Questions about Buprenorphine (Buprenex)

lovemykitties69

TCS Member
Kitten
Joined
May 27, 2012
Messages
3
Purraise
1
Hello, and thanks for the information. Cornelius is sometimes active and runs around my kitchen meowing at me and climbing up my leg wanting some wet food. He rubs his head on my ankles and looks up at me with hs big blue eyes. He can eat a whole 2.75 oz container of meow mix in one sitting. He eats 3+ per day. Plus some kitty milk between feedings. He is only stoned for a few hours between feedings and usually drools all over the place. But he is still active and runs around from time to time.

I almost forgot, along with the buprenex 3x daily. The vet also prescribed .15 ml of Metacam every other day. I pay $10 for a 1.5 mg bottle. (I think I'm reading the receipt right). But the Buprenex is $127.43 for 4.2 ml. That's the one that goes pretty quick. A little more expensive than I initially thought after looking at my most recent receipt.

I put the medicine on his food because his mouth is a mess. The swelling and drool is a nightmare, and his tongue hangs out of his mouth. He doesn't want to let anyone near his mouth or jaw. He used to love to be sctatched under his chin but now we have to steer clear. I forced a syringe into his mouth last week and it just pissed him off. He ended up running upstairs and hiding under a bed. It seems to work ok on his wet food so we kept going that route.

My girlfriend informed me this morning while I was at work, Cornelius was struggling at the kitty litter and making strange noises. I'm assuming this is the constipation that I was told to watch for. It seems that sometimes his stool is solid and other times very watery. But always a light tan/orange in color. Not sure if this is because of the drugs or the change in diet from dry food to wet. Or maybe a combination of both.

Thanks again for everyone's input.
 

otto

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Mar 7, 2008
Messages
9,836
Purraise
190
I'm glad it's working, adding it to his food. I can understand that he would not want anything in near his mouth, poor baby. But I want to reiterate to anyone interested, for a cat who isn't having this kind of serious mouth problem, the syringe does not have to be forced into the mouth, because the medicine does not go down the throat.The medicine just get squirted into the mouth, onto the tongue is fine. But I can see why you won't want to try that with Cornelius again.

Metacam comes with the risk of acute kidney failure, but it is an effective anti inflammatory and in this instance I would say the risk is worth the benefit.

The wet food may be making his stools soft, but since constipation can be a problem, that's not such a big deal. :).

Were the noises he was making vocal sounds, or did she mean sounds of gas expulsion? If the change in diet is giving him a tummy ache you can add some probiotic to help his digestion. I like ProViable DC, but you can see what your vet carries. Even Forti Flora, while not the best extra ingredients, is a good source of probiotic, and highly palatable.

Keep us posted on your sweet boy. :heart3:
 
Last edited:

sugarcatmom

TCS Member
Super Cat
Joined
Nov 7, 2011
Messages
839
Purraise
168
Location
Calgary, AB
Buprenex can also be injected. I realize many people prefer not to have to deal with needles if they can help it, but I personally find this to be the most effective method. Dosing is more precise (as in you can be sure the cat got every drop), lasts longer, and you don't have to mess with a painful mouth.
 

lovemykitties69

TCS Member
Kitten
Joined
May 27, 2012
Messages
3
Purraise
1
Thanks every one, I will keep you posted. Oh and apparently the noises were not gas, just some whimpering. I will look into the suggested diet aids to see if I can help with his constipation. But he usually doesn't have issues in that department. At least from what I've witnessed.

I'm certainly not a big fan of needles, or poking holes in my buddy. I'm sure if given the choice, he would pick the oral medication. Thanks for the option though. I will keep that in mind if he stops eating the medicine from his wet food.
 

widg3ts

TCS Member
Kitten
Joined
Jul 26, 2012
Messages
1
Purraise
1
I apologize if im reviving a dead/old thread, but i saw some incorrect information that could lead to serious issues if these facts aren't taken into account.

That price is high.

Buprenorphine is not an Opiate Agonist...its a partial agonist, which means its picky about the way it binds to opiate receptors, and can even act as an antagonist.

It has an extremely long half life (relative), is difficult to overdo compared to other drugs, including tramadol (which, by the way, is just as addicting, if not more so than buprenorphine.), and is effective.

You have to weigh your options. Now, if we recognize that we can't talk to our cats, and base our decisions off of comparisons with humans, short acting opiates cause a much more abrupt, and painful withdrawal. Buprenorphine is used to treat withdrawal symptoms for a few reasons (in humans)-- the long half life means it can be administered 1-2 times a day, but up to 3(its not often prescribed more than 2 times a day for pain, and often can be taken once a day).

Withdrawal from tramadol could be equally painful (its important to note that tramadol has unique effects on available levels on serotonin, and can cause humans to feel stimulated, instead of drowsy), and at equinanalgesic levels, could present larger issues...such as the fact that for 24 hour coverage, you'd need to administer the drug as many as 6 times a day, and cessation syndrome would be more traumatic.

