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Medically Approved

Butrans dosage: A detailed guide

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Form and strengthsDosageCouponOverdoseBoxed warnings
Doctors prescribe Butrans for severe and lasting pain that requires daily pain medication. You use it by applying it to your skin once every 7 days.
Medically reviewed by Alex Brewer, PharmD, MBA
Updated on

This article describes Butrans’s dosages and strengths and gives details on how to use it. You’ll also find information on cost savings and coupon options for Butrans. To learn more about Butrans, talk with your doctor.

Butrans is a brand-name medication that comes as a patch that you apply to your skin. It’s available in a generic version called buprenorphine. This article describes dosages of Butrans.

Butrans has a boxed warning. A boxed warning is the most serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). For details, see the end of this article.

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Form and strengths of Butrans

Butrans comes as follows:

  • Form: transdermal patch, which you’ll use by applying it to your skin
  • Strengths:
    • 5 micrograms per hour (mcg/hr)
    • 7.5 mcg/hr
    • 10 mcg/hr
    • 15 mcg/hr
    • 20 mcg/hr

Dosage of Butrans

This article describes the recommended dosages for Butrans. The drugmaker provides these dosages. In some cases, doctors may adjust your dosage from those shown below.

If your doctor prescribes this medication, you should follow the dosage they prescribe. Your doctor will determine the dosage that best meets your needs. Do not change your dosage of Butrans without your doctor’s recommendation.

Usual recommended dosages of Butrans in adults

Butrans is approved to help manage severe and ongoing pain that requires a longer period of treatment.

Usually, doctors start by prescribing a low dosage of Butrans. Then, they’ll adjust it over time until the right dosage is reached. Ultimately, your doctor will prescribe the smallest dosage of Butrans that gives the desired outcome.

  • Starting dosage: 5 mcg/hr every 7 days
  • Maintenance dosage: 5 to 20 mcg/hr every 7 days
  • Maximum dose: 20 mcg/hr every 7 days

Your doctor or healthcare professional will show you how and where to apply the Butrans patch. They’ll also explain how to rotate skin sites for the patch. You can learn more about how to apply and rotate Butrans on the drugmaker’s website.

If your doctor decides that you should stop taking Butrans, they will reduce your dosage slowly over time. Do not stop taking Butrans without first talking with your doctor.

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Overdose of Butrans

It’s important that you do not use more Butrans than your doctor prescribes. Doing so can lead to harmful effects.

Symptoms of Butrans overdose

Symptoms of an overdose can include:

An overdose of Butrans can be life threatening.

If you’re prescribed Butrans, ask your doctor about Narcan (naloxone nasal spray). It’s a medication that can treat symptoms of an opioid overdose until emergency responders arrive. Depending on where you live, naloxone may be available from your pharmacist, a community health program, or you may need a prescription from your doctor.

What to do if you use too much Butrans

If you think you’ve used too much Butrans, call your doctor or pharmacist right away. Or you could call 800-222-1222 to speak with someone at America’s Poison Centers. You can also use its online resource. If you have severe symptoms, call 911 or a local emergency number immediately. You can also go to the closest emergency room.

Boxed warnings for Butrans

This drug has boxed warnings about the following risks. Boxed warnings are the most serious warning from the FDA.

Risk of misuse and addiction: Misusing Butrans can lead to addiction, which could lead to overdose and death. Misuse is when a drug is taken in a way other than how a doctor prescribes it. Addiction refers to feeling unable to stop taking a drug, even though it may be causing harm.

Risk of respiratory depression: Using Butrans can cause respiratory depression. With respiratory depression, your breathing becomes dangerously slow or may even stop. The risk is highest when you first start Butrans or if your dosage is increased.

Risk of serious harm if taken with certain other medications: Using Butrans with benzodiazepines, alcohol, or other central nervous system depressants can increase the risk of dangerous side effects. These side effects include severe drowsiness, slowed breathing, coma, and death. Only use Butrans if other pain management treatments haven’t worked.

Risk of accidental exposure: Accidental exposure to even one dose of Butrans, especially in children, can cause a fatal overdose. Keep Butrans in a safe place, out of reach of children, and only take this drug if it was prescribed for you.

Risk of neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome (NOWS): Using Butrans for a long period of time during pregnancy can increase the risk of NOWS in a newborn. This is a serious problem for infants and can be fatal.

Because of this risk, doctors usually won’t prescribe Butrans during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If you’re prescribed Butrans during pregnancy, your doctor will monitor your newborn. They’ll watch for symptoms of NOWS and treat the infant as needed.

For more details about these boxed warnings, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Disclaimer: Optum Perks has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.

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