Similar as all other potent opioid agents (fentanyl, alfentanil, remifentanil) sufentanil can induce muscular rigidity when administered intravenously as a bolus injection. This rigidity mostly affects striatal muscles of the trunk  resulting in difficulty of expanding the thoracic aperture and inflation of the lungs . The incidence of rigidity depends upon:
1. The speed of injection. Bolus injection is more likely to induce this phenomenon.
2. The dose of the administered opioid. High doses will induce muscular rigidity.
3. The age of the patient, since rigidity is seldom seen in the younger patient population; it is, however, regularly seen in patients > 65 years of age.
Muscular rigidity is not due to an epileptogenic action of sufentanil, because in the EEG no spike-and-wave activity is present [122, 123].
The following procedures are proposed in order to prevent/terminate the phenomenon of muscular rigidity:
1. Slow injection of the potent opioid over a period of 2 min.
2. A low dose of a competitive muscle relaxant, before opioid administration, as this partially blocks the increase of neuromuscular transmission.
3. The simultaneous administration of sufentanil and a muscle relaxant.
4. Once muscular rigidity has been established it quickly can be reversed by the intravenous administration of a small dose (20-40 mg/70 kg body weight) of succinylcholine .
Was this article helpful?
If you're wanting to learn about drug addiction... Then this may be the most important letter you'll ever read You Are Going To Get A In Depth Look At One Of The Most Noteworthy Guides On Drug Addiction There Is Available On The Market Today. It Doesn't Matter If You Are Just For The First Time Looking For Answers On Drug Addiction, This Guide Will Get You On The Right Track.