Opioids are used for moderate to severe pain relief in hospitals, surgical centers, and emergency departments. Unfortunately, these drugs are also notorious for their high potential for abuse and addiction, so much so that the over-prescription and misuse of these substances have led to a drug epidemic that has taken the lives of millions. Today we’re going to be discussing one opioid in particular, called Dsuvia. Keep reading to learn more about Dsuvia’s side effects and risks.
What Is Dsuvia?
Dsuvia, the brand name for sufentanil, is an opioid antagonist for adults that is administered in medical settings like hospitals and emergency rooms for pain treatment and when other opioids are ineffective. Dsuvia’s potency is five to 10 times stronger than fentanyl and 500 to 1,000 times more powerful than morphine.
Despite the already dire consequences of the opioid epidemic, Dsuvia was recently approved as another opioid medication. It’s argued that the drug would be especially useful for soldiers who can’t obtain intravenous opioids for acute pain management.
It’s also been stressed that sufentanil use would only be available in hospital or emergency room settings rather than prescribed as a tablet that can be misused at home. Additionally, Dr. Pamela Palmer, the maker of Dsuvia, created this drug as a quicker and safer form of pain treatment for people who come to the hospital with emergency injuries or severe pain.1
Rather than IV pain medication or an oral pill that can take up to an hour to kick in, Palmer has mentioned that Dsuvia can manage pain severe enough to require an opioid analgesic and where alternatives are inadequate. She also said that doctors could prevent dosing errors that can otherwise occur when administering liquid formulations of opioids.1
Opioid receptor antagonists like Dsuvia block one or more of the opioid receptors in the central nervous system. Although other opioid antagonists like Naloxone and Naltrexone are used to manage withdrawals and temporarily treat overdose symptoms, Dsuvia medication is used more as a form of pain treatment.
Side Effects of Dsuvia
Like other opioids, Dsuvia side effects include:
Low blood pressure (hypotension)
Slowed or difficulty breathing
Other, more infrequent sufentanil side effects include:
Decreased adrenal gland function
High blood pressure
Increased heart rate
Lung failure or loss of breath
Complete or partial collapse of lung airways (atelectasis)
Apnea (breathing interruption)
Decreased oxygen in blood or tissues
Inability to empty the bladder (trouble urinating)
The recommended Dsuvia or sufentanil dose is 30 mcg (micrograms) sublingually (under the tongue), and there should be at least an hour between doses. The person should not take more than 12 Dsuvia tablets within 24 hours or one day.
Additionally, Dsuvia is only meant to be administered to adults in a medically supervised healthcare setting, such as in hospitals, emergency rooms, or surgical centers. It’s not intended to be used at home or with children.
Dsuvia is also not usually prescribed for more than 72 hours or three days. Although there are no studies on the effects of long-term Dsuvia use, like other opioids, this medication has a high potential for abuse and addiction, so long-term use is not recommended due to its potency.
Moreover, because of Dsuvia’s risk of addiction and abuse, even at recommended doses, Dsuvia use can lead to tolerance and dependence. This drug is only meant to be used in people who cannot tolerate or do not experience relief from other opioid medications.
Treatment for Opioid Addiction
Many people who develop addictions to opioid medications they can no longer legally obtain often turn to more accessible and cheaper alternatives like heroin. The use of heroin and other illicit drugs further increases the risk of addiction and overdose, as well as relationship problems, financial ruin, unemployment, and more.
If you or someone you know is addicted to opioids or any other drug, our Heartland drug rehab can help. We offer medically monitored detox and drug treatment for all kinds of substances, including both prescription and illicit drugs.
While medically supervised detox is designed to treat withdrawals and cravings and to prevent relapse, our inpatient substance abuse treatment in Illinois incorporates a variety of one-on-one and group therapy programs, in which patients can work with our counselors to develop skills for a sober lifestyle. No matter what kind of drug addiction you have or how long you’ve been addicted, our drug rehab in Illinois is here for you.
Alyssa who is the National Director of Digital Marketing, joined the Banyan team in 2016, bringing her five-plus years of experience. She has produced a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. Through strategic marketing campaign concepts, Alyssa has established Banyan as an industry leader and a national household name.