By continuing to use the site you agree to our Privacy & Cookies policy

Your browser seems to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser.


Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.



VOL: 101, ISSUE: 24, PAGE NO: 29

Generic and proprietary names

Generic and proprietary names
- Fentanyl.

- Actiq.

- Durogesic.

- Sublimaze.

- Fentanyl acts in the central nervous system (CNS) to relieve pain.


- Functional class: opioid analgesic.

- Chemical class: synthetic phenylpiperdine or phenylpiperdine derivative.

- The treatment of breakthrough cancer pain in patients receiving opioid therapy.

- Analgesia during operations, enhancement of anaesthesia.

- Acute respiratory depression.

- Acute alcoholism.

- Raised intracranial pressure such as in head injury.

- Hypotension.

- Hypothyroidism.

- Asthma or decreased respiratory reserve.

- Breastfeeding.

- Hepatic impairment.

- Older people or those who are debilitated may need a reduced dose.

Common side-effects
- Nausea and vomiting.

- Dizziness.

- Constipation.

Other side-effects
- Difficulty with micturition.

- Dry mouth.

- Sweating.

- Headache.

- Bradycardia.

- Tachycardia.

- Postural hypotension.

- Hallucinations.

- Alcohol will enhance the drug's hypotensive and sedative effects.

- For breakthrough cancer pain:

- Lozenges;

- Patches.

- During anaesthesia:

- Intravenous injection;

- Intravenous infusion.

Nursing considerations
- Repeated intraoperative doses can cause respiratory depression to persist into the postoperative period.

- Fentanyl interferes with respiratory function and pupil reaction, both of which are essential parts of neurological assessment.

- Assess the therapeutic response and in breakthrough cancer pain consider adjustment of background analgesia where this is appropriate.

- Excessive heat may increase absorption from patches so local heat should not be applied and patients with fever should be carefully monitored.

Patient teaching
- Medication should be kept out of reach of children and in its original packaging.

- Avoid activities that require alertness if patient is affected by drowsiness.

- Lozenges should be removed from foil just before administration and sucked over a 15-minute period, not chewed.

- Patches should be applied to dry, intact skin, non-irradiated non-hairy skin on the torso or upper arm. Replacement patches should be sited on a different area.

Nurses should refer to manufacturer's summary of product characteristics and to appropriate local guidelines

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment.

Related images

Related Jobs

Sign in to see the latest jobs relevant to you!