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Alfentanil Side Effects

For the Consumer

Applies to alfentanil: intravenous solution

Along with its needed effects, alfentanil may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking alfentanil:

More common
  • Blurred vision
  • chest pain or discomfort
  • confusion
  • difficult or troubled breathing
  • dizziness
  • dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
  • fainting
  • fast, slow, pounding, or irregular heartbeat or pulse
  • headache
  • irregular, fast or slow, or shallow breathing
  • lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting
  • nervousness
  • not breathing
  • pale or blue lips, fingernails, or skin
  • pounding in the ears
  • sweating
  • trouble breathing
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
Rare
  • Cough
  • noisy breathing
  • rigid muscles of the neck, arms, and legs
  • tightness in the chest
Incidence not known
  • Agitation
  • cough
  • darkening of the skin
  • diarrhea
  • difficulty with swallowing
  • fainting
  • fever
  • hives, itching, or skin rash
  • loss of appetite
  • nausea
  • overactive reflexes
  • poor coordination
  • puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
  • restlessness
  • shivering
  • sweating
  • talking or acting with excitement you cannot control
  • trembling or shaking
  • twitching
  • vomiting

Some side effects of alfentanil may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common
  • Drowsiness
  • sleepiness
Rare
  • False or unusual sense of well-being

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to alfentanil: injectable solution

General

The most commonly reported adverse reactions include apnea, rigidity, and bradycardia.[Ref]

Respiratory

Common (1% to 10%): Apnea
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Hypercarbia, laryngospasm
Frequency not reported: Life-threatening respiratory depression, postoperative respiratory depression, bronchospasm, hypoxia, bradypnea, hiccups, hypercapnia, epistaxis, airway complication of anesthesia, endotracheal intubation complication
Postmarketing reports: Respiratory arrest, cough[Ref]

Hypersensitivity

Postmarketing reports: Anaphylaxis[Ref]

Cardiovascular

Very common (10% or more): Arrhythmia, bradycardia (14%), hypertension (18%), hypotension (18%), tachycardia (12%)
Frequency not reported: Asystole
Postmarketing reports: Cardiac arrest[Ref]

Musculoskeletal

Very common (10% or more): Chest wall rigidity (17%),
Common (1% to 10%): Skeletal muscle movements, muscle rigidity
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Skeletal muscle rigidity of neck and extremities[Ref]

Nervous system

Common (1% to 10%): Dizziness, movement disorders, dyskinesia
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Headache
Frequency not reported: Serotonin syndrome, seizures, sleepiness/postoperative sedation, somnolence, neurological anesthetic complication
Postmarketing reports: Myoclonic movements[Ref]

Psychiatric

Common (1% to 10%): Euphoric mood
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Postoperative confusion, postoperative euphoria, excitation
Frequency not reported: Addiction abuse, misuse, agitation, crying
Postmarketing reports: Disorientation[Ref]

Gastrointestinal

Very common (10% or more): Nausea (28%), vomiting (18%)[Ref]

Dermatologic

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Itching, urticaria
Frequency not reported: Pruritus, allergic dermatitis, hyperhidrosis
Postmarketing reports: Erythema, rash[Ref]

Local

Common (1% to 10%): Injection site pain[Ref]

Endocrine

Adrenal insufficiency has been reported with opioid use, more often following greater than 1 month of use. Androgen deficiency has occurred with chronic use of opioids.[Ref]

Opioids:
Postmarketing reports: Adrenal insufficiency, androgen deficiency[Ref]

Genitourinary

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Urinary retention[Ref]

Ocular

Common (1% to 10%): Visual disturbance
Frequency not reported: Blurred vision
Postmarketing reports: Miosis[Ref]

Other

Common (1% to 10%): Fatigue, chills
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Shivering
Postmarketing reports: Pyrexia[Ref]

References

1. Cerner Multum, Inc. "UK Summary of Product Characteristics." O 0

2. Cerner Multum, Inc. "Australian Product Information." O 0

3. "Product Information. Alfentanil Hydrochloride (alfentanil)." Akorn Inc, Buffalo Grove, IL.

Some side effects of alfentanil may not be reported. Always consult your doctor or healthcare specialist for medical advice. You may also report side effects to the FDA.

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate, up-to-date and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. In addition, the drug information contained herein may be time sensitive and should not be utilized as a reference resource beyond the date hereof. This material does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients, or recommend therapy. This information is a reference resource designed as supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill , knowledge, and judgement of healthcare practitioners in patient care. The absence of a warning for a given drug or combination thereof in no way should be construed to indicate safety, effectiveness, or appropriateness for any given patient. Drugs.com does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of materials provided. 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 substances you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.

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