nalbuphine (Nubain)

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP
    Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP

    Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP

    Dr. Balentine received his undergraduate degree from McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland. He attended medical school at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine graduating in1983. He completed his internship at St. Joseph's Hospital in Philadelphia and his Emergency Medicine residency at Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center in the Bronx, where he served as chief resident.

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Combining nalbuphine with fentanyl (Duragesic), alfentanil (Alfenta), buprenorphine (Subutex), and other opioid medications increases sedation and may cause withdrawal symptoms in narcotic addicts.

Nalbuphine should not be used with MAO inhibitors like phenelzine (Nardil), selegiline (Zelapar, Emsam, Eldepryl), and isocarboxazid (Marplan) as well as linezolid (Zyvox) antibiotic because they can increase nalbuphine toxicity, causing decreased blood pressure, fever, sleepiness, and in severe cases, death. Nalbuphine administration must be separated by 14 days from MAOI inhibitors and linezolid (Zyvox).

PREGNANCY: There are no adequate studies of nalbuphine to determine safe and effective use in pregnant women. Nalbuphine should be used only if clearly needed and the benefit outweighs the risk to fetus. It is used during labor and delivery.

NURSING MOTHERS: Nalbuphine may enter breast milk in trace amount; therefore, it should be used with caution in mothers who are nursing.

SIDE EFFECTS: Side effects of Nalbuphine are sedation, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, dry mouth, headache, and low heart rate. Like other narcotics nalbuphine can cause respiratory depression (decreased rate or depth of breathing).

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/15/2014

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