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535089 tn?1400677119
~New Drug Approved For Pain Relief~
Hello to All:


The FDA has approved Butrans™ (buprenorphine) Transdermal System CIII for the management of moderate to severe chronic pain in patients requiring a continuous, around-the-clock opioid analgesic for an extended period of time.  The Butrans Transdermal System is an analgesic product that delivers a continuous release of medication for seven days.

Butrans is an opioid and is classified as a Schedule III controlled substance.  That means there is some potential for abuse, but less than for Schedule II drugs like oxycodone and morphine.  It can also be prescribed with up to five refills.  

Three strengths of Butrans are available: 5, 10, and 20 mcg/hour; each single patch is intended to be worn for seven days.  It is recommended for patients who need 80 mg/day or less of morphine-equivalent opioid medication.  Note: The use of other extended-release opioids must be reduced before starting buprenorphine treatment.


No more than one 20 mcg/hour patch should ever be used at a time due to the risk of QTc interval prolongation, which can result in sudden cardiac death.  The site of the patch application and the surrounding area should not be exposed to direct external heat sources, like a heating pad, because that could cause too much medication to be released at once, resulting in possible overdose and/or death.  

The active ingredient in the Butrans Transdermal System is buprenorphine, a partial agonist at mu opioid receptors and an antagonist at kappa opioid receptors.  It has been suggested that buprenorphine has a wider safety profile than full mu-opioid agonists and milder withdrawal signs and symptoms when it is discontinued.



Working with the FDA, Purdue Pharma L.P., manufacturers of Butrans, have developed a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) that includes a Medication Guide, Elements to Assure Safe Use, such as health care providers training, and a timetable for submitting assessments of the REMS.  

The most common side effects reported by patients treated with Butrans in clinical trials were nausea, headache, application site pruritis (itching), dizziness, constipation, somnolence (drowsiness), vomiting, application site erythema (redness), dry mouth, and application site rash.

I hope that you all find this as interesting as I did.

My best,
Molly
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10 Answers
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655875 tn?1295698707
I like purdue pharma.  Their medications seem to have the less side effects for me.  I personally like this idea of the patch.  I'm so tired of taking so many pills in a day.  However, I would bet this patch doesn't last the full 7 days.  None of the long acting meds last what they are intended for.  I would worry too, with the patch working for so long.  That means more medicine can be dispensed if it leaked into the skin due to the heat or something else.  
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1271743 tn?1320896061
I read online that Subutex also contains buprenorphine, but is used to treat opioid dependence and is not for pain relief.  Buprenophine is Butrans' active ingredient. Isn't that weird?
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1271743 tn?1320896061
Does anyone know what the retail cost will be in the pharmacy for these yet?  Lasting 7 days would be awesome... so you would only need 4 patches a month.  That could be a savings for someone with no insurance... well for sure once its out and there is a generic...
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535089 tn?1400677119
Yes, it is. It is known though that Buprenorphine has some pain fighting qualities in it. It has just never been recommended for pain. The Medical Community is always making new breakthroughs.

My best,
Mollyrae
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709686 tn?1277435759
I have a friend on Suboxone but not for chronic pain.  He has been taking this for 3 years but can't seem to quit.  He was given this as part of a treatment plan to get him off Lortabs and now he cant get off the Sub.  Anyway...he has told me for years that Suboxone helps with chronic pain and has tried to get me to try it.  I actually want to make a comment about Suboxone and drug screens but not sure if I can.  Don't want to "Stir the Puddin" and cause any problems.  
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Avatar universal
Hi. Is this Med available now? I used to use fentanyl patches but got off it because my sister and brother gave me a hard time and questioned me about being addicted. I say people who haven't been in my pain for as long as me should just shut their mouths.
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535089 tn?1400677119
From what I gather, this medication is available now but is limited on where you can find it.

Please don't let other influence what type of medication you take to fight your pain. Frankly, it's none of their business. You take what makes you the most comfortable.

I don't often let my Family members in on what type of medication I take just for that fact.

You are NOT addicted, you are dependant. There is a big difference. Being addicted means that you take the pain medication for the high...you might have pain but not enough for the amount ingested.
Being dependant is taking just enough of your medication to relieve the pain.

If your interested in the new medication, talk with your Doctor about it. He would most likely have the information you need.

My best,
Mollyrae
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1271743 tn?1320896061
Any word on what states are starting to prescribe the medication? NC still isn't really prescribing Opana yet, we are probably going to be the last to know...
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1443962 tn?1284352367
Does any one know if it is available in Canada. I am on the Fentanyl Patch but pretty high dose I think ; 150 mcg every 3 days. plus Cymbalta, Celebrex and I stopped Lyrica.  I am worried about the morphine in my system for 5 years now and with this chronic pain it looks like it has no end date. The doctor says there is no pain medication equal to the Fentanyl patch (besides going over top of it with Methadone/ Heroin) which is obiviously "NO" !  but I am going to research and try to find something even a time relased tablet. Another problem with the patch is I almost overdosed a few times this summer when I got out into the heat. If the sun is beating down or even your body heats up the patch will release more medication then it is supposed to!  scared me enough!...
Thanks
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1271743 tn?1320896061
Fentanyl is time released and the doctor will not prescribe two extended release narcotics together... You can however take something for breakthrough pain like Oxycodone (NOT Oxycontin) or Dilaudid or Percocet... just depends on what your doctor is willing to do.
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