Remifentanil is a potent ultra-short acting μ-opioid analgesic drug, frequently used in anaesthesia due to its favorable pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic profile. It may be associated with the occurrence of hyperalgesia. Preclinical studies suggest a potential role of microglia, although the molecular mechanisms have not been fully elucidated. Considering the role of microglia in brain inflammation and the relevant differences among species, the effects of remifentanil were studied on the human microglial C20 cells. The drug was tested at clinically relevant concentrations under basal and inflammatory conditions In the C20 cells, the expression and secretion of interleukin 6, interleukin 8 and the monocyte chemotactic protein 1 were rapidly induced by a mixture of pro-inflammatory cytokines. This stimulatory effect was sustained up to 24 h. Remifentanil did not exert any toxic effect nor modify the production of these inflammatory mediators, thus suggesting the lack of direct immune modulatory actions on human microglia.