Buprenex is a prescription pain reliever approved to treat moderate-to-severe pain. The drug works by binding to opioid receptors throughout the body and producing numerous effects, including pain relief and sedation. This medicine comes in the form of an injection, which is either given in the muscle or administered intravenously (by IV). Side effects may include drowsiness, nausea, and dizziness.
What Is Buprenex?Buprenex® (buprenorphine injection) is an opioid narcotic used to treat moderate-to-severe pain. It is given by injection into a muscle (intramuscular injection) or by intravenous infusion (by IV).
Buprenex is a Schedule III controlled substance, which means there are strict laws and regulations controlling its use. Schedule III medications, such as Buprenex, are considered to have less potential for abuse, compared with Schedule II medications like morphine or oxycodone.
How Does Buprenex Work?Buprenex contains buprenorphine, an opioid narcotic medication. Buprenorphine binds to a specific type of opioid receptor, called the opioid mu-receptor. Opioid mu-receptors are located throughout the body. While the main effects of buprenorphine occur in the central nervous system, buprenorphine can produce effects anywhere opioid mu-receptors are found.
Some of these effects, such as pain relief, are desirable. Other effects are undesirable and cause the side effects associated with Buprenex use. Effects of buprenorphine may include but are not limited to:
- Pain relief
- Changes in mood, including feelings of unease (dysphoria) or unusually pleasant feelings (euphoria)
- Cough suppression
- Slowed or shallow breathing
- Slowing of the digestive tract
- Physical dependence.
Interestingly, buprenorphine is a partial (not full) agonist of mu-receptors. This means that it binds to the receptors, but only partially activates the receptors. This usually translates to less chance of abuse, although this is not always the case.