Sufentanil for chronic pain management

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Sufentanil is a highly potent synthetic opioid that is approximately 1000-fold more potent than morphine and up to tenfold more potent than fentanyl. It is most commonly used by anesthesiologists to provide intraoperative analgesia. Although sufentanil is not yet approved for chronic pain management, it is being explored for chronic pain therapy. Owing to its physical properties, high potency, high lipid solubility, high therapeutic index and short duration of action, sufentanil has the potential to provide effective analgesia via multiple routes of administration. The superior pharmacokinetics of sufentanil make it ideal for treatment of breakthrough pain via the sublingual/buccal and nasal routes. Similarly, the transdermal route of sufentanil administration should provide analgesia for a prolonged period. The adverse effects of sufentanil are similar to those of other opioids that are commonly used for chronic pain management (e.g., fentanyl and morphine). Future research is necessary to define the role of sufentanil in the treatment of chronic pain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)791-796
Number of pages6
JournalFuture Neurology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2010


  • cancer pain
  • chronic pain
  • noncancer pain
  • opioids
  • sufentanil

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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