Butorphanol Injection (patient information)
About your treatment
Your doctor has ordered butorphanol, an analgesic (painkiller), to relieve your pain. The drug will be injected into a large muscle (such as your buttock or hip) or a vein.
You will probably receive butorphanol every 3 to 4 hours as needed for pain. Your doctor may also order other pain medications to make you more comfortable. This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Your health care provider (doctor, nurse, or pharmacist) may measure the effectiveness and side effects of your treatment using laboratory tests and physical examinations. It is important to keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. The length of treatment depends on how you respond to the medication.
Before administering butorphanol:
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to butorphanol or any other drugs.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, especially antidepressants; medications for cough, cold, or allergies; naloxone (Narcan); naltrexone (ReVia); other pain relievers; sedatives; sleeping pills; tranquilizers; and vitamins.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had breathing difficulties including asthma and other respiratory diseases, liver or kidney disease, severe inflammatory bowel disease, or a history of drug dependence.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking butorphanol, call your doctor.
- if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking butorphanol.
- you should know that this drug may make you drowsy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how butorphanol will affect you.
- remember that alcohol can add to the drowsiness caused by this drug.
Administering your medication
Before you administer butorphanol, look at the solution closely. It should be clear and free of floating material. Observe the solution container to make sure there are no leaks. Do not use the solution if it is discolored, if it contains particles, or if the container leaks. Use a new solution, but show the damaged one to your health care provider.
It is important that you use your medication exactly as directed. Butorphanol can be habit forming. Do not administer it more often or for a longer period than your doctor tells you. Do not change your dosing schedule without talking to your health care provider.
Minor side effects
Butorphanol may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- upset stomach
- dry mouth
- stomach pain
- difficulty sleeping
- itchy skin
- unpleasant taste
- confusion or hallucinations
- unusual weakness
- nervousness, anxiety, or agitation
Severe side effects
If you experience either of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
- difficulty breathing
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online [at http://www.fda.gov/MedWatch/report.htm] or by phone [1-800-332-1088].
Storing your medication
Your health care provider will probably give you a several-day supply of butorphanol at a time and provide you with directions on how to prepare each dose. Store the vials at room temperature.
Store your medication only as directed. Make sure you understand what you need to store your medication properly.
Keep your supplies in a clean, dry place when you are not using them, and keep all medications and supplies out of the reach of children. Your health care provider will tell you how to throw away used needles, syringes, tubing, and containers to avoid accidental injury.
Signs of infection
If you are receiving butorphanol in your vein or under your skin, you need to know the symptoms of a catheter-related infection (an infection where the needle enters your vein or skin). If you experience any of these effects near your intravenous catheter, tell your health care provider as soon as possible:
- Stadol® NS®