Generic Name: remifentanil (rem i FEN ta nil)
Brand Name: Ultiva
What is remifentanil?
Remifentanil is an opioid medication. An opioid is sometimes called a narcotic.
Remifentanil is used to treat or prevent pain after surgery or other medical procedure.
Remifentanil may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What is the most important information I should know about remifentanil?
You should not receive this medication if you are allergic to fentanyl (Abstral, Actiq, Duragesic, Fentora, Lazanda, Subsys, and others).
What should I discuss with my health care provider before I receive remifentanil?
You should not receive this medication if you are allergic to remifentanil or fentanyl (Abstral, Actiq, Duragesic, Fentora, Lazanda, Subsys, and others).
To make sure remifentanil is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have any type of breathing problem or lung disease.
FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether remifentanil will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication.
It is not known whether remifentanil passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
How is remifentanil given?
Remifentanil is injected into a vein through an IV. A healthcare provider will give you this injection as part of the anesthesia given for your surgery or medical procedure.
Remifentanil is usually given slowly through an IV infusion connected to pump that will release the correct dose of the medication to provide continuous pain relief during and after your surgery.
Your breathing, blood pressure, oxygen levels, and other vital signs will be watched closely while you are receiving remifentanil.
You may be given other pain medications to use after your remifentanil treatment is discontinued.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Since remifentanil is given as needed by a healthcare professional for only a short time, you are not likely to be on a dosing schedule.
What happens if I overdose?
Since this medication is given by a healthcare professional in a medical setting, an overdose is unlikely to occur.
What should I avoid after receiving remifentanil?
Remifentanil can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. You should not plan on driving or doing anything that requires you to be awake and alert right after you are treated with this medication. Dizziness or severe drowsiness can cause falls or other accidents.
Follow your doctor's instructions about any other restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.
Remifentanil side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Your caregivers will watch for any side effects you have, which may clear up within minutes after stopping the remifentanil infusion or decreasing the dose:
weak or shallow breathing;
fast or slow heart rate;
stiff muscles; or
severe weakness, feeling light-headed or fainting.
Common side effects may include:
dizziness, vision problems;
itching, sweating; or
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
Remifentanil dosing information
Usual Adult Dose for Anesthesia:
Induction of Anesthesia: Continuous IV infusion: 0.5 to 1 mcg/kg/min. If endotracheal intubation is to occur in less than 8 minutes, an initial dose of 1 mcg/kg may be administered over 30 to 60 seconds.
Maintenance of Anesthesia: With Nitrous Oxide, 0.4 mg/kg/min by continuous IV infusion.
Infusion dose range: 0.1 to 2 mcg/kg/min.
Supplemental IV bolus: 1 mcg/kg every 2 to 5 minutes.
With Isoflurane or Propofol: 0.25 mg/kg/min by continuous IV infusion.
Infusion dose range. 0.05 to 2 mcg/kg/min.
Supplemental IV bolus: 1 mcg/kg dose.
Continuation into Postoperative Period: Continuous IV infusion: 0.1 mcg/kg/min.
Infusion dose range: 0.025 to 0.2 mcg/kg/min.
Monitored Anesthesia Care: Single IV dose: 1 mcg/kg over 30 to 60 seconds, given 90 seconds before local anesthetic or 0.5 mcg/kg with midazolam 2 mg.
Continuous IV infusion: 0.1 mcg/kg/min beginning 5 minutes before local anesthetic. Then, decrease to 0.05 mcg/kg/min (range 0.025 to 0.2 mcg/kg/min) after local anesthetic or
0.05 mcg/kg/min given with midazolam 2 mg, beginning 5 minutes before local anesthetic . Then, decrease to 0.025 mcg/kg/min (range 0.025 to 0.2 mcg/kg/min) after local anesthetic.
Usual Pediatric Dose for Anesthesia:
Maintenance of anesthesia with nitrous oxide (70%):
IV continuous infusion: 0.4 mcg/kg/minute (range: 0.4 to 1 mcg/kg/minute)
Supplemental bolus dose of 1 mcg/kg may be administered; smaller bolus dose may be required with potent inhalation agents, potent neuraxial anesthesia, significant comorbidities, significant fluid shifts, or without atropine pretreatment.
Clearance in neonates is highly variable. Dose should be carefully titrated.
Endotracheal intubation (nonemergent): IV: 1 to 3 mcg/kg/dose; may repeat dose in 2 to 3 minutes if needed.
IV continuous infusion: Dose should be based on ideal body weight (IBW) in obese patients (greater than 30% over IBW).
Infants 1 to 2 months: Maintenance of anesthesia with nitrous oxide (70%): 0.4 mcg/kg/minute (range: 0.4 to 1 mcg/kg/minute).
Supplemental bolus dose of 1 mcg/kg may be administered, smaller bolus dose may be required with potent inhalation agents, potent neuraxial anesthesia, significant comorbidities, significant fluid shifts, or without atropine pretreatment.
Children 1 to 12 years: Maintenance of anesthesia with halothane, sevoflurane, or isoflurane: 0.25 mcg/kg/minute (range: 0.05 to 1.3 mcg/kg/minute)
Supplemental bolus dose of 1 mcg/kg may be administered every 2 to 5 minutes. Consider increasing concomitant anesthetics with infusion rate greater than 1 mcg/kg/minute. Infusion rate can be titrated upward in increments up to 50% or titrated downward in decrements of 25 to 50%. May titrate every 2 to 5 minutes.
What other drugs will affect remifentanil?
Other drugs may interact with remifentanil, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all medicines you have recently used.
More about remifentanil
- Other brands: Ultiva
Related treatment guides
Where can I get more information?
- Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about remifentanil.
- Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
- Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 2.03.
Date modified: October 14, 2016
Last reviewed: January 23, 2015