fentanyl injection, Sublimaze (cont.)

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Medical and Pharmacy Editor:

The monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) class of antidepressants, for example, isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), tranylcypromine (Parnate), selegiline (Eldepryl), and procarbazine (Matulane) significantly increase the action of fentanyl resulting in more side effects. Fentanyl should not be used in patients taking MAOIs or within 14 days of stopping MAOIs.

Combining fentanyl with drugs that reduce activity of liver enzymes that breakdown fentanyl, for example, ritonavir (Norvir), ketoconazole (Nizoral, Extina, Xolegel, Kuric), itraconazole (Sporanox), troleandomycin, clarithromycin (Biaxin, Biaxin XL), nelfinavir (Viracept), nefazadone, amiodarone, amprenavir (Agenerase), aprepitant, diltiazem (Cardizem, Dilacor, Tiazac), erythromycin, fluconazole (Diflucan), fosamprenavir, and verapamil (Calan, Verelan, Verelan PM, Isoptin, Isoptin SR, Covera-HS), may result in an increase in fentanyl blood levels, increasing or prolonging side effects of fentanyl.

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.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/26/2014

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