fentanyl injection, Sublimaze (cont.)

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Medical and Pharmacy Editor:

PREGNANCY: Fentanyl can cross the placenta and enter the fetus. Effects on the developing fetus are not known; however, fentanyl can slow breathing in newborn infants whose mothers were exposed to fentanyl. Routine use of fentanyl by pregnant women can lead to withdrawal reactions in the newborn. Thus, caution should be used if fentanyl is administered near the time of delivery.

NURSING MOTHERS: The effects of fentanyl on the infants of mothers who nurse is unknown. Since most drugs are concentrated in breast milk, it is advisable that women requiring fentanyl bottle-feed their infants.

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. Nausea or vomiting, constipation, drowsiness, and itching can occur during treatment with fentanyl. Other side effects include dry mouth, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, confusion, headache, dizziness, nervousness, hallucinations, anxiety, depression, and euphoria.

REFERENCE: FDA Prescribing Information


Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/26/2014


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