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Sufentanil (By injection)

Treats pain. May be used along with a numbing medicine during surgery or during childbirth.

What works?

Learn more about the effects of these drugs. The most reliable research is summed up for you in our featured article.

Sufentanil injection is used to relieve pain during and after surgery or other medical procedures. It is also used with other medicines just before or during an operation to help the anesthetic work better. Sufentanil belongs to the group of medicines known as narcotic analgesics (pain medicines). It works by acting on the central nervous system (CNS) or brain to relieve pain. This medicine is to… Read more
Brand names include
Drug classes About this
Analgesic, Anesthetic Adjunct

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Sufentanil for Palliative Pain Relief: A Review of the Clinical Effectiveness, Cost-Effectiveness and Guidelines [Internet]

An evaluation of the evidence behind the use of sufentanil in palliative pain relief is warranted given the proposed and observed off-label use in palliative care, and the mention of sufentanil within palliative care guidelines. Further, the relatively high cost of sufentanil necessitates an evaluation of resource implications. This report will review the evidence on clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness, as well as evidence-based guidelines regarding sufentanil for pain relief specifically in the context of palliative care.

Effectiveness and safety of sufentanil-propofol versus remifentanil-propofol during total intravenous anesthesia for neurosurgery: a systematic review

Bibliographic details: Yang TT, Tan YY, Zhang XA.  Effectiveness and safety of sufentanil-propofol versus remifentanil-propofol during total intravenous anesthesia for neurosurgery: a systematic review. Chinese Journal of Evidence-Based Medicine 2013; 13(12): 1492-1499

Sufentanil versus fentanyl for postoperative patient-controlled epidural analgesia: a systematic review

Bibliographic details: Tang YY, Zhang XA, Yang TT, Xu B.  Sufentanil versus fentanyl for postoperative patient-controlled epidural analgesia: a systematic review. Chinese Journal of Evidence-Based Medicine 2012; 12(12): 1489-1496 Available from: http://www.cjebm.org.cn/en/oa/DArticle.aspx?type=view&id=20121210

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Summaries for consumers

Comparison of an upper limb nerve block using local anaesthetic with opioid analgesia for pain relief following major shoulder surgery

Pain following surgical procedures can sometimes increase the incidence of complications in the body. It is important to manage this pain effectively. Major shoulder surgery can cause severe pain. Effectively treating this pain will help reduce complications and will promote early mobilization. A wide range of methods are used to treat pain after major shoulder surgery, including administration of opioid (derived from opium) and non‐opioid pain killers and administration of drugs that produce numbness and hence pain relief in and around the shoulder joint or around the nerves supplying the upper limb. We compared the usefulness of a continuous upper limb nerve block performed by injecting local anaesthetic into the neck close to where the nerves originate (interscalene brachial plexus block—ISBPB group) with the administration of opioid pain killers into a vein, into a muscle or under the skin (any route other than by mouth)—the parenteral opioid group.

Morphine injections for pain relief after knee arthroscopy

Knee arthroscopy is a surgical procedure on the knee. The surgery is minimally invasive, which means that only a small cut (incision) is needed. An examination, and sometimes treatment, of damage is performed using an arthroscope, which is inserted into the joint through the small incision. Knee arthroscopy is used to assess or treat many orthopaedic (musculoskeletal) conditions, and patients may have pain after surgery. Morphine injected directly into the knee (intra‐articular morphine) to relieve pain has been widely studied, but we do not know how well it works.

Opioids for agitation in dementia

Opioids (such as morphine and codeine) are strong painkillers best known as treatments for post‐surgical and cancer pain. They are also used for long‐term painful conditions other than cancer and sometimes for symptoms other than pain. They have a number of important adverse effects and their use involves a balance of risks and benefits.

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