This medication is primarily used to treat migraine headaches and is administered in the form of an intranasal spray.
Butorphanol is used for severe and moderate pain, including pains associated with labor. This drug is more effective in women than men.
Butorphanol is often used in controlling labor pains, as it is more helpful in treating severe pain in women than it is in men.
This drug works as a partial agonist at μ and as a full agonist at κ receptors, exhibiting both agonist and antagonist properties at these receptor sites.
When compared to full opioid receptor agonists, butorphanol causes less respiratory depression. This is due to this drug's partial agonist/antagonist properties at μ opioid receptors.
Patients can experience withdrawal symptoms if they are taking a full opioid agonist concurrently. At μ receptors, butorphanol acts as a competitive antagonist and partial agonist. Thus, a patient also taking a full opioid agonist medication would experience butorphanol competing for opioid receptors, leading to withdrawal symptoms. This is treated with naloxone, however overdose is not easily reversed with this medication.
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