Generic Name: nalbuphine (NAL bue feen)
Brand Name: Nubain

What is Nubain (nalbuphine)?

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

Nalbuphine is used to treat moderate to severe pain. It is also used for treating pain just after surgery or childbirth.

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

What is the most important information I should know about Nubain (nalbuphine)?

Before you receive nalbuphine, tell your doctor about all other pain medicines you have recently used. Using nalbuphine may cause unpleasant side effects if you are already using other similar medicines.

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Tell your doctor if you have a history of drug abuse or addiction.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before I receive Nubain (nalbuphine)?

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to nalbuphine.

Your dose needs may be different if you are already using a similar opioid medicine and are tolerant to it. Before you receive nalbuphine, tell your doctor about all other pain medicines you have recently used.

To make sure nalbuphine is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • any type of breathing problem or lung disease;

  • a history of head injury, brain tumor, or seizures;

  • a history of mental illness;

  • a slow heart rate, or if you have recently had a heart attack;

  • a severe infection;

  • urination problems;

  • liver or kidney disease;

  • a blockage in your stomach or intestines; or

  • problems with your gallbladder.

Nalbuphine is more likely to cause breathing problems in older adults and people who are severely ill, malnourished, or otherwise debilitated.

Tell your doctor if you have a history of drug abuse or addiction.

FDA pregnancy category B. Nalbuphine is not expected to harm an unborn baby during early pregnancy. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

Although this medication is sometimes used during labor and delivery, nalbuphine can cause serious side effects in the newborn when the mother has received this medication shortly before childbirth. Effects of nalbuphine in the newborn may include breathing problems, a slow heart rate, a blue-colored appearance, and weak or limp muscles. If you receive this medication during labor and delivery, your caregivers will watch your baby closely for any serious side effects of nalbuphine. These effects can usually be treated quickly in a hospital setting.

Nalbuphine may pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How is nalbuphine given?

Nalbuphine is injected under the skin, into a muscle, or into a vein through an IV. A healthcare provider will give you this injection.

Nalbuphine is usually given every 3 to 6 hours as needed. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results.

Tell your doctor if the medicine seems to stop working as well in relieving your pain.

You may have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms after your treatment ends. Ask your doctor how to avoid withdrawal symptoms when you stop using nalbuphine.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Since nalbuphine is given by a healthcare professional, you are not likely to miss a dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Since this medication is given by a healthcare professional in a medical setting, an overdose is unlikely to occur.

What should I avoid while receiving Nubain (nalbuphine)?

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

Drinking alcohol can increase certain side effects of nalbuphine.

Nubain (nalbuphine) side effects

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.

Tell your caregiver right away if you have:

  • slow heartbeats; or

  • weak or shallow breathing.

Common side effects may include:

  • drowsiness;

  • dizziness, spinning sensation;

  • dry mouth;

  • headache;

  • sweating;

  • cold, clammy skin; or

  • nausea, vomiting.

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.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect Nubain (nalbuphine)?

Using this medicine with other drugs that make you sleepy or slow your breathing can cause dangerous or life-threatening side effects. Tell your doctor if you have recently taken a sleeping pill, other narcotic pain medicine, a muscle relaxer, or medicine for anxiety, depression, or seizures.

Using nalbuphine may cause unpleasant side effects if you are already using other similar medicines. Using narcotic medications together can also increase the side effects of these medications.

Other drugs may interact with nalbuphine, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed here. Tell your doctor about all medicines you use, and those you start or stop using during your treatment with nalbuphine.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about nalbuphine.
  • 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.
  • Disclaimer: 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.

Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 3.01. Revision Date: 2013-12-30, 8:46:17 AM.

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