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Nalbuphine Injection

pronounced as(nal' byoo feen)

About your treatment

Your doctor has ordered nalbuphine, an analgesic (painkiller), to relieve your pain. The drug will be injected into a large muscle (such as your buttock or hip), under your skin, or into a vein.

You will probably receive nalbuphine every 3 to 6 hours as needed for pain. Your doctor may also order other pain medications to make you more comfortable. This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Your health care provider (doctor, nurse, or pharmacist) may measure the effectiveness and side effects of your treatment using laboratory tests and physical examinations. It is important to keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. The length of treatment depends on how you respond to the medication.

Precautions

Before administering nalbuphine,

  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to nalbuphine, medications containing sulfites, or any other drugs.
  • tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, especially antidepressants; medications for cough, cold, or allergies; naloxone (Narcan); naltrexone (ReVia); other pain relievers; sedatives; sleeping pills; tranquilizers; and vitamins.
  • tell your doctor if you have or have ever had breathing difficulties, including asthma and other respiratory diseases, liver or kidney disease, severe inflammatory bowel disease, or a history of drug dependence.
  • tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking nalbuphine, call your doctor.
  • if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking nalbuphine.
  • you should know that this drug may make you drowsy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how nalbuphine will affect you.
  • remember that alcohol can add to the drowsiness caused by this drug.

Administering your medication

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Before you administer nalbuphine, look at the solution closely. It should be clear and free of floating material. Observe the solution container to make sure there are no leaks. Do not use the solution if it is discolored, if it contains particles, or if the container leaks. Use a new solution, but show the damaged one to your health care provider.

It is important that you use your medication exactly as directed. Nalbuphine can be habit forming. Do not administer it more often or for a longer period than your doctor tells you. Do not change your dosing schedule without talking to your health care provider.

Side effects

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Nalbuphine may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • dizziness

  • lightheadedness

  • drowsiness

  • upset stomach

  • vomiting

  • dry mouth

  • headache

  • stomach cramps

  • itchy skin

  • bitter taste

  • confusion or hallucinations

  • feeling of heaviness

  • unusual weakness

If you experience either of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:

  • difficulty breathing

  • fainting

If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online [at http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch] or by phone [1-800-332-1088].

Storing your medication

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  • Your health care provider will probably give you a several-day supply of nalbuphine at a time and provide you with directions on how to prepare each dose. Store the vials at room temperature.

Store your medication only as directed. Make sure you understand what you need to store your medication properly.

Keep your supplies in a clean, dry place when you are not using them, and keep all medications and supplies out of the reach of children. Your health care provider will tell you how to throw away used needles, syringes, tubing, and containers to avoid accidental injury.

Signs of infection

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If you are receiving nalbuphine in your vein or under your skin, you need to know the symptoms of a catheter-related infection (an infection where the needle enters your vein or skin). If you experience any of these effects near your intravenous catheter, tell your health care provider as soon as possible:

  • tenderness

  • warmth

  • irritation

  • drainage

  • redness

  • swelling

  • pain

Brand names

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  • Nubain®

These branded products are no longer on the market and only generic alternatives are available.

Last Reviewed - 09/01/2010

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AHFS® Consumer Medication Information. © Copyright, 2014. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc., 7272 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland. All Rights Reserved. Duplication for commercial use must be authorized by ASHP.