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  • Butrans Transdermal | Uses, Side Effects, & Warnings Of Buprenorphine Patches

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    Butrans Transdermal | Uses, Side Effects, & Warnings Of Buprenorphine Patches

    Belonging to a class of drugs known as opioid analgesics, a buprenorphine transdermal patch (also known as a Butrans patch) is an opioid medication used for pain management. 

    According to the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), this pain reliever is classified as a Schedule III controlled substance, meaning it has some potential for abuse.

    Uses Of Butrans Transdermal

    To use Butrans, a new patch is applied to the application site on the body, such as the side of the chest or elsewhere on the skin, for a certain period of time for pain relief. A person suffering from chronic pain may require around-the-clock care with the use of Butrans patches.

    Butrans patches are helpful for those suffering from back pain, arthritis, or other conditions. It is offered in the following options according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA):

    • 5 mcg/hour
    • 7.5 mcg/hour
    • 10 mcg/hour
    • 15 mcg/hour
    • 20 mcg/hour

    Depending on the severity of the pain one experiences, your healthcare provider may prescribe a certain dosage for your patches. First aid tape may be used to keep the patch in place.

    Once used, be sure to use the patch-disposal unit or disposal guide provided by your doctor.

    Is Butrans Approved To Treat Opioid Use Disorder?

    Although some buprenorphine products, including Suboxone and Subutex, are approved for treating opioid use disorder, Butrans is not. Butrans is only an option for chronic pain, and using Butrans to address opioid addiction is likely a form of drug abuse.

    Side Effects Of Buprenorphine Patches

    Because of the opioid medication inside the patches, a number of side effects can take place. Serious side effects can also occur when these patches are abused.

    Some of the general side effects a person may experience when they use a Butrans patch may include:

    • nausea
    • sedation
    • vomiting
    • dizziness
    • constipation
    • drowsiness
    • dry mouth
    • itching
    • lightheadedness
    • headache
    • increase in blood pressure

    More serious side effects can take place when a person engages in unsanctioned opioid use such as paralytic ileus, or difficulty digesting food due to the severe constipation.

    Buprenorphine Patch Warnings

    Some warnings of using a buprenorphine patch include those who have had previous head injuries. Notify your doctor of any medical condition you may have, including if you are breastfeeding or pregnant.

    Neonatal withdrawal symptoms can take place if this opioid medication passes to the child through the breast milk of the mother.

    Drug Interactions

    Before combining any medications with Butrans transdermal patches, consult the medication guide and seek the medical advice of your prescribing doctor. Allergic reactions can take place as well as severe side effects including respiratory depression.

    Some of the substances to avoid while using a Butrans transdermal patch include:

    • certain antidepressants such as monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)
    • benzodiazepines
    • supplements or vitamins
    • alcohol
    • other central nervous system (CNS) depressants such as muscle relaxants
    • other opioid medications such as methadone, codeine, tramadol, oxycodone, and fentanyl

    Added Heat

    When heat is added to patches, they can easily be removed from the skin, resulting in a person not receiving their full dosage. Exposure of any heating element must be avoided.

    For instance, if you use a Butrans patch, you should not take a hot bath or spend time in a sauna. Heating pads and electric blankets should be avoided as well.

    Opioid Abuse & Addiction

    Those who take higher doses and abuse the patches, even used patches, may experience more profound feelings of sedation and relaxation.

    This is because buprenorphine is an opioid, which means it has a strong potential for misuse and addiction. Opioid addiction occurs when someone continues to use drugs despite harmful consequences in their life.

    Opioid Overdose

    Those who abuse transdermal patches by cutting them and removing the contents have a high risk of developing a life-threatening opioid overdose due to the high dose taken. 

    However, serious adverse events such as breathing problems can take place. A person may have trouble breathing or develop CNS depression if they’ve taken too much of the drug.

    If you suspect an overdose has taken place, contact 911 and seek medical care immediately. At the hospital, healthcare providers may administer naloxone or methadone for an opioid overdose.

    If you or a loved one live with opioid addiction and need help, please contact one of our healthcare professionals for information on our opioid use disorder treatment options.

    Written by Ark Behavioral Health Editorial Team
    ©2024 Ark National Holdings, LLC. | All Rights Reserved.
    This page does not provide medical advice.
    Article Sources

    Drug Enforcement Administration - Buprenorphine
    Drug Enforcement Administration - Controlled Substance List
    Food and Drug Administration - Butranst
    National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus - Buprenorphine Transdermal Patch

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