Generic Name: butorphanol (injection) (byoo TOR fa nole)
Brand Name: Stadol

What is butorphanol?

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

Butorphanol is used to treat moderate to severe pain. It is also used as part of anesthesia for surgery, or during early labor (if childbirth is expected to be more than 4 hours away).

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

What is the most important information I should know about butorphanol?

You should not use butorphanol if you have recently used narcotic medications and have become dependent on them.

Butorphanol can slow or stop your breathing. Never use this medicine in larger amounts, or for longer than prescribed. Butorphanol may also be habit-forming, even at regular doses. Never share this medicine with another person, especially someone with a history of drug abuse or addiction. Keep the medicine in a place where others cannot get to it.

Slideshow: 2014 Update: First Time Brand-to-Generic Switches

MISUSE OF NARCOTIC MEDICINE CAN CAUSE ADDICTION, OVERDOSE, OR DEATH, especially in a child or other person using the medicine without a prescription.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using butorphanol?

You should not use butorphanol if you are allergic to it, or if you have recently used narcotic medications and have become dependent on them.

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

  • any type of breathing problem or lung disease;

  • liver or kidney disease;

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

  • heart disease, high blood pressure, recent heart attack; or

  • a history of drug abuse, alcohol addiction, or mental illness.

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether butorphanol will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using butorphanol.

Butorphanol is sometimes used during early labor, but using it just before childbirth can cause breathing problems in a newborn.

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

Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this medication.

How should I use butorphanol?

Butorphanol is injected into a muscle or into a vein through an IV. You may be shown how to use injections at home. Do not self-inject this medicine if you do not fully understand how to give the injection and properly dispose of used needles, IV tubing, and other items used to inject the medicine.

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

Butorphanol 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 butorphanol is against the law.

Use a disposable needle only once. Throw away used needles in a puncture-proof container (ask your pharmacist where you can get one and how to dispose of it). Keep this container out of the reach of children and pets.

Do not stop using butorphanol suddenly after long-term use, or you could have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Ask your doctor how to avoid withdrawal symptoms when you stop using butorphanol.

Store butorphanol at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Since butorphanol is used for pain, you are not likely to miss a dose. Skip any missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

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

What should I avoid while using butorphanol?

Do not drink alcohol. Dangerous side effects or death can occur when alcohol is combined with butorphanol.

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

Butorphanol side effects

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

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • weak or shallow breathing;

  • pounding, or uneven heartbeats;

  • problems with urination;

  • tremors;

  • confusion, feeling like you are floating;

  • a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out; or

  • dangerously high blood pressure (severe headache, blurred vision, ringing in your ears, anxiety, confusion, chest pain, trouble breathing, seizure).

Common side effects include:

  • constipation, nausea, vomiting;

  • drowsiness, dizziness;

  • dry mouth; or

  • warmth or redness under the skin.

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 butorphanol?

Taking this medicine with other drugs that make you sleepy or slow your breathing can cause dangerous or life-threatening side effects. Ask your doctor before taking butorphanol with a sleeping pill, narcotic pain medicine, muscle relaxer, or medicine for anxiety, depression, or seizures.

Other drugs may interact with butorphanol, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about butorphanol injection.
  • 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: 9.04. Revision Date: 2014-01-29, 2:56:48 PM.

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