What is butrans

Butrans (BYOO-trans) is:

  • A strong prescription pain medicine that contains an opioid (narcotic). It is used to manage pain severe enough to require daily, around-the-clock, long-term treatment with an opioid, when other pain treatments, such as non-opioid pain medicines (e.g., acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or celecoxib) or immediate-release opioid medicines, do not treat your pain well enough, you experience side effects when taking them, or they are deemed otherwise inadequate
  • Only used to treat pain that continues around-the-clock (pain that is constant)

What you should know about Butrans

Butrans is a long-acting (extended-release) opioid pain medicine that can put you at risk for overdose and death. Even if you use your dose correctly as prescribed, you are at risk for opioid addiction, abuse, and misuse that can lead to death.

Do not use Butrans if you:

  • Have severe asthma, trouble breathing, or other lung problems
  • Have a bowel blockage or have narrowing of the stomach or intestines
  • Are allergic to buprenorphine

Each Butrans patch should be worn continuously for 7 days. The medicine in a Butrans patch is absorbed through the skin, and is delivered continuously for 7 days.

Butrans is available in 5 different strengths: 5, 7.5, 10, 15, and 20 mcg/hour patches. These different strengths give your healthcare professional options for finding the right level of medication to help treat your chronic pain.

Butran medicine intake chartButran medicine intake chart

Not shown at actual size.
The maximum Butrans dose is 20 mcg/hour.

Before applying Butrans, tell your healthcare professional if you have a history of head injury or seizures; problems breathing or urinating; liver, kidney, thyroid, pancreas, or gallbladder problems; heart rhythm abnormalities (Long QT Syndrome); abuse of street or prescription drugs; alcohol addiction; or mental health problems.

Tell your healthcare provider if you:

  • Have a fever
  • Are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. Prolonged use of Butrans during pregnancy can cause withdrawal symptoms in your newborn baby that could be life-threatening if not recognized and treated
  • Are breastfeeding. Not recommended during treatment with Butrans. It may harm your baby
  • Are living in a household where there are small children or someone who has abused street or prescription drugs
  • Are taking prescription or over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, or herbal supplements. Taking Butrans with certain other medicines can cause serious side effects

While using Butrans DO NOT:

  • Take hot baths or sunbathe, use hot tubs, saunas, heating pads, electric blankets, heated waterbeds, or tanning lamps. These can cause an overdose that can lead to death
  • Drive or operate heavy machinery, until you know how Butrans affects you. Butrans can make you sleepy, dizzy, or lightheaded
  • Drink alcohol or use prescription or over-the-counter medicines containing alcohol. Using products containing alcohol during treatment with Butrans may cause you to overdose and die

The possible side effects of Butrans are: constipation, nausea, sleepiness, vomiting, tiredness, headache, dizziness, itching, redness or rash where the patch is applied. Call your healthcare provider if you have any of these symptoms and they are severe

Get emergency medical help or call 911 right away if you have: trouble breathing, shortness of breath, fast heartbeat, chest pain, swelling of your face, tongue or throat, extreme drowsiness, light-headedness when changing positions, feeling faint, agitation, high body temperature, trouble walking, stiff muscles, or mental changes such as confusion

If you have any questions or want more details about your treatment with Butrans, be sure to contact the healthcare professional who prescribed Butrans for you, or the pharmacist who filled the prescription

See What to Expect When Starting Treatment.