Generic Name: fentanyl (FEN-ta-nil)
Brand Name: Sublimaze
Fentanyl is used for:
Producing anesthesia for surgery and treating pain before, during, and after surgery. It may also be used with other medicines.
Fentanyl is a narcotic (opioid) analgesic. It works in the brain and nervous system to cause anesthesia and decrease pain.
Do NOT use fentanyl if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in fentanyl or any related medicine (eg, sufentanil)
- you take sibutramine or sodium oxybate (GHB)
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Before using fentanyl:
Some medical conditions may interact with fentanyl. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:
- if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
- if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
- if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
- if you have diabetes; asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or other breathing problems; fever; increased pressure or unusual growths in the brain; heart problems; liver or kidney disease; pancreatitis; poor health or nutrition; or a recent head injury
- if you have a history of slow or irregular heartbeat or blood pressure problems
- if you take a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) (eg, phenelzine) or have taken one within the past 14 days
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with fentanyl. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:
- Mixed agonist/antagonist analgesics (eg, buprenorphine, pentazocine, butorphanol), naltrexone, or rifamycins (eg, rifampin) because the effectiveness of fentanyl may be decreased
- Amiodarone, aprepitant, azole antifungals (eg, fluconazole), benzodiazepines (eg, alprazolam), cimetidine, diltiazem, HIV protease inhibitors (eg, ritonavir), macrolide antibiotics (eg, erythromycin), MAOIs (eg, phenelzine), nefazodone, phenothiazines (eg, chlorpromazine), serotonin reuptake inhibitors (eg, citalopram), sibutramine, sodium oxybate (GHB), telithromycin, or verapamil because the risk of side effects may be increased
This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if fentanyl may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.
How to use fentanyl:
Use fentanyl as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
- Fentanyl is usually administered as an injection at your doctor's office, hospital, or clinic.
- If fentanyl contains particles or is discolored, or if the vial is cracked or damaged in any way, do not use it.
- Keep this product, as well as syringes and needles, out of the reach of children and away from pets. Do not reuse needles, syringes, or other materials. Dispose of properly after use. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain local regulations for proper disposal.
- If you miss a dose of fentanyl, contact your doctor immediately.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use fentanyl.
Important safety information:
- Fentanyl may cause drowsiness or dizziness. Do not drive, operate machinery, or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how you react to fentanyl. Using fentanyl alone, with certain other medicines, or with alcohol may lessen your ability to drive or to perform other potentially dangerous tasks.
- Avoid drinking alcohol while taking fentanyl.
- Check with your doctor before you use medicines that may cause drowsiness (eg, sleep aids, muscle relaxers) while you are using fentanyl; it may add to their effects. Ask your pharmacist if you have questions about which medicines may cause drowsiness.
- Tell your doctor or dentist that you take fentanyl before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
- Use fentanyl with caution in the ELDERLY because they may be more sensitive to its effects.
- Use fentanyl with extreme caution in CHILDREN younger than 2 years old; safety and effectiveness in these children have not been confirmed.
- PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you are pregnant or plan on becoming pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using fentanyl while you are pregnant. Fentanyl is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you are using fentanyl, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.
Some people who use fentanyl for a long time may develop a need to continue taking it. People who take high doses are also at risk. This is known as DEPENDENCE or addiction.
Possible side effects of fentanyl:
All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:
Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:
Anxiety; confusion; constipation; difficulty walking; dizziness; drowsiness; dry mouth; headache; indigestion; itching; nausea; vomiting.
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); blurred vision; fainting; hallucinations; muscle rigidity; seizures; severe or persistent dizziness, headache, or light-headedness; slow or irregular heartbeat; slow or shallow breathing; trouble breathing; weakness.
This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
Fentanyl is usually handled and stored by a health care provider. If you are using fentanyl at home, store fentanyl as directed by your pharmacist or health care provider. Keep fentanyl out of the reach of children and away from pets.
- If you have any questions about fentanyl, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- Fentanyl is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
- If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
- Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.
This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take fentanyl or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about fentanyl. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to fentanyl. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using fentanyl.
Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.