Intra-nasal (IN) Fentanyl
Frequently Asked Questions
Why am I getting this handout?
Your child is in pain and needs treatment right away. We believe the Intra-nasal Fentanyl is the
best way to take away severe pain in children. It is the quickest and least painful way without a
What are the ways to give pain medicine?
ξ Nose spray - the quickest and most effective without a needle stick.
ξ IV - effective, but it is painful and scary to children.
ξ By mouth - takes too long to go into effect (up to 30 minutes).
What is Fentanyl?
Fentanyl is a strong pain medicine. It works in 5 to 10 minutes. This medicine is often used in
IV form to reduce moderate to severe pain.
How is this medicine
We use a device called an
atomizer, as shown.
How soon will it take effect?
Within 5 to 10 minutes.
Are there any side effects?
No serious problems have been reported. When the medicine is given, your child may have
Mild irritation of the nose causing brief gagging or coughing
May become sleepy
How long will the effects of this medicine last?
The effects will last 30 to 45 minutes.
What should I do after the medicine is given?
You should not let your child walk or wander around; watch for falling.
Tell one of the ED staff if your child
Has breathing problems
Is not acting right
Still has pain 15 minutes after the medicine was given
Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you
have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This
is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each
person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using
this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright ©1/2016. University of Wisconsin Hospitals
and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#7233