If you’re experiencing severe pain that requires a powerful type of pain reliever called an opioid, your doctor might prescribe Buprenex (buprenorphine) for you.

Buprenex is a prescription drug that’s used to treat pain in adults and in children ages 2 to 12 years. Before you use Buprenex, you need to have already tried other treatments that weren’t effective at treating your pain.

Buprenex contains the active drug buprenorphine, which is a type of opioid.

This article describes the dosages of Buprenex, including its form, strength, and how the drug is given. To learn more about Buprenex, see this in-depth article.

It’s possible that Buprenex may not be available in your area. To check whether it’s available, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Note: This article covers Buprenex’s typical dosages, which are provided by the drug’s manufacturer. However, your doctor will prescribe the dosage that’s right for you.

Buprenex is a drug that’s given as an injection into your muscle or into your vein. You’ll receive Buprenex injections in a hospital or clinic. You won’t give yourself injections of Buprenex.

What is Buprenex’s form?

Buprenex comes as a liquid solution in a vial.

What strength does Buprenex come in?

Buprenex is available in one strength of 0.3 milligrams per milliliter (mg/mL).

What are the typical dosages of Buprenex?

Typically, your doctor will start you on a low dosage. Then they’ll adjust your dosage over time to reach the right amount for you. Your doctor will ultimately prescribe the smallest dosage that provides the desired effect.

The information below describes dosages that are commonly used or recommended. However, be sure to take the dosage your doctor prescribes for you. Your doctor will determine the best dosage to fit your needs.

Buprenex can be given as an injection into your muscle or into your vein. Your doctor will decide which type of injection is best for relieving your pain. Regardless of the type of injection you receive, the dosage for Buprenex is the same.

Your doctor will likely start by giving you a single dose of 0.3 mg (1 mL) of Buprenex. If your pain isn’t relieved with a single dose, a second dose of 0.3 mg can be given 30 to 60 minutes after the first dose.

If your pain persists, your doctor may keep giving you 0.3 mg of Buprenex every 6 hours. For severe pain, you may be given a maximum dose of 0.6 mg of Buprenex every 6 hours.

Is Buprenex used long term?

No, Buprenex isn’t meant to be used as a long-term treatment.

Buprenex is a short-term treatment for pain that’s given in a hospital or clinic. Your doctor will give you Buprenex for the shortest amount of time needed to treat your pain.

If you need long-term pain relief, your doctor will likely prescribe a different treatment for you.

What’s the dosage of Buprenex for children?

Buprenex is prescribed to treat pain in children ages 2 to 12 years.

The typical starting dose of Buprenex for children is 2 to 6 micrograms per kilogram (mcg/kg) of body weight. One kg equals about 2.2 pounds (lbs). So for a child who weighs 16 kg (about 36 lbs), the maximum Buprenex dose for each injection would be 96 mcg (6 mcg x 16 kg).

If the child’s pain isn’t relieved with a single dose, additional doses of Buprenex can be given every 4 to 6 hours. However, some children may need to wait at least 6 to 8 hours between each dose. Their doctor will determine the dosing frequency that’s safest for them.

Dosage adjustments

In certain situations, your doctor may need to adjust your dosage of Buprenex.

For example, your doctor may adjust your Buprenex dosage based on other drugs you take. Examples of these drugs include benzodiazepines or other central nervous system (CNS) depressants, such as alcohol.

Benzodiazepines are a class of drugs used for anxiety or seizures. Examples include:

Buprenex has a boxed warning for the risk of use with benzodiazepines and central nervous system (CNS) depressants. A boxed warning is the most serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Taking Buprenex with these drugs can lead to serious side effects, such as:

Before starting Buprenex, tell your doctor if you take any benzodiazepines or other CNS depressants. They’ll likely give you a lower dosage of Buprenex, or they may prescribe you a different treatment for your pain.

Is Buprenex approved to take orally (by mouth)? If so, what’s the dosage?

No, Buprenex isn’t ever taken by mouth.

Buprenorphine, the active drug in Buprenex, is available in other forms that are given by mouth. And oral forms of buprenorphine were used in animal studies of Buprenex.

However, Buprenex is only available as a liquid solution that’s injected into your muscle or into your vein. There isn’t a human dose of Buprenex that’s taken by mouth.

If you’re interested in using oral forms of buprenorphine instead of Buprenex, talk with your doctor. They can discuss whether other drugs are appropriate for treating your pain.

Where can I find instructions for giving myself Buprenex injections?

You won’t find instructions for how to give yourself injections of Buprenex. The drug is only given by a healthcare provider in a hospital or clinic. You won’t give yourself Buprenex injections at home.

If you have questions about how you’ll receive Buprenex treatments, talk with your doctor.

The dosage of Buprenex you’re prescribed may depend on several factors. These include:

  • the severity of the pain you’re using Buprenex to treat
  • your age
  • the form of Buprenex you’re using
  • other pain treatments you’ve used in the past
  • for your child, their body weight
  • other drugs you may be taking (see “Dosage adjustments” under “What is Buprenex’s dosage?”)

Buprenex is given as an injection into your muscle or into your vein. Your doctor will decide which type of injection is best for relieving your pain.

You’ll receive Buprenenx injections in a hospital or clinic. You won’t give yourself injections of Buprenex.

You’ll receive your Buprenex injections on a short-term basis. The drug is given as needed to treat your pain. So you may not receive regularly scheduled doses of Buprenex.

If you have questions about how often you should receive your Buprenex doses, talk with your doctor.

Yes, Buprenenx is a schedule III controlled substance and has a boxed warning for the risk of addiction and misuse. A boxed warning is the most serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). To learn more, see the “Boxed warnings” section at the beginning of the article.

Using more Buprenex than the dosage provided by the drug manufacturer can lead to serious side effects.

Symptoms of overdose

Symptoms caused by an overdose can include:

What to do in case you think you’ve received too much Buprenex

In the hospital or clinic where you receive Buprenex, you’ll be continuously monitored for potential overdose. Let your doctor know right away if you think you’ve been given too much Buprenex.

If you’re not in a hospital or clinic, you can call 800-222-1222 to reach the American Association of Poison Control Centers or use their online resource. However, if you have severe symptoms, call 911 (or your local emergency number) immediately or go to the nearest emergency room.

Taking Buprenex can lead to physical dependence. This condition occurs when your body relies on a drug in order to feel normal.

If you suddenly stop taking Buprenex after you’ve been given the drug regularly, you may experience withdrawal symptoms. Examples of these symptoms include:

Before you stop your Buprenex treatment, your doctor may lower your doses slowly over time. This can help lower your risk for having withdrawal symptoms after the drug is stopped.

If you have withdrawal symptoms after you’ve stopped receiving Buprenex injections, talk with your doctor. They can recommend ways to lessen these symptoms.

Buprenex is used to treat severe pain that hasn’t been relieved by other treatments.

The sections above describe the typical dosages provided by the drug manufacturer. If your doctor recommends Buprenex for you, they’ll prescribe the dosage that’s right for you.

Here are some examples of questions you may want to ask your doctor:

  • Should my dosage of Buprenex change if I have certain health conditions?
  • Does my dosage of Buprenex need to change if I’m taking other drugs along with it?
  • If Buprenex can be given as an injection into a muscle or into a vein, why might my doctor prescribe one method of injection over the other?

Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.