GENERIC NAME: fentanyl injection
BRAND NAME: Sublimaze
DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Fentanyl is a strong, synthetic (man-made) narcotic that is similar to morphine. A 0.1 mg dose of fentanyl is approximately equal to 10 mg of morphine administered by intramuscular injection. Fentanyl stimulates receptors on nerves in the brain to increase the threshold to pain (the amount of stimulation it takes to feel pain) and reduce the perception of pain (the perceived importance of the pain). Fentanyl is available in transdermal (for application to the skin), transmucosal (for application to mucus membranes) and parenteral (injectable) forms. Fentanyl was originally approved by the FDA for injection in 1968.
SIDE EFFECTS: Fentanyl is a controlled substance and is habit forming. Mental and physical dependence can occur. Abruptly stopping the drug in patients who have been taking the drug for a long time can precipitate a withdrawal reaction. Symptoms of withdrawal include nausea, diarrhea, coughing, tearing, nasal discharge, profuse sweating, twitching muscles, and yawning.
Fentanyl can cause respiratory depression (decreased rate or depth of breathing), muscle rigidity, and reduced heart rate.
Additional side effects are:
Other important side effects include:
- dry mouth,
- abdominal pain,
- loss of appetite,
- depression, and
Quick GuideChronic Pain: Causes, Solutions and Management
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