Generic Name: butorphanol (byoo TORE fa nole)
Brand Names: Stadol, Stadol NS

What is Stadol (butorphanol)?

Butorphanol is in a class of drugs called narcotic analgesics. It relieves pain.

Butorphanol is used to treat moderate-to-severe pain.

Butorphanol may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

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

Avoid alcohol while using butorphanol. Alcohol will greatly increase the drowsiness and dizziness caused by butorphanol and could be dangerous.

Also avoid sleeping pills, tranquilizers, sedatives, and antihistamines except under the supervision of your doctor. These medications also may cause dangerous sedation when taken with butorphanol.

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

Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Butorphanol may cause drowsiness. If you experience drowsiness, avoid these activities.

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

Butorphanol can reverse the effects of other narcotic pain relievers. This medication should be used cautiously if you have been regularly taking other pain relievers.

Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you have

  • kidney disease;

  • liver disease;

  • asthma or another lung condition;

  • heart disease; or

  • a history of drug dependence.

You may not be able to use butorphanol or you may require a lower dose or special monitoring during treatment if you have any of the conditions listed above.

Butorphanol is in the FDA pregnancy category C. This means that it is not known whether butorphanol will harm an unborn baby. Do not use this medication without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant. Butorphanol passes into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use butorphanol without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby. Butorphanol is not recommended for use by children younger than 18 years of age. Butorphanol is more likely to cause side effects in people over 60 years of age. Your doctor may prescribe a lower dose of this medication for you.

How should I use Stadol (butorphanol)?

Use butorphanol exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these directions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.

Never use more of this medication than is prescribed for you. Too much butorphanol could be very harmful.

If you are using butorphanol nasal:

  • Blow your nose before using the nasal spray.

  • Remove the cover from the unit. Prime the pump by pumping the sprayer quickly several (seven to eight) times until a fine spray appears.

  • Insert the spray tip about 1 centimeter (one-third inch) into your nostril and point it towards the back of your nose. Block your other nostril with your finger and tilt your head slightly forward. Breathe in through your nose and spray once. Remove the unit from your nose, tilt your head slightly back, and sniff a few times.

  • Use a second spray in your other nostril if your doctor has prescribed two sprays.

  • Replace the protective clip and clear cover after each use.

Use injectable butorphanol exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand the instructions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.

Store butorphanol at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Since butorphanol is used as needed to relieve pain, missing a dose is not usually a problem. Use the missed dose as soon as you remember, then wait the prescribed amount of time before using another dose. Do not use a double dose of this medication, unless otherwise directed by your doctor.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention if an overdose is suspected.

Symptoms of a butorphanol overdose include slow breathing, seizures, dizziness, weakness, loss of consciousness, coma, confusion, tiredness, cold and clammy skin, and small pupils.

What should I avoid while using Stadol (butorphanol)?

Avoid alcohol while using butorphanol. Alcohol will greatly increase the drowsiness and dizziness caused by butorphanol and could be dangerous.

Also avoid sleeping pills, tranquilizers, sedatives, and antihistamines except under the supervision of your doctor. These medications also may cause dangerous sedation when taken with butorphanol.

Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Butorphanol may cause drowsiness. If you experience drowsiness, avoid these activities.

Stadol (butorphanol) side effects

If you experience any of the following serious side effects, stop using butorphanol and seek emergency medical attention:
  • an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of your throat; swelling of your lips, tongue, or face; or hives);

  • slow, weak breathing;

  • seizures;

  • cold, clammy skin;

  • severe weakness or dizziness; or

  • unconsciousness.

Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue to use butorphanol and talk to your doctor if you experience

  • constipation;

  • dry mouth, nausea, vomiting, or decreased appetite;

  • dizziness, tiredness, or lightheadedness;

  • ringing in your ears;

  • an unpleasant taste;

  • nasal congestion or irritation;

  • insomnia; or

  • headache.

Butorphanol may be habit forming.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect Stadol (butorphanol)?

Butorphanol may increase the effects of other drugs that cause drowsiness, including antidepressants, alcohol, antihistamines, sedatives (used to treat insomnia), other pain relievers, anxiety medicines, and muscle relaxants. Tell your doctor about all medicines that you are taking, and do not take any medicine unless your doctor approves.

Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with butorphanol. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist has additional information about butorphanol written for health professionals that you may read.

What does my medication look like?

Butorphanol is available with a prescription under the brand name Stadol NS Nasal Spray and Stadol. Other brand or generic formulations may also be available. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about this medication, especially if it is new to you.

  • 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 1996-2006 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 4.01. Revision Date: 6/20/05 11:42:39 AM.
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