Remifentanil is a morphine-like substance administered through an IV line in the arm which is attached to a pump. With a push button, you can control the amount of remifentanil you get through the drip. The pump is adjusted so that you can never administer too much to yourself.

Advantages of remifentanil

  • Remifentanil works quickly, often within a few minutes.
  • Remifentanil numbs the pain about as well as pethidine.
  • After delivery, remifentanil disappears fairly quickly from the bloodstream.

Disadvantages of remifentanil

  • Remifentanil may influence your breathing and the amount of oxygen in your blood. Therefore, when using this drug, you and your baby must be constantly and carefully monitored.

  • Remifentanil numbs the pain less well than an epidural.

  • You cannot walk around anymore. Because of the drowsiness you could fall.

The effect of remifentanil on breastfeeding has not yet been properly studied.