Buprenorphine (Intravenous)

The buprenorphine injection is a narcotic pain medication and is prescribed for adults to relieve intense pain, aches, or discomfort.


The buprenorphine injection alleviates slight to intense pain. This injection is a part of the type of medications known as narcotic analgesics, more commonly referred to as pain medications. It works to relieve discomfort and aches within the central nervous system. This medication is manufactured and distributed under the US brand name Buprenex.

It is important for patients to understand that narcotic medications can be habit-forming, and may cause physical or mental dependence in the future. Although, patients should not worry about becoming dependent if they have prolonged pain that narcotics can help to alleviate. Dependence (or mental addiction) doesn't typically take place when narcotics are utilized just for pain relief. If patients quit taking this medication suddenly, side effects may take place that can resemble withdrawal symptoms. Patients can typically avoid these side effects from withdrawal if they progressively lessen the dose over a period of time prior to finally ending treatment.

Buprenorphine can only be obtained with a prescription from your physician. This medication is only manufactured in solution form for injection.

Condition treated

  • Pain relief

Type of medicine

  • Narcotic/Painkiller

Side Effects

When taking a medication, there is usually a chance that it may trigger undesirable side effects along with the necessary benefits. The following side effects may occur for patients on buprenorphine; while not all will happen, if they do take place they could require medical care.

Consult with your physician right away if one or more of the following side effects happen to take place.

More Common Side Effects: Medical Care Required

  • Sleepiness (unusual)
  • Relaxed or calm demeanor (unusual)
  • Drowsiness (unusual)

Rare Side Effects: Medical Care Required

  • Wheezing
  • Vision blurred
  • Speech slurring
  • Skin hives, inflammation, numbness, redness, scarring, tenderness, warmth (at site), stinging, coldness,
  • discoloration, bleeding, ulceration, feelings of pressure, infection, soreness, blistering, itching, pain, rash, swelling, lumps, burning, tingling
  • Sensations that other people can audibly hear your thoughts
  • Sensations of things that are not actually present (hearing, seeing, or feeling)
  • Sensations of controlled behavior
  • Sensations of being watched
  • Numbness, crawling sensations, itching, burning, prickling, tingling sensations, pins and needles sensations
  • Mental shifts or intense mood shifts
  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Chest tightness
  • Chest discomfort or pain
  • Breathing difficulty (labored)
  • Breath shortness
  • Bluish tinted color on nail beds, palms, skin, lips, fingernails
  • Behavior that is unusual

Side Effects (Occurrence Unknown): Medical Care Required

  • Wheezing
  • Swelling (big, hive-like) on the feet, sex organs, legs, hands, throat, tongue, lips, eyelids, face
  • Sleeping difficulty
  • Shaking
  • Seizures
  • Restlessness
  • Restlessness
  • Nervousness
  • Muscle coordination loss
  • Irritability
  • Hyperventilation
  • Heartbeat irregularity
  • Dry mouth sensations
  • Diarrhea
  • Cough
  • Breathing loudness
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Anxiety

Occasionally, side effects can take place but they will not require medical care. These side effects may diminish throughout the course of treatment as the body becomes more adjusted to the medication. In addition, your physician can inform you of additional methods of decreasing or counteracting certain side effects. Consult with your physician if any of the subsequent side effects are prolonged or become troublesome. Physicians can also answer general questions regarding side effects.

More Common Side Effects: Medical Care Not Required

  • Nausea

Less Common Side Effects: Medical Care Not Required

  • Vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Pupil (black portion of eye) constriction (small or pinpoint)
  • Faintness, dizziness, or lightheadedness when quickly standing or sitting from a sitting or lying position
  • Breathing very shallow

Rare Side Effects: Medical Care Not Required

  • Weakness or tiredness (unusual)
  • Warmth sensations
  • Urine production decrease
  • Urine (difficulty producing)
  • Urination pain
  • Tearing (additional discharge)
  • Swelling, redness, or pain surrounding the eyelid, eye, or eyelid lining
  • Skin itching
  • Redness surrounding the upper chest, arms, neck, or face
  • Incorrect or false feeling of well-being
  • Hearing loss
  • Eye burning, itching, or dryness
  • Ear ringing or buzzing, or additional mysterious sounds within ears
  • Ear pounding
  • Dry mouth
  • Dreaming
  • Depression
  • Chills

Side Effects (Occurrence Not Known): Medical Care Not Required

  • Sour or acid stomach
  • Belching
  • Bloated feelings
  • Blue tinted skin or lips
  • Vision changes
  • Additional gas or air in the intestines or stomach
  • Unreality sensations
  • Complete feelings
  • Heartburn
  • Illness or discomfort (feelings of)
  • Welts or hives
  • Vision impairment
  • Indigestion
  • Breathing (lack of)
  • Appetite loss
  • Skin paleness
  • Gas passing
  • Skin redness
  • Rash (skin)
  • Detachment sensation from body or self
  • Stomach pain, upset, or discomfort

Certain side effects may also take place that are not listed here. If additional side effects are noticed, consult with your physician.

