Alfentanil Signs, Symptoms and Side Effects

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Misusing and abusing alfentanil can lead to respiratory depression, coma, skeletal muscle weakness, cold and clammy skin, constricted pupils, pulmonary edema, slow heart rate, hypotension, partial or complete airway obstruction, atypical snoring, and death. This medication has a high potential for addiction, so only use this medication under the care of a medical professional.

Alfentanil Signs, Symptoms and Side Effects

Alfentanil is a short-acting opioid anesthetic, which is structurally similar to fentanyl. The difference with alfentanil is that its effects are fast acting and it has about 25% less the strength of fentanyl. Alfentanil is an injectable drug that is used for pain after surgery and as a maintenance drug under general anesthesia.

As with most prescription drugs, alfentanil carries a chance of side effects. Some common side effects include nausea, headache, hypotension, pain on injection site, itching, respiratory depression, sleepiness/dizziness/drowsiness, or vomiting.

Less common, but serious side effects include:

  1. Slow heart rate
  2.  Coughing
  3.  Excitation
  4.  Hypertension
  5.  Laryngospasm/bronchospasm
  6.  Muscle rigidity
  7.  Shivering/feeling of cold
  8.  Fast heart rate
  9.  Urinary retention
  10.  Visual disturbances
  11.  Hiccups

Inform your doctor about any reactions you have while receiving alfentanil so that you and your condition can be properly monitored. This not only ensures your safety and health, but it helps your doctors provide you the best care.

The FDA has classified alfentanil as a Schedule II drug under the Controlled Substance Act. This means that this prescription drug has a high potential for physical or psychological dependence and addiction.

Alfentanil may adversely react with other drugs (prescription and non-prescription), so tell your doctor if you are taking any medications while being treated with alfentanil.

Alfentanil Signs, Symptoms and Side Effects

Long-term effects of alfentanil have not been specifically evaluated as this medication is intended only for short-term use in a hospital setting. Alfentanil is an opioid, though, so if a person is misusing or abusing this medication, the long-term side effects would be similar to those of other opioids.

The longer opioids are used, the higher the chance of physical and psychological addiction and dependence. Also, the long-term effects of compromising your immune system and depressing your respiratory system from opiate use can result in chronic infections, pneumonia, and other medical complications.

Withdrawal symptoms from alfentanil misuse can be severe, so it’s important not to go it alone. Get help. If you feel that you or a loved one is misusing or abusing alfentanil, don’t wait to get help. Go online to or call 24/7 to our toll-free hotline at 855-548-9825 to learn more about the road to recovery. We can help you begin to overcome your addiction today.


Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.