Butorphanol is a medication used to treat pain. It can be specifically used to treat migraines, and it’s usually prescribed as a nasal spray. The medicine is also available in an injectable version. Butorphanol can be used as a pain reliever in clinical and hospital settings, such as when a woman is in labor. Butorphanol is both an opioid agonist and antagonist. Butorphanol activates the same receptors as other narcotics like heroin and morphine, but it also blocks the effects of opioids. When someone takes butorphanol and they’ve used another opioid, it can lead to sudden withdrawal symptoms. Butorphanol is a medication viewed as having therapeutic value. However, butorphanol can also lead to misuse, psychological addiction and dependence. When someone’s addicted to butorphanol and they stop using it suddenly, they may experience withdrawal. Common butorphanol withdrawal symptoms can include:
- Body aches
- Nausea and vomiting
- Runny nose
Other more potentially severe butorphanol withdrawal symptoms can include mood changes, hallucinations, dysphoria, confusion and respiratory problems. While butorphanol withdrawal isn’t typically going to be life-threatening, it can be highly uncomfortable. It can be difficult to manage the symptoms, and in rare cases, severe complications may occur.
The specifics of the butorphanol withdrawal timeline can depend on quite a few factors, including how long someone used the drug and the dosage they used. Generally, most people will start to experience butorphanol withdrawal symptoms within a few hours after the last dose was taken. The initial phase of the butorphanol withdrawal timeline can include symptoms that are similar to the flu. For example, during the initial stages of butorphanol withdrawal, someone may experience headache, fever, chills, cramps, aches and pain, and nausea and vomiting. Diarrhea can also occur, as can emotional and psychological symptoms like anxiety or irritability. For most people going through butorphanol withdrawal, symptoms peak within about 48 hours after the last dose is taken.
Anywhere from three to five days after the last dose of butorphanol is used, most people will find that their symptoms of withdrawal start to lessen. Some of the symptoms that may still be occurring can include mild anxiety, cravings, and mild aches or pain. For most people, the symptoms of butorphanol withdrawal should end within a week. However, some symptoms may persist for longer, such as very mild nausea, cravings, anxiety or depression.
For managing symptoms of butorphanol withdrawal, the best option is typically to seek medical advice. Many doctors will have their patients gradually taper their dosage of butorphanol over time, rather than having them stop using it cold turkey. Tapering down the dosage of butorphanol can help reduce or alleviate withdrawal symptoms. Another option for managing symptoms of butorphanol withdrawal is a medical detox. A medical detox provides a structured, monitored environment. This can often be best for someone who has been using butorphanol heavily and for a long time, or who has complicating factors that are part of their detox, such as dependencies on multiple substances.
When people are going through any type of opioid withdrawal, while it might not be deadly, it can be an obstacle to receiving addiction treatment. People who don’t receive the proper care during withdrawal are more likely to experience recurrence of use. It’s also more dangerous to experience recurrence of use following a period without using opioids because a person’s tolerance might have gone down without them realizing it. Certain butorphanol medications can be given by a medical professional. These medications can do everything from helping reduce cravings to treating specific symptoms of narcotic withdrawal that may arise on an individual basis.
If someone does opt for a professional butorphanol detox center, there are some things to think about. There are a lot of different detox programs, but they’re not all the same. Specific considerations include:
- Does the butorphanol center provide round-the-clock medical care and supervision if complications occur?
- How are the symptoms treated? Are medications provided when necessary?
- Is there mental health care as well as physical care?
- Does the program offer dual diagnosis treatment for co-occurring mental health disorders?
- How are polysubstance dependencies treated?
- Is the butorphanol center part of a larger addiction treatment facility or would a patient have to be referred somewhere else after completing detox?
To learn more about The Recovery Village, our medical detox programs and our addiction treatment programs, reach out today. Addiction doesn’t have to be your reality anymore.
The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.