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Butorphanol is a drug existing within the class of medications known as opioid agonist-antagonists. Butorphanol's primary objective when prescribed is for the relief of pain. Butorphanol is sometimes used in cases of early labor, or as part of the anesthesia protocol during a surgery.

How to Use Butorphanol

Butorphanol comes in several delivery forms, as a nasal spray and also as an injectable. Consult with your physician to discuss if butorphanol is right for you. If your physician prescribes butorphanol he or she will provide further instructions regarding form of delivery and dosage. Consult with your compounding pharmacist if you have further questions after your initial consultation with your physician or contact your physician directly for follow up questions.

Possible Side Effects

Side effects often differ from patient to patient. Watch for any side effects and contact your physician or seek medical treatment if you experience any side effects that are concerning to you or that are lingering or getting worse over time. Common side effects seen with butorphanol are as follows:

  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Vomiting
  • Cold / Clammy Skin
  • Lethargy
  • Diaphoresis

Many other side effects are possible as each person is unique, so if any of the above or any other side effects are experienced, monitor your condition closely and seek medical assistance if you feel it is warranted, and certainly if any side effects are increasing in intensity or seem to be lingering. If you experience any of the serious side effects listed below, or other side effects you are concerned about, seek medical assistance right away:

  • Difficulty Breathing
  • Cough with Mucus
  • Tightness in Chest
  • Blurry Vision
  • Chest Pain
  • Wheezing
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness/Lightheadedness
  • Pounding Heartbeat
  • Pounding Feeling in the Ears
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Slow or Fast Heartbeat

Watch for possible overdose symptoms and get emergency medical help immediately if you experience any of the following:

  • Shallow Breathing
  • Slow Breathing
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Loss of or Change in Consciousness
  • Swelling of the Hands or Feet
  • Irregular Heartbeat


Butorphanol is a strong drug and may be habit forming and/or dangerous to patients who are taking certain medications, or are suffering from (or who have a history of) specific medical conditions or diseases, thus all patients considering the use of butorphanol should first consult with their physician before beginning use. It is important for your physician to know your medical history and be aware of any medications that you are currently using before beginning a course of butorphanol. Butorphanol can slow or stop your breathing, and may be habit-forming. Use only your prescribed dose. Discuss with your doctor before taking butorphanol if you have any of the following medical conditions:

  • Substance Abuse
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Hypertension
  • Biliary Surgery
  • Hepatic Impairment
  • Renal Impairment
  • Pulmonary Impairment
  • Head Injury
  • CNS Depression

Elderly patients should not take butorphanol before consulting with their doctor.

Overdosing or misuse of narcotic medications can cause death.

  • "It is rare to find health professionals who are so willing to educate the patient on what they need to know."

    Clair C. | West Hollywood, CA