If it boils down to it, your weighing the cat having a mild flu for 3-5 days, or a intense illness for 2-3 days upon cessation against a month or two of normal life with minimal suffering. Often, in humans, palliative opiate therapy is usually used near end-of-life for the specific reason that its not necessary to withdrawal. But if your cat is suffering, quality of life can be, and probably is more important.

On the behavior of the manic cat, a cat in pain, and one that's no longer in pain can present dramatic differences. Its possible the behavior is primary to the drug, or secondary, similar to when you're really excited to wake up and find your migraine is gone and you can live again.

During treatment initiation, you could administer half the dose, or even one quarter, and see if there are marked improvements in mobility with minimal behavioral impact. This is inhumane to do to a cat already initiated to a pain regiment.

I know this is my first post, but this both valuable information, and relevant to the conversation. If there are any questions, don't hesitate to ask. I'm sitting in front of a PDR right now.

I can answer questions about medications, side effects, etcetera, but these should not be taken as a primary source--im not a veterinarian and I cannot and will not provide diagnosis information-- I can provide useful insight and information that would make for great talking points when discussing conditions and treatment with your pets vet.
 

paula bowden

TCS Member
Kitten
Joined
Aug 17, 2012
Messages
1
Purraise
1
Hi

We were able to relieve most of our cat's stomatitis symptoms by putting her on a grain free diet, which is easy to do with current products. P
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #27

ziggy'smom

TCS Member
Thread starter
Alpha Cat
Joined
Feb 15, 2010
Messages
659
Purraise
42
I just came across this old thread and just wanted to mention, to those who have asked about cost, that you can get Buprenorphine (Buprenex) much, much cheaper through Roadrunner Pharmacy which is a veterinary compounding pharmacy. Your vet just has to call them with the prescription. They offer two versions - a flavored oral version and an injectible version. The oral version is cheaper (20-something I think). I pay $45 for a 30ml bottle of the injectible version which lasts a little over a month. (Note that Roadrunner's Buprenorphine is 0.15mg/ml instead of the 0.30mg/ml as the brand name Buprenex so 30ml of this stuff is equal to a 15ml bottle of the brandname Buprenex. For this reason you also have to double the dose - if your cat normally get 0.2ml he/she will need 0.4ml of the Roadrunner Buprenorphine.)

Although the oral version is cheaper I recommend getting the injectible version. There are two reasons this is better for cats with stomatitis. One is that buprenorphine has to be absorbed by the mucus membranes in the mouth, not swallowed, and if your cat has a sore mouth putting meds on it can be quite painful. The second reason is that when given orally the whole dose will never be absorbed and enter into the bloodstream. Some of the medication will inevitably be mixed with saliva and swallowed and any medication that is swallowed won't enter the bloodstream and is instead just excreted in the urine, i.e., it's useless. To get the most amount of the medication absorbed you have to give it very slowly in the cheek which can be difficult to do with a fussy cat that may be in pain. As a result most owners give the medication too fast resulting in a significant portion of it being swallowed. When injecting it, however, you can be sure that the whole dose is absorbed into the bloodstream and this also happens quicker than when given orally. Injecting it sub-q is, believe it or not, also much easier on your cat. I can give my cats their shots when they are sleeping and they don't even wake up. No fuss at all. They don't even seem to feel it. Giving sub-q shots is also very easy. Just have your vet show you how. You really can't mess it up. The increased efficacy and ease makes the extra cost worth it to me.

Just FYI, the hyperness that I mentioned in the initial post went away after just a few days on Buprenorphine and after a while it stopped effecting him at all behavior wise. I have to disagree with the poster above that buprenorphine does not cause a physical dependency (aka addiction) in cats. It does although the symptoms are not as severe as in humans. I would highly recommend a slow taper for any cat who's been on buprenoprhine, or any other opioid, for more than a few weeks.
 
 

ladawp

TCS Member
Kitten
Joined
Nov 9, 2012
Messages
1
Purraise
1
I have found a compounding pharmacy that will make Buprenex up into what they call emulsified liquid. My vet says this will not work because stomach acid with destroy the integrity of the drug. Has anyone heard of this form of buprenex?
 

otto

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Mar 7, 2008
Messages
9,836
Purraise
190
I agree with your vet. Buprenex is put into the mouth, and absorbed by the mucus membranes. It is not meant to make it to the stomach and will be useless there. There is no need to compound it, as it is very easy to give. Just...squirt it into the mouth of the cat. It is a tiny amount, and not mean to be swallowed. Once it's in the mouth, it's in, and will do what it is supposed to do.
 

tobytyler

TCS Member
Alpha Cat
Joined
Oct 21, 2012
Messages
562
Purraise
14
Location
Colorful Colorado
Does anyone know how long the pre-filled syringes are good for?  I still have about 6 syringes left from when Toby was on it in May of this year.  I want to have it on hand just in case.
 

felinesrule

TCS Member
Kitten
Joined
Feb 24, 2013
Messages
1
Purraise
1
My cat was on this med for pain and the label says it's good for one year from the date it was purchased. I believe it would be fine even longer but medicines start to lose their potency after a year or so.
 

treasur04

TCS Member
Kitten
Joined
Apr 1, 2013
Messages
5
Purraise
10
Don't be misled by the fact of it being "synthetic", it's just as addictive ! But opioids can slow their whole system down; ie. cause constipation, slow heart rate, etc. Constipation is definitely something to be concerned about. And in some cats it causes hyper-excitability. Not a good thing, especially in a poor cat that can't even understand what's happening to it ! The liquid 'syringes' are filled with the "injectable" form of the drug.
 
