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Fentanyl: Clinical Utility, Precautions, and Special Populations

Author: Richard "Cole" Daniels, PharmD, BCPS

CE: 2 hours Pharmacology: 2 hours
Rated 4.7 out of 5.0 based on 15030 reviews

Course Summary

Fentanyl is a potent synthetic opioid that is reserved for use in general anesthesia induction/maintenance and severe pain in patients who are opioid-tolerant. Fentanyl and other synthetic opioids are among the most common drugs associated with death secondary to overdose, as fentanyl is approximately 50 and 100 times more potent than heroin and morphine, respectively. With such a narrow therapeutic window, the use of fentanyl is deemed high risk, and early recognition of overdose is essential in practice. Opioid overdose education and distribution of intranasal naloxone to laypersons and law enforcement officers, firefighters, and emergency service personnel are intended to promote recognition of opioid overdose and quick intervention.

Course Format


Course Syllabus

  1. Introduction
  1. Pharmacological Profile, Uses, and Warnings
  1. General Anesthesia Induction/Maintenance
  2. Severe Pain
  1. Special Populations
  1. Geriatric and Pediatric Populations
  2. Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
  3. Hepatic and Renal Impairment
  1. Fentanyl-related Adverse Drug Reactions
  1. Life-Threatening Respiratory Depression
  2. Accidental Exposure
  3. Gastrointestinal
  4. Adrenal Insufficiency
  5. Severe Hypotension
  6. Seizures
  7. Contraindications
  8. Boxed Warning and Drug-Drug Interactions
  9. Opioid Withdrawal
  1. Treatment of Fentanyl Overdose
  1. Trends in Fentanyl Misuse
  1. Case Study: Reversal of Fentanyl Overdose in Misbranded Heroin
  1. Summary


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