose prevention measure is to abstain from using it entirely.

You can test for the presence of the drug by using fentanyl test strips. This is an effective harm reduction measure increasingly touted by law enforcement agencies and public health officials.

Find Treatment For Fentanyl Addiction Today

Seek professional treatment if you, a loved one, or a family member is currently living with an addiction to fentanyl.

Even if you just have questions right now, our team can assist you and help you get started at a drug rehab center near you as soon as you are ready.

This page does not provide medical advice. See more

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Medically Reviewed by
Johnelle Smith, M.D. on March 17, 2023
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