Contact your medical professional regarding steps to take involving side effects. The FDA also accepts side effect reports, and they can be reached at 1-800-FDA-1088.


A trained medical care provider must give this medication to the patient. This medication is administered as a shot into a vein or muscle. Your physician will likely give you several doses until the illness shows some improvement, and will then probably change the patient to a medication that can be taken orally that works in a similar manner. If you have any questions or concerns regarding dosage information for buprenorphine, please consult your physician.


Drug Interactions

While specific medications should never be used simultaneously, under other circumstances it is acceptable to take two medications at the same time, even if there is a chance of interaction. In circumstances such as these, your physician may be inclined to adjust the dose, or they may decide to take additional precautions.

While receiving buprenorphine, it is essential that your physician is aware of any additional medications that patients are taking. The medications listed below have been determined due to their probable significance, and the following list is not all-inclusive.

It is not suggested to use this medication with the subsequent prescription. Your physician may choose not to give you buprenorphine, or they may decide to reduce the total dosage amount for other medicines that you happen to be taking.

  • Naltrexone

It is not typically suggested to use this medication with the subsequent prescriptions, but certain circumstances may require it. If a patient is prescribed both medications, the dose or frequency may be adjusted for one or both drugs.

  • Zotepine
  • Zopiclone
  • Zolpidem
  • Zolmitriptan
  • Ziprasidone
  • Zaleplon
  • Vortioxetine
  • Vilazodone
  • Venlafaxine
  • Tryptophan
  • Trimipramine
  • Trimeprazine
  • Triflupromazine
  • Trifluperidol
  • Trifluoperazine
  • Triazolam
  • Tranylcypromine
  • Tramadol
  • Topiramate
  • Tolonium Chloride
  • Tizanidine
  • Tilidine
  • Tianeptine
  • Thiothixene
  • Thioridazine
  • Thiopropazate
  • Thiopental
  • Thiethylperazine
  • Temazepam
  • Tapentadol
  • Suvorexant
  • Sumatriptan
  • Sulpiride
  • Sufentanil
  • St John's Wort
  • Sodium Oxybate
  • Sibutramine
  • Sertraline
  • Sertindole
  • Selegiline
  • Secobarbital
  • Samidorphan
  • Safinamide
  • Rizatriptan
  • Risperidone
  • Remoxipride
  • Remifentanil
  • Rasagiline
  • Ramelteon
  • Quetiapine
  • Quazepam
  • Protriptyline
  • Propoxyphene
  • Propofol
  • Promethazine
  • Promazine
  • Prochlorperazine
  • Procarbazine
  • Primidone
  • Prazepam
  • Piritramide
  • Pipotiazine
  • Piperacetazine
  • Pimozide
  • Pimavanserin
  • Phenobarbital
  • Phenelzine
  • Perphenazine
  • Periciazine
  • Perazine
  • Perampanel
  • Pentobarbital
  • Pentazocine
  • Paroxetine
  • Paregoric
  • Papaveretum
  • Palonosetron
  • Paliperidone
  • Oxymorphone
  • Oxycodone
  • Oxazepam
  • Orphenadrine
  • Opium Alkaloids
  • Opium
  • Opipramol
  • Ondansetron
  • Olanzapine
  • Nortriptyline
  • Nitrous Oxide
  • Nitrazepam
  • Nicomorphine
  • Nialamide
  • Nefazodone
  • Naratriptan
  • Naloxone
  • Nalorphine
  • Nalmefene
  • Nalbuphine
  • Morphine Sulfate Liposome
  • Morphine
  • Moricizine
  • Molindone
  • Moclobemide
  • Mirtazapine
  • Milnacipran
  • Midazolam
  • Methylnaltrexone
  • Methylene Blue
  • Methotrimeprazine
  • Methohexital
  • Methocarbamol
  • Methdilazine
  • Methadone
  • Metaxalone
  • ]Mesoridazine
  • Meptazinol
  • Meprobamate
  • Mephobarbital
  • Meperidine
  • Melperone
  • Melitracen
  • Meclizine
