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Buprenorphine (byoo pre NOR feen)

Adult Medication

Brand Names: U.S.

Buprenex; Butrans

Brand Names: Canada

Butrans

Warning

All products:

  • This drug may be habit-forming with long-term use.
  • Misuse or abuse of this drug can lead to overdose and death.
  • You will be watched closely to make sure you do not misuse, abuse, or become addicted to this drug.
  • Do not take more than what your doctor told you to take. Taking more than you are told may raise your chance of very bad side effects.
  • Using this drug for a long time during pregnancy may cause the unborn baby to become addicted. This can lead to withdrawal in the newborn baby. This can be life-threatening. Talk with the doctor.

Patch:

  • This drug may cause very bad and sometimes deadly breathing problems. Call your doctor right away if you have slow, shallow, or trouble breathing.
  • The chance of very bad and sometimes deadly breathing problems may be greater when you first start this drug or anytime your dose is raised. Talk with your doctor.
  • Misuse or abuse of this drug by placing it in the mouth or chewing, swallowing, injecting, or snorting it can lead to overdose and death.
  • Even one dose of this drug may be deadly if it is taken by accident. Children are at higher risk. If this drug is taken by accident, get medical help right away.
  • Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.

What is this drug used for?

Shot:

  • It is used to ease pain.
Under the tongue (sublingual) tablet:
  • It is used to treat drug addiction and withdrawal.

Patch:

  • It is used to ease very bad pain.
  • It is only to be used when around-the-clock (continuous) care is needed for a long time. It is also only to be used when other pain drugs do not treat your pain well enough or you cannot take them.

All products:

  • It may be given to you for other reasons. Talk with the doctor.

What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take this drug?

All products:

  • If you have an allergy to buprenorphine or any other part of this drug.
  • If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.

Patch:

  • If you have any of these health problems: Very bad lung problems like asthma or trouble breathing, high levels of carbon dioxide in the blood, or stomach or bowel block or narrowing.
  • If you or a family member have a long QT on ECG.
  • If you are taking any of these drugs: Certain drugs to treat a heartbeat that is not normal like amiodarone, disopyramide, dofetilide, procainamide, quinidine, or sotalol.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with this drug.
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take this drug with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while I take this drug?

All products:

  • Tell dentists, surgeons, and other doctors that you use this drug.
  • Avoid driving and doing other tasks or actions that call for you to be alert until you see how this drug affects you.
  • To lower the chance of feeling dizzy or passing out, rise slowly over a few minutes when sitting or lying down. Be careful climbing stairs.
  • Have your blood work checked often. Talk with your doctor.
  • Do not stop taking this drug all of a sudden without calling your doctor. You may have a greater risk of signs of withdrawal. If you need to stop this drug, you will want to slowly stop it as ordered by your doctor.
  • Talk with your doctor before you use other drugs and natural products that slow your actions.
  • Avoid beer, wine, or mixed drinks.
  • Do not take this drug with other strong pain drugs or if you are using a pain patch without talking to your doctor first.
  • If you drink grapefruit juice or eat grapefruit often, talk with your doctor.
  • Keep away from children. Accidental exposure may cause death. If a child takes this drug by accident, get medical help right away.
  • If you are 65 or older, use this drug with care. You could have more side effects.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using this drug while you are pregnant.
  • Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about any risks to your baby.
Under the tongue (sublingual) tablet:
  • Do not give to a child younger than 16 years of age.

Patch:

  • Avoid use of heat sources (such as sunlamps, tanning beds, heating pads, electric blankets, heat lamps, saunas, hot tubs, heated waterbeds). Avoid long, hot baths or sunbathing. Your temperature may rise and cause too much drug to pass into your body.
  • If the patch comes off your skin and sticks to the skin of another person, remove it, wash the area, and get medical help right away.
  • Do not give to a child younger than 18 years of age.
Shot and patch:
  • This drug may cause withdrawal symptoms if you are dependent or addicted to narcotics. Talk with your doctor.
  • If you have been taking this drug for a long time or at high doses, it may not work as well and you may need higher doses to get the same effect. This is known as tolerance. Call your doctor if this drug stops working well. Do not take more than ordered.

