Buprenorphine is used on its own to relieve moderate to severe pain and overdependence or addiction to opioid painkillers e.g. morphine.
Buprenorphine has also been used to treat drug abuse such as heroin.
Take Buprenorphine exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not take more or less than instructed by your doctor.
You may take Buprenorphine with or without food. Try to take it at the same time each day.
Do not swallow, chew or crush the tablet; it must be placed under your tongue to be effective. Buprenorphine is absorbed into your body through the lining of your mouth.
If you are taking more than 2 tablets for a dose, place 2 at a time or all the tablets under the tongue at the same time until they melt.
For the treatment of overdependence on opioid painkillers or heroin addiction, the first dose of Buprenorphine is usually given at the first sign of withdrawal symptoms or at least 6 hours after the last dose of heroin.
Do not stop taking Buprenorphine unless instructed otherwise, as stopping it suddenly could worsen your condition.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your normal dosing schedule.
DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.
If you often forget to take your medicine, let your doctor and pharmacist know.
Do not give Buprenorphine to children below 15 years old unless instructed to do so by the doctor.
Inform your doctor if you have the following:
- lung disease
- kidney disease
- liver disease
- gall bladder disease
- head injury or brain disease
- thyroid disease
- prostate enlargement or difficulty urinating
- mood disorders
- excessive drinking or problems related to alcohol withdrawal
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
If you are going for a drug test, inform your doctor that you are taking this medicine.
Buprenorphine may cause dizziness. If affected, do not drive or take part in any activity in which you need to be alert.
Other side effects include any of the following: headache, difficulty sleeping, anxiety or depression, nervousness, chills, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, constipation, sweating, back pain.
Notify your doctor immediately if you experience yellowing of the skin or eyes with abdominal pain or persistent tiredness, nausea or vomiting.
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any of these medicines:
- a type of antidepressant known as MAO inhibitors e.g. moclobemide, selegiline, phenelzine.
- medicine for sleep disorder e.g. diazepam
- medicines for epilepsy (fits or seizures) e.g. phenobarbital, carbamazepine
- medicines for fungal infections e.g. ketoconazole
- medicines for HIV infection
- antibiotics e.g. erythromycin
- medicine for TB e.g. rifampicin
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Buprenorphine.
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicine, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.