  • Lurasidone
  • Lorcaserin
  • Lorazepam
  • Lofepramine
  • Lithium
  • Linezolid
  • Levorphanol
  • Levomilnacipran
  • Ketobemidone
  • Ketazolam
  • Ketamine
  • Isoflurane
  • Isocarboxazid
  • Iproniazid
  • Imipramine
  • Iloperidone
  • Hydroxyzine
  • Hydroxytryptophan
  • Hydromorphone
  • Hydrocodone
  • Hexobarbital
  • Halothane
  • Haloperidol
  • Halazepam
  • Granisetron
  • Furazolidone
  • Frovatriptan
  • Fospropofol
  • Fluvoxamine
  • Fluspirilene
  • Flurazepam
  • Fluphenazine
  • Fluoxetine
  • Flunitrazepam
  • Flibanserin
  • Fentanyl
  • Ethylmorphine
  • Ethopropazine
  • Ethchlorvynol
  • Eszopiclone
  • Estazolam
  • Escitalopram
  • Enflurane
  • Eletriptan
  • Duloxetine
  • Droperidol
  • Doxylamine
  • Doxepin
  • Donepezil
  • Dolasetron
  • Diphenoxylate
  • Diphenhydramine
  • Dihydrocodeine
  • Difenoxin
  • Dichloralphenazone
  • Dibenzepin
  • Diazepam
  • Diacetylmorphine
  • Dezocine
  • Dextromethorphan
  • Dexmedetomidine
  • Desvenlafaxine
  • Desipramine
  • Dantrolene
  • Cyclobenzaprine
  • Codeine
  • Cocaine
  • Clozapine
  • Clorazepate
  • Clonazepam
  • Clomipramine
  • Clobazam
  • Citalopram
  • Chlorzoxazone
  • Chlorpromazine
  • Chlorpheniramine
  • Chlordiazepoxide
  • Chloral Hydrate
  • Carphenazine
  • Carisoprodol
  • Cariprazine
  • Carbinoxamine
  • Carbamazepine
  • Butorphanol
  • Butabarbital
  • Buspirone
  • Brompheniramine
  • Bromopride
  • Bromazepam
  • Benperidol
  • Baclofen
  • Atazanavir
  • Asenapine
  • Aripiprazole
  • Anileridine
  • Amoxapine
  • Amobarbital
  • Amitriptylinoxide
  • Amisulpride
  • Amineptine
  • Alvimopan
  • Alprazolam
  • Alphaprodine
  • Almotriptan
  • Alfentanil
  • Acepromazine

Other Interactions

Some medications should not be given near mealtime or when particular kinds of food are being eaten due to the increased risk of interactions. Tobacco or alcohol use with various medications can also trigger the occurrence of interactions. The following list is comprised of interactions that are potentially significant, but the list is not completely all-inclusive.

While it is typically not suggested to give buprenorphine with the following drug, certain circumstances may require it. When used simultaneously, your physician may adjust the dose or frequency for how often this medication is administered, or they may give you specific instructions regarding the use of tobacco, alcohol, or food.

  • Ethanol

Interactions with Preexisting Medical Issues

Patients who have preexisting medical issues may encounter interactions with buprenorphine. Ensure your physician is aware of other medical issues, including:

  • Addison's disease (adrenal gland issue)
  • Brain tumor
  • CNS depression (history of)
  • Prostate enlarged (prostatic hypertrophy, BPH)
  • Head injuries
  • Thyroid underactive (hypothyroidism)
  • Kyphoscoliosis (spine curvature that triggers breathing issues)
  • Breathing or lung issues (hypoxia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, hypercapnia, or cor pulmonale)
  • Urine passing difficulties: take caution; this medication can increase the possibility of more severe side effects
  • Mental illness (history of)
  • Alcohol abuse (or history of)
  • Narcotic dependence or drug abuse (or history of) take caution; this medication can increase dependence on narcotics
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease: take caution; increased side effects may occur due to slower extraction of the medication from the body
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Hypoventilation (slow breathing or respiratory depression) take caution; conditions may become worse.


