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Ultiva

Generic Name: remifentanil (rem i FEN ta nil)
Brand Name: Ultiva

What is Ultiva (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 Ultiva (remifentanil)?

Remifentanil can slow or stop your breathing, and may be habit-forming. MISUSE OF THIS MEDICINE CAN CAUSE ADDICTION, OVERDOSE, OR DEATH.

What should I discuss with my health care provider before I receive Ultiva (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 ever had:

  • breathing problems or lung disease;

  • a head injury, brain tumor, or increased pressure inside your skull;

  • a seizure;

  • drug or alcohol addiction;

  • problems with your gallbladder or pancreas; or

  • if you use a sedative like Valium (diazepam, alprazolam, lorazepam, Ativan, Klonopin, Restoril, Tranxene, Versed, Xanax, and others).

Some medicines can interact with remifentanil and cause a serious condition called serotonin syndrome. Be sure your doctor knows if you also take stimulant medicine, herbal products, or medicine for depression, mental illness, Parkinson's disease, migraine headaches, serious infections, or prevention of nausea and vomiting. Ask your doctor before making any changes in how or when you take your medications.

If you receive remifentanil while you are pregnant, your baby could become dependent on the drug. This can cause life-threatening withdrawal symptoms in the baby after it is born. Babies born dependent on habit-forming medicine may need medical treatment for several weeks. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant.

It is not known whether remifentanil passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Many other opioid medicines can pass into breast milk and cause drowsiness or breathing problems in a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding.

How is Ultiva (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 Ultiva (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.

Ultiva (remifentanil) side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Like other opioid medicines, remifentanil can slow your breathing. Death may occur if breathing becomes too weak.

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;

  • rigid muscles; or

  • severe weakness, feeling light-headed or fainting.

Seek medical attention right away if you have symptoms of serotonin syndrome, such as: agitation, hallucinations, fever, sweating, shivering, fast heart rate, muscle stiffness, twitching, loss of coordination, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.

Serious side effects may be more likely in older adults and those who are overweight, malnourished, or debilitated.

Common side effects may include:

  • slow breathing;

  • slow heart rate; or

  • muscle stiffness.

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.

Side Effects (complete list)

What other drugs will affect Ultiva (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.

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: 4.01.

Date modified: November 15, 2017
Last reviewed: August 16, 2017

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