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Brifentanil

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Brifentanil

Brifentanil (A-3331) is an opioid analgesic that is an analogue of fentanyl and was developed in the early 1990s.[1]

Brifentanil is most similar to highly potent, short-acting fentanyl analogues such as alfentanil. The effects of brifentanil are very similar to those of alfentanil, with strong but short lasting analgesia and sedation, and particularly notable itching and respiratory depression.[2]

Side effects of fentanyl analogues are similar to those of fentanyl, and include itching, nausea and potentially serious respiratory depression which can be life-threatening. The risk of respiratory depression is especially high with potent fentanyl analogues such as alfentanil and brifentanil, and these drugs pose a significant risk of death if used outside of a hospital setting with appropriate artificial breathing apparatus available.

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