When contemplating whether or not one should take a certain medication, they should compare the risks of the medication against the benefits that they will receive from taking it. This choice is one for you to make with your physician. Consider the following precautions prior to having the buprenorphine injection.

Your physician must carefully monitor the progress of the patient while receiving the buprenorphine injection. Regular checkups will give your physician a chance to see if the medication is working the way that it should, and will allow the physician to determine if the injection should continue to be administered.

Patients may find out that this medication can be habit-forming. Medical care professionals should never administer more than the prescribed dose. Consult with your physician for more information if the medication does not appear to be working very well.

Patients should note that intense constipation could potentially be caused by the use of narcotics. Your physician can give you instructions regarding prevention methods; including the incorporation of laxatives, increasing the total amount of fiber in your diet, or increasing fluids the patient is drinking. Ensure to carefully follow the instructions on the patient medication booklet as severe constipation can turn into greater issues.

This medication can contribute to effects of CNS depressants (medications that cause the patient to become less alert or drowsy) and effects of alcohol. CNS depressants can include cold medication; allergy medication; seizure medication; antihistamines; sleeping medication, sedatives, or tranquilizers; muscle relaxants; anesthetics, prescription pain medication, and dental anesthetics. Consult with your physician prior to taking any of the above medications while receiving buprenorphine.

Buprenorphine can make patients drowsy, disoriented, confused, or dizzy. Be sure to understand how your individual body responds to this medication prior to driving, operating machinery, or any other activities that could be potentially hazardous if you are not alert or are feeling faint.

If the patient has been receiving this medication consistently for numerous days, they should not discontinue use without prior permission from the overseeing physician. The doctor may instruct you to reduce the dosage gradually prior to completely ending treatment to reduce the chances of side effects from withdrawal. Withdrawal side effects can include stomach cramps, runny nose, restlessness, anxiety, fever, or abdominal cramps.

Your physician should approve all other medications you may be taking. Prescription drugs and over the counter nonprescription medications should be discussed with your physician; this includes any vitamin or herbal supplements.

Allergy Warnings

Patients must inform their physician if they have had any allergic reactions to medications that are unusual, including this medication. Be sure to inform your physician if you have any allergies to animals, preservatives, dyes, or foods. Patients must carefully examine the ingredient label to be sure they avoid any ingredient they are allergic to.

Specific Demographic Use

Pediatric Dosage Information

There has not yet been suitable research conducted revealing issues that are pediatric-specific that can impact the effectiveness of buprenorphine for kids between the ages of 2 and 12. Effectiveness and safety information has not yet been determined for children who are under two.

Geriatric Dosage Information

There has not yet been suitable research conducted revealing issues that are geriatric-specific that can impact the effectiveness of buprenorphine for elderly patients. Although, patients who are elderly could be experiencing more sensitivities to the effects of buprenorphine than middle-aged adults are, as elderly patients tend to have problems that are age-related, such as liver or kidney issues. These issues require the dose to be adjusted and for additional care to be taken when administering the injection.

Pregnancy Dosage Information

There are two potential outcomes for patients who are pregnant and are interested in taking buprenorphine. Either there have not yet been any negative effects from animal studies, but similar studies have not yet been conducted for women who are pregnant; or there have not been studies in women or animals that are pregnant.

Breastfeeding Dosage Information

There have been dangerous effects shown for the infant when studies have been conducted on women who breastfeed while taking buprenorphine. Women should not breastfeed while receiving this injection, and an alternative drug should be recommended.


The medical professional administering this medication will ensure they are storing it properly according to the manufacturers and pharmacist instructions.


The buprenorphine injection is a narcotic pain medication that is prescribed for adults by a doctor to relieve intense pain, aches, or discomfort. Patients must understand that while the buprenorphine injection will likely bring them pain relief, narcotic medications can actually be habit-forming. These types of medications can trigger mental dependence for the future. However, as long as the patient has not abused narcotics in the past, this medication should not cause dependence if the medication is only used for pain relief.

Patients who consume alcohol frequently or who are already taking a CNS depressant should take extra caution when receiving this injection. The buprenorphine injection can cause effects of alcohol and CNS depressants (less alert/drowsy tendencies) to be maximized. There is a slight chance of exposure to narcotic addiction when taking this medication, however, physicians typically allow patients to receive this medication if it is only for pain relief. Patients should be carefully monitored for misuse and abuse, as this can result in overdose, which can result in death. Physicians must carefully determine if it is safe for a certain patient to be prescribed buprenorphine.