As published by NBC News, Fentanyl, the drug that killed Prince is so powerful that it was blamed for the accidental deaths of as many as 120 hostages when Russian forces used it to subdue Chechen terrorists during the 2002 siege of a packed Moscow theater.
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that was first formulated during the 1950s as a safer and more effective alternative to the painkillers morphine and meperidine.
According to the National Institute for Drug Abuse, Fentanyl is the strongest opioid approved for medical use in the United States, rated as 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine and 30 to 50 times more potent than heroin.
According to research published in the journal Annals of Pharmacotherapy, as little as a quarter-milligram of fentanyl can be fatal. So you can have an idea, consider that a standard aspirin tablet is 325 milligrams — 1,300 times bigger.
Its effects are almost immediate, depending on how it’s used — especially if it’s inhaled.