The University of Iowa

Analgesia - Buprenorphine SR (Informational Sheet)

Informational Sheet: The IACUC has provided a set of guidance documents (Policies, Guidelines, and Informational Sheets) for use when planning animal procedures at the University of Iowa. Informational Sheets provide information about frequently asked questions and represents guidance for best practices. Deviation from the recommendation(s) does not require specific justification.

Purpose: The purpose of this document is to provide labs with adequate information needed to add Buprenorphine Sustained-Release to an animal protocol, obtain a prescription, order, store, and use the drug for research animals.

Buprenorphine Sustained-Release (Bup SR) is a patented compounded opioid that provides up to 48 hours of analgesia and is only available by prescription from a veterinarian. See the IACUC Guidelines on Analgesia for dosing information.

Add Bup SR to an animal protocol:

If Buprenorphine SR is the only DEA controlled drug that you will be using on your protocol you will need to answer the DEA controlled substance question in the Special Circumstances and Hazards section YES. You will be prompted to name the person whose license you will be using. Because this is a prescription you are not required to have a license, however this question must be answered to complete and submit your protocol. Please list Kathleen Scott as the license holder in this case.

If you are using other DEA controlled substances as well as Buprenorphine SR no additional information is required as you will answer YES and provide the license holder for use of those other substances.

Obtain a prescription:

Go to the Drug Order section of the OAR website and click ‘Buprenorphine-SR Prescription Request Form’, which processes your request through Workflow using your HawkID. Fill out the information as accurately as possible, using the HawkID of the Principal Investigator for the protocol. It may take up to 7 business days for your prescription to be submitted to the manufacturer.

Order Bup SR:

Once you receive confirmation that your prescription has been submitted, contact the manufacturer Zoopharm to set up an account and/or place your order. Zoopharm may be contacted by phone (866 823 9314) or email ( If refills are available for your prescription and you already have an account, fill out their online form for refills. Bup SR costs $105-145 per 5cc/ml vial, depending on concentration, and shipping is approximately $35. One vial is sufficient for approximately 80 mice or 16 rats.

Storage of Bup SR:

Bup SR is shelf stable until the labeled expiration (typically 6 months to 1 year after compounding), unless you are otherwise informed by your veterinarian. The label may state instructions for disposal after the seal is punctured. Research labs are encouraged, but not required, to adhere to the instructions for disposal after puncture, as it is a recommendation under USP 797 for compounding pharmacies. While prudent to keep Bup SR locked up for safety and security reasons, as a prescription drug it is not required that you do so. If you do however lock it up, you may not store it in the same lock box as other DEA controlled drugs. You will need a different storage location such as a locked drawer or cabinet.

Use of Bup SR:

  • Do NOT dilute Bup-SR as it affects the rate of release. Dilution of Bup-SR is not permitted.
  • MUST be given as a subcutaneous injection
  • Bup-SR is viscous and may require larger needle sizes (22-23 gauge) for administration and may most easily be administered under anesthesia.
  • Consult with an OAR Veterinarian regarding concerns of dosing and administration
    • Administration of small volumes may be aided by drawing up air into the syringe prior to the dose or using low-dead space syringes.


Last Reviewed by the IACUC 8/19/2020