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Generic Name: remifentanil (Intravenous route)


Commonly used brand name(s)

In the U.S.


Available Dosage Forms:

Powder for Solution

Therapeutic Class: Analgesic

Chemical Class: Opioid

Uses For Ultiva

Remifentanil is used to relieve pain during and after surgery or other medical procedures. It is also used with other medicines (e.g., isoflurane, propofol, midazolam, thiopental, Diprivan®) just before or during an operation to help the anesthetic work better.

Remifentanil 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.

Remifentanil is to be administered only by or under the immediate supervision of your doctor.

This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription.

Before Using Ultiva

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:


Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.


Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated pediatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of remifentanil in children when given with an anesthetic before or during an operation. However, safety and efficacy have not been established in children for the relief of pain after surgery.


Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of remifentanil in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more sensitive to the effects of remifentanil, which may require an adjustment in the dose for patients receiving remifentanil.

Pregnancy Pregnancy Category Explanation All Trimesters C Animal studies have shown an adverse effect and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women OR no animal studies have been conducted and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women. Breast Feeding

There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.

Interactions with Medicines

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are receiving this medicine, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

Adinazolam Alfentanil Alprazolam Amobarbital Anileridine Aprobarbital Bromazepam Brotizolam Butabarbital Butalbital Carisoprodol Chloral Hydrate Chlordiazepoxide Chlorzoxazone Clobazam Clonazepam Clorazepate Codeine Dantrolene Diazepam Estazolam Ethchlorvynol Fentanyl Flunitrazepam Flurazepam Fospropofol Halazepam Hydrocodone Hydromorphone Ketazolam Levorphanol Lorazepam Lormetazepam Medazepam Meperidine Mephenesin Mephobarbital Meprobamate Metaxalone Methocarbamol Methohexital Midazolam Morphine Morphine Sulfate Liposome Nitrazepam Nordazepam Opium Oxazepam Oxycodone Oxymorphone Pentobarbital Phenobarbital Prazepam Propoxyphene Quazepam Remifentanil Secobarbital Sodium Oxybate Sufentanil Tapentadol Temazepam Thiopental Triazolam Interactions with Food/Tobacco/Alcohol

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Other Medical Problems

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

Bradycardia (slow heartbeat) or Breathing or lung problems (e.g., apnea, respiratory depression) or Heart rhythm problems or Hypotension (low blood pressure)—Use with caution. May make these conditions worse. Fentanyl allergy (e.g., Actiq®, Duragesic®, Sublimaze®), history of—Should not be used in patients with this condition. Proper Use of Ultiva

A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine in a hospital. This medicine is given through a needle placed in one of your veins.

Precautions While Using Ultiva

It is very important that your doctor check your progress closely while you are receiving this medicine to see if it is working properly and to allow for a change in the dose.

This medicine will add to the effects of alcohol and other CNS depressants (medicines that make you drowsy or less alert). Some examples of CNS depressants are antihistamines or medicine for hay fever, other allergies, or colds; sedatives, tranquilizers, or sleeping medicine; prescription pain medicine or narcotics; barbiturates or medicine for seizures; muscle relaxants; or other anesthetics, including some dental anesthetics. Check with your medical doctor or dentist before taking any of the above while you are receiving this medicine.

Check with your doctor right away if you have bluish lips or skin; chest pain; difficulty with breathing; a fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat or pulse; shortness of breath; or muscle stiffness after receiving this medicine.

Dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting may occur with this medicine, especially when you get up from a lying or sitting position suddenly. Getting up slowly may help, but if the problem continues or gets worse, check with your doctor.

This medicine may cause constipation. This is more common if you use it for a long time. Ask your doctor if you should also use a laxative to prevent and treat constipation.

Ultiva Side Effects

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

More common Blurred vision chest pain or discomfort confusion difficult or troubled breathing dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up from a lying or sitting position suddenly irregular, fast or slow, or shallow breathing lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting muscle stiffness or tightness pale or blue lips, fingernails, or skin shortness of breath slow or irregular heartbeat sweating unusual tiredness or weakness Less common Bluish lips or skin chills decrease in cardiac output fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat or pulse feeling of warmth fever headache nausea or vomiting nervousness not breathing pain after surgery pain in the shoulders, arms, jaw, or neck pounding in the ears problems with bleeding or clotting redness of the face, neck, arms, and occasionally, upper chest shivering Rare Abdominal or stomach pain black, tarry stools bleeding gums blood in the urine or stools body aches or pain burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, "pins and needles", or tingling feelings congestion cough or hoarseness cough producing mucus coughing that sometimes produces a pink frothy sputum coughing up blood decreased frequency or amount of urine difficult, fast, or noisy breathing, sometimes with wheezing difficulty with swallowing disorientation dry mouth dryness or soreness of the throat dysphoria eye pain flushed, dry skin fruit-like breath odor general feeling of illness hiccups hives increased blood pressure increased hunger increased menstrual flow or vaginal bleeding increased sweating increased thirst increased urination itching loss of appetite lower back or side pain muscle cramps or pain nervousness noisy breathing nosebleeds numbness or tingling in the hands, feet, or lips painful or difficult urination pale skin paralysis pinpoint red spots on the skin prolonged bleeding from cuts puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue rapid heartbeat red or black, tarry stools red or dark brown urine runny nose seizures shakiness in the legs, arms, hands, or feet skin rash small clicking, bubbling, or rattling sounds in the lungs when listening with a stethoscope stuffy nose swelling in the legs and ankles swelling of the face, fingers, or lower legs tender, swollen glands in the neck tightness in the chest troubled breathing with exertion unexplained weight loss unusual bleeding or bruising voice changes vomiting weakness and heaviness of the legs weight gain

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

Less common Anxiety blurred or loss of vision difficulty having a bowel movement (stool) disturbed color perception double vision halos around lights hyperventilation night blindness overbright appearance of lights pain at the injection site restlessness trouble with sleeping tunnel vision Rare Burning while urinating heartburn hives or welts loss of bladder control loss of memory nightmares problems with memory seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there severe constipation severe vomiting trouble with urinating uncontrolled eye movements

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Ultiva side effects (in more detail)

The information contained in the Thomson Reuters Micromedex products as delivered by Drugs.com is intended as an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatment. It is not a substitute for a medical exam, nor does it replace the need for services provided by medical professionals. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before taking any prescription or over the counter drugs (including any herbal medicines or supplements) or following any treatment or regimen. Only your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist can provide you with advice on what is safe and effective for you.

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More Ultiva resources Ultiva Side Effects (in more detail)Ultiva Use in Pregnancy & BreastfeedingUltiva Drug InteractionsUltiva Support Group0 Reviews for Ultiva - Add your own review/rating Ultiva Prescribing Information (FDA) Ultiva Concise Consumer Information (Cerner Multum) Ultiva Monograph (AHFS DI) Ultiva MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer) Compare Ultiva with other medications Anesthesia


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