High alert medication
Controlled and targeted substance
Synthetic opioid analgesic
ACP: Moderate to severe pain
ACP: Adjunct for awake intubation
CCP: Adjunct for rapid sequence intubation
Consider reducing doses by half in patients > 65 years of age
If pain is insufficiently relieved after a total of 1-3 mcg/kg, consider use of ketamine
CliniCall consultation required prior to administration of higher doses.
NB: If vascular access is unavailable, the preferred route of administration for fentaNYL is intranasal – intramuscular absorption rates are inconsistent in children.
FentaNYL is preferred for pain management over ketamine or methoxyflurane
Inhibits ascending pain pathways in the central nervous system, altering pain perception by binding to opiate receptors, producing analgesia and euphoria.
Provide airway management and ventilatory support. Consider the use of naloxone to reverse opioid intoxication. Naloxone should be used judiciously in patients on long-term opioid therapy to avoid precipitating acute withdrawal syndrome.
See Naloxone guideline.
FentaNYL is a potent opioid analgesic and carries the risk of respiratory depression whenever it is used.
Some evidence exists that suggests fentaNYL may be heat sensitive, losing some potency after 4+ weeks of storage at temperatures consistently above 40°C. Degraded medication is unlikely to be harmful to patients, but may not carry the same clinical effects, thus requiring higher doses.
Concomitant use of benzodiazepines or other central nervous system depressants can lead to significant sedation and respiratory depression.