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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names: Subutex

Generic Name: buprenorphine (oral) (Pronunciation: byoo pre NOR feen)

What is buprenorphine (Subutex)?

Buprenorphine is an opioid pain medication. An opioid is sometimes called a narcotic.

Buprenorphine is used to treat narcotic addiction.

Buprenorphine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Buprenorphine 2 mg-TEV

oval, white, imprinted with b, 798

Buprenorphine 8 mg-TEV

oval, white, imprinted with b, 799

Subutex 8 mg

oval, white, imprinted with B8

What are the possible side effects of buprenorphine (Subutex)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Like other narcotic medicines, buprenorphine can slow your breathing. Death may occur if breathing becomes too weak.

Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • slow or shallow breathing;
  • feeling light-headed, fainting;
  • confusion, unusual thoughts or behavior; or
  • nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Less serious side effects may be more likely to occur, such as:

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is the most important information I should know about buprenorphine (Subutex)?

Using buprenorphine improperly will increase your risk of serious side effects or death. Even if you have used other narcotic medications, you may still have serious side effects from buprenorphine. Follow all dosing instructions carefully.

Like other narcotic medicines, buprenorphine can slow your breathing. Death may occur if breathing becomes too weak.

Never crush a tablet or other pill to mix into a liquid for injecting the drug into your vein. This practice has resulted in death with the misuse of buprenorphine and similar prescription drugs.

Wear a medical alert tag or carry an ID card stating that you take buprenorphine, in case of emergency. Any doctor, dentist, or emergency medical care provider who treats you should know that you are being treated for narcotic addiction.

Avoid drinking alcohol, which can increase some of the side effects of buprenorphine. Using too much of this medicine in addition to drinking alcohol can cause death.

Do not stop using buprenorphine suddenly after long-term use, or you could have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Ask your doctor how to avoid withdrawal symptoms when you stop using buprenorphine. You may need to use less and less before you stop the medication completely.

This medication may impair your thinking or reactions. Avoid driving or operating machinery until you know how buprenorphine will affect you.

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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