|Systematic (IUPAC) name|
|Pregnancy cat.||C (US)|
|Legal status||Controlled (S8) (AU) Class A (UK) Schedule II (US)|
|Routes||Injection, Epidural, Intrathecal, transdermal patch (in clinical trials)|
|Mol. mass||386.552 g/mol|
|Melt. point||97 °C (207 °F)|
|(what is this?)|
Sufentanil (R30730, brand name Sufenta) is a powerful synthetic opioid analgesic drug, approximately 5 to 10 times more potent than its parent drug, fentanyl, and 500 times as potent as morphine. Sufentanil is marketed for use by specialist centres under different trade names, such as Sufenta and Sufentil (India, by Claris Lifesciences Ltd.). Sufentanil was synthesized at Janssen Pharmaceutica in 1974.
The main use of this medication is in operating suites and critical care where pain relief is required for a short period of time. It also offers properties of sedation and this makes it a good analgesic component of anaesthetic regimen during an operation. It is usually administered under the doctor's order through an intravenous route. In some countries sufentanil is only indicated for epidural use. Despite this, it is often used off-label both intravenously and intranasally. A transdermal sufentanil patch called Transdur-sufentanil is about to enter[when?] Stage III clinical trials by Durect Corp for the relief of chronic pain, and has the advantage over fentanyl patches such as Duragesic of only needing to be applied once per week. Sufentanil is also used off-label in intrathecal pumps.
It is essential for the administering medical professional to be trained in airway management with readily available airway equipment because the drug causes significant respiratory depression and may cause respiratory arrest if given too rapidly or in too high a dose. Other opioid side effects such as heart rhythm irregularity, blood pressure changes and nausea/vomiting can also be present in patients given this drug and should be dealt with accordingly.
Sufentanil has been associated with extremely rare instances of life threatening anaphylaxis.
- Niemegeers CJ, Schellekens KH, Van Bever WF, Janssen PA (1976). "Sufentanil, a very potent and extremely safe intravenous morphine-like compound in mice, rats and dogs". Arzneimittel-Forschung 26 (8): 1551–6. PMID 12772.
- Savoia G, Loreto M, Gravino E (September 2001). "Sufentanil: an overview of its use for acute pain management". Minerva Anestesiologica 67 (9 Suppl 1): 206–216. PMID 11778119.