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Buprenex Warnings and Precautions

Specific Warnings and Precautions With Buprenex

Some warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to receiving this medication include the following:
  • Buprenex can cause potentially life-threatening slow and irregular breathing (known medically as respiratory depression). Certain people have an increased risk for respiratory depression with Buprenex, including older adults, people who already have breathing difficulties, and people who are taking certain other medications. Signs of respiratory depression may include:
    • Extreme drowsiness
    • Unresponsiveness
    • Infrequent deep sighing breaths
    • Unusual snoring.
  • Because Buprenex only partially activates opioid receptors, it is possible that it may cause withdrawal symptoms to occur if given to people who are already dependent on other opioids.
  • Buprenex is a narcotic medication with a significant potential for abuse. Do not use the drug more frequently or at a higher dosage than prescribed. If you feel you may be developing a problem with Buprenex abuse, please seek help from a healthcare provider.
  • This medication can cause problems in people with head injuries or high intracranial pressure. It should only be used with extreme caution in such circumstances.
  • Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how Buprenex affects you. This medication can make you drowsy. Also, your reflexes and reaction times may be significantly affected, even if you feel fine.
  • This medication should be used with caution in people with low blood pressure, liver disease, kidney disease, gallbladder problems, or pancreatic disease. Check with your healthcare provider before receiving the drug if you have any of these conditions.
  • Do not drink alcohol while using this medication. Consuming alcohol with Buprenex could increase your risk for serious side effects, including extreme drowsiness, confusion, memory loss, or difficulty breathing.
  • Buprenex passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start breastfeeding, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to receiving the drug (see Buprenex and Breastfeeding).
  • Buprenex is a pregnancy Category C medication. This means that it may not be safe for use during pregnancy, although the full risks are currently unknown (see Buprenex and Pregnancy).
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