Prescription Drug Information: Acetaminophen and Codeine Phosphate (Page 4 of 5)

ADVERSE REACTIONS

The following adverse reactions have been identified during post approval use of Acetaminophen and Codeine Phosphate Tablets. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.
• Addiction, Abuse, and Misuse [see WARNINGS]
• Life-Threatening Respiratory Depression [see WARNINGS]
• Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome [see WARNINGS]
• Ultra-rapid Metabolizers of Codeine [see WARNINGS]
• Interactions with CNS Depressants [see WARNINGS]
• Severe Hypotension [see WARNINGS]
• Gastrointestinal Adverse Reactions [see WARNINGS]
• Seizures [see WARNINGS]
• Withdrawal [see WARNINGS]
Serious adverse reactions associated with codeine are respiratory depression and, to a lesser degree, circulatory depression, respiratory arrest, shock, and cardiac arrest.
The most frequently observed adverse reactions with codeine administration include drowsiness, lightheadedness, dizziness, sedation, shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, sweating, and constipation.
Other adverse reactions include allergic reactions, euphoria, dysphoria, constipation, abdominal pain, pruritus, rash, thrombocytopenia, and agranulocytosis.
Cardiovascular system: faintness, flushing, hypotension, palpitations, syncope
Digestive System: abdominal cramps, anorexia, diarrhea, dry mouth, gastrointestinal distress, pancreatitis
Nervous system: anxiety, drowsiness, fatigue, headache, insomnia, nervousness, shakiness, somnolence, vertigo, visual disturbances, weakness
Skin and Appendages: rash, sweating, urticarial
Serotonin syndrome: Cases of serotonin syndrome, a potentially life-threatening condition, have been reported during concomitant use of opioids with serotonergic drugs.
Adrenal insufficiency: Cases of adrenal insufficiency have been reported with opioid use, more often following greater than one month of use.
Anaphylaxis: Anaphylaxis has been reported with ingredients contained in Acetaminophen and Codeine Phosphate Tablets. • Androgen deficiency: Cases of androgen deficiency have occurred with chronic use of opioids [see Clinical Pharmacology].

DRUG ABUSE AND DEPENDENCE

Controlled Substance

Acetaminophen and codeine phosphate tablet contains acetaminophen and codeine phosphate, a Schedule CII controlled substance.

Abuse

Acetaminophen and codeine phosphate tablet contains codeine, a substance with a high potential for abuse similar to other opioids including fentanyl, hydrocodone, hydrormorphone, methadone, morphine, oxycodone, oxymorphone, and tapentadol. Acetaminophen and Codeine Phosphate Tablets can be abused and is subject to misuse, addiction, and criminal diversion [see WARNINGS ].

All patients treated with opioids require careful monitoring for signs of abuse and addiction, since use of opioid analgesic products carries the risk of addiction even under appropriate medical use.

Prescription drug abuse is the intentional non-therapeutic use of a prescription drug, even once, for its rewarding psychological or physiological effects.

Drug addiction is a cluster of behavioral, cognitive, and physiological phenomena that develop after repeated substance use and includes: a strong desire to take the drug, difficulties in controlling its use, persisting in its use despite harmful,or potentially harmful,consequences, a higher priority given to drug use than to other activities and obligations, increased tolerance, and sometimes a physical withdrawal.

“Drug-seeking” behavior is very common in persons with substance use disorders. Drug-seeking tactics include emergency calls or visits near the end of office hours, refusal to undergo appropriate examination, testing, or referral, repeated “loss” of prescriptions, tampering with prescriptions and reluctance to provide prior medical records or contact information for other treating health care provider(s). “Doctor shopping” (visiting multiple prescribers) to obtain additional prescriptions is common among drug abusers and people suffering from untreated addiction. Preoccupation with achieving adequate pain relief can be appropriate behavior in a patient with poor pain control.

Abuse and addiction are separate and distinct from physical dependence and tolerance. Health care providers should be aware that addiction may not be accompanied by concurrent tolerance and symptoms of physical dependence in all addicts. In addition, abuse of opioids can occur in the absence of true addiction.

