Brand Name: Actiq, Duragesic, Sublimaze, Fentora, Onsolis, etc.
Generic Name: Fentanyl

About fentanyl

Nowdays, there are several pain relieving medications collectively called as painkillers. Most of them are over the counter drugs so you don’t need to consult doctor for that. But many times when you have severe pain or chronic pain (severe or chronic headache, pain due to trauma or surgery, cancers and different others) those over the counter drugs are not enough to suppress your pain. 

So doctors prescribe some strong medication to relieve your pain. Those medications can be opoids which are narcotic medications for pain. One of the drugs that belongs to opoid family is fentanyl.

What is fentanyl?

Fentanyl is a powerful  drug which is used during severe pain as a pain reliever.It belongs to opoid group which is also called narcotics. Fentanyl is very potent drug than others pain killer drugs. Fentanyl is more stronger than morphine. so, it is used in case of severe pain which is unbearable. It is also used as anaesthesia (to numb sensation) during surgery.

Fentanyl was first discovered by dr.Paul Janssen in the year 1959. 

In the year 1960, it  was adopted clinically as an intravenous anaesthetics. It was sold under brand name Sublimaze.  Soon after sublimaze,  different analogues  i.e. Sufentanyl, Afentanyl, Rofentanyl and  Ranifentanyl  were discovered. 

In mid 1990, transdermal patches were developed. It  was used clinically for chronic pain. Following the popularity of intravenous injections and patches, other forms (tablets, spray, lozenges) were made available.

Fentanyl was approved by FDA in the year 1968.

How is fentanyl used?

There are different forms of fentanyl available under different brand names. Each different forms has different way of administration. Some of the available forms of fentanyl are:

  • Intravenous (injections into veins)
  • Intramuscular (injections into muscles)
  • Oral (tablets and lozenges)
  • Nasal Spray
  • Inhalers
  • fentanyl patch

Fentanyl is not over the counter drug as it is very powerful and should  be used with cautions if misuse can be life threatning.

It can only be used under doctors consultation. The route of administration should only be prescribed by doctor.

How does fentanyl work?

Fentanyl is an opiod drug. It works by binding with opoid receptors which are highly concentrated in brain and spinal cord. It  decrease the pain and emotional response towards pain producing state of relaxation.