• Narcotic analgesics

Butrans Generic Name & Formulations

General Description

Buprenorphine 5mcg/hr, 7.5mcg/hr, 10mcg/hr, 15mcg/hr, 20mcg/hr; transdermal patch.

Pharmacological Class

Opioid (partial agonist-antagonist).

How Supplied

Patch—4 (w. disposal units)


Generic Availability


Butrans Indications


Management of pain severe enough to require daily, around-the-clock, long-term opioid treatment and for which alternative treatments are inadequate.

Limitations of Use

Reserve for use in patients for whom alternative treatment options (eg, non-opioid analgesics, immediate-release opioids) are ineffective, not tolerated, or inadequate to provide sufficient management of pain. Not indicated as an as-needed (prn) analgesic.

Butrans Dosage and Administration


Use lowest effective dose for shortest duration. Apply one patch to clean, dry, hairless, intact skin on upper outer arm, upper chest, upper back, or side of chest every 7 days. Cleanse application site with water only. Do not cut patch. Rotate sites (allow ≥21 days before reapplication to same site). Individualize. ≥18yrs: Opioid-naive, or oral morphine equivalents <30mg/day: one 5mcg/hr patch. Doses of 7.5, 10, 15, 20mcg/hr: for opioid-tolerant patients only. Conversion from oral morphine equivalents 30–80mg/day: taper current opioids for up to 7 days to ≤30mg/day oral morphine equivalents before starting, then initiate with Butrans 10mcg/hr patch; may use short-acting analgesics until Butrans efficacy is attained. Conversion from oral morphine equivalents >80mg/day: consider alternative. Conversion from methadone: monitor closely. For all: may adjust dose every 3 days in increments of 5mcg/hr, 7.5mcg/hr or 10mcg/hr; max 2 patches of each strength per titration. Max one 20mcg/hr patch per week. Concomitant use or discontinuation of CYP3A4 inhibitors or inducers: monitor closely and consider dose adjustments (see full labeling). Withdraw gradually (esp. if opioid-dependent), taper by ≤10–25% every 2–4 weeks.


<18yrs: not established.

Butrans Contraindications


Significant respiratory depression. Acute or severe bronchial asthma in an unmonitored setting or in the absence of resuscitative equipment. Known or suspected GI obstruction, including paralytic ileus.

Butrans Boxed Warnings

Boxed Warning

Addiction, abuse, and misuse. Risk evaluation and mitigation strategy (REMS). Life-threatening respiratory depression. Accidental exposure. Neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome. Risks from concomitant use with benzodiazepines or other CNS depressants.

Butrans Warnings/Precautions


Assess the potential need for access to naloxone when initiating and renewing therapy. Consider prescribing naloxone based on risk factors for overdose (eg, history of opioid use disorder, prior opioid overdose, household members or other close contacts at risk for accidental ingestion or overdose). Not for use in the management of addictive disorders. Abuse potential (monitor). Life-threatening respiratory depression; monitor within first 24–72hrs of initiating therapy and following dose increases. Accidental exposure may cause fatal overdose (esp. in children). Sleep-related breathing disorders (including central sleep apnea (CSA), sleep-related hypoxemia); consider dose reduction if CSA develops. COPD, cor pulmonale, decreased respiratory reserve, hypoxia, hypercapnia, or pre-existing respiratory depression; monitor and consider non-opioid analgesics. Risk of QT prolongation (esp. in those with hypokalemia, bradycardia, recent conversion from atrial fibrillation, CHF, digitalis therapy, baseline QT prolongation, subclinical long-QT syndrome, severe hypomagnesemia). Adrenal insufficiency. Head injury. Increased intracranial pressure, brain tumors; monitor. Seizure disorders. CNS depression. Impaired consciousness, coma, shock; avoid. Biliary tract disease. Acute pancreatitis. Fever. Drug abusers. Severe hepatic impairment: consider alternative. If at risk for hepatotoxicity (eg, history of alcohol or IV drug abuse, liver disease); obtain baseline liver enzyme levels and monitor periodically. Avoid external heat (eg, thermal wraps, sunlamps); risk of overdose. Reevaluate periodically. Avoid abrupt cessation. Elderly. Cachectic. Debilitated. Pregnancy; potential neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome during prolonged use. Labor & delivery, nursing mothers: not recommended (monitor infants if exposed).



Butrans Pharmacokinetics

See Literature

Butrans Interactions


Increased risk of hypotension, respiratory depression, sedation with benzodiazepines or other CNS depressants (eg, non-benzodiazepine sedatives/hypnotics, anxiolytics, general anesthetics, phenothiazines, tranquilizers, muscle relaxants, antipsychotics, alcohol, other opioids); reserve concomitant use in those for whom alternative options are inadequate; limit dosages/durations to minimum required; monitor closely; consider prescribing naloxone if concomitant use is warranted. Avoid concomitant Class 1A (eg, quinidine, procainamide, disopyramide) or Class III antiarrhythmics (eg, sotalol, amiodarone, dofetilide). During or within 14 days of MAOIs: not recommended. Risk of serotonin syndrome with serotonergic drugs (eg, SSRIs, SNRIs, TCAs, triptans, 5-HT3 antagonists, mirtazapine, trazodone, tramadol, cyclobenzaprine, metaxalone, MAOIs, linezolid, IV methylene blue); monitor and discontinue if suspected. Avoid concomitant mixed agonist/antagonist opioids (eg, butorphanol, nalbuphine, pentazocine) or partial agonist (eg, buprenorphine); may reduce effects and/or precipitate withdrawal symptoms. Potentiated by CYP3A4 inhibitors (eg, macrolides, azole antifungals, protease inhibitors). Antagonized by CYP3A4 inducers (eg, rifampin, carbamazepine, phenytoin). May antagonize diuretics; monitor. Paralytic ileus may occur with anticholinergics.

Butrans Adverse Reactions

Adverse Reactions

Nausea, headache, application site reactions (pruritus, erythema, rash; discontinue if severe), dizziness, constipation, somnolence, vomiting, dry mouth; respiratory depression, severe hypotension, syncope, hypersensitivity reactions.

Butrans Clinical Trials

See Literature

Butrans Note

Not Applicable

Butrans Patient Counseling

See Literature