Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Butrans Unwanted Effects

BuTrans is an adhesive patch containing buprenorphine which is an analgesic pain killer. It is a strong pain killer, being related to morphine. It is used in the treatment of severe pain in patients with terminal conditions such as cancer. The patch may be worn for seven days at a time and is made to last through bathing, swimming and showering, but it should not be exposed to excessive heat. Since BuTrans contains such a powerful drug, the patch is to be worn exactly as the doctor orders and the patient should not wear more than two at a time or cut or divide the patch in any way. Side effects can range from mild to severe depending on the patient's tolerance to opiates.

Side Effects

Common side effects of BuTrans treatment are redness and itching at the patch application site, headache, dizziness, sleepiness, nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, abdominal pain, indigestion, dry mouth, fatigue, loss of appetite, confusion, depression, insomnia or trouble sleeping, anxiety, sensations of "pins and needles" along the nerves, fluid retention, rash, sweating, hot flashes, shortness of breath, difficult passing urine, trouble concentrating, vision problems or hallucinations. This is not a complete list of all side effects, so make sure you keep track of any other side effects you experience so you can discuss them with your doctor.

Drug Interactions

As with all medications, BuTrans is not compatible with every drug you may be taking. Interactions with some medications may result in lowered blood pressure, increased drowsiness and confussion, and shallow breathing. The drugs that are responsible for such side effects when mixed with BuTrans include alcohol, antipsychotics, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, opioid painkillers, sedatives, sleeping medications and tricyclic antidepressants. Ketoconazole, an anti-fungual medicine, is responsible for increasing the level of BuTrans in the blood. BuTrans should also not be combined with or taken within a two week period following ingestion of MAOIs. Herbal medications may also cause similar side effects and you should be sure to provide your doctor a complete list of every drug you are taking.


While BuTrans is used in patients exhibiting severe pain, it should not be used by people suffering from acute pain, people addicted to opiates, people detoxing from narcotics or opiate addictions, people with breathing problems or chronic shallow breathers, people with abnormal muscle weakness such as seen in myasthenia gravis, anyone with an addiction to alcohol and anyone that exhibits serious impairment from overuse of alcohol such as alcohol-induced psychosis, people who have taken MAOIs in the last 14 days or women who are pregnant or breast-feeding.

Cautioned Uses

BuTrans should be used cautiously in people exhibiting certain disorders as it may result in dangerous physical, mental or behavioral changes. BuTrans should be used with caution in people with decreased liver function, alcohol intoxication, a history of drug abuse, convulsive disorders should as epilepsy, people with head injuries, people with increased pressure in the brain (intracranial pressure), people with low levels of consciousness, people in shock or people with breathing problems such as asthma, slow breathing or shallow breathing.


As long as a patient complies with his doctor's instructions, does not overdose on BuTrans or use it incorrectly, treatment should go smoothly and BuTrans should provide continuous pain relief. Patients should also be careful of side effects they may exhibit and should be conscious of the way they dispose of their used BuTrans patches which may still contain opiate medications. They should be cut and wrapped in tin foil to ensure a child or adult cannot reapply the patch and experience possibly fatal effects. As long as the medication is used responsibly, patients can experience almost complete pain relief.

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