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Butrans Warnings and Precautions

Specific Warnings and Precautions With Butrans

Some warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to using this skin patch include the following:
 
  • Butrans can cause potentially life-threatening slow and irregular breathing (known medically as respiratory depression). Certain people have an increased risk for respiratory depression with Butrans, 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.
 
  • This medication is intended for transdermal use only, which means it should only be applied to the skin. Do not take it by mouth, chew it, swallow it, or use it in any other way than prescribed. Also, do not use patches that are cut, damaged, or otherwise altered.
 
  • Butrans has been associated with a potentially dangerous change in heart rhythm known as QT prolongation. At a normal Butrans dosage, this is not expected to be a problem. Nonetheless, this medication should be used with caution in people who are already at risk for this problem, including people with low blood potassium, people who have heart problems of any kind, or people taking certain other medications.
 
  • Heat may cause too much of the medication to be released from the patch, increasing the risk of a Butrans overdose. Therefore, you should avoid anything that could heat the skin, including heating pads, electric blankets, hot tubs, saunas, tanning beds, hot baths, and sunbathing. Contact your healthcare provider immediately if you develop a fever or if your body temperature increases from physical exercise.
 
  • Butrans may cause serious problems, including death, if used in children or people for whom the medication was not prescribed. Make sure to store and dispose of the patches properly. If someone you know is accidentally exposed to Butrans, seek immediate medical attention.
 
  • Butrans is a narcotic medication with a significant potential for abuse (see Butrans Abuse). Do not use the drug more frequently or at a higher dose than prescribed. If you feel you may be developing a problem with 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 Butrans 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 using the drug if you have any of these conditions.
 
  • Like other narcotics, Butrans can cause physical dependence, which could lead to withdrawal symptoms if the medication is stopped abruptly. Therefore, do not suddenly stop using Butrans patches. If you no longer need this medication, ask your healthcare provider how to slowly reduce the amount you use to minimize your chance of withdrawal symptoms.
 
  • This product comes with a medication guide that describes the correct way to use it. Make sure to read this guide each time you get your prescription filled.
 
  • Do not drink alcohol while using this medication. Consuming alcohol with Butrans could increase your risk for serious side effects, including extreme drowsiness, confusion, memory loss, or difficulty breathing.
 
  • All narcotic pain medications can cause constipation. If this becomes a problem, ask your healthcare provider about laxatives and stool softener medications that can help prevent or treat constipation.
 
 
  • Butrans passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to using the drug (see Butrans and Breastfeeding).
 
  • Butrans 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 Butrans and Pregnancy).
 
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