What Is Butrans?
Butrans is the brand name for the skin patch form of buprenorphine. Butrans is a medication prescribed to patients experiencing severe, prolonged pain due to chronic conditions such as arthritis and back pain. It is specifically classified as an opioid analgesic, which means it is effective due to its ability to change how the brain and body experience pain.
- Dry mouth
- Itching or redness at the application site
Notify your doctor if these side effects worsen or last a long time.
More serious side effects of Butrans use are uncommon, but they can be important to be aware of in case you need to identify them. Serious Butrans side effects are:
- Difficulty urinating
- Swelling or blistering at the patch application site
- Unusual tiredness
- Weight loss
Talk to your doctor as soon as possible if these signs become noticeable.
Very severe side effects of Butrans should be taken seriously. Seek medical attention promptly if you notice any of the following after taking Butrans:
- Slow or shallow breathing
- Severe drowsiness
- Difficulty waking up
- Fast or irregular heartbeat
- Severe dizziness
How Is Butrans Used?
The Butrans patch should only be applied as directed by your doctor and never for sudden pain. Talk to your doctor if you are interested in taking Butrans and are already taking an opioid medication.
The Butrans patch should be applied to clean, clear skin. Butrans should not be applied to burns, cuts, irritated skin or skin exposed to radiation. The best area to use Butrans is on a dry, non-hairy area such as a flat part of your body like your upper chest, sides of the chest, upper back or upper outer arms. If hair is on the skin, clip it rather than shave it. Shaving the hair will cause skin irritation.
The patch should typically be changed once every seven days. Rotate the patch application to different areas to avoid irritation.
Some patients may develop a psychological addiction to Butrans even if they take the medication as directed by their doctor. Those addicted to Butrans will begin to exhibit signs, such as becoming obsessed with finding and taking Butrans and losing interest in the hobbies and activities they once enjoyed. Get help as soon as possible if you notice these addiction signs in yourself or someone you love.
Side Effects of Butrans Addiction
While Butrans is less potent and less addictive than other opioids, the potential for abuse and serious short and long-term side effects still exists.
Short-Term Side Effects
Signs of addiction and misuse of Butrans include flu-like symptoms. Examples are profuse sweating, headaches, mood swings, nausea and difficulty sleeping. Overdose from Butrans is less likely than other opioids but is still possible and can be fatal.
Long-Term Side Effects
Butrans has not been studied extensively for its long-term effects. However, scientists believe the long-term effects of Butrans may be similar to those of other opioids. Some possible long-term side effects of opioids include chronic constipation, sleep-disordered breathing, heart attack, falls, fractures, hormonal problems, sexual dysfunction and immunosuppression.
The Butrans patch is not meant to treat sudden flares of intense pain. If you are experiencing sudden, severe pain, contact your doctor or go to the emergency room. Do not try to increase your dose of Butrans to get relief from sudden pain. This could lead to an overdose.
Overdose from Butrans patches can also occur if you accidentally misuse the patch. For example, you could overdose if you forget to remove a patch and apply a new one. It is important to follow your doctor’s instructions carefully when using Butrans.
If someone overdoses on Butrans, they may experience the following symptoms:
- Feeling weak and limp
- Intense drowsiness
- Cold and clammy skin
- Slowed breathing
- Slow heartbeat
- Vomiting or gurgling sounds
- Inability to wake up
If you see someone exhibiting these symptoms, it is important to call 911 immediately and give naloxone if it’s available. An overdose can be fatal, so getting help as soon as possible is important.
Butrans Withdrawal and Detox
If you abruptly stop taking Butrans, you may experience withdrawal symptoms similar to those of opioid withdrawal. These symptoms can include:
- Agitation: You may feel restless, irritable and on edge.
- Anxiety: You may feel anxious, worried and panicky.
- Nervousness: You may feel jittery, shaky and on edge.
- Insomnia: You may have trouble sleeping.
- Hyperkinesia: You may have increased muscle twitching.
- Tremors: You may have shaking in your hands or body.
- Gastrointestinal disorders: You may experience nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or constipation.
To avoid Butrans withdrawal symptoms, talking to your doctor about gradually lowering your dose over time is important. Stopping Butrans treatment cold turkey is never recommended, as this can result in severe withdrawal symptoms.
Butrans Withdrawal Timeline
In most cases, Butrans withdrawal symptoms appear within two days after you have stopped taking the medication and may last up to two weeks. However, the timeline of Butrans withdrawal can vary from person to person. This is because the speed at which Butrans is removed from the body depends on several factors:
- Your individual physiology: Some people metabolize medications faster than others. This means that the time Butrans remains in your system may be shorter or longer than average.
- How long you have been taking the medication: The longer you have been taking Butrans, the longer it may take for your body to adjust to not having the medication.
- Your dosage levels: The higher your dosage levels, the longer it may take your body to adjust to not having the medication.
If you have trouble managing Butrans withdrawal symptoms, consider seeking a medically assisted detoxification program. In this program, patients have access to medical professionals who can help them cope with their individual withdrawal challenges. Do not be afraid to ask for help during this crucial time. All patients experience Butrans withdrawal differently, and the most important part of detoxification is completing it safely.
Treatment for Butrans Addiction
If you or someone you love is seeking to recover from substance use disorder, The Recovery Village has several treatment options to suit your needs. The first step in treatment is to medically detox from the medication safely. This step is the same regardless of whether you choose inpatient or outpatient Butrans rehab. Once the Butrans is out of your system, you can participate in individual and group counseling and recreational therapy activities at The Recovery Village.
