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Can I use Butrans if I have a history of sleep apnea?

You may be able to use Butrans (buprenorphine) if you have a history of sleep apnea, but your doctor is likely to use extra caution and monitor you particularly carefully. Butrans, a round-the-clock opioid painkiller that is released by a seven-day skin patch, can impair breathing. It poses extra risks for people with sleep apnea, a condition in which you stop breathing -- for several seconds at a time, many times a night -- while you are sleeping. If you have a history of sleep apnea, your doctor may prescribe a lower-than-normal dose of Butrans and watch you for respiratory depression.

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