Drugs Home > Buprenorphine Patch

The buprenorphine patch is a prescription medication approved to treat moderate-to-severe chronic pain. This medicated skin patch contains an opioid narcotic and does have the potential for abuse. This patch is applied to the skin every seven days and provides continuous, around-the-clock pain relief. Side effects may include nausea, dizziness, and headaches.

What Is Buprenorphine Patch?

The buprenorphine patch (Butrans®) is a long-acting prescription opioid narcotic used to treat moderate-to-severe chronic (long-lasting) pain. It should be used only when around-the-clock (continuous) pain relief is needed. It comes in the form of a patch that is applied to the skin just once a week.
The buprenorphine patch is a Schedule III controlled substance, which means there are strict laws and regulations controlling its use. Schedule III medications such as the buprenorphine patch are considered to have less potential for abuse, compared with Schedule II medications like morphine or oxycodone.
(Click What Is Buprenorphine Patch Used For? for more information on this topic, including possible off-label uses.)

Are There Side Effects?

Just like any medicine, the buprenorphine patch can cause side effects. However, not everyone who uses the drug will experience problems. In fact, most people tolerate it quite well.
If reactions do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or are treated easily by you or your healthcare provider. Serious side effects are less common.
Common side effects seen with buprenorphine patches may include but are not limited to:
(Click Buprenorphine Patch Side Effects to learn more, including potentially serious side effects you should report immediately to your healthcare provider.)
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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