What Is Butorphanol?


What Is Butorphanol?

Butorphanol is a synthetic opioid analgesic (pain killer) medication, with side effects and symptoms similar to morphine.

The drug was originally developed and released by Bristol-Myers under the brand name Stadol but was eventually discontinued. Butorphanol is still available in its generic forms which include Mylan, Novex, and Apotex.


Butorphanol, which comes in a tablet, injectable or intranasal spray, is most commonly prescribed to patients suffering from migraines or to manage moderate or severe pain. It is also used to balance general anesthesia as well as to manage pain during labor. Butorphanol has been shown to be more effective with a woman's chemistry than a man's, thus being more common to be prescribed to women. When prescribed for migraines, it is often given as the intranasal spray while most patients taking it for pain management will use the tablets.

Butorphanol Image

Butorphanol Use Side Effects and Dangers

Butorphanol includes many adverse side effects that are similar to other opioid analgesics. Some of the most common side effects from taking the drug include: confusion, dizziness, sedation and other side effects from affecting the central nervous system. For some individuals, gastrointestinal effects like constipation, increased gas, nausea and vomiting may be common when they are taking the drug, but this largely depends on their sensitivity to analgesic medications.


It is also possible to suffer from more severe central nervous system conditions like respiratory depression or respiratory impairment which makes a highly dangerous drug when used in doses higher than what were prescribed or for a longer period of time. Additional side effects of Butorphanol include salivation, loss of balance, seizures, and muscle twitching.

Signs and Symptoms of Butorphanol Addiction

There are a variety of physical, psychological and behavioral symptoms and signs that indicate an addiction to Butorphanol and similar prescription medication. Most symptoms associated with Butorphanol addiction are the same regardless of the prescription drug and should be paid close attention to in order to help a friend or loved one who is dependent on the drug. Some individuals are more susceptible to addiction of Butorphanol which include having a family history of prescription drug addiction, depression, anxiety or other mental disorders and the use of different types of recreational drugs. Some common signs of addiction to Butorphanol include:

  • Lack of Personal Hygiene and Grooming Practices
  • Inability to Deal with Life on a Daily Basis Without Taking the Drug
  • Blood Shot Eyes
  • Enlarged Pupils
  • Change in Appetite which Causes Weight Gain or Loss
  • Angry Outbursts
  • Irritability
  • Mood Swings
  • Tremors
  • Decreased Coordination
  • Confusion
  • Slurred Speech
  • Lethargy
  • Lack of Motivation
  • Sudden Disinterest in Social Events and Functions

Butorphanol Withdrawal Symptoms

As with most other prescription drugs, Butorphanol causes withdrawal symptoms after quitting the drug "cold turkey" whether by personal choice or due to the lack of a prescription for it. Typically, the longer a person took Butorphanol and the higher dose they ingested, the worse their withdrawal symptoms are going to be. Someone who has been taking it for a short period of time may get lucky and only experience mild symptoms. The milder withdrawal symptoms that most individuals quitting Butorphanol will experience are headaches, dizziness, agitation and insomnia; these are common of all prescription medications, Butorphanol not excluded. For those that have been addicted to Butorphanol for a longer period of time, quitting will be much more difficult with symptoms like:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Fever-Like Symptoms such as Chills and Sweating
  • Intense Mood Swings
  • Angry Outbursts
  • Increased Risk of Relapse

Butorphanol Addiction Treatment Options

If you or someone you know is dealing with addiction to Butorphanol, the sooner you can get help, the better. A variety of treatment options are available to assist you in quitting, dealing with the withdrawal symptoms and avoiding a relapse including getting professional help like counseling, joining support groups, joining NA (narcotics anonymous) and enlisting yourself in a drug rehab program from a local drug rehab center. Often times, the best way to overcome addiction to Butorphanol is to locate a drug rehab center 800-807-0951 nearby and follow their treatment options which may include a period of detoxification, counseling sessions and further help into remaining off the drug. If someone you know is showing signs of addiction, contact a local drug rehab center for advice on how to urge them to seek professional help and what the next steps will be for them.

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