What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:

All products:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Signs of liver problems like dark urine, feeling tired, not hungry, upset stomach or stomach pain, light-colored stools, throwing up, or yellow skin or eyes.
  • Trouble breathing, slow breathing, or shallow breathing.
  • Very bad dizziness or passing out.
  • Too much sweat.
  • Fast or slow heartbeat.
  • A heartbeat that does not feel normal.
  • Change in thinking clearly and with logic.
  • Very hard stools (constipation).
  • Feeling very tired or weak.
  • Feeling nervous and excitable.
  • Fever or chills.
  • Sore throat.
  • Change in balance.
  • Mood changes.
  • Very bad belly pain.
  • Extra muscle action or slow movement.
  • Slurred speech.
  • Swelling in the arms or legs.
  • Change in eyesight.
  • A burning, numbness, or tingling feeling that is not normal.
  • Trouble speaking.
  • Chest pain or pressure.
  • Trouble passing urine.
  • Hallucinations.
  • Muscle or joint pain.
  • Memory problems or loss.
  • Seizures.
  • Very bad headache.
  • Shakiness.
  • Feeling very sleepy.

Shot:

  • Irritation where the shot is given.

Patch:

  • Very bad skin irritation.

What are some other side effects of this drug?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:

All products:

  • Hard stools (constipation).
  • Dizziness.
  • Feeling sleepy.
  • Upset stomach or throwing up.
  • Belly pain.
  • Feeling tired or weak.
  • Headache.

Patch:

  • Skin irritation.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to your national health agency.

How is this drug best taken?

Use this drug as ordered by your doctor. Read and follow the dosing on the label closely.

All products:

  • To gain the most benefit, do not miss doses.
  • Take this drug at the same time of day.

Shot:

  • It is given as a shot.
  • Your doctor may teach you how to give the shot.
  • Follow how to give closely if you or a family member is giving the shot at home.
  • Do not use if the solution is cloudy, leaking, or has particles.
  • Do not use if solution changes color.
  • Throw away needles in a needle/sharp disposal box. When the box is full, follow all local rules for getting rid of it. Talk with a doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
Under the tongue (sublingual) tablet:
  • Do not chew or swallow.
  • Place tablet under your tongue and let melt.
  • Do not eat, drink, smoke, or talk while this drug is melting.
  • Take by mouth only. Very bad and sometimes deadly side effects may happen if this drug is injected.

Patch:

  • Do not use patches that are cut or do not look right.
  • If you or anyone else touches the gel, wash the skin with lots of water. Do not use soap.
  • Wash your hands before and after use.
  • Take off old patch first.
  • Put patch on clean, dry, healthy skin on the upper arm, upper back, upper chest, or side of the chest.
  • Clip hair at site before putting patch on. Do not shave.
  • Put the patch in a new area each time you change the patch.
  • Do not put a new patch on the same skin area as an old patch for at least 21 days.
  • If the patch falls off, put a new one on.
  • If the patch loosens, put tape ONLY on the edges of the patch to hold it in place.
  • Do not cover the patch with other bandages or tape. If the patch does not stick well, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
  • Do not use for fast pain relief or on an as needed basis.
  • Do not use for pain relief after surgery if you have not been taking drugs like this drug.

What do I do if I miss a dose?

Oral and shot:

  • Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
  • If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.

Patch:

  • Put on a missed patch as soon as you think about it after taking off the old one.

All products:

  • Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.

How do I store and/or throw out this drug?

Oral/skin patch:

  • Store at room temperature.
  • Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.

Patch:

  • Store patches in pouch until ready for use.
  • After you take off a skin patch, be sure to fold the sticky sides of the patch to each other.
  • Follow the info that comes with this drug for throwing out patches that are used or not needed. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about how to throw out this drug.

Shot:

  • Most of the time, this drug will be given in a hospital or doctor’s office. If stored at home, follow how to store as you were told by the doctor.

All products:

  • Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to throw out unused drugs.

General drug facts

  • If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
  • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else’s drugs.
  • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
  • Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
  • Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. If you have any questions about this drug, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. You must talk with the healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

Copyright

Copyright © 2014 Clinical Drug Information, LLC and Lexi-Comp, Inc.