Dsuvia Side Effects Center

Last updated on RxList: 4/28/2022
Dsuvia Side Effects Center

What Is Dsuvia?

Dsuvia (sufentanil) is an opioid agonist indicated for use in adults in a certified medically supervised healthcare setting, such as hospitals, surgical centers, and emergency departments, for the management of acute pain severe enough to require an opioid analgesic and for which alternative treatments are inadequate.

What Are Side Effects of Dsuvia?

Common side effects of Dsuvia include:

Dosage for Dsuvia

The recommended dosage of Dsuvia is 30 mcg sublingually as needed with a minimum of one hour between doses. Do not exceed 12 Dsuvia tablets in 24 hours.

What Drugs, Substances, or Supplements Interact with Dsuvia?

Dsuvia may interact with macrolide antibiotics, azole antifungals, protease inhibitors, rifampin, carbamazepine, phenytoin, alcohol, benzodiazepines, sedatives/hypnotics, anti-anxiety medications, tranquilizers, muscle relaxants, general anesthetics, antipsychotics, other opioids, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), triptans, 5-HT3 receptor antagonists, drugs that effect the serotonin neurotransmitter system, monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), diuretics, and anticholinergics. Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use.

Dsuvia During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant before using Dsuvia; prolonged use of opioid analgesics such as Dsuvia during pregnancy may cause neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome. Dsuvia passes into breast milk and may cause adverse effects in nursing infants. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding. Withdrawal symptoms may occur if you suddenly stop taking Dsuvia.

Additional Information

Our Dsuvia (sufentanil) Sublingual Tablet, CII 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.


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The following serious adverse reactions are described, or described in greater detail, in other sections:

  • Life-Threatening Respiratory Depression [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
  • Addiction, Abuse, and Misuse [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
  • Adrenal Insufficiency [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
  • Severe hypotension [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
  • Gastrointestinal Adverse Reactions [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
  • Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]

Clinical Trials Experience

Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in clinical practice.

In controlled and uncontrolled studies, the safety of DSUVIA was evaluated in a total of 646 patients with moderate-to-severe acute postoperative pain or pain due to trauma which required opioid analgesia.

The most frequently reported adverse reactions ≥ 2% that were probably or possibly related to study treatment in the one pivotal, placebo-controlled trial (Study SAP301) are presented in Table 1.

Discontinuation of study drug due to adverse events occurred in 0.9% of DSUVIA-treated patients (1 out of 107 patients) and 3.7% of placebo-treated patients (2 out of 54 placebo treated patients). The most common reasons for discontinuation of study drug due to adverse reactions in SAP301 were oxygen saturation decreased (0.9% in the DSUVIA group), and dizziness, hemiparesis, somnolence and syncope in the placebo group (1.9% each).

Table 1: Adverse Reactions Occurring in ≥ 2% of Patients and for Which Rate is Higher in DSUVIA than Placebo Group: Placebo-Controlled Study SAP301

Possibly or Probably Related Adverse Reactions DSUVIA
Placebo *
Nausea 29.0% 22.2%
Headache 12.1% 11.1%
Vomiting 5.6% 1.9%
Dizziness 5.6% 3.7%
Hypotension 4.7% 3.7%
* Morphine 1 mg IV was permitted as rescue medication

Other Reported Adverse Reactions

Additional treatment related adverse drug reactions which occurred in at least 0.1% of the patients exposed to 30 mcg or higher of sublingual sufentanil are described below.

Cardiac Disorders: sinus tachycardia, bradycardia.

Gastrointestinal Disorders: constipation, dyspepsia, flatulence, diarrhea, dry mouth, eructation, retching, abdominal discomfort, abdominal distension, abdominal pain upper, gastritis, postoperative ileus, hypoesthesia oral.

Investigations: oxygen saturation decreased, respiratory rate decreased, urine output decreased, aspartate aminotransferase increased, electrocardiogram abnormal, hepatic enzyme increased.

Musculoskeletal and Connective Tissue Disorders: muscle spasms.

Nervous System Disorders: somnolence, sedation, presyncope, lethargy, memory impairment.

Psychiatric Disorders: insomnia, confusional state, anxiety, agitation, disorientation, euphoric mood, hallucination, mental status changes.

Renal and Urinary Disorders: urinary retention, urinary hesitation, oliguria, renal failure.