Inpatient Butrans Rehab
Inpatient Butrans rehab is a program that allows patients with substance use disorder to live on campus at one of The Recovery Village’s designated inpatient centers. This type of program benefits patients experiencing severe Butrans addiction or those who would have trouble recovering while living at home.
While in the inpatient Butrans program, patients receive around-the-clock care from medical professionals who are experts in Butrans addiction. These professionals teach patients how to cope with their individual Butrans addiction challenges, such as withdrawal symptoms, cravings and triggers.
Outpatient Butrans Rehab
Once the inpatient Butrans rehab program is completed, patients will transition to the outpatient Butrans rehab treatment program. During this time, patients live at home while they come to The Recovery Village to attend scheduled treatment appointments.
Outpatient Butrans rehab is a good option for patients who have completed the inpatient program and are ready to continue their recovery in a less structured setting. It also benefits patients with less severe or mild Butrans addiction who may not need the full care an inpatient program provides.
Outpatient Butrans rehab typically involves individual and group therapy sessions and medication-assisted treatment (MAT). Patients may also participate in recreational therapy activities like yoga, meditation or art activities.
Patients stay in outpatient Butrans rehab for different amounts of time, depending on their needs. Some patients may only need to attend treatment for a few weeks, while others may stay in the program for several months.
The Importance of Aftercare
When patients recover from Butrans or any other substance use disorder, there is always a risk of recurrence of use. To avoid this risk, find an aftercare program to support you with continued therapy options. Continued therapy will help patients put the right foot forward in their journey to a substance-free life.
How Long Does Butrans Stay In Your System?
How long Butrans remains in your system after removing your last patch can vary depending on several factors, including your metabolism and the patch dosage.
The half-life of a medication is the time it takes for the effectiveness of the medication to be cut in half. In the case of Butrans, the half-life is 10–24 hours. This means it takes 10–24 hours for the amount of Butrans in your system to be reduced by half. Because it takes five half-lives for a medication to leave your system, in general, Butrans will stay in your system for 50–120 hours.
Some factors that can affect the amount of time Butrans remains in your system include:
- Your individual metabolism: Some people metabolize medications faster than others. This means the time Butrans remains in your system may be shorter or longer than average.
- The dosage of the patch: The higher the patch dosage, the longer it will take your system to eliminate Butrans.
- Other medications you are taking: Some medications can interact with Butrans and affect how it is metabolized. If you are taking other medications, be sure to talk to your doctor about how they may impact how long Butrans remains in your system.
Mixing Butrans and Alcohol
Butrans is a medication often prescribed to help people with withdrawal symptoms. However, it is important to note that Butrans is also a painkiller that produces the same effects as opiates like morphine. This means combining Butrans with alcohol can be very dangerous.
Both Butrans and alcohol are CNS depressants, which slow down the central nervous system. When these two substances are combined, the effects can be amplified, leading to many serious side effects, including overdose.
If someone drinks alcohol while wearing a Butrans patch, the potential for an overdose greatly increases. This is because Butrans already slows down the heart rate, and if an overdose occurs, breathing can become shallow, often leading to respiratory depression. By adding alcohol, a person’s cognitive functions will be impaired, heart rate can become dangerously slow and breathing may stop.
It is important to avoid drinking alcohol while taking Butrans. If you are considering alcohol, you should talk to your doctor first. They can help you assess the risks and determine if it is safe for you to drink alcohol while taking Butrans.
Help for Butrans Addiction
If you or someone you love is suffering from substance use disorder, professional assistance is available. Do not hesitate to seek the help you need. The Recovery Village has many resources and programs for patients looking to regain control over substance use disorder. To learn more about these lifesaving treatment options, contact The Recovery Village or call 24-hour to our toll-free hotline at 855-548-9825 to learn more about all the programs and resources our facility offers.
Common side effects of Butrans include nausea, vomiting, constipation, lightheadedness, dizziness, drowsiness, dry mouth, headache, irritation, itching or redness at the application site. Notify your doctor if these side effects get worse or last a long time.
Serious Butrans side effects are agitation, confusion, hallucinations, difficulty urinating, swelling or blistering at the patch application site, unusual tiredness, and weight loss. Talk to your doctor as soon as possible if these signs become noticeable.
The Butrans patch should only be applied as directed by your doctor and never for sudden pain.
The Butrans patch should be applied to clean, clear skin. Butrans should not be applied to burns, cuts, irritated skin, or skin that has been exposed to radiation. The best area to apply Butrans is on a dry, non-hairy area such as a flat part of your body like your upper chest, sides of the chest, upper back or upper outer arms. If there is hair on the skin, clip the hair rather than shaving it. Shaving the hair will cause skin irritation.
The patch should typically be changed once every seven days. Rotate the patch application to different areas to avoid irritation.
Some patients may develop a psychological addiction to Butrans even if they take the medication as directed by their doctor. Those addicted to Butrans will begin to exhibit signs such as becoming obsessed with finding and taking Butrans as well as losing interest in the hobbies and activities they once enjoyed.
Butrans is a medication prescribed to patients who are experiencing severe, prolonged pain due to chronic conditions such as arthritis and back pain. It is specifically classified as an opioid analgesic, which means it is effective due to its ability to change how the brain and body experience pain.
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Baldini, AnGee; Von Korff, Michael; Lin, Elizabeth H. B. “A Review of Potential Adverse Effects of Long-Term Opioid Therapy: A Practitioner’s Guide“>A Review[…]ner’s Guide.” The Primary Care Companion for CNS Disorders, 2012. Accessed August 14, 2023.
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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.