Nubain is a drug commonly used in relieving pains associated with surgical procedures. Know all about the medicine, including its uses, dosage, interactions and side effects.

What is Nubain?

Nubain is the brand name for Nalbuphine and is used for treating moderate to severe pain. This drug is administered to the patient in an intravenous, intramuscular or subcutaneous way.

Picture of Nubain

Picture 1 – Nubain Picture

Nubain Uses


The drug belongs to the class of narcotic pain relievers and is commonly used as an analgesic. It is used in anesthesia and in preoperative and postoperative analgesia. Similarly, the medicine also finds application in various surgical procedures associated with pain such as those involving child births.

Nubain also shows synergistic (additive effect) with drugs like sedatives, hypnotics, tranquilizers and CNS depressants. It is used in combination with these drugs for improved performance. Whether you take the drug individually or in combination, you should strictly follow the dosage instructions prescribed by your doctor.

Dosage and Administration of Nubain

The ideal dosage for Nubain is 10 mg for a healthy individual of approximately 70 kg body weight. However, the dose of this medication actually varies from one individual to another depending on the age and body weight of the patient. The intensity of body pain and use of other medications should also be kept in mind while making the dosage adjustments for a patient. You should follow the advice and recommendations of your doctor and pharmacist regarding the dosage of Nubain. As aforesaid, the drug can be administered by three different routes – intravenous, intramuscular and subcutaneous route. In case you are hyprsensitive to the drug, you should not take more than 160 mg of it in a day. The frequency of dosage is usually 6 hours.

Pharmacology of Nubain

This analgesic belongs to the category of phenanthrenes and has structural resemblance to naloxone and oxymorphone. The onset of action occurs within few minutes after taking the drug and is faster in case of intravenous administration when compared to subcutaneous and intramuscular administration. The plasma half life of the drug is 5 hours.

Side Effects of Nubain

Image of Nubain

Picture 2 – Nubain Image

Sedation is the most common side effect associated with Nubain. The drug also involves other side effects like:

In some cases, the drug may also affect the central nervous system and produce side effects like:

  • Nervousness
  • Tingling
  • Depression
  • Restlessness
  • Mental confusion
  • Crying
  • Euphoria
  • Floating sensation
  • Hostility
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Hallucinations

To put it briefly, the CNS gets impaired and patients might experience sensations that have no connection with the reality.

The medication may also affect the cardiovascular system and give rise to side effects which include Hypertension, Bradycardia, Edema and Hypotension. A few patients may suffer from cramps, dyspepsia and altered taste.

Rare side effects of this medicine include speech difficulties, increased urination and blurred vision.

Overdose of Nubain

Patients suffering from an overdose of this medicine are prescribed with intravenous administration of Naloxone. Naloxone acts as an effective antidote for Nubain and provides relief from the adverse effects of an overdose of the latter drug. During administration of this antidote, proper supportive measures like oxygen and fluids should be used.

Precautions with Nubain

A number of precautions must be followed while taking Nubain.

This drug should never be taken with alcohol.  Alcohol can potentiate the action of the drug and impair the nervous system, thus affecting the ability to think clearly.

Inform your doctor about your medical history. This is especially important if you have a kidney disease or mental disease. Similarly, you should inform your doctor in advance if you are allergic to any substance or have asthma. In such cases, you may be prescribed some alternative drug instead of Nubain.

Although the drug is not harmful for fetus and can be taken during pregnancy, you should take proper medical advice before starting the medication. This is important for the safety of your baby.

This is a habit forming drug and should be kept away from children to avoid its misuse. If long term therapy is provided to a patient, it should be ensured that he/she takes the drug under proper supervision.

Drug Interactions of Nubain

Nubain should not be used with other narcotic drugs. For instance, using it with medications like Fentanyl, hydromorphone, morphine and oxymorphone can result in drug interactions. If you are already taking any pain killer or analgesic, inform your doctor about them if he/she has prescribed you with Nubain. These interactions can result in dangerous complications, such as respiratory difficulties and even death (in extreme cases). You should also inform the doctor about any other medication that you are taking because other interactions are also possible. If you are taking this medicine, have a proper discussion with your doctor before starting use of any other drug.

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