Butorphanol tartrate

General Description: Butorphanol is a short-acting analgesic and cough suppressant used in dogs and cats. Low doses are useful for cough suppression while higher doses will ease pain. The injectable form is often used at your veterinary hospital, but oral tablets may be used at home for pain relief. Butorphanol is a controlled substance that will require a veterinarian’s prescription.

What is this drug?

Butorphanol is a short-acting analgesic and cough suppressant
Butorphanol is given by mouth
Controlled substance (you will need a prescription from your veterinarian every 6 months for this drug)
Reasons for prescribing:

Low doses are useful for cough suppression (without causing slow or shallow breathing)
Higher doses are useful for pain relief
The injectable form is often used as a pre-anesthetic tranquilizer and also for pain relief post-surgery (rapid action, although short-lived)
Used during cancer chemotherapy to prevent nausea and vomiting
What dogs/cats should not take this medication?

Use cautiously or not at all in patients with liver or kidney disease, hypothyroidism, hypoadrenocorticicism (Addison’s disease), head trauma, central nervous system conditions or hydrocephalus
Use with caution in older or debilitated patients
Pregnant and nursing pets
Patients with heartworm disease
Patients with pneumonia or other respiratory conditions where a lot of mucus is produced
Pets known to have had an allergic reaction to butorphanol or like products

Give medication as directed by your veterinarian. This medication is given up tothree times daily.

Give the exact amount prescribed and only as often as directed. Missed doses reduce the effectiveness of therapy.

Call ahead for refills.

Ideally, give the medication at the same time daily.

What if dose is missed?

If a dose is missed, give it as soon as you can. If it is time already for the next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to the normal schedule. Do not give two doses at the same time.

What to tell/ask veterinarian before giving medication?

Talk to your veterinarian about:

When will your pet need to be rechecked
What tests may need to be performed prior to and during treatment with this drug
Risks and benefits of using this drug
Tell your veterinarian about:

If your pet has experienced side-effects on other drugs/products
If your pet has experienced digestive upset now or ever
If your pet has experienced liver or kidney disease now or ever
If your pet has experienced any other medical problems or allergies now or ever
All medicines and supplements that you are giving your pet or plan to give your pet, including those you can get without a prescription. Your veterinarian may want to check that all of your pet’s medicines can be given together.
If your pet is pregnant or nursing or if you plan to breed your pet
Storage and Warnings:

Store in a tight, light resistant, childproof container in a cool, dry place at room temperature away from heat and direct sunlight.

Keep this and all medication out of reach of children and pets. Call your physician immediately if you accidentally take this product.

Potential side effects:

Sedation, staggering
Vomiting, loss of appetite, diarrhea or constipation
Slows heart rate
Some animals become over-excited
Since butorphanol may partially reverse effects of other tranquilizers or pain relievers, discuss any other drugs you may be administering to your pet
If you notice anything unusual, discontinue use and contact your veterinarian
Can this drug be given with other drugs?

Yes, but possible interactions may occur with antihistamines, barbiturates, meperidine, morphine, oxymorphone, pancuronium, sedatives and tranquilizers.
If your pet experiences any unusual reactions when taking multiple medications, contact your veterinarian

Contact your veterinarian immediately if pet consumes more than the prescribed amount.

What else should I know?

Notify your veterinarian if your animal’s condition does not improve or worsens despite this treatment.

As with all prescribed medicines, butorphanol should only be given to the dog/cat for which it was prescribed. It should be given only for the condition for which it was prescribed. It is important to periodically discuss your pet’s response to butorphanol at regular check ups. Your veterinarian will best determine if your pet is responding as expected and if your pet should continue receiving butorphanol.

This is just a summary of information about butorphanol. If you have any questions or concerns about butorphanol or for the condition it was prescribed, contact your veterinarian.


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