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Anesthesia & Analgesia:
doi: 10.1213/ANE.0b013e3181c5f069
Patient Safety: Case Report

Intranasal Self-Administration of Remifentanil as the Foray into Opioid Abuse by an Anesthesia Resident

Levine, Adam I. MD; Bryson, Ethan O. MD

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Abstract

Remifentanil is a potent μ-opioid receptor agonist that produces intense analgesia. This anilidopiperidine analog of fentanyl was approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration and became commercially available in the United States in 1997. Because of its unique chemical structure, remifentanil must be reconstituted; it has a rapid onset, and because of ester hydrolysis, it has a rapid rate of degradation. Although remifentanil's package insert warns against the potential for addiction, because of its rapid rate of degradation there was little concern that health care workers would abuse this drug. Herein, we report a case of intranasal remifentanil abuse by an anesthesiology resident.

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