Drugs Home > Talwin Uses

A healthcare provider may prescribe Talwin to treat moderate-to-severe pain. Talwin is also used prior to surgery or anesthesia, as well as a supplement to anesthesia for surgery. This prescription drug works by binding to certain receptors in the body and mimicking the action of naturally occurring chemicals that block pain.

What Is Talwin Used For?

Talwin® (pentazocine lactate) is an injectable prescription medication approved for the following uses:
 
  • To treat moderate-to-severe pain
  • For use before surgery or anesthesia (medication that puts you to sleep during surgery)
  • As a supplement to anesthesia for surgery.
 
Talwin is an opioid pain medication. According to the manufacturer, 30 mg of Talwin would usually provide equal pain relief as 10 mg of morphine or 75 mg to 100 mg of meperidone (Demerol®). Pain relief normally begins within 15 to 20 minutes after a dose is given as an injection into a muscle (an intramuscular, or IM, injection) or beneath the skin (a subcutaneous, or SC, injection), and within 2 to 3 minutes after given as an injection into a vein (an intravenous, or IV, injection).
 
As an opioid medication, Talwin is a potent pain reliever that can help relieve moderate-to-severe pain resulting from a variety of causes. It is sometimes given to help reduce the pain associated with labor. When used during labor, its use is normally limited to one to three doses. Talwin also causes sedation and may be used for its sedating properties before surgery or before anesthesia.
 
Pentazocine, the active ingredient in Talwin, is also an active ingredient in Talwin® Nx (pentazocine/naloxone) and Talacen® (acetaminophen and pentazocine). Talwin Nx comes in the form of a tablet, and contains naloxone to help deter the misuse of the medication via injection. Talacen is also a tablet form of pentazocine. It contains acetaminophen for added pain relief.
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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