Buprenex is a sublingual medication, sold under the brand names Subutex and Temgesic. This medication is used to treat patients addicted to or dependent on narcotics. It reduces the patients withdrawal symptoms by retarding the patients perceived urgency of seeking opioid substances. Being a type of narcotic itself, it is widely used by doctors, medical professionals and medical practitioners as part of a therapeutic regimen of narcotic dependents.
The main effect of the medication during administration is a long lasting analgesic effect, which is a benefit for most patients because of a longer consistent therapy management. Other benefits of the use of this medication are its low medication interactions, low profile administration through the sublingual or transdermal routes, least amount of renal accumulation, and its lack of any type of immune system suppressant. This lessens the side effects experienced by most patients.
Those who have intense to moderately rated chronic pain should be treated with Buprenex, especially those who are set to have an operation. It is a common peri-operative medication utilized among cancer patients.
Those who are suffering from depression attacks or psychosis may be treated successfully with Buprenex. However, those in the psychiatric division have not included psychological distress in the official list of tested and approved indications for this medication. The conflict of successful therapeutic claims of the medication over such ailments versus the actual approval in the medical field elicits debates and lands the medication in a gray area in this regard.
The most common dose for this medication is available in both 2 and 8 milligram variants, wherein adults whose age is 13 years and above may be administered 1 milliliter of the medication containing .3mg of Buprenex. It is usually administered through intramuscular route and is given in a slow push, lasting up to 2 minutes. Intervals as prescribed by the physician may go as often as every 6 hours.
For children, the usual dose would be 2 to 6 micrograms per kilo of body weight given every 4 hours. Some doctors may administer the medication at 6-hour intervals for better body compliance.
In a clinical test of about 1,133 patients sedated with this medication, about two thirds of the specimen population showed side effects overall, with different effects. Even with the high level of side effects, the intensity of the said effects was minimal or negligible. As an added note, those patients who were successfully sedated were able to be roused back to an alert state quite easily.
Most common side effects occurring with the test sample population was Nausea and Vertigo, which occurred in 5 to 10% of the whole population. Other symptoms include sweating or diaphoresis, abnormally low blood pressure, emesis, headache, and hypoventilation.
There are some adverse side effects that occur in rare occasions such as loss of appetite, agitation, diarrhoea, urticaria, and neuromuscular impairment as evidenced by occasional convulsions and muscle twitching.
Medication interaction is documented with CYP3A4 isozymes in the body, which may lower the clearance of the medication in the bloodstream.
As for CYP3A4 inducers such as rifampin, phenytoin, and phenytoin may actually help clearance of the body.
Pregnant women should take special precaution with this medication as it may affect normal fetal growth.
Buprenex has the following structural formula:
• Molecular formula of buprenex is C29H41NO4
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