Butorphanol has a risk for abuse and addiction, which can lead to overdose and death. Butorphanol may also cause severe, possibly fatal, breathing problems. To lower your risk, your doctor should have you use the smallest dose of butorphanol 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. Also, other medications can affect the removal of butorphanol from your body, which may affect how butorphanol works. Be sure you know how to use butorphanol 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.
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.
This medication is used to treat moderate to severe pain, including pain from surgery, muscle pain, and migraine headaches. Butorphanol is an opioid pain reliever similar to morphine. It acts on certain centers in the brain to give you pain relief.Butorphanol can also block the effects of opioids and can cause withdrawal symptoms in people dependent on opioids. If possible, people who have recently used opioids in high doses or for a long time should not use butorphanol. (See also Side Effects section.
How to use Butorphanol Tartrate Spray, Non-Aerosol
Read the Medication Guide and the Patient Information Leaflet provided by your pharmacist before you start using butorphanol and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
This medication is a nasal spray. Have your doctor or pharmacist show the proper way to use the nasal spray. For best results, blow your nose gently before using. Follow the patient instruction leaflet for priming the pump before first use. If the spray has not been used in 48 hours, you may need to prime the pump again before use.
Use 1 spray in 1 nostril or as directed by your doctor. If you still have pain after 60-90 minutes, your doctor may direct you to use a second spray in the other nostril. If needed, butorphanol may be used again in 3-4 hours after the second spray or as directed by your doctor. Some people will need 2 sprays (1 in each nostril) at the same time. In this case, they should remain lying down because there is a higher risk of drowsiness and dizziness with this higher dose. Follow your doctor's directions carefully.
The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to therapy. Do not increase the dose or use it more often than directed by your doctor. Pain medications work best if they are used as the first signs of pain occur. If you wait until the pain has worsened, the medication may not work as well.
This drug can cause a drop in blood pressure, especially within the first hour after use. This can cause dizziness, lightheadedness, and fainting. To lower this risk, remain sitting or lying down after using this medication.
If you have nausea, ask your doctor or pharmacist about ways to decrease it (such as lying down for 1 to 2 hours with as little head movement as possible).
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.
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.
When used for an extended period, this medication may not work as well and may require different dosing. Talk with your doctor if this medication stops working well.
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.