Thursday, May 16, 2013

Norspan Consumer Medicine Information

Norspan is the brand name for the generic drug buprenorphine. It is a semi-synthetic opiate (belonging to the group of opioid analgesic drugs) that is used for the treatment of moderate to severe pain. Norspan comes in the form of a transdermal patch (skin patch) that releases buprenorphine for up to seven days; the buprenorphine is absorbed into the bloodstream through the skin. It takes three days for the supply of buprenorphine to reach a steady state (maximum effect).


The ingredients of a Norspan patch are: buprenorphine (active ingredient), polyethylene terephthalate, povidone, oleyl oleate, levulinic acid, Duro Tak 387-2054 and Duro Tak 387-2051. Norspan is available in the following dosages: Norspan 5 (5mg of buprenorphine), Norspan 10 (10mg of buprenorphine) and Norspan 20 (20mg of buprenorphine). The size of the patch depends on the dosage; the stronger the dosage, the larger the patch.

Directions for Use

Apply the patch to an area of the skin that is easy to reach, like the chest, upper back or upper arm. Apply it to a clean, hairless, dry area of the skin that is free of scars. If you need to clean an area of skin, do so with water only. Do not apply a new patch to the same area of the skin for three to four weeks. Do not use more than one patch at the same time.

Drug Interactions

Norspan may interact with the following to produce adverse effects: alcohol, muscle relaxants, other opioids (like morphine), anitemetic drugs, general anesthetics, and blood thinners (like warfarin). If you use monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)----a type of antidepressant----stop taking them 14 days prior to using Norspan.


Do not use Norspan if you: have breathing problems, are dependent on other opioids (like morphine), or are allergic to any of the ingredients of Norspan. Since Norpsan can cause drowsiness, avoid driving or operating heavy machinery while on the patch. Norspan is not meant to be used by people younger than 18.

Side Effects

Like most other opioids, Norspan also has some side effects, which you may or may not experience. The following are the most common: constipation, dry mouth, nausea, headache, drowsiness, confusion, and itching at the site of the patch.

Some rare side effects of Norspan include: gastrointestinal disorders, loss of appetite, hallucinations, anxiety, swelling, breathlessness, rash at the patch site, cardiovascular problems, and vertigo. Contact your doctor immediately if you experience any of these side effects, especially swelling and chest pain. If you start having trouble with your breathing, remove the patch immediately and visit the emergency room.

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