Generic Name: Fentanyl.

Trade Name    : Abstral, Actiq, Duragesic.

Drug Class     : Opioid Analgesic.

Classification: Opioid Agonist.

Source           : Derivative of Meperidine.

Forms of The Drug

  1. Transdermal Patch.
  2. Sublingual Tablet.
  3. Nasal Spray.
  4. Injectable Solution.
  5. Buccal Tablet.
  6. Lozenge: This is a small tablet that is placed in the mouth and allowed to dissolve.

Mechanism of Action

Its mechanism of action is similar to that of other opioids, such as morphine, but fentanyl is more potent and acts more quickly. Fentanyl binds to the mu-opioid receptors in the brain, spinal cord, and other parts of the nervous system. These receptors are responsible for modulating pain signals and regulating mood and emotions. When fentanyl binds to these receptors, it blocks the transmission of pain signals and produces feelings of euphoria and relaxation. Fentanyl also affects the release of certain neurotransmitters, such as dopamine and norepinephrine. Dopamine is responsible for feelings of pleasure and reward, while norepinephrine is involved in the body’s fight-or-flight response. By increasing the release of dopamine and norepinephrine, fentanyl can produce a sense of well-being, as well as increased energy and alertness.


  1. Management of acute pain such as pain following surgery or trauma.
  2. Management of chronic pain such as pain associated with cancer or other terminal illnesses.
  3. Anesthesia: Fentanyl is sometimes used as part of general anesthesia to induce sedation and reduce pain during surgery.
  4. Management of breakthrough pain.
  5. Palliative care.


  1. Hypersensitivity.
  2. Respiratory depression.
  3. Paralytic ileus.
  4. Head injury.
  5. Liver and kidney disease.
  6. Pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Side Effects

  1. Respiratory depression.
  2. Sedation, drowsiness, and confusion.
  3. Nausea and vomiting.
  4. Itching.
  5. Constipation.
  6. Dizziness.
  7. Decreased blood pressure: lead to lightheadedness or fainting.
  8. Muscle rigidity.
  9. Respiratory arrest.

Drug Interaction

Interaction occurs when it is given with certain drugs.

  1. Other opioids.
  2. Sedatives and tranquilizers, such as benzodiazepines.
  3. Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs).
  4. CYP3A4 inhibitors, such as some antifungal medications or antibiotics.
  5. CNS depressants such as alcohol.
  6. Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).


  1. Pregnancy: Category C.
  2. Lactation: Fentanyl can pass into breast milk and cause harm to a nursing infant. Therefore, breastfeeding is generally not recommended while taking fentanyl.

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