1 What is Stadol?

Brand: Stadol

Generic: Butorphanol

Stadol (Butorphanol) is an injectable drug used to relieve pain. Doctors give Stadol as a painkiller before and after surgery, when giving birth, or with general anesthesia before an operation.

Butorphanol belongs to the group of medicines called narcotic analgesics. Stadol acts on the central nervous system (CNS) to relieve pain.

This particular form of Stadol is given by injection. There is another form of Stadol called Stadol NS, which is a nasal spray. This section discusses Stadol Injection.

Stadol is a prescription drug. Because it is a narcotic and has potential for abuse, Stadol is a restricted drug. 

Like other narcotics, Stadol may become habit-forming when used for a long time, causing mental or physical dependence. Stadol should not be used without doctor’s advice.

2 What to Know Before Using

The doctor will consider the following before prescribing Stadol.


Make sure to make your doctor know if you have allergies to Stadol. You cannot use Stadol if you are allergic to it.

Risk of serotonin syndrome

Taking Stadol may cause increased risk of serotonin syndrome, a condition that cause confusion, agitation, restlessness, rapid heartbeats, and high blood pressure. The risk of serotonin syndrome is increased if you take Stadol along with medicines such as those used for treating Parkinson's disease, depression, migraines, serious infections, nausea and vomiting. If you are using these medicines, tell them to the doctor before using Stadol.

Previous use of other narcotics

Note that you cannot ust Stadol if you have recently used other narcotics, or have become dependent on narcotics.

Importance of proper use

Use Stadol properly and follow doctor’s prescription to the letter. Using too much Stadol can cause your breathing to slow down or stop. Do not use Stadol longer, or in larger doses, than prescribed. Never give Stadol to others or share it. Keep Stadol in a secure place.

Health conditions

Tell the doctor all your health problems before taking Stadol. The doctor needs to know if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Alcohol abuse
  • History of or breathing problems (e.g., chronic obstructive pulmonary disease [COPD], cor pulmonale, hypoxia)
  • CNS diseases or drug dependence, especially narcotic abuse or dependence, history of—Use with caution. May increase risk for more serious side effects.
  • Brain tumor or head injuries or Increased pressure in the head—Some of the side effects of butorphanol injection can cause serious problems in people who have these medical problems.
  • Heart attack or heart or blood vessel problems or hypertension (high blood pressure)—Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.
  • Kidney disease or liver disease—Use with caution. The effects may be increased because of slower removal of the medicine from the body.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

Stadol is an FDA pregnancy category C drug, which means it can be harmful to the fetus when used during pregnancy. However, Stadol injection can be given to pregnant patients as a painkiller when giving birth. Still, Stadol must be used with caution in pregnant patients with abnormal fetal heart rate pattern.

Do not breastfeed when you take Stadol. Stadol may be expressed into breastmilk and harm the child.

Use on children

The effectiveness and safety of Stadol to individuals younger than 18 years old is not known. Do not give Stadol to children.

Use on elderly

Stadol must be used with caution in elderly. The elderly are more sensitive to the effects of narcotics like Stadol and so require closer monitoring.

Drug interactions

Stadol may interact with certain drugs and cause undesirable side effects. Avoid this by telling the doctor all the medicines you take, especially the following:

  • Alcohol
  • Barbiturates
  • Tranquilizers
  • Anti-allergy medications
  • Naltrexone
  • Anti-migraine medicines such as Sumatriptan
  • Isocarboxazid
  • Iohexol
  • Iopamidol
  • Methylene
  • Metrizamide
  • Naltrexone
  • Sodium oxybate
  • Tramadol
  • Tranylcypromine

3 Proper Usage

Stadol is only given if you are in pain or to prepare for surgery or childbirth. The doctor will determine your dose of Stadol. Stadol is an injection and given by injecting into the muscle or vein. Stadol is often given right before or after childbirth or surgery. Therefore, it is given by health professionals and you can only have it in the hospital or doctor’s clinic.

You will be monitored by health professionals after administration of Stadol. If you feel that Stadol does not seem to work for pain, call your doctor right away.

It is hard to miss a dose of Stadol as you can only have it when you are in pain. Since health professionals will give you Stadol and you are under monitoring, overdose is also unlikely.

4 Precautions to Take

Stadol may impair your senses or reaction time, so do not drive or perform dangerous tasks right after taking the drug.

If you are taking Stadol for long periods of time, you can experience withdrawal symptoms when stopping suddenly. Call your doctor for help to avoid withdrawal symptoms.

Do not drink alcohol after taking Stadol. Do not take other drugs after using Stadol unless approved by your doctor.

Stadol can be habit forming, even when taken at normal doses. Always use Stadol with doctor’s supervision.

Selling or giving away narcotics such as Stadol is against the law. 

5 Potential Side Effects

Stadol may cause severe side effects that require doctor’s attention. Call your doctor if you experience any of the following while taking Stadol:

  • Severe allergic reaction symptoms such as hives, difficulty breathing, skin rash, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Symptoms of dangerously high blood pressure such as a severe headache, blurring of vision, ringing in the ears, anxiety, confusion, chest pain, trouble breathing, and seizures.
  • Symptoms of possible serotonin syndrome such as agitation, hallucinations, fever, sweating, shivering, rapid heartbeats, loss of coordination, nausea, muscle stiffness, twitching, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
  • Weak or shallow breathing
  • Pounding or uneven heartbeats
  • Problems urinating
  • Tremors
  • Confusion, or feeling like floating
  • Lightheadedness or fainting

Stadol may cause minor side effects such as: