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

Medically reviewed by on Jan 29, 2021. Written by Cerner Multum.

What is Ultiva?

Ultiva is an opioid medication that is used to treat or prevent pain during and after surgery or other medical procedures.

Ultiva may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.



Before taking this medicine

You should not be treated with Ultiva if you are allergic to it.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

Receiving Ultiva during late pregnancy may cause side effects in the newborn baby, including severe drowsiness and breathing problems. Your baby's breathing, blood pressure, oxygen levels, and other vital signs will be watched closely.

Ask a doctor before using opioid medicine if you are breastfeeding. Tell your doctor if you notice severe drowsiness or slow breathing in the nursing baby.

How is Ultiva given?


Ultiva is given as an infusion into a vein. A healthcare provider will give you this injection.

Ultiva is usually given through an 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, kidney function, and other vital signs will be watched closely.

You may be given other pain medications to use after your Ultiva treatment is discontinued. Keep using these medicines for as long as your doctor has prescribed.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Because Ultiva is given in a clinical setting for only a short time, you are not likely to be on a dosing schedule.

What happens if I overdose?

A Ultiva overdose can be fatal. Overdose symptoms may include slow breathing and heart rate, severe drowsiness, muscle weakness, cold and clammy skin, pinpoint pupils, and fainting.

Since Ultiva is given in a medical setting, you will be watched closely to make sure you do not receive too much of Ultiva. Your caregivers will quickly treat you if you have overdose symptoms.

What should I avoid after receiving Ultiva?

Do not drink alcohol for at least 24 hours after your surgery. Dangerous side effects or death could occur.

Avoid driving or hazardous activity until you know how this medicine will affect you. Dizziness or drowsiness can cause falls, accidents, or severe injuries.

Ultiva 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.

Opioid medicine can slow or stop your breathing, and death may occur. A person caring for you should seek emergency medical attention if you have slow breathing with long pauses, blue colored lips, or if you are hard to wake up.

Your caregivers will watch for any side effects you have, such as:

Serious breathing problems may be more likely in older adults and in those who are debilitated or have wasting syndrome or chronic breathing disorders.

Common side effects may include:

  • slow breathing;

  • slow heart rate;

  • muscle stiffness; or

  • low blood pressure.

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.

What other drugs will affect Ultiva?

Opioid medication can interact with many other drugs and cause dangerous side effects or death. Be sure your doctor knows if you also use:

This list is not complete. Other drugs may affect Ultiva, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed here.

Further information

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.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.