Buprenorphine has a risk for abuse and addiction, which can lead to overdose and death. Buprenorphine may also cause severe, possibly fatal, breathing problems. To lower your risk, your doctor should have you use the smallest dose of buprenorphine that works, and use it for the shortest possible time. See also How to Use section for more information about addiction.
The risk for severe breathing problems is higher when you start this medication and after a dose increase, or if you use the wrong dose/strength. Using this medication with alcohol or other drugs that can cause drowsiness or breathing problems may cause very serious side effects, including death. Be sure you know how to use buprenorphine and what other drugs you should avoid taking with it. See also Drug Interactions section. Get medical help right away if any of these very serious side effects occur: slow/shallow breathing, unusual lightheadedness, severe drowsiness/dizziness, difficulty waking up.
Do not chew or swallow the film. Also, do not inject the medication in the film. Chewing or swallowing the film or injecting the buprenorphine in the film may cause a fatal overdose.
Keep this medicine in a safe place to prevent theft, misuse, or abuse. If someone accidentally swallows or uses this drug, get medical help right away.
Before using this medication, women of childbearing age should talk with their doctor(s) about the risks and benefits. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or if you plan to become pregnant. During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. It may slightly increase the risk of birth defects if used during the first two months of pregnancy. Also, using it for a long time or in high doses near the expected delivery date may harm the unborn baby. To lessen the risk, use the smallest effective dose for the shortest possible time. Babies born to mothers who use this drug for a long time may develop severe (possibly fatal) withdrawal symptoms. Tell the doctor right away if you notice any symptoms in your newborn baby such as crying that doesn't stop, slow/shallow breathing, irritability, shaking, vomiting, diarrhea, poor feeding, or difficulty gaining weight.
Buprenorphine is used to help relieve severe ongoing pain. Buprenorphine belongs to a class of drugs known as opioid analgesics. It works in the brain to change how your body feels and responds to pain.Do not use this medication to relieve pain that is mild or that will go away in a few days. This medication is not for occasional ("as needed") use.
How to use Belbuca Film, Medicated
See also Warning section.
Read the Medication Guide provided by your pharmacist before you start using buprenorphine and each time you get a refill. Follow the illustrated directions for the proper use of this medication. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Use this medication on a regular schedule as directed by your doctor, not as needed for sudden (breakthrough) pain. Use this medication in the mouth as directed by your doctor, usually every 12 hours. To reduce your risk of side effects, your doctor may direct you to use this medication every 24 hours when you start this medication and gradually increase to every 12 hours. Follow your doctor's instructions carefully.
Before using, rinse your mouth with water or use your tongue to wet the inside of your cheek. Use the tip of a dry finger to place one film inside your mouth with the yellow side facing against one cheek. Press and hold the film in place for 5 seconds, then remove your finger. The film should stay in place on its own after this. Leave it in place until it is dissolved. Do not move the film with your tongue/finger or drink or eat food until the film has completely dissolved. If your doctor directs you to use more than one film at the same time, do not place one on top of the other. Place one film on each side of your mouth. Do not place the film over open sores or lesions on the inside your cheek.
Do not use the film if it is cut, damaged, or changed in any way.
The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. Do not increase your dose or use this drug more often or for longer than prescribed, because your risk of side effects may increase. Properly stop the medication when so directed.
Before you start using this medication, ask your doctor or pharmacist if you should stop or change how you use your other opioid medication(s). Other pain relievers (such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen) may also be prescribed. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about using buprenorphine safely with other drugs.
Suddenly stopping this medication may cause withdrawal, especially if you have used it for a long time or in high doses. To prevent withdrawal, your doctor may lower your dose slowly. Tell your doctor or pharmacist right away if you have any withdrawal symptoms such as restlessness, mental/mood changes (including anxiety, trouble sleeping, thoughts of suicide), watering eyes, runny nose, nausea, diarrhea, sweating, muscle aches, or sudden changes in behavior.
When this medication is used for a long time, it may not work as well. Talk with your doctor if this medication stops working well.
Though it helps many people, this medication may sometimes cause addiction. This risk may be higher if you have a substance use disorder (such as overuse of or addiction to drugs/alcohol). Use this medication exactly as prescribed to lower the risk of addiction. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details.
Tell your doctor if your pain does not get better or if it gets worse.
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CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.