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American Society for Action on Pain

Author: Scott-J-L. Smith-M-S. Sanford-S-M. Shesser-R-F. Rosenthal-R- E. Smith-J-P. Feied-C-F. Ghezzi-K-T. Hunt-D-M.

Title: Effectiveness of transnasal butorphanol for the treatment of musculoskeletal pain.

Source: Am-J-Emerg-Med. 1994 Jul. 12(4). P 469-71.


Abstract: A prospective, open-label study of the effectiveness of transnasal butorphanol in the treatment of pain resulting from musculoskeletal injuries. Twenty-eight patients with strains (n = 20), fractures (n = 6), contusions (n = 1), and stab wounds (n = 1) were included. All patients were examined by an attending level emergency medicine physician and deemed to have pain severe enough to warrant parenteral narcotic analgesia. All patients received an initial 1-mg dose of transnasal butorphanol. Subsequent dosing was flexible depending on response to the initial dose. All patients received pain relief from transnasal butorphanol, and only one requested alternative analgesic medication. Fifty- seven percent (n = 16) of patients noticed at least a little relief of pain within 5 minutes of administration and 93% (n = 26) received at least a little relief within 15 minutes. Seventy-one percent of the patients received a 50% reduction of pain within 60 minutes. No serious side effects were noted, but drowsiness occurred in 82% (n = 23) and dizziness in 54% (n = 15) of the patients. One patient discontinued participation in the study because of nausea. In this limited trial transnasal butorphanol proved to be a rapidly effective opioid analgesic. Further controlled studies comparing transnasal butorphanol with standard parenteral narcotics are needed.