Stadol Side Effects

Doctors prescribe Stadol to relieve a patient's moderate to severe pain resulting from injury, illness or surgery. Surgeons sometimes recommend Stadol before an operation to prevent pain and decrease the patient's awareness before or during surgery. The active ingredient in Stadol is butorphanol. This drug is similar to morphine; pharmacologists consider this drug more potent than Demerol.

Stadol is an opioid, derived from alkaloids from the poppy plant. Americans consume most of the opioid pain relievers on earth. Even though Americans account for about 5 percent of global population, they consume 80 percent of the world's supply of opioids, according to the Institute of Addiction Medicine.

Side Effect Information

Stadol, like all medicine, may cause side effects. Many people experience no, or minor, adverse reactions after taking Stadol. Most side effects are not serious and go away after a few days at prescribed doses. Some adverse reactions may be serious, requiring the attention of a medical professional.

Abuse, physical dependence and addiction are possible side effects associated with Stadol use. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, or DEA, classifies substances according to the potential for abuse. The DEA has classified this drug as a Schedule II narcotic, which means it carries a high potential for abuse and mental or physical dependence.

There are more cases of drug abuse associated with the nasal form of Stadol than with the injectable formula. Prolonged drug abuse often results in physical dependence or addiction. Physical dependence means the individual will suffer withdrawal symptoms when he stops taking Stadol. Withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Abdominal Cramps
  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Blurred Vision
  • Insomnia
  • Restlessness
  • Sweating
  • Tremor
  • Vomiting

The adverse reactions to this drug are similar to side effects associated with other opioids. The most serious side effect is respiratory problems potentially leading to stopped breathing, circulatory depression, dangerously low blood pressure and shock. Physicians should expect side effects and treat patients accordingly.

Whenever you take any opioid such as Stadol, you are at risk for the serious breathing condition known as respiratory depression. Respiratory depression is a dangerous medical emergency that is sometimes fatal. During respiratory depression, your lungs do a poor job of exchanging oxygen for carbon dioxide and other blood gases. Symptoms of respiratory depression include slow or shallow breathing, unusual breathing patterns, gasping or wheezing, and a bluish tint around your eyes, mouth and fingertips.

Most Frequently Observed

The most frequently observed side effects associated with Stadol are sleepiness, dizziness, nausea and vomiting. People who use Stadol NS for a long time frequently experience nasal congestion and insomnia.

Allergic Reaction

Anyone can suffer an allergic reaction to Stadol or any other medication. If you suffer any symptoms of an allergic reaction after taking Stadol, seek help immediately - an allergic reaction is a serious, potentially fatal medical emergency. Bring the bottle of Stadol along with all your medications to help the doctor understand which medication may have caused the reactions.

Symptoms of an allergic reaction include:

  • Difficulty Breathing
  • Hives
  • Itching
  • Rash
  • Swelling of the Mouth, Face, Lips or Tongue
  • Tightness in the Chest

Anaphylaxis is a severe form of an allergic reaction. Anaphylaxis usually occurs within moments of exposure to Stadol, but anaphylaxis may start as late as a half an hour or longer after you consume use this drug. Seek help immediately if you think you or someone you know is suffering anaphylaxis.

Symptoms of anaphylaxis include hives, itching, flushed or pale skin. Some people complain of a sensation of warmth during an episode of anaphylaxis. You might also feel like your tongue is swelling up, you have a lump in your throat, or feel that your throat is closing. These can lead to wheezing and trouble breathing. You might have a weak and rapid pulse, nausea, vomiting, dizziness or fainting. Some people with anaphylaxis express a terrible feeling of impending doom.


Some patients are hypersensitive to Stadol. Symptoms of hypersensitivity include allergic dermatitis, skin rash, hives, itching and swelling of the face.

Non-Serious Side Effects

The most common side effects associated with Stadol are not serious and disappear after taking this drug for a few days. Continue taking this medication but contact the prescribing physician if the following side effects become intolerable or if they do not go away on their own:

  • Agitation
  • Blurred Vision
  • Confusion
  • Constipation
  • Difficulty Falling Asleep or Staying Asleep
  • Difficulty Urinating
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Dry Mouth
  • Ear Pain
  • Excessive Tiredness
  • Feeling Hot
  • Feeling of Floating
  • Feeling of Sadness, Unpleasantness or Discomfort
  • Flushing
  • Hostility
  • Intense Happiness
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Nausea
  • Nervousness
  • Nosebleed
  • Pain, Burning, Numbness or Tingling in the Hands of Feet
  • Ringing in the Ears
  • Sore Throat
  • Stomach Pain
  • Stuffy of Irritated Nose
  • Sweating
  • Uncontrollable Shaking
  • Unpleasant Taste
  • Unusual Dreams
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness

Serious Side Effects

Some side effects are serious, requiring immediate medical attention. Stop taking this medication immediately and contact a doctor if you experience serious side effects, including:

  • Chest Pain
  • Excessive Confusion
  • Excessive Drowsiness
  • Extreme Vomiting
  • Fainting
  • Hallucination
  • Ringing in the Ears
  • Seizures
  • Slow or Difficult Breathing
  • Slow or Irregular Heartbeat

By body system


The manufacturer has reported that in clinical trials (n=2,446), approximately half of the patients received butorphanol injection and the other half received butorphanol nasal spray. The type and incidence of side effects with butorphanol by either route were consistent with those commonly found with opioid analgesics.

Nervous system

Stadol and other opioids work directly on the brain and nervous system to relieve pain and cause euphoria; accordingly, adverse reactions of the nervous system are common. In clinical trials, 43 percent of patients reported sleepiness, another 19 percent experienced dizziness while 11 percent complained of insomnia. Other nervous system side effects include anxiety, confusion, euphoria and nervousness. Some patients report tremor, tingling sensations or a floating feeling.


Stadol may cause adverse reactions in the respiratory system, especially in those who use butorphanol nasal spray for a long time. In clinical trials, 13 percent of participants reported nasal congestion. Other respiratory side effects include bronchitis, cough, shortness of breath, nasal irritation and nosebleed. Some Stadol consumers may experience sinus congestion, stuffy or runny nose, sinusitis and upper respiratory infection.


Stadol may affect the digestive system. In clinical trials, 13 percent of patients reported nausea and/or vomiting. Stadol may cause loss of appetite, constipation, dry mouth and stomach pain.


Stadol use may cause weakness, lethargy or headache. Some patients report a sensation of heat.


Stadol may cause adverse reactions affecting the heart and blood vessels. Cardiovascular effects including vasodilation, or widening of the blood vessels, and abnormal heartbeats may occur after long-term butorphanol nasal spray use.


Stadol use may result in adverse reactions affecting the skin. Dermatologic effects include sweating, clammy skin and itching.


Stadol nasal spray may cause ear pain, tinnitus and unpleasant taste.


Stadol use may cause blurred vision.


Older individuals may be more sensitive to the effects of Stadol. Elderly patients experience some adverse affects, such as frequent headaches, dizziness, drowsiness, vertigo, constipation, nausea, vomiting and nasal congestion more frequently than younger patients.