Proper Use

Drug information provided by: Micromedex

Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Your dose may need to be changed several times in order to find out what works best for you. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.

Buprenorphine transdermal comes with a Medication Guide and patient instructions. Read the instructions carefully before using the product. If you do not receive any printed instructions with the medicine, or do not understand the instructions, check with your nurse or doctor.

To use the skin patch:

  • Use this medicine exactly as directed by your doctor. It will work only if it has been applied correctly.
  • This medicine should only be used on intact, non-irritated skin. Do not put the patch in your mouth, chew, or swallow it.
  • Buprenorphine skin patches are packaged in sealed pouches. Do not use this medicine if the pouch seal is broken, or if the patch is cut, damaged, or changed in any way. Do not remove the patch from the sealed pouch until you are ready to apply it.
  • This medicine is available in 3 different strengths and patch sizes. Make sure you have the right strength patch that has been prescribed for you.
  • When handling the skin patch, be careful not to touch the adhesive (sticky) surface with your hand. The adhesive part of the system contains some buprenorphine, which can be absorbed into your body too fast through the skin of your hand. If any of the medicine does get on your hand, rinse the area right away with a lot of clear water. Do not use soap or other cleansers.
  • Be careful not to tear the patch or make any holes in it. Damage to a patch may allow buprenorphine to pass into your skin too quickly. This can cause an overdose.
  • Apply the patch to a dry, flat skin area on your upper arm, chest, back, or side of the chest. Choose a place where the skin is not very oily and is free of scars, cuts, burns, or any other skin irritations.
  • The patch will stay in place better if it is applied to an area with little or no hair. If you need to apply the patch to a hairy area, you may first clip the hair with scissors, but do not shave it off.
  • If you need to clean the area before applying the medicine, use only plain water. Do not use soaps, other cleansers, lotions, or anything that contains oils or alcohol. Be sure that the skin is completely dry before applying the medicine.
  • Remove the liner covering the sticky side of the skin patch. Then press the patch firmly in place, using the palm of your hand, for a minimum of 15 seconds. Make sure that the entire adhesive surface is attached to your skin, especially around the edges. Do not rub the patch.
  • If the patch becomes loose, tape the edges with first aid tape. Do not cover it with any other bandage or tape.
  • If the patch falls off after applying it, throw it away and apply a new patch in a different area.
  • Wash your hands with a lot of clear water after applying the medicine. Do not use soap or other cleansers.
  • Remove the patch after 7 days, or as directed by your doctor. Choose a different place on your skin to apply the next patch. If possible, use a place on the other side of your body. Wait at least 3 weeks (21 days) before using the first area again.

Dosing

The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

  • For transdermal dosage form (stick-on patch):
    • For relief of moderate to severe chronic pain:
      • Adults—If you have not already been using other narcotics regularly, your doctor will determine use and dose. If you have already been using other narcotics regularly, your first dose will depend on the amount of other narcotics you have been taking every day. If necessary, your doctor will change the dose after 3 days, when the first patch is replaced. The size of the new dose will depend on how well the medicine is working and on whether you had any side effects during the first 7-day application. Other changes in dose may be needed later on.
      • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

Missed Dose

If you forget to wear or change a patch, put one on as soon as you can. If it is almost time to put on your next patch, wait until then to apply a new patch and skip the one you missed. Do not apply extra patches to make up for a missed dose.

Storage

Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.

Keep out of the reach of children.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.

Buprenorphine can cause serious unwanted effects or fatal overdose if taken by children, pets, or adults who are not used to strong narcotic pain medicines. Make sure you store the medicine in a safe and secure place to prevent others from getting it.

To dispose of this medicine: First, fold the patch in half, with the sticky side inside. If the patch has not been used, take it out of the pouch and remove the liner that covers the sticky side of the patch before folding it in half. Then flush it down the toilet right away. Do not flush the pouch or the protective liner down the toilet. Put them in a trash can. You may also place the used patch in the patch-disposal-unit to be sealed and thrown in a trash can.