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Alfentanil (Molecule of the Month for July 2007)


Alfentanil (trade name) is a parenteral short-acting synthetic opioid analgesic drug, used for anaesthesia in surgery. Alfentanil was discovered at Janssen Pharmaceutica in 1976.

Alfentanil is useful for: short operative analgesia, e.g. outpatient and day surger; enhancement of general anaesthesia; suppression of spontaneous respiration in patients on assisted ventilation; cardiovascular surgery; it disrupts this system relatively little.

The key side effect is that of severe respiratory depression.

Formal Chemical Name (IUPAC)



Picture of Alfentanil

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Alfentanil structure
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Picture of Alfentanil

C21 H32 N6 O3

Update by Karl Harrison
(Molecule of the Month for July 2007 )