An 11-year-old complains of severe pain after an appendectomy. The physician orders fentanyl, 25 mcg IV, every 2 hours as needed. How soon after administration can the patient expect to feel relief?


• Fentanyl, when administered IV, has a quick onset of 1 minute, a peak of 3 to 5 minutes, and a duration of 30 to 60 minutes.

• Fentanyl (Sublimaze) increases the patient's pain threshold, altering pain reception. Fentanyl is 50 to 100 times as potent (a much smaller dose is required) as morphine with less of hypotensive effects than morphine or meperidine due to minimal or no histamine release.

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