Fentanyl Citrate (Page 2 of 8)


Single-Dose Vials:

Fentanyl Citrate Injection, USP, equivalent to 50 mcg (0.05 mg) fentanyl base per mL, is a preservative-free solution, available in 1 mL, 2 mL, 5 mL, 20 mL, 50 mL single-dose glass vials.


Fentanyl Citrate Injection is contraindicated in patients with:

  • Hypersensitivity to fentanyl (e.g., anaphylaxis) [See Adverse Reactions (6)]


5.1 Addiction, Abuse, and Misuse

Fentanyl Citrate Injection contains fentanyl, a Schedule II controlled substance. As an opioid, Fentanyl Citrate

Injection exposes users to the risks of addiction, abuse, and misuse [see Drug Abuse and Dependence (9)].

Opioids are sought by drug users and people with addiction disorders and are subject to criminal diversion. Consider these risks when handling Fentanyl Citrate Injection. Strategies to reduce these risks include proper product storage and control practices for a C-II drug. Contact local state professional licensing board or state controlled substances authority for information on how to prevent and detect abuse or diversion of this product.

5.2 Life-Threatening Respiratory Depression

Serious, life-threatening, or fatal; respiratory depression has been reported with the use of opioids, even when used as recommended. Respiratory depression, if not immediately recognized and treated, may lead to respiratory arrest and death. Adequate facilities should be available for postoperative monitoring and ventilation of patients administered anesthetic doses of Fentanyl Citrate Injection. It is essential that these facilities be fully equipped to handle all degrees of respiratory depression. Management of respiratory depression may include close observation, supportive measures, and use of opioid antagonists, depending on the patient’s clinical status [see Overdosage (10)]. Carbon dioxide (CO2 ) retention from opioid-induced respiratory depression can exacerbate the sedating effects of opioids.

To reduce the risk of respiratory depression, proper dosing and titration of Fentanyl Citrate Injection are essential. As with other potent opioids, the respiratory depressant effect of Fentanyl Citrate Injection may persist longer than the measured analgesic effect. The total dose of all opioid agonists administered should be considered by the practitioner before ordering opioid analgesics during recovery from anesthesia.

Certain forms of conduction anesthesia, such as spinal anesthesia and some peridural anesthetics can alter

respiration by blocking intercostal nerves. Through other mechanisms [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.2)] Fentanyl Citrate Injection can also alter respiration. Therefore, when Fentanyl Citrate Injection is used to supplement these forms of anesthesia, the anesthetist should be familiar with the physiological alterations involved, and be prepared to manage them in the patients selected for these forms of anesthesia.

Patients with significant chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or cor pulmonale, and those with a substantially decreased respiratory reserve, hypoxia, hypercapnia, or pre-existing respiratory depression are at increased risk of decreased respiratory drive including apnea, even at recommended dosages of Fentanyl Citrate Injection . Elderly, cachectic, or debilitated patients may have altered pharmacokinetics or altered clearance compared to younger, healthier patients resulting in greater risk for respiratory depression.

Monitor such patients closely including vital signs, particularly when initiating and titrating Fentanyl Citrate Injection and when Fentanyl Citrate Injection is given concomitantly with other drugs that depress respiration. To reduce the risk of respiratory depression, proper dosing and titration of Fentanyl Citrate Injection are essential [see Dosage and Administration (2.1)].

Opioids can cause sleep-related breathing disorders including central sleep apnea (CSA) and sleep-related hypoxemia. Opioid use increases the risk of CSA in a does-dependent fashion. In patients who present with CSA, consider decreasing the opioid dosage using best practices for opioid taper [see Dosage and Administration (2.1)].

