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Talwin Lactate

Generic Name: pentazocine (pen TAZ oh seen)
Brand Name:

Medically reviewed on December 12, 2017

What is Talwin Lactate (pentazocine)?

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

Pentazocine is used to treat moderate to severe pain. It is also used as part of anesthesia for surgery.

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

What is the most important information I should know about Talwin Lactate (pentazocine)?

Follow all directions on your medicine label and package. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all your medical conditions, allergies, and all medicines you use.

What should I discuss with my health care provider before using Talwin Lactate (pentazocine)?

You should not use pentazocine if you are allergic to it.

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

  • any type of breathing problem or lung disease;

  • asthma or sulfite allergy;

  • a history of head injury, brain tumor, or mental illness;

  • a history of alcoholism or drug addiction (pentazocine may be habit-forming);

  • a seizure disorder;

  • high blood pressure, heart disease, history of recent heart attack;

  • liver or kidney disease; or

  • gallbladder disease.

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

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

It is not known whether pentazocine passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

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

How is pentazocine given?

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

This medicine is usually given as a single dose.

You may have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms if you stop using pentazocine suddenly after long-term use. If you receive more than a single dose, ask your doctor how to avoid withdrawal symptoms when you stop using pentazocine.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Since pentazocine is used when needed and 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 using Talwin Lactate (pentazocine)?

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

Pentazocine 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.

Talwin Lactate (pentazocine) 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.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • pain, burning, irritation, or skin changes where the injection was given;

  • confusion, hallucinations;

  • weak or shallow breathing;

  • painful or difficult urination; or

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

Common side effects may include:

  • headache, dizziness, drowsiness;

  • anxiety, feelings of extreme happiness;

  • constipation; or

  • dry mouth, blurred vision, ringing in your ears.

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 Talwin Lactate (pentazocine)?

Using this medicine with other drugs that make you sleepy or slow your breathing can worsen these effects. Ask your doctor before taking a sleeping pill, narcotic pain medicine, muscle relaxer, or medicine for anxiety, depression, or seizures.

Other drugs may interact with pentazocine, 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.

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.