NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde Area Drug and Therapeutics Committee
Greater Glasgow and Clyde Medicines
Medicines Update

Safety: Buprenorphine patches

Brands are not all interchangeable

 

Several brands of buprenorphine patches are available and these are not all interchangeable. We have previously reported a case  where incorrect dosage instructions may have contributed to poor pain control in a 93 year old patient who had to be admitted to a local hospice for symptom control.

 

Buprenorphine patches are not included in the GGC Formulary and supply requires an IPTR2 form in acute hospitals.

 

Some examples of available buprenorphine patches are listed below (list is not exhaustive).  Full dosage instructions are available here

 

 

  • Butec® patches (changed every 7 days)
  • BuTrans® patches (changed every 7 days)
  • Bupeaze® patches (changed every 96 hours (4 days) at the latest)
  • Hapoctasin® patches (changed after 72 hours (3 days) at the latest)
  • Transtec® patches (changed every 96 hours (4 days) at the latest)

 

 

Key messages

 

  • The different brands of buprenorphine patches are not all interchangeable
  • Prescriptions should specify the brand and full dosage instructions
  • Generic prescribing is not appropriate and any generic prescription should be questioned
  • Ensure that the dose is suitable for the patient and appropriate for the prescribed product

 

 

For more information on preventing harm with transdermal opioid patches, see the flash report produced by the Controlled Drugs Accountable Officers’ Network (Scotland).

 

Published 03/08/2016

 

Amended 10/10/2016 to state that brands are not all interchangeable. This is to reflect the main message which is around the different dosage instructions and frequency of patch application between high dose and low dose products.