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Related terms
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    Related terms
    • Brand Names: U.S.: Buprenex®;Butrans®
    • Brand Names: Canada: Buprenex®;Subutex®

    • It is used to ease pain.
    • It is used to treat drug addiction and withdrawal.
    • Buprenorphine binds to parts of the brain to lower the need for pain drugs and help with withdrawal signs.
    • It lowers the feeling of pain and how one reacts to pain.


    How to take

    • Do not take this drug with other strong pain drugs or if you are using a pain patch without talking to your doctor first.
    • Shot:
    • It is given as a shot.
    • Follow how to give closely if you or a family member is giving the shot at home.
    • Throw away needles in a needle/sharp disposal box and take the box back to your doctor when it is full.
    • Oral:
    • Sublingual tablet: Place under your tongue and let melt.
    • Patch:
    • Do not use patches that are cut or do not look right.
    • If you or anyone else touches the gel, wash the skin with lots of water. Do not use soap.
    • Wash your hands before and after use.
    • You may bathe, shower, or swim for short periods after putting on the patch. Cover the patch with plastic wrap and tape to help keep it in place.
    • Take off old patch first.
    • Put patch on clean, dry, healthy skin on the chest, back, or arm.
    • Clip hair at site before putting patch on. Do not shave.
    • Move the patch site with each patch.
    • If the patch falls off, put a new one on.
    • If the patch loosens, put tape over it to hold it in place.
    • Keep a pain diary.

    Missed Dose

    • Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
    • If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.


    • Store at room temperature.
    • Protect tablets from water. Do not store in a bathroom or kitchen.
    • Patch:
    • After you take off a skin patch, be sure to fold the sticky sides of the patch to each other.
    • Throw away unused patches when they are no longer needed. Take them from the pouch, take off liner, and fold in half.
    • Throw away any unused drug by flushing down a toilet or sink.
    • You may also use packet that comes with this drug to throw away used patches the right way.
    • In Canada, take any unused drugs to the pharmacy. Also, visit to learn about the right way to get rid of unused drugs.



    • Sometimes drugs are not safe when you take them with certain other drugs. Taking them together can cause bad side effects. This is one of those drugs. Be sure to talk to your doctor about all the drugs you take.
    • Please read the medication guide.
    • Tablet:
    • Subutex® is only used to treat drug addiction.
    • Patch:
    • You will be watched closely to make sure you do not misuse, abuse, or become addicted to this drug.
    • This drug may cause trouble breathing. Call your doctor right away if you have slow breathing, shallow breathing, or trouble breathing.
    • Only use to treat lasting, long-term pain that cannot be helped by other drugs. Do not use for mild pain or pain that comes and goes. Keep the patch away from children. Do not use a cut patch or one that does not look right. Keep the patch away from heat. Do not use more than one 20 mcg/hour patch.


    • Do not give the tablets to a child younger than 16 years of age.
    • Do not give the patch to a child younger than 18 years of age.
    • If you have an allergy to buprenorphine or any other part of this drug.
    • Tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs. Make sure to tell about the allergy and what signs you had. This includes telling about rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
    • If you are breast-feeding.
    • Patch:
    • If you have any of these health problems: Asthma, bowel block, or very bad lung disease.


    • All products:
    • This drug may be habit-forming with long-term use.
    • If you have gallbladder disease, talk with your doctor.
    • If you have kidney disease, talk with your doctor.
    • If you have liver disease, talk with your doctor.
    • If you have lung disease, talk with your doctor.
    • If you have mental illness, talk with your doctor.
    • If you have prostate disease, talk with your doctor.
    • If you have thyroid disease, talk with your doctor.
    • Check all drugs you are taking with your doctor. This drug may not mix well with some other drugs.
    • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
    • Avoid drugs and natural products that slow your actions. These include sedatives, tranquilizers, drugs for mood, antihistamines, and other pain drugs.
    • Avoid beer, wine, or mixed drinks.
    • Avoid grapefruit and grapefruit juice.
    • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant.
    • Oral:
    • Wear disease medical alert ID (identification).
    • Patch:
    • Avoid use of heat sources (such as sunlamps, tanning beds, heating pads, electric blankets, heat lamps, saunas, hot tubs, heated waterbeds). Avoid long, hot baths or sunbathing. Your temperature may rise and cause too much drug to pass into your body.

    Side Effects

    • Feeling lightheaded, sleepy, having blurred eyesight, or a change in thinking clearly. Avoid driving and doing other tasks or actions that call for you to be alert or have clear eyesight until you see how this drug affects you.
    • Feeling dizzy. Rise slowly over a few minutes when sitting or lying down. Be careful climbing.
    • Headache.
    • Upset stomach or throwing up. Many small meals, good mouth care, sucking hard, sugar-free candy, or chewing sugar-free gum may help.
    • Hard stools (constipation). Drinking more liquids, working out, or adding fiber to your diet may help. Talk with your doctor about a stool softener or laxative.

    Contact a healthcare provider

    • If you think there was an overdose, call your local poison control center or ER right away.
    • Signs of a very bad reaction to the drug. These include wheezing; chest tightness; fever; itching; bad cough; blue or gray skin color; seizures; or swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat.
    • Very bad dizziness or passing out.
    • Trouble breathing.
    • Too much sweat.
    • A fast heartbeat.
    • Poor pain control.
    • Change in thinking clearly and with logic.
    • Very upset stomach or throwing up.
    • Very hard stools (constipation).
    • Very loose stools (diarrhea).
    • Dark urine or yellow skin or eyes.
    • Feeling very tired or weak.
    • Any rash.
    • Side effect or health problem is not better or you are feeling worse.

    General Statements

    • If you have a very bad allergy, wear an allergy ID at all times.
    • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
    • Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
    • Most drugs may be thrown away in household trash after mixing with coffee grounds or kitty litter and sealing in a plastic bag.
    • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
    • Call your doctor for help with any side effects. If in the U.S., you may also call the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or if in Canada, you may also call Health Canada's Vigilance Program at 1-866-234-2345.
    • Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including OTC, natural products, or vitamins.

    Author information
    • Copyright © 1978-2013 Lexi-Comp Inc. All rights reserved.

    Copyright © 2011 Natural Standard (

    The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.

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