Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
What Is Alfentanil?
Alfentanil HCl Injection is an opioid analgesic (pain reliever) indicated as an analgesic adjunct given in incremental doses in the maintenance of anesthesia with barbiturate/nitrous oxide/oxygen; as an analgesic administered by continuous infusion with nitrous oxide/oxygen in the maintenance of general anesthesia; as a primary anesthetic agent for the induction of anesthesia in patients undergoing general surgery in which endotracheal intubation and mechanical ventilation are required; and as the analgesic component for monitored anesthesia care (MAC). Alfentanil is available in generic form.
What Are Side Effects of Alfentanil?
Common side effects of alfentanil include:
- respiratory depression,
- muscle rigidity,
- low or high blood pressure,
- slow or fast heart rate,
- blurred vision,
- dizziness, and
- postoperative sleepiness.
Dosage for Alfentanil
The dosage of alfentanil HCl injection is individualized and adjusted to the desired effect in each patient according to body weight, physical status, underlying pathological condition, use of other drugs, and type and duration of surgical procedure and anesthesia.
What Drugs, Substances, or Supplements Interact with Alfentanil?
Alfentanil may interact with other CNS depressants (such as barbiturates, tranquilizers, opioids, or inhalation general anesthetics), erythromycin, cimetidine, and drugs affecting hepatic blood flow or enzyme function. Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use.
Alfentanil During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant before using alfentanil; it is unknown how it might affect a fetus. Alfentanil passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding. Withdrawal symptoms may occur if you suddenly stop taking alfentanil.
Our Alfentanil HCl Injection Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
The most common adverse reactions of opioids are respiratory depression and skeletal muscle rigidity, particularly of the truncal muscles. Alfentanil may produce muscular rigidity that involves the skeletal muscles of the neck and extremities. See CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY, WARNINGS, and PRECAUTIONS on the management of respiratory depression and skeletal muscle rigidity.
The adverse experience profile from 696 patients receiving alfentanil for Monitored Anesthesia Care (MAC) is similar to the profile established with alfentanil during general anesthesia. Respiratory events reported during MAC included hypoxia, apnea, and bradypnea. Other adverse events reported by patients receiving alfentanil for MAC, in order of decreasing frequency, were nausea, hypotension, vomiting, pruritus, confusion, somnolence and agitation.
The following adverse reaction information is derived from controlled and open clinical trials in 785 patients who received intravenous alfentanil during induction and maintenance of general anesthesia. The controlled trials included treatment comparisons with fentanyl, thiopental sodium, enflurane, saline placebo and halothane. The incidence of certain side effects is influenced by the type of use, e.g., chest wall rigidity has a higher reported incidence in clinical trials of alfentanil induction, and by the type of surgery, e.g., nausea and vomiting have a higher reported incidence in patients undergoing gynecologic surgery. The overall reports of nausea and vomiting with alfentanil were comparable to fentanyl.
Incidence Greater than 1% - Probably Causally Related (Derived from clinical trials)
Gastrointestinal: nausea (28%), vomiting (18%)
Musculoskeletal: chest wall rigidity (17%), skeletal muscle movements*
Respiratory: apnea*, postoperative respiratory depression
Central Nervous System: blurred vision, dizziness*, sleepiness/postoperative sedation
*Incidence 3% to 9% All others 1% to 3%
Incidence Less than 1% - Probably Causally Related (Derived from clinical trials)
Adverse events reported in post-marketing surveillance, not seen in clinical trials, are italicized.
Body as a whole: anaphylaxis
Central Nervous System: headache*, myoclonic movements, postoperative confusion*, postoperative euphoria*, shivering*
Dermatological: itching*, urticaria*
Injection Site: pain*
Musculoskeletal: skeletal muscle rigidity of neck and extremities
Respiratory: bronchospasm, hypercarbia*, laryngospasm*
*Incidence 0.3% to 1%
Drug Abuse And Dependence
Alfentanil is a Schedule II controlled drug substance that can produce drug dependence of the morphine type and therefore has the potential for being abused.
Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Alfentanil (alfentanil)
© Alfentanil Patient Information is supplied by Cerner Multum, Inc. and Alfentanil Consumer information is supplied by First Databank, Inc., used under license and subject to their respective copyrights.