5.3 Risks of Concomitant Use or Discontinuation of Cytochrome P450 3A4 Inhibitors and Inducers

Concomitant use of Fentanyl Citrate Injection with a CYP3A4 inhibitor, such as macrolide antibiotics (e.g., erythromycin), azole-antifungal agents (e.g., ketoconazole), and protease inhibitors (e.g., ritonavir), may increase plasma concentrations of fentanyl and prolong opioid adverse reactions, which may exacerbate respiratory depression [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)] , particularly when an inhibitor is added after a stable dose of Fentanyl Citrate Injection is achieved. Similarly, discontinuation of a CYP3A4 inducer, such as rifampin, carbamazepine, and phenytoin, in Fentanyl Citrate Injection-treated patients may increase fentanyl plasma concentrations and prolong opioid adverse reactions. When using Fentanyl Citrate Injection with CYP3A4 inhibitors or discontinuing CYP3A4 inducers in Fentanyl Citrate Injection-treated patients, monitor patients closely at frequent intervals and consider dosage reduction of Fentanyl Citrate Injection [see Dosage and Administration (2.1), Drug Interactions (7)].

Concomitant use of Fentanyl Citrate Injection with CYP3A4 inducers or discontinuation of a CYP3A4 inhibitor, could result in lower than expected fentanyl plasma concentrations and, decrease efficacy. When using Fentanyl Citrate Injection with CYP3A4 inducers, or discontinuation of a CYP3A4 inhibitors, monitor patients closely at frequent intervals and consider increasing the fentanyl Citrate Injection dosage [see Dosage and Administration (2.1), Drug Interactions (7)].

5.4 Risks from Concomitant Use with Benzodiazepines or Other CNS Depressants

When benzodiazepines or other CNS depressants are used with Fentanyl Citrate Injection, pulmonary arterial pressure may be decreased. This fact should be considered by those who conduct diagnostic and surgical procedures where interpretation of pulmonary arterial pressure measurements might determine final management of the patient. When high dose or anesthetic dosages of Fentanyl Citrate Injection are employed, even relatively small dosages of diazepam may cause cardiovascular depression.

When Fentanyl Citrate Injection is used with CNS depressants, hypotension can occur. If it occurs, consider the possibility of hypovolemia and manage with appropriate parenteral fluid therapy. When operative conditions permit, consider repositioning the patient to improve venous return to the heart. Exercise care in moving and repositioning

of patients because of the possibility of orthostatic hypotension. If volume expansion with fluids plus other countermeasures do not correct hypotension, consider administration of pressor agents other than epinephrine. Epinephrine may paradoxically decrease blood pressure in patients treated with a neuroleptic that blocks alpha adrenergic activity.

Profound sedation, respiratory depression, coma, and death may result from the concomitant use of Fentanyl Citrate Injection with benzodiazepines or other CNS depressants (e.g., nonbenzodiazepine sedatives/hypnotics, anxiolytics, tranquilizers, muscle relaxants, general anesthetics, antipsychotics, other opioids, alcohol). If the decision is made to manage postoperative pain with Fentanyl Citrate Injection concomitantly with a benzodiazepine or other CNS depressant, start dosing with the lowest effective dosage and titrate based on clinical response. Follow patients closely for signs and symptoms of respiratory depression, sedation, and hypotension. Fluids or other measures to counter hypotension should be available [see Drug Interactions (7)].

5.5 Risks of Muscle Rigidity and Skeletal Muscle Movement

Fentanyl Citrate Injection may cause muscle rigidity, particularly involving the muscles of respiration. The incidence and severity of muscle rigidity is dose related. These effects are related to the dose and speed of injection. Skeletal muscle rigidity also has been reported to occur or recur infrequently in the extended postoperative period usually following high dose administration. In addition, skeletal muscle movements of various groups in the extremities, neck, and external eye have been reported during induction of anesthesia with Fentanyl Citrate

Injection; these reported movements have, on rare occasions, been strong enough to pose patient management problems.

These effects are related to the dose and speed of injection and its incidence can be reduced by: 1) administration of up to 1/4 of the full paralyzing dose of a non-depolarizing neuromuscular blocking agent just prior to administration of Fentanyl Citrate Injection; 2) administration of a full paralyzing dose of a neuromuscular blocking agent following loss of eyelash reflex when Fentanyl Citrate Injection is used in anesthetic doses titrated by slow intravenous infusion; or, 3) simultaneous administration of Fentanyl Citrate Injection and a full paralyzing dose of a neuromuscular blocking agent when Fentanyl Citrate Injection is used in rapidly administered anesthetic dosages. The neuromuscular blocking agent used should be compatible with the patient’s cardiovascular status.

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