Uses and Side Effects of Remifentanil

Uses and Side Effects of Remifentanil

Remifentanil: An Opioid Medication for Pain Relief

What is Remifentanil?

Remifentanil is an opioid medication used to treat or prevent pain during and after surgery or medical procedures. It may also have other uses not listed in this medication guide.


Misuse of opioid medicine can cause addiction, overdose, or death.

Before Taking Remifentanil

Do not take remifentanil if you are allergic to it. Inform your doctor if you have breathing problems, sleep apnea, a head injury, brain tumor, seizure, gallbladder or pancreas problems, alcoholism or drug addiction, or if you have recently used alcohol, sedatives, tranquilizers, or other opioid medications. Also, inform your doctor if you have taken an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days.

How is Remifentanil Given?

Remifentanil is injected into a vein by a healthcare provider. It is usually given through an infusion connected to a pump that releases the correct dose of the medication to provide continuous pain relief during and after surgery. Your vital signs will be closely monitored during treatment.

What Happens if I Miss a Dose?

In a medical setting, missing a dose is unlikely.

What Happens if I Overdose?

A remifentanil overdose can be fatal. Symptoms include slow breathing and heart rate, severe drowsiness, muscle weakness, cold and clammy skin, pinpoint pupils, and fainting. In a medical setting, an overdose would be treated quickly.

What Should I Avoid After Receiving Remifentanil?

Do not drink alcohol for at least 24 hours after surgery. Avoid driving or hazardous activity until you know how remifentanil affects you.

Remifentanil Side Effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction or if you experience shallow breathing, breathing that stops during sleep, fast or slow heart rate, stiff muscles, low blood pressure, or serotonin syndrome. Serious breathing problems may be more likely in older adults and those with chronic breathing disorders.

What Other Drugs Will Affect Remifentanil?

Many drugs can be dangerous when used with opioid medicine. Inform your doctor if you also use other opioid medicines, benzodiazepine sedatives, sleep medicine, muscle relaxers, or drugs that affect serotonin.

More About Remifentanil

Always keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed. Consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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