Response to recent news reports regarding fentanyl

Published: 02/08/2017

The Royal College of Anaesthetists (RCoA) and The Faculty of Pain Medicine (FPM) are concerned with misinformation included in recent news reports regarding the drug fentanyl.

The recreational use of fentanyl, often mixed with other illicit drugs, is a serious concern and we support all efforts to eliminate the misuse of this drug outside of a clinical setting.

However, we want to reassure patients of the safety of fentanyl when prescribed by their doctor or administered by an anaesthetist in a hospital.

Fentanyl is a unique and highly effective medication which is well-established in the management of complex pain problems.  Fentanyl is also commonly used in anaesthetising patients undergoing a surgical procedure and in intensive care.  Patients who have been prescribed fentanyl to manage pain or who are about to undergo surgery have no reason to be concerned.

Any person who has questions about a fentanyl prescription should speak to their doctor.

Any member of the public looking to learn more about opioids, including fentanyl, can visit our patient information site.