 

dellawoods007

TCS Member
Young Cat
Joined
Aug 17, 2013
Messages
21
Purraise
1
If your cat has bad teeth it probably has a terrible infection....An infection from a tooth can kill them...I'm shocked your vet didn't put him on an antibiotic...The morphine will only cover this ...Check with your local humsnr society...They have very good vets...You need help with these rescue cats....ask some local company's if they'll help and contact all the cat food company's
 

bpoage

TCS Member
Kitten
Joined
Jan 29, 2014
Messages
4
Purraise
1
Location
N. C.
My cat was put on Buprenex for pain also.  He is a very gentle cat. But since I just gave him his first dose he has been acting Crazy. He has been scaring me and I had to put him in a room to his self. I starting looking this drug up and found you. I am not going to give him any more of this drug.

Brenda P.
 

mosimom

TCS Member
Alpha Cat
Joined
Dec 26, 2013
Messages
448
Purraise
102
My cat was put on Buprenex for pain also.  He is a very gentle cat. But since I just gave him his first dose he has been acting Crazy. He has been scaring me and I had to put him in a room to his self. I starting looking this drug up and found you. I am not going to give him any more of this drug.
Brenda P.
How much is he getting per dose? My vet prescribed 1ml every 8 hrs for my kitty after major surgery. It turned her into a zombie where she couldn't eat or drink if she wanted to.....she was high and stared at a wall for hrs. I gave two doses and decided no more. I think she was overdosed. I still have 4 syringes with 1 ml each left.....I'll give them to a shelter when I get a chance.
 

bpoage

TCS Member
Kitten
Joined
Jan 29, 2014
Messages
4
Purraise
1
Location
N. C.
My new cat is a foster cat that showed up at my house about a month ago. I named him Chester because he had a limp when he first came to me.  (Chester from Gunsmoke).  I fell in love with him and am trying to get him in good shape to be adopted. I already have 5 other cats that I adopted.

Buorenex  1.20 ml is what he was put on every 12 hrs. because he had to have surgery on his hind foot.  He went from a gentle loving cat to jumping on me and biting and clawing every time I got close to him.  I am calling the VET this morning. The 3 doses cost me $27.50.  

I don't think he is trying to be mean. It is  like it's aggressive playing.  He has to wear a protective collar to keep him from licking his foot. 
 

bpoage

TCS Member
Kitten
Joined
Jan 29, 2014
Messages
4
Purraise
1
Location
N. C.
My Vet said I could return the rest of the medication.  She said that medication effects some cats differently . Chester is doing OK without it. I wish my Vet would have warned me about the side effects.  The Animal hospital I use has a lot of new Doctor's. I have not been happy with them  lately. I have been with them for so many years it's hard to change. Their prices have gone up a lot.
 

fleur4

TCS Member
Young Cat
Joined
May 28, 2014
Messages
40
Purraise
24
Thank you for saying that we have to weigh our options.  I realize this is an old post, but I needed information about Buprenorphine and wanted as many opinions as possible.  Our 9 year old cat has a history of severe constipation and has had several enemas. Once we started putting Miralax in her food, the constipation problem just about disappeared.  However, she did have to have one recently and was very sick from it.  Hiding under the bed kind of sick, she didn't want to eat or be petted for at least two days.  

Yesterday she had to have a canine tooth pulled and our vet gave us enough doses to give her every 12 hours for 5 days.  We dosed her this morning, but she does not seem to be in pain at all.   
She's eating and wants to play with her favorite toy.  My husband refuses to give her a second dose, because he feels that if she has to have another enema, she'll feel much worse than having a toothache, and for much longer.  And that she doesn't need it anyway.  I'm worried that she seems to feel great because we gave her medicine this morning and that without it she might feel awful.   

I think my husband is right, though, and we've decided, at least for tonight, to skip the drug.  An enema would make her very sick for about 3 days.   Plus, she had pancreatitis last year, so she's not as healthy as we'd like.  

Anyway, you relieved my guilt, so, thanks!
 

fleur4

TCS Member
Young Cat
Joined
May 28, 2014
Messages
40
Purraise
24
Oh, duh!  Sorry, my post was in response to Widg3t's post about making decisions on using Buprenex.  

(I'm new!)
 
Top