Buprenorphine Side Effects
What should I watch for?
Tell your doctor or health care professional if your pain does not go away, if it gets worse, or if you have new or a different type of pain. You may develop tolerance to the medicine. Tolerance means that you will need a higher dose of the medicine for pain relief. Tolerance is normal and is expected if you take this medicine for a long time.
Do not suddenly stop taking your medicine because you may develop a severe reaction. Your body becomes used to the medicine. This does NOT mean you are addicted. Addiction is a behavior related to getting and using a drug for a non-medical reason. If you have pain, you have a medical reason to take pain medicine. Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to take. If your doctor wants you to stop the medicine, the dose will be slowly lowered over time to avoid any side effects.
If you are also taking a narcotic medicine for pain or cough or another medicine that also causes drowsiness, you may have more side effects. Give your health care provider a list of all medicines you use. Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to take. Do not take more medicine than directed. Call emergency for help if you have problems breathing or unusual sleepiness.
You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medicine affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells. Alcohol may interfere with the effect of this medicine. Avoid alcoholic drinks.
This medicine will cause constipation. Try to have a bowel movement at least every 2 to 3 days. If you do not have a bowel movement for 3 days, call your doctor or health care professional.
Your mouth may get dry. Chewing sugarless gum or sucking hard candy, and drinking plenty of water may help. Contact your doctor if the problem does not go away or is severe.
Common and Rare Side Effects
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
bloating or swelling of the face, arms, hands, lower legs, or feet
bloody or cloudy urine
cough producing mucus
difficult, burning, or painful urination
frequent urge to urinate
loss of appetite
lower back or side pain
mouth or throat pain
pounding in the ears
rapid weight gain
slow or fast heartbeat
tightness in the chest
tingling of the hands or feet
troubled breathing with exertion
unusual bleeding or bruising
unusual tiredness or weakness
unusual weight gain or loss
Breakdown or tearing of the skin
irregular heartbeat, recurrent
unusual drowsiness, dullness, or feeling of sluggishness
Incidence not known
burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, "pins and needles", or tingling feelings
darkening of the skin
dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
headache, severe and throbbing
hives, skin rash
irregular, fast, slow, or shallow breathing
pale or blue lips, fingernails, or skin
puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
relaxed and calm feeling
talking or acting with excitement you cannot control
trembling or shaking
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
difficulty having a bowel movement
painful or difficult urination
feeling of warmth or heat
flushing or redness of the skin, especially on the face and neck
itching, skin rash
muscle aches or spams
pain or tenderness around eyes and cheekbones
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.