Wisdom tooth Other area Buprenorphine (patch)
Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content


Drug Class: Commonly Known As: Category:
Sovenor, buprenorphine

Buprenorphine - What is it for

Buprenorphine patches are used for the treatment of chronic pain.

Buprenorphine - Side Effects, Precautions, and Contraindications

What side effects can Buprenorphine cause?

  • Common side effects include gastrointestinal side effects such as constipation, dry mouth and nausea and vomiting, abdominal discomfort and weight loss.
  • Itchiness and skin irritation.
  • Altered mood, altered sleep and headaches.
  • Sleepiness, confusion and dizziness. If affected do not drive, operate machinery or perform tasks which require mental alertness.
  • This medication has the potential to cause addiction. If you experience difficulty stopping this medication when it is no longer required, please consult your healthcare professional.
Rare but serious side effects include:
  • Swollen face/eyes/lips/tongue
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Itchy skin rashes over your whole body

If you experience any of these symptoms, you should stop your medication and see your healthcare professional immediately.

This medication may depress your breathing. Seek immediate medication attention should you experience breathing difficulty including shallow or slow breathing.

Before taking Buprenorphine , what precautions must I follow?

Inform your healthcare professional if:
  • You are allergic to this medication or any of the other ingredients of this medication. This includes a history of allergy to other related drugs including other opioids such as oxycodone, morphine, fentanyl and codeine.
  • You are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding.
  • You are taking any other medications, including supplements, traditional medications and herbal remedies.
  • If you have a fever, the effect of this medication may be increased. Inform your healthcare professional if you have or develop fever while using this medication.
  • You suffer from diseases affecting your breathing including asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or if you suffer from myasthenia gravis.

What food or medicine must I avoid when I take Buprenorphine ?

​Avoid alcohol while using the patch

Buprenorphine - Dosage and How to Use

How should Buprenorphine be used?

  • Apply your medication as prescribed by your healthcare professional. 
  • The patch should be worn continuously and changed every seven days unless advised otherwise by your healthcare professional.
    • Bathing, showering or swimming should not affect the patch. If a patch falls off, a new one should be applied.
  • The patch should be applied to the upper outer arm, upper chest,upper back or the side of the chest. Apply to a relatively hairless or nearly hairless, non-irritated intact skin site which should be free of scars.
    • If the application site must be cleaned, it should be done with clean water only. Soaps, alcohol, oils, lotions or abrasive devi   ces must not be used. The skin must be dry before the patch is applied.
    • Following removal of the protective layer, the transdermal patch should be pressed firmly in place with the palm of the hand for approximately 30 seconds, making sure the contact is complete, especially around the edges. If the edges begin to peel off, the edges may be taped down with suitable surgical tape.
    • Avoid exposing the application site to external heat sources, such as heating pads, electric blankets, heat lamps, sauna, hot tubs, and heated water beds etc, as an increase in absorption to this medication may occur.
    • New patches should be applied to a different skin site. The same administration site should not be used for 3-4 weeks. 
  • If you find this medication does not sufficiently alleviate your pain at the prescribed dose, please consult your healthcare professional.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you forget to apply a patch, apply it as soon as you remember. Do not administer two patches together to make up for the missed dose.

What should I do if I overdose?

Buprenorphine - Handling

How should I handle Buprenorphine safely?

​Buprenorphine can generally be used with most other foods or medication. However, please inform your healthcare professional if you are taking other medications or herbal preparations.

Avoid alcohol. Alcohol may increase the risk of side effects with this medication.

Buprenorphine - Storage

How should I store Buprenorphine ?

;#Keep away from children;#Keep in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight;#

How should I dispose of Buprenorphine safely?

Leftover, unused, used  and expired  patches must be folded over on themselves with the adhesive layer inwards, and discarded safely into a black trash bag and sealed tightly before throwing in the rubbish chute or bin. For any unused/leftover/expired patches, these should be returned to the pharmacy for safe disposal.

Buprenorphine - Additional Information

  • Updated on 4/30/2022 12:00:00 AM
  • Article contributed by Pharmacy PSS National Medication Information Workgroup
The information provided is not intended as medical advice. Terms of use. Information provided by SingHealth

​This leaflet answers some common questions about Buprenorphine. It does not contain all the available information. It also does not take the place of talking to your doctor or pharmacist.

Find Your Medicines