We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Sufentanil?

By M. Haskins
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGEEK is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGEEK, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Sufentanil is the generic name for a drug known by the brand name Sufenta, and it is a manufactured, or synthetic, opioid, made to mimic natural opioid drugs like morphine and codeine. Like the natural opioids, sufentanil is an analgesic drug, meaning it relieves pain, and it works by affecting the brain and the nervous system. This drug is administered either intravenously, meaning it is injected into a vein, or by epidural, meaning it is injected into the spinal canal. It is commonly used together with other drugs, for example midazolam, to provide general anesthesia during surgery or as part of the anesthesia drugs delivered by epidural during labor and delivery. Sufentanil is a powerful drug that can cause serious side effects, and should only be used when prescribed by a doctor, administered by properly trained medical staff, and in a location where adequate care can be provided, such as a medical clinic or hospital.

Analgesic opioid drugs, like sufentanil and remifentanil, another synthetic opioid, are used to relieve pain. The word analgesic is derived from Greek, and can be loosely translated as "without pain." Opioid drugs, whether natural or synthetic, provide pain relief by affecting the brain and nervous system, changing how a person perceives and tolerates pain and resulting in a decreased sensation of pain. This is different than anesthetic drugs, like lidocaine, that actually eliminate sensation for a period of time.

One advantage of this drug over some other analgesics is that it is fast-acting, often beginning to work almost immediately after being administered. Depending on how it is administered, sufentanil is five to ten times stronger than fentanyl, another commonly used synthetic opioid. Sufentanil is also eliminated from the body faster than fentanyl, leading to faster wakeup and recovery after anesthesia. When administered by epidural, the effects of this drug usually wear off within two hours.

Common side effects of this drug include dry mouth, nausea, vomiting, constipation, and anxiety, but these side effects are usually not serious. Some patients experience severe side effects, including hallucinations, seizures, hives, and breathing problems. One should notify a doctor or other medical staff immediately if experiencing such symptoms, because they can be fatal. Sufentanil should always be administered in a setting where vital signs can be monitored and where there is access to proper resources, such as oxygen and intubation and resuscitation equipment. Caution should be exercised when using sufentanil to treat patients with certain medical conditions, for example decreased lung capacity, kidney problems, or head injuries.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

WiseGEEK, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGEEK, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.