How To Properly Apply A Butrans Patch

Medically Reviewed by Johnelle Smith, M.D. on July 14, 2021

Butrans patches should be placed onto dry, hairless skin by removing the protective liner and pressing firmly into place. These patches should be replaced once every seven days with a new patch.

How To Properly Apply A Butrans Patch

Butrans patches are meant to be placed onto the body and replaced with a new patch after seven days.

The medication releases slowly through the skin over a period of a week to provide a constant stream of pain relief for those with chronic pain or withdrawing from opioids.

Learn more about using Butrans transdermal patches

Preparing The Skin For Butrans Application

Before applying a new Butrans patch, you must first prepare the skin.

Wash The Skin If Necessary

It is fine to wash the skin before applying a Butrans patch. It’s not always necessary to do this, but if the skin is unclean in any way, it is a good idea to wash it so the patch sticks well.

Do not use soaps, detergents, alcohol, oil, lotions, or anything else to clean the area of skin. Wash the skin under cold or lukewarm water.

After it’s washed with only water, allow the skin to completely dry before applying the Butrans patch. Placing a patch on damp skin will cause it to fall off and not be effective.

Choose A Hairless Patch Of Skin

Choose an area of skin that is dry and hairless. Placing a Butrans patch onto a hairy area will not allow the Butrans to stick properly, and the hair will inhibit the release of medicine.

If you cannot find a location that’s free from hair, cut away the hair with a pair of scissors before applying the Butrans patch.

Do not shave away hair with a razor, as this will irritate the skin and affect the Butrans patch.

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Where To Place A Butrans Patch

In order to properly apply a Butrans patch, it’s important to place it on one of the approved zones.

The manufacturer of Butrans has directed patients to do the following when using Butrans.

Read more about moving your Butrans patch

Choosing A Part Of The Body

Butrans patches can be placed in eight places on the skin.

Choose one of the following:

  • upper outer left arm
  • upper outer right arm
  • upper right chest
  • upper left chest
  • upper right side of the back
  • upper left side of the back
  • right side of the chest
  • left side of the chest

Avoid Irritated Or Damaged Skin

Do not place a Butrans patch on top of skin that is irritated or damaged.

It will be difficult for the medicine to release properly into the skin if it’s damaged, irritated, or otherwise compromised.

This includes:

  • scars
  • rashes
  • cuts
  • red or swollen skin
  • blemishes

Step-By-Step Guide For Applying A Butrans Patch

Now that the skin is prepared and a location has been found to place the Butrans patch, it’s time to apply it.

Use these steps when putting on a Butrans patch:

  1. Remove the patch from the pouch: Cut along the dotted lines. Do not use the patch if the seal is broken, and do not remove Butrans from its pouch until you’re ready to use it.
  2. Remove the liner from the patch: Hold the patch with the liner facing you and bend the patch along the line to peel back the larger part of the liner. Do not touch the sticky side of the patch.
  3. Place the patch onto your skin: Hold the patch at the smaller part of the protective liner and place the sticky side directly onto the skin.
  4. Remove the liner: With the sticky side down, pull back the smaller part of the liner and gently peel it off.
  5. Press down the patch: Now that the patch is in place, press firmly to secure with the palm of your hand for 15 seconds.
  6. If needed, use first aid tape: For some, extra reinforcement is needed to hold the patch in place. Place first aid tape around the outer edges of the patch to further secure it.
  7. Wash your hands: Each time you apply a new Butrans patch, wash your hands.

Change The Location Of Butrans Patches When Applying A New Patch

When it comes time to replace a Butrans patch after seven days, choose a new location. Do not reuse the same area of skin every week.

Allow at least three weeks to pass before using Butrans on the same site again.

Can I Apply Two Patches?

Do not wear two patches at the same time unless directed to do so by a healthcare professional.

When placing a new patch onto the skin, be sure to remember to remove the old patch.

Call Us To Find Butrans Treatment

Butrans is a helpful tool for recovery in those dealing with opioid withdrawal and severe pain. There are many addiction treatment centers that can help.

Call our helpline and learn how to start Butrans treatment and start recovering from opioid abuse.

This page does not provide medical advice. See more

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Medically Reviewed by
Johnelle Smith, M.D. on July 14, 2021
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