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Buprenorphine is used to relieve pain, either moderate or severe. It is available as a sublingual tablet, transdermal film, injectable solution, compounding powder or extended-release. This medication should be used as per doctor's direction.
Buprenorphine is also prescribed to individuals facing addiction to narcotic painkillers and heroin addiction. This drug is used as part of an entire treatment plan which may have psychosocial support and counseling. Buprenorphine can cause dependency, so the administration of it should be monitored carefully. When stopping use of buprenorphine, your doctor will help you gradually reduce the dose until you can stop using buprenorphine completely. Below you will find the uses of buprenorphine.
- Opiate Dependence
Buprenorphine is usually administered in a hospital, clinic or doctor's office. The dosage is dependent on the individual and severity of the condition it is being used to treat. The following dosage is an average dose and could differ among individuals. Follow your medical professional's directions for best results.
As this medication is a controlled substance, there is an increased risk for substance abuse and individuals should be monitored carefully. Buprenorphine comes in tablet and injection form. If given as an injection, your doctor will administer and monitor the dosage. Below you will find a typical dosage of buprenorphine.
- Adults: 8 mg once daily sublingually for day 1; 16 mg for day 2 Maintenance, 4 to 24 mg daily with adjustments if needed, an increase or decrease to 2 or 4 mg until withdrawal symptoms of opioid are suppressed and the patient is being held in treatment. Can be combined with naloxone, unless patient has naloxone intolerance.
- Adults and 13 years and older: Initial - 0.3 mg slow IV or deep IM, which may repeat once after half an hour to 2 hours if needed. Maintenance -0.3 mg slow IV or deep IM at up within 6-hour intervals as needed. Maximum dosage is 0.6 mg IM only for adults and 0.3 mg for 13 years and older.
Buprenorphine Side Effects
Buprenorphine has different results varying from one individual to another. Remember that Buprenorphine is prescription medicine and should be taken as required without interruption. A sudden stoppage Buprenorphine medication can cause unwanted effects. Some undesired effects are due to the active ingredients, which may cause an allergic reaction and may at times require urgent medical attention. If you experience any persistent side effects, consult your health provider immediately. Common side effects associated with Buprenorphine include:
- Back pain
- Hoarseness or cough
- Unable or trouble sleeping
Consult with your doctor if you experience any of the following side effects:
- Severe allergic reactions such as itching, hives, and rash
- Breathing difficulty
- Chest tightening
- Swelling of tongue, mouth, lips or face
- Fast or irregular heartbeat
- Dark urine
- Mood or mental changes like depression
- Pale stools
- Redness, swelling or pain in the site of injection
- Unusual weakness
- Vision changes
- Eyes or skin becomes yellow
Like any drug, Buprenorphine may interact with other drugs and medications. In many cases, Buprenorphine should not be combined with other medications unless approved by a physician. Consult with your doctor before taking any new medication. Individuals that have a history of liver or kidney problems, prostate problems, asthma or difficulty breathing, low blood pressure, epilepsy, or myasthenia gravis (muscle weakness) should notify their doctor before taking this medication. Note that this list does not include a variety of over the counter drugs and vitamins that could also counteract and alter Buprenorphine. Below you will find a list of Buprenorphine drug and substance interactions.