The effects of transnasal butorphanol on mood and psychomotor functioning in healthy volunteers

Anesth Analg. 1996 May;82(5):931-5. doi: 10.1097/00000539-199605000-00007.


Transnasal butorphanol is effective in relieving migraine and postoperative pain. The extent to which this drug preparation impacts on cognitive and psychomotor performance, as well as mood, has not been examined. Accordingly, the cognitive and psychomotor, subjective, and physiological effects of two clinically relevant doses of transnasal butorphanol (1 and 2 mg) were compared to that of placebo, and a common analgesic drug combination given for pain relief in ambulatory settings, 600 mg of acetaminophen and 60 mg of codeine, in healthy volunteers (n = 10). The larger transnasal butorphanol dose impaired psychomotor performance for up to 2 h, and produced subjective effects for up to 3 h. The smaller dose had no psychomotor-impairing effects, but had subjective effects (including increased ratings of "sleepy"). All three active drug conditions including miosis. These laboratory results suggest that patients should use caution when using the 1-mg dose of transnasal butorphanol, and should curtail certain activities if they administer the 2-mg dose of transnasal butorphanol for analgesia.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acetaminophen / administration & dosage
  • Acetaminophen / pharmacology
  • Administration, Intranasal
  • Adult
  • Affect / drug effects*
  • Analgesics, Opioid / administration & dosage
  • Analgesics, Opioid / pharmacology*
  • Butorphanol / administration & dosage
  • Butorphanol / pharmacology*
  • Codeine / administration & dosage
  • Codeine / pharmacology
  • Cognition / drug effects
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Miosis / chemically induced
  • Placebos
  • Prospective Studies
  • Psychomotor Performance / drug effects*
  • Sleep / drug effects


  • Analgesics, Opioid
  • Placebos
  • Acetaminophen
  • Butorphanol
  • Codeine