Sufentanil (Molecule of the Month for July 2007)
Sufentanil is a synthetic opioid analgesic drug approximately 5 to 10 times more potent than fentanyl. Sufentanil was discovered at Janssen Pharmaceutica.
The main use of this medication is in operating suites and critical care where pain relief is required for a short period of time. It also offers properties of sedation and this makes it a good analgesic component of anaesthetic regimen during an operation. It is usually administered through an intravenous route. A transdermal sufentanil patch called Transdur-sufentanil is currently in Stage I clinical trials by ENDO pharmaceuticals for the relief of chronic pain, and has the advantage over fentanyl patches such as Duragesic of only needing to be applied once per week.
The drug causes significant respiratory depression and may cause respiratory arrest if given too much too rapidly.
Formal Chemical Name (IUPAC)
Update by Karl Harrison
(Molecule of the Month for July 2007 )