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Study Reveals Fentanyl’s Effects on the Brain

By September 9, 2022No Comments

Fentanyl is used to supplement sedation and to relieve severe pain during and after surgery, but it’s also one of the deadliest drugs of the opioid epidemic.

In research conducted by investigators at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and published in PNAS Nexus, tests of the brain’s electrical activity revealed fentanyl’s effects over time and indicated that the drug stops people’s breathing before other noticeable changes and before they lose consciousness.

In the study, electroencephalogram (EEG) tests were run for 25 patients undergoing general anesthesia for surgeries lasting two hours or more. The researchers discovered that certain EEG patterns were associated with respiration, sedation and loss of consciousness.