Stadol: Uses, Side Effects, and Treatment

Renaissance Recovery logo

By: Renaissance Recovery

Medically Reviewed by: Diana Vo, LMFT

Last Updated: 7/1/2021

An image of a doctor prescribing Stadol

Authored By: Joe Gilmore

Table of Contents

Stadol is a branded version of butorphanol tartrate, a narcotic pain-relieving medication. Although butorphanol is still available in generic form, Stadol has been discontinued in the United States as a brand name.

The effects of Stadol are similar to those of morphine. Like morphine, Stadol is also used for the treatment of moderate to severe pain. Stadol is also sometimes used during early labor if childbirth is expected within four hours. The medication can also be used as a component of anesthesia for surgery.

What Is Stadol?

Butorphanol is no longer produced in the form of Stadol, but laboratories like Novex and Mylan manufacture generic versions of this semi-synthetic opioid.

Classified as a partial agonist, Stadol also acts as an opioid antagonist. The medication has a mechanism of action that impacts the CNS (central nervous system) just like other opioid-based painkillers.

Butorphanol is available in the following forms:

  • Tartrate salt
  • Nasal spray
  • Tablet
  • Injectable

Due to its low level of bioavailability in humans, the tablet form is limited to medical applications.

Commonly prescribed for the management of migraines, the intranasal form of butorphanol can be highly effective. This spray is classified as a schedule IV controlled substance. There are many reports of Stadol abuse. The medication should be prescribed with caution due to its abuse and addiction potential.

This drug is more effective at reducing pain in women than in men.

What Is the Drug Stadol Used For?

Stadol is most commonly indicated for the management of migraines. For this application, the intranasal spray is proven effective.

Additionally, this narcotic can be used to supplement general anesthesia, for the management of pain during labor, and for the management of moderate or severe pain.

Stadol Side Effects

These are the common side effects of Stadol:

  • Aches and pains in body
  • Bloody nose, runny nose, or stuffy nose
  • Itching or tingling
  • Cough
  • Chills
  • Weakness
  • Tremors
  • Flushing
  • Headaches
  • Fever
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Sore throat
  • Sneezing
  • Faintness
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of voice
  • Tightness in chest
  • Excessive sweating

These are the less common side effects of Stadol:

  • Shallow breathing
  • Fainting
  • Blurred vision
  • Lightheadedness
  • Chest pain
  • Confusion
  • Diarrhea
  • Restlessness
  • Appetite loss
  • Agitation
  • Darkening skin
  • Itching
  • Hives
  • Blue skin or lips
  • Vomiting
  • Shivering
  • Overactive reflexes
  • Nausea
  • Impaired coordination
  • Depression

You should seek immediate medical assistance in the event of Stadol overdose and the presentation of the following symptoms:

  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Choking
  • Chest pain
  • Coughing
  • Swelling
  • Slow heartbeat
  • Unconsciousness
  • Cold or clammy skin
  • Pale skin
  • No muscle movement
  • Unresponsiveness
  • Severe sleepiness
An image of a hospital | Stadol

Stadol Addiction Potential

There is a black box warning on butorphanol concerning its potential for triggering dependence and addiction. Boxed warnings are required by the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) on all medications that carry significant health risks.

Stadol is structurally similar to other opioids like morphine and oxycodone. The medication is not structurally dissimilar to heroin.

While Stadol is an opioid antagonist, it also has opioid agonist properties. As such, the medication can bring about the same effects as other opioids that are commonly abused.

According to the boxed warning, physicians should not prescribe this narcotic without first assessing the risk of misuse and addiction for the patient.

Most people who become addicted to an opioid like Stadol do not initially intend to abuse the medication. Tolerance to opioids forms quickly, though, diminishing the pain-relieving properties. This often initiates an abusive cycle of consuming more Stadol to achieve the same effects. If the cycle is not broken, physical dependence will form.

When you become dependent on an opioid like Stadol, its absence will cause intensely unpleasant withdrawal symptoms to manifest.

That said, the risk of abuse and addiction is lower with this narcotic than with other medications in the opioid analgesic class.

Stadol Rehab at Renaissance Recovery

While addiction to opioids can be aggravating and destructive, almost all cases of opioid use disorder can be treated with a combination of MAT (medication-assisted treatment) and psychotherapy. We can help you with this and more at Renaissance Recovery.

Most people addicted to opioids like Stadol benefit from supervised detoxification in a clinical setting. We can connect you with licensed medical detox centers throughout Southern California. Access medications to streamline the intensity of opioid withdrawal and benefit from continuous clinical and emotional care while detoxing from Stadol.

Once you have detoxed from opioids, engage with one of the following Renaissance Recovery treatment programs:

Research indicates that most mild and moderate addictions respond just as well to outpatient treatment as residential rehab. With outpatient therapy at Renaissance, you can choose the intensity level you need and take advantage of more affordable and flexible addiction treatment than inpatient rehab.

All treatment programs provide the following services and interventions:

When you complete your treatment program at Renaissance Recovery Center in Orange County, you will be equipped with relapse prevention strategies and a comprehensive aftercare plan. We’re here to help you from opioid detox into ongoing sobriety. Call admissions today at 866.330.9449 for immediate assistance and access to a supervised clinical Stadol detox.

An image of someone who is Giving up alcohol for lent
Addiction and Recovery

Giving Up Alcohol for Lent

Each year, Ash Wednesday signals the first day of Lent. Lent is the 40-day period leading up to Easter. Lent is traditionally viewed as a

Read More »
An image of a brain scan of Wet brain syndrome
Addiction and Recovery

Wet Brain Syndrome

Wet brain syndrome is the non-clinical term for WKS (Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome). WKS is a brain disorder that is associated with the acute deficiency of thiamine

Read More »
an image of a client

Pat C

“I owe my life and my happiness to these people. October 8th, 2019 marked two years of sobriety for me, and prior to finding Renaissance I hadn’t had 24 hours sober in nearly 20 years.”

an image of a client

Paige R

“They truly cared for me and the other people that I served with! From this group, I have made 8 new brothers and friends for life! We have continued on, after the program, to take care of each other”

an image of a client

Courtney S

“Great staff who took the time to get to know me. They have a lot of experience in this field and have first hand experience with what I was going through. IOP is outstanding and really built up a ton of great relationships and found this program to be a ‘breath of fresh air’.”

Diana Vo, LMFT

Diana is an addiction expert and licensed marriage and family therapist who has been in the field of mental health for over 10 years.

Joseph Gilmore

Joseph Gilmore has been in the addiction industry for three years with experience working for facilities all across the country

Use Our 24 Hour text line. You can ask questions about our program, the admissions process, and more.