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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)



Picture of Sufentanil 3D model

click on the picture of  Sufentanil above to interact
with the 3D model of the
Sufentanil structure
(this will open a new browser window)

Picture of Sufentanil

C22 H30 N2 O2 S

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

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