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Butrans and Breastfeeding

The manufacturer of Butrans (buprenorphine patch) recommends that women not use this drug while nursing. Because only small amounts of the active ingredient are expected to be passed through breast milk, it is unlikely that a nursing infant would consume large amounts of the drug. However, before using Butrans while breastfeeding, talk to your healthcare provider about the potential risks.

Is Butrans Safe to Use While Breastfeeding?

Butrans® (buprenorphine patch) is a long-acting, prescription narcotic pain medication approved to treat moderate-to-severe chronic pain. This medication passes through breast milk. The manufacturer recommends that women not use Butrans while breastfeeding. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding a child, talk with your healthcare provider before using this medicine.
 

More Information on Breastfeeding and Butrans

Buprenorphine, the active ingredient in Butrans, has been shown to pass through breast milk in small amounts. In addition, buprenorphine is not absorbed well when taken by mouth, which is why it is usually injected, taken as a sublingual "under the tongue" tablet, or used as a patch, so it would be unlikely that a nursing infant would be exposed to large amounts of Butrans through breast milk.
 
If your healthcare provider suggests that you use Butrans while breastfeeding, make sure to watch for any potential problems in your infant, such as:
 
  • Unusual drowsiness
  • Difficulty feeding
  • Slow or irregular breathing.
 

Talking With Your Healthcare Provider

You should discuss breastfeeding and Butrans use with your healthcare provider. Each woman's situation is different, and you and your healthcare provider understand your situation best. After considering what you want and expect, as well as your current health situation, the two of you can make a shared decision that is right for you.
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Butrans Medication Information

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