Respiratory, Thoracic and Mediastinal Disorders: hypoxia, bradypnea, hiccups, apnea, atelectasis, hypoventilation, respiratory distress, respiratory failure.

Skin and Subcutaneous Tissue Disorders: pruritus,hyperhidrosis, rash.

Vascular Disorders: hypotension, hypertension, orthostatic hypotension, flushing.

Postmarketing Experience

The following adverse reactions have been identified during post-approval use of sufentanil. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.

Serotonin syndrome: Cases of serotonin syndrome, a potentially life-threatening condition, have been reported during concomitant use of opioids with serotonergic drugs.

Adrenal insufficiency: Cases of adrenal insufficiency have been reported with opioid use, more often following greater than one month of use.

Anaphylaxis: Anaphylaxis has been reported with ingredients contained in DSUVIA.

Androgen Deficiency: Cases of androgen deficiency have occurred with chronic use of opioids [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].


Table 2 includes clinically significant drug interactions with DSUVIA.

Table 2: Clinically Significant Drug Interactions with DSUVIA

Inhibitors of CYP3A4
Clinical Impact: The concomitant use of DSUVIA and CYP3A4 inhibitors can increase the plasma concentration of sufentanil, resulting in increased or prolonged opioid effects.
After stopping a CYP3A4 inhibitor, as the effects of the inhibitor decline, the sufentanil plasma concentration will decrease [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY], resulting in decreased opioid efficacy or a withdrawal syndrome in patients who had developed physical dependence to sufentanil.
Intervention: If concomitant use is necessary, consider an alternate medication that permits dose titration. Monitor patients for respiratory depression and sedation at frequent intervals.
If a CYP3A4 inhibitor is discontinued, consider an alternate medication that permits dose titration. Monitor for signs of opioid withdrawal.
Examples: Macrolide antibiotics (e.g., erythromycin), azole-antifungal agents (e.g. ketoconazole), protease inhibitors (e.g., ritonavir)
CYP3A4 Inducers
Clinical Impact: The concomitant use of DSUVIA and CYP3A4 inducers can decrease the plasma concentration of sufentanil [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY], resulting in decreased efficacy or onset of a withdrawal syndrome in patients who have developed physical dependence to sufentanil [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
After stopping a CYP3A4 inducer, as the effects of the inducer decline, the sufentanil plasma concentration will increase [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY], which could increase or prolong both the therapeutic effects and adverse reactions, and may cause serious respiratory depression.
Intervention: If concomitant use is necessary, consider an alternate medication that permits dose titration. Monitor for signs of opioid withdrawal. If a CYP3A4 inducer is discontinued, consider less frequent dosing of DSUVIA and monitor for signs of respiratory depression.
Examples: Rifampin, carbamazepine, phenytoin
Benzodiazepines and other Central Nervous System (CNS) Depressants
Clinical Impact: Due to additive pharmacologic effect, the concomitant use of benzodiazepines or CNS depressants, including alcohol, can increase the risk of hypotension, respiratory depression, profound sedation, coma, and death [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Intervention: Reserve concomitant prescribing of these drugs for use in patients for whom alternative treatment options are inadequate. Limit dosages and durations to the minimum required. Follow patients closely for signs of respiratory depression and sedation.
Examples: Alcohol, benzodiazepines and other sedatives/hypnotics, anxiolytics, tranquilizers, muscle relaxants, general anesthetics, antipsychotics, other opioids.
Serotonergic Drugs
Clinical Impact: The concomitant use of opioids with other drugs that affect the serotonergic neurotransmitter system has resulted in serotonin syndrome [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Intervention: If concomitant use is warranted, carefully observe the patient, particularly during treatment initiation and dose adjustment. Discontinue DSUVIA if serotonin syndrome is suspected.
Examples: Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), triptans, 5-HT3 receptor antagonists, drugs that effect the serotonin neurotransmitter system (e.g., mirtazapine, trazodone, tramadol), certain muscle relaxants (e.g., cyclobenzaprine, metaxalone), monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors (those intended to treat psychiatric disorders and also others, such as linezolid and intravenous methylene blue).
Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs)
Clinical Impact: MAOI interactions with opioids may manifest as serotonin syndrome or opioid toxicity (e.g., respiratory depression, coma) [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Intervention: The use of DSUVIA is not recommended for patients taking MAOIs or within 14 days of stopping such treatment.
Examples: phenelzine, tranylcypromine, linezolid
Mixed Agonist/Antagonist and Partial Agonist Opioid Analgesics
Clinical Impact: May reduce the analgesic effect of DSUVIA and/or precipitate withdrawal symptoms.
Intervention: Avoid concomitant use.
Examples: Examples: Butorphanol, nalbuphine, pentazocine, buprenorphine
Muscle Relaxants
Clinical Impact: Sufentanil may enhance the neuromuscular blocking action of skeletal muscle relaxants and produce an increased degree of respiratory depression.
Intervention: otherwise expected and decrease the dosage of the muscle relaxant as necessary or consider discontinuing use of DSUVIA.
Clinical Impact: Opioids can reduce the efficacy of diuretics by inducing the release of antidiuretic hormone.
Intervention: Monitor patients for signs of diminished diuresis and/or effects on blood pressure and increase the dosage of the diuretic as needed.
Anticholinergic Drugs
Clinical Impact: The concomitant use of anticholinergic drugs may increase risk of urinary retention and/or severe constipation, which may lead to paralytic ileus.
Intervention: Monitor patients for signs of urinary retention or reduced gastric motility when DSUVIA is used concomitantly with anticholinergic drugs.

