Buprenorphine Injection and Oral Solution
It’s difficult to see your beloved pet in pain, but what makes matters worse is not knowing what’s causing your pet’s discomfort. If you notice your pet is experiencing pain, then you should take her to the veterinarian as soon as possible to have her thoroughly evaluated.
Depending on your pet’s condition and diagnosis, your veterinarian may prescribe buprenorphine in either an injectable or oral solution formulation to help manage your pet’s pain.
What Is Buprenorphine?
Buprenorphine is a synthetic opiate that is derived from the poppy flower. It is 30 times more potent than morphine and helps ease pain without the negative gastrointestinal side effects common among opiate drugs. Buprenorphine is a narcotic, so it’s use is controlled by the Drug Enforcement Agency.
Why Buprenorphine Is Prescribed in Veterinary Medicine
Buprenorphine injections and oral solutions are used by veterinarians to help reduce moderate to severe pain in cats and dogs as well as for surgical procedures. It is a popular drug of choice because it very effective and fast-acting. After being injected, buprenorphine is rapidly absorbed with the effects usually felt within 15 to 30 minutes and lasting about 8 hours.
Other Uses for Buprenorphine in Veterinary Medicine
Buprenorphine not only helps reduce pain, but it also has natural anti-inflammatory properties. As a result, veterinarians will also prescribe the medication to treat topical inflammation being caused by tissue necrosis, skin infections or pathological diseases, tissue spasms, ischemia, and trauma to the skin resulting from wounds, fractures, and joint injuries.
If you are administering this drug at home, try to follow the prescribed directions as closely as possible and try not to miss a dose. If a dose is missed, then give the next dose as soon as you remember or, if it is close to the next scheduled dose, wait and resume with the next regularly scheduled dose. Do not administer a double dose to catch up on a missed dose. After administering buprenorphine oral solution, wash your hands thoroughly.
Special Precautions for Using Buprenorphine
Buprenorphine is only to be administered to the pet it has been prescribed for. Because it is a controlled substance, it is very important for the medication to be kept well out of reach of children and pets.
Buprenorphine should be used with extreme caution in pets that have been previously diagnosed with hypothyroidism, liver disease, Addison’s disease, poor kidney function, or poor heart or lung function.
Possible Side Effects of Buprenorphine
Buprenorphine is generally well-tolerated by animals. In fact, the drug’s low incidence of side effects is a major reason why veterinarians prefer using it to treat pain.
Other, less common side effects can include an elevated heart rate, reduced blood pressure, vomiting, changes in body temperature (high or low), anorexia, slowed breathing, and/or hyperactivity.
Known Drug Interactions With Buprenorphine
If your pet is taking other medications, supplements, vitamins, or herbal therapies, then you need let the veterinarian know about them before your pet is administered buprenorphine. This includes notifying your veterinarian of the drug dosages and administration schedules, to help avoid any potential risk of drug interactions.
The drugs known to have interactions with buprenorphine include erythromycin, barbiturates, monoamine oxidase inhibitors, tranquilizers, certain antihistamines, and all antifungals.