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What Is Nalbuphine?

By Meshell Powell
Updated May 17, 2024
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Nalbuphine is an injectible medication which is used to treat moderate to severe pain. This drug works in a very similar way as morphine, although some side effects, such as respiratory problems, may not be as likely when taking nalbuphine. Some of the most common side effects associated with the use of this medication include dizziness, drowsiness, headache, and stomach upset. Patients with certain medical conditions or those who are taking some other medications may not be good candidates for nalbuphine treatment. Any questions or concerns about this medication or the potential side effects should be discussed with a doctor or other medical professional.

Since it is a very strong injectible medication, nalbuphine is primarily used in a hospital setting. In very rare cases, this drug may be prescribed for home use. Common hospital uses for this medication include pain relief before or after surgery, as an addition to anesthesia medications during medical procedures, or to ease pain and discomfort during childbirth. Long-term use of this medication is not usually recommended due to the potential risks of dependence.

Side effects of using nalbuphine often include nausea, dizziness, drowsiness, and an overall feeling of well-being. The patient should not drive or perform any activities which require intense focus or coordination while under the influence of this drug. Some less common but serious side effects which should be reported to a doctor right away may include difficulty breathing, severe abdominal pain, irregular heartbeat, or hallucinations. These symptoms may indicate the presence of severe complications and should be evaluated immediately.

Patients with certain medical conditions may not be able to use nalbuphine, or they may require specialized dosing. For this reason, it is important that the doctor is made aware of the entire medical history of the patient. Those with impaired kidney or liver function are at a particularly higher risk of developing complications from the use of this medication. Those with certain psychiatric disorders may not be good candidates for this drug. Patients with a personal or family history of drug abuse should be monitored closely when using this medication, especially if it is prescribed for long-term use.

Certain medications may interfere with the effectiveness of nalbuphine or increase some of the side effects of the drug. Sedatives, tranquilizers, and medications used to combat insomnia should not be combined with this medication. Patients who are taking medications for seizure disorders or thyroid conditions should use this drug with caution. Dosages can often be adjusted so that this drug is safer, although close medical monitoring may still be necessary.

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