Drug Abuse And Dependence

Controlled Substance

DSUVIA contains sufentanil citrate, a Schedule II controlled opioid agonist that can be abused and may produce drug dependence.


DSUVIA contains sufentanil, a substance with a high potential for abuse similar to other opioids including (fentanyl, morphine, oxycodone, hydromorphone). DSUVIA can be abused and is subject to misuse, addiction, and criminal diversion [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

All patients treated with opioids require careful monitoring for signs of abuse and addiction, since use of opioid analgesic products carries the risk of addiction even under appropriate medical use.

Prescription drug abuse is the intentional non-therapeutic use of a prescription drug, even once, for its rewarding psychological or physiological effects.

Drug addiction is a cluster of behavioral, cognitive, and physiological phenomena that develop after repeated substance use and includes: a strong desire to take the drug, difficulties in controlling its use, persisting in its use despite harmful consequences, a higher priority given to drug use than to other activities and obligations, increased tolerance, and sometimes a physical withdrawal.

“Drug-seeking” behavior is very common in persons with substance use disorders. Drug-seeking tactics include emergency calls or visits near the end of office hours, refusal to undergo appropriate examination, testing, or referral, repeated “loss” of prescriptions, tampering with prescriptions and reluctance to provide prior medical records or contact information for other treating health care provider(s). “Doctor shopping” (visiting multiple prescribers) to obtain additional prescriptions is common among drug abusers and people suffering from untreated addiction. Preoccupation with achieving adequate pain relief can be appropriate behavior in a patient with poor pain control.

Abuse and addiction are separate and distinct from physical dependence and tolerance. Healthcare providers should be aware that addiction may not be accompanied by concurrent tolerance and symptoms of physical dependence in all addicts. In addition, abuse of opioids can occur in the absence of true addiction.

DSUVIA, like other opioids, can be diverted for non-medical use into illicit channels of distribution. Careful record-keeping of prescribing information, including quantity, frequency, and renewal requests, as required by state and federal law, is strongly advised.

Proper assessment of the patient, proper prescribing practices, periodic re-evaluation of therapy, and proper dispensing and storage are appropriate measures that help to limit abuse of opioid drugs.


Both tolerance and physical dependence can develop during chronic opioid therapy. Tolerance is the need for increasing doses of opioids to maintain a defined effect such as analgesia (in the absence of disease progression or other external factors). Tolerance may occur to both the desired and undesired effects of drugs, and may develop at different rates for different effects.

Physical dependence results in withdrawal symptoms after abrupt discontinuation or a significant dosage reduction of a drug. Withdrawal also may be precipitated through the administration of drugs with opioid antagonist activity (e.g., naloxone, nalmefene), mixed agonist/antagonist analgesics (pentazocine, butorphanol, nalbuphine), or partial agonists (buprenorphine). Physical dependence may not occur to a clinically significant degree until after several days to weeks of continued opioid usage.

Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Dsuvia (Sufentanil Sublingual Tablet)


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© Dsuvia Patient Information is supplied by Cerner Multum, Inc. and Dsuvia Consumer information is supplied by First Databank, Inc., used under license and subject to their respective copyrights.

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