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buprenorphine transdermal (skin patch) (Butrans)

Brand Names: Butrans

Generic Name: buprenorphine transdermal (skin patch)

What is buprenorphine transdermal (Butrans)?

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

The buprenorphine skin patch is for around-the-clock treatment of moderate to severe chronic pain that is not controlled by other medicines. This medicine is not for use on an as-needed basis for pain.

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

What are the possible side effects of buprenorphine transdermal (Butrans)?

Get emergency medical help if you have 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.

Stop using buprenorphine and call your doctor at once if you have:

Seek medical attention right away if you have symptoms of serotonin syndrome, such as: agitation, hallucinations, fever, sweating, shivering, fast heart rate, muscle stiffness, twitching, loss of coordination, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.

Serious side effects may be more likely in older adults and those who are overweight, malnourished, or debilitated.

Long-term use of opioid medication may affect fertility (ability to have children) in men or women. It is not known whether opioid effects on fertility are permanent.

Common side effects may include:

  • constipation, nausea, vomiting;
  • headache, dizziness, drowsiness, feeling tired; or
  • redness, itching, or rash where the patch was worn.

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 transdermal (Butrans)?

You should not use this medicine if you have severe asthma or breathing problems, or a blockage in your stomach or intestines.

Buprenorphine can slow or stop your breathing, and may be habit-forming. MISUSE OF NARCOTIC MEDICINE CAN CAUSE ADDICTION, OVERDOSE, OR DEATH, especially in a child or other person using the medicine without a prescription.

Using this medicine during pregnancy may cause life-threatening withdrawal symptoms in the newborn.

Fatal side effects can occur if you use this medicine with alcohol, or with other drugs that cause drowsiness or slow your breathing.

What should I discuss with my health care provider before using buprenorphine transdermal (Butrans)?

You should not use buprenorphine if you are allergic to it, or if you have:

  • a severe breathing problem; or
  • a blockage in your stomach or intestines.

To make sure buprenorphine is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:

If you use buprenorphine while you are pregnant, your baby could become dependent on the drug. This can cause life-threatening withdrawal symptoms in the baby after it is born. Babies born dependent on habit-forming medicine may need medical treatment for several weeks. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

Buprenorphine can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are using buprenorphine.

How should I use buprenorphine transdermal (Butrans)?

Follow all directions on your prescription label. Buprenorphine can slow or stop your breathing. Never use buprenorphine in larger amounts, or for longer than prescribed. Tell your doctor if the medicine seems to stop working as well in relieving your pain.

Buprenorphine may be habit-forming, even at regular doses. Never share this medicine with another person, especially someone with a history of drug abuse or addiction. MISUSE OF NARCOTIC MEDICINE CAN CAUSE ADDICTION, OVERDOSE, OR DEATH, especially in a child or other person using the medicine without a prescription. Selling or giving away buprenorphine transdermal is against the law.

The skin patch is for use only on the skin. Do not allow the medicine to come into contact with your eyes, nose, mouth, or lips.

Keep both used and unused patches out of the reach of children or pets. Even the amount of buprenorphine in a used skin patch could be fatal to a child or pet who accidentally sucks or chews on the patch. Seek emergency medical attention if this happens.

Use only clear water (not soap or other chemicals) to wash the skin before you apply a patch.

Apply the patch to clean, dry skin on the chest, back, side, or outer side of your upper arm. Wear the patch around the clock for 7 days. Never wear more than 1 patch at a time unless your doctor has told you to. Remove and replace the patch after 7 days. Apply the new patch to a different skin area on the chest, back, side, or upper arm.

If the sticky side of a skin patch comes into contact with your hands, wash the skin with clear water and seek medical care at once. Do not use a buprenorphine transdermal skin patch if it has been cut or damaged.

Avoid sources of heat while wearing the patch. Tell your doctor if you have a fever. Do not use a heating pad or electric blanket, tanning bed or sauna. Do not sit in hot water, sunbathe, or raise your body temperature with vigorous activity. Heat can increase the amount of drug you absorb through your skin and may cause an overdose or death.

Do not stop using this medicine suddenly after long-term use, or you could have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Ask your doctor how to safely stop using buprenorphine.

Store the patches at room temperature. Keep each patch in its foil pouch until you are ready to use it. Keep track of how many skin patches have been used from each new package. Buprenorphine is a drug of abuse and you should be aware if anyone is using your medicine improperly or without a prescription.

After removing a skin patch: fold it in half firmly with the sticky side in, and flush the patch down the toilet or use the Patch-Disposal Unit provided with this medication. Do not place a used skin patch into a trash can.

Do not keep leftover opioid medication. Just one dose can cause death in someone using this medicine accidentally or improperly. Ask your pharmacist where to locate a drug take-back disposal program. If there is no take-back program, dispose of any unused skin patches in the same folded manner. Do not flush the foil pouch or patch liners; place them in a trash container out of the reach of children and pets.

What happens if I miss a dose (Butrans)?

If you forget to change a patch on your scheduled day, remove the patch and apply a new one as soon as you remember. Do not wear extra patches to make up a missed dose.

What happens if I overdose (Butrans)?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. A buprenorphine overdose can be fatal, especially in a child or other person using the medicine without a prescription. Overdose symptoms may include severe drowsiness, muscle weakness, cold and clammy skin, pinpoint pupils, a weak pulse, very slow breathing, or coma.

Buprenorphine transdermal can cause death in a child who gets a hold of a skin patch and places it in the mouth or on the skin.

What should I avoid while using buprenorphine transdermal (Butrans)?

Avoid wearing a skin patch on a part of your body where a child could reach or remove the patch from your skin. Avoid allowing children to watch you put on a skin patch. Never tell a child that the buprenorphine skin patch is a "bandage."

Do not drink alcohol. Dangerous side effects or death could occur.

This medication may impair your thinking or reactions. Avoid driving or operating machinery until you know how buprenorphine will affect you. Dizziness or severe drowsiness can cause falls or other accidents.

What other drugs will affect buprenorphine transdermal (Butrans)?

Narcotic (opioid) medication can interact with many other drugs and cause dangerous side effects or death. Be sure your doctor knows if you also use:

This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with buprenorphine, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.

Where can I get more information (Butrans)?

Your pharmacist can provide more information about buprenorphine.


Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

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