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Buprenorphine transdermal (skin patch)

Generic Name: buprenorphine transdermal (skin patch) (BUE pre NOR feen)
Brand Name: Butrans

Medically reviewed on Sep 21, 2018

What is buprenorphine transdermal?

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. buprenorphine transdermal 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.

Important Information

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

MISUSE OF THIS MEDICINE CAN CAUSE ADDICTION, OVERDOSE, OR DEATH. Keep the medication in a place where others cannot get to it.

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.

Before taking this medicine

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.

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.

Do not breast-feed while using buprenorphine. buprenorphine transdermal can pass into breast milk and cause drowsiness, breathing problems, or death in a nursing baby.

How should I use buprenorphine transdermal?

Follow the directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides. Never use buprenorphine in larger amounts, or for longer than prescribed. Tell your doctor if you feel an increased urge to use more of this medicine.

Never share this medicine with another person, especially someone with a history of drug abuse or addiction. MISUSE CAN CAUSE ADDICTION, OVERDOSE, OR DEATH. Keep the medicine in a place where others cannot get to it. Selling or giving away buprenorphine 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.

Read and carefully follow any Instructions for Use provided with your medicine. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you do not understand these instructions.

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.

Never wear more than 1 patch at a time unless your doctor has told you to.

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.

Do not wear 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 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?

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?

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?

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 drink alcohol. Dangerous side effects or death could occur.

Avoid driving or hazardous activity until you know how buprenorphine transdermal will affect you. Dizziness or drowsiness can cause falls, accidents, or severe injuries.

Buprenorphine transdermal side effects

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:

  • weak or shallow breathing, deep sighs, snoring that is new or unusual;

  • chest pain, fast heart rate, seizure (convulsions);

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

  • blisters, swelling, or severe irritation where the patch was worn;

  • adrenal gland problems--nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, dizziness, feeling weak or tired; or

  • liver problems--upper stomach pain, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

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, tiredness; 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 other drugs will affect buprenorphine transdermal?

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 and many other drugs may affect buprenorphine. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible drug interactions are listed here.

Further information

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.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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