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All about: Fentanyl

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Generic Name: Fentanyl Injection (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)

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 or other breathing problems, fever, increased pressure or unusual growths in the brain, heart problems, liver or kidney disease, pancreatitis, or a recent head injury
  • if you have a history of slow or irregular heartbeat or blood pressure problems

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Fentanyl . Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Naltrexone because the effectiveness of Fentanyl may be decreased
  • Amiodarone, azole antifungals (eg, fluconazole), benzodiazepines (eg, alprazolam), cimetidine, HIV protease inhibitors (eg, ritonavir), macrolide antibiotics (eg, erythromycin), monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors (eg, phenelzine), phenothiazines (eg, chlorpromazine), sibutramine, or sodium oxybate (GHB) because the risk of side effects may be increased
  • Barbiturate anesthetics (eg, thiopental), benzodiazepines (eg, alprazolam), sibutramine, or sodium oxybate (GHB) because actions and side effects of these medicines 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 this medicine.
  • 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 of age. Safety and effectiveness in this age group have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you are pregnant or plan on becoming pregnant, discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using Fentanyl during pregnancy. Fentanyl is excreted in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you are using Fentanyl , check with your doctor to discuss the risk to your baby.

When used for long periods of time or at high doses, some people develop a need to continue taking Fentanyl . 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:

Anxiety; confusion; constipation; difficulty walking; dizziness; drowsiness; dry mouth; headache; indigestion; itching; nausea; vomiting.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); hallucinations; muscle rigidity; seizures; slow or irregular heartbeat; slowed breathing; trouble breathing; weakness.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions or need medical advice about side effects, contact your doctor or health care provider. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 (1-800-332-1088) or at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center ( http://www.aapcc.org/findyour.htm), or emergency room immediately.

Proper storage of Fentanyl :

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.

General information:

  • 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.

This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about Fentanyl . If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

Issue Date: September 5, 2007
Database Edition 07.3.1.003
Copyright © 2007 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

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