Buprenorphine for Dogs and Cats

Dosage Forms Available:

  • Oral Liquid
  • Injection
  • Transdermal Gel


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Buprenorphine  is a analgesic medication used to treat dogs and cats with mild to moderate pain 

What is Buprenorphine?

Buprenorphine is a veterinary medication. Buprenorphine is a morphinane alkaloid that is 7,8-dihydromorphine 6-O-methyl ether in which positions 6 and 14 are joined by a -CH2CH2- bridge, one of the hydrogens of the N-methyl group is substituted by cyclopropyl, and a hydrogen at position 7 is substituted by a 2-hydroxy-3,3-dimethylbutan-2-yl group.. Buprenorphine is used in the management of pain in dogs and cats. 

What is Buprenorphine Used for In Dogs?

Buprenorphine is used to manage mild to moderate pain

Buprenorphine and all products containing buprenorphine are controlled in schedule III of the Controlled Substances Act and requires a prescription from your veterinarian.

 Buprenorphine Side Effects in Dogs

Side effects of Buprenorphine for dogs and cats are uncommon.

Less Common Side Effects

  • Elevated heart rate
  • Reduced blood pressure
  • Vomiting
  • Changes in body temperature (low or high)
  • Slowed breathing
  • Hyperactivity

If you notice any of these Buprenorphine side effects in dogs or cats, contact your veterinarian right away. In the event of an allergic reaction, seek immediate medical attention for your animal.

Buprenorphine Precautions

Buprenorphine for dogs may not be the best treatment for all veterinary patients.

Who Should Not Use Buprenorphine in pets with:

  • Low thyroid levels
  • Bile disease
  • Liver disease
  • Heart or lung system dysfunction
  • Addison’s disease
  • Very young or old pets

Are There Any Drug Interactions With Buprenorphine?

The following medications should be used with caution when given with buprenorphine to dogs and cats: local anesthetics, anticonvulsants, azole antifungals, benzodiazepines, cisapride, central nervous system depressant agents, cyclobenzaprine, desmopressin, erythromycin, fentanyl, halothane, metoclopramide, MAOIs (antidepressants), naloxone, pancuronium, phenobarbital, rifampin, serotonergic agents, or tramadol.

Are There Any Risk Factors Associated With This Medication?

Buprenorphine should not be used in dogs or cats that are allergic to it or other opioids, or if being treated with amitraz (e.g., Mitaban®, certain flea collars). Buprenorphine should be used cautiously in pets with low thyroid levels, liver disease, bile disease, heart and/or lung disease, kidney disease, Addison’s disease, or in very young, very old, or debilitated pets. It should be used with extreme caution in pets with head trauma or other nervous system dysfunction. Use cautiously in pregnant or lactating animals, as the effects are not well established. Talk to your veterinarian about any side effect that seems unusual or bothersome to the pet. 


Buprenorphine oral solution, transdermal gel and injections are best stored in a cool dry place. All forms should be in a tightly sealed container and kept away from direct sunlight.

Liquid Buprenorphine should also be stored at room temperature. Shake well before administering the dosage.

Medications should not be ingested by humans. In homes with children, a childproof container is recommended. If a human accidentally swallows this medication, call your doctor right away.


Buprenorphine, 0.005 – 0.02 mg/kg, taken either Intramuscularly, Intravenously, subcutaneously, or orally, every 6-12 hours. Be certain to complete the prescription unless specifically directed by your veterinarian. 

Timeline Tips

  • Follow your veterinarian’s instructions as they may differ from these recommendations.


  • Finish the package and administer all doses. Don’t cease medication until your veterinarian has instructed.

Buprenorphine Overdose 

Buprenorphine overdose is are but contact your veterinarian if you believe your pet is having side effects . Accidental ingestion should be treated immediately.


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