Acetaminophen and codeine phosphate tablets, like other opioids, can be diverted for non-medical use into illicit channels of distribution. Careful record-keeping of prescribing information, including quantity, frequency, and renewal requests, as required by state and federal law, is strongly advised. Proper assessment of the patient, proper prescribing practices, periodic re-evaluation of therapy, and proper dispensing and storage are appropriate measures that help to limit abuse of opioid drugs.

Risks Specific to Abuse of Acetaminophen and Codeine Phosphate Tablets

Acetaminophen and Codeine Phosphate Tablets is for oral use only. Abuse of Acetaminophen and Codeine Phosphate Tablets poses a risk of overdose and death. The risk is increased with concurrent use of Acetaminophen and Codeine Phosphate Tablets with alcohol and other central nervous system depressants.

Parenteral drug abuse is commonly associated with transmission of infectious diseases such as hepatitis and HIV.


Dependence

Both tolerance and physical dependence can develop during chronic opioid therapy. Tolerance is the need for increasing doses of opioids to maintain a defined effect such as analgesia (in the absence of disease progression or other external factors). Tolerance may occur to both the desired and undesired effects of drugs, and may develop at different rates for different effects. Physical dependence results in withdrawal symptoms after abrupt discontinuation or a significant dosage reduction of a drug. Withdrawal also may be precipitated through the administration of drugs with opioid antagonist activity (e.g., naloxone, nalmefene), mixed agonist/antagonist analgesics (pentazocine, butorphanol, nalbuphine), or partial agonists (buprenorphine). Physical dependence may not occur to a clinically significant degree until after several days to weeks of continued opioid usage.

Acetaminophen and codeine phosphate tablets should not be abruptly discontinued [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION]. If acetaminophen and codeine phosphate tablets are abruptly discontinued in a physically dependent patient, a withdrawal syndrome may occur. Some or all of the following can characterize this syndrome: restlessness, lacrimation, rhinorrhea, yawning, perspiration, chills, myalgia, and mydriasis. Other signs and symptoms also may develop, including: irritability, anxiety, backache, joint pain, weakness, abdominal cramps, insomnia, nausea, anorexia, vomiting, diarrhea, or increased blood pressure, respiratory rate, or heart rate. Infants born to mothers physically dependent on opioids will also be physically dependent and may exhibit respiratory difficulties and withdrawal signs [see PRECAUTIONS;Pregnancy].

OVERDOSAGE

Following an acute overdosage, toxicity may result from codeine or acetaminophen.
Clinical Presentation
Codeine
Acute overdosage with codeine can be manifested by respiratory depression, somnolence progressing to stupor or coma, skeletal muscle flaccidity, cold and clammy skin, constricted pupils, and, in some cases, pulmonary edema, bradycardia, hypotension, partial or complete airway obstruction, atypical snoring, and death. Marked mydriasis rather than miosis may be seen with hypoxia in overdose situations.

Acetaminophen
Dose-dependent, potentially fatal hepatic necrosis is the most serious adverse effect of acetminophen. Renal tubular necrosis, hypoglycemic coma, and coagulation defects may also occur.
Early symptoms following a potentially hepatotoxic overdose may include; anorexia, nausea, vomiting, diaphoresis, pallor and general malaise. Clinical and laboratory evidence of hepatic toxicity may not be apparent until 48 to 72 hours post-ingestion.

Treatment of Overdose

In case of overdose, priorities are the reestablishment of a patent and protected airway and institution of assisted or controlled ventilation, if needed. Employ other supportive measures (including oxygen and vasopressors) in the management of circulatory shock and pulmonary edema as indicated. Cardiac arrest or arrhythmias will require advanced life-support measures.

The opioid antagonists, naloxone or nalmefene, are specific antidotes to respiratory depression resulting from opioid overdose. For clinically significant respiratory or circulatory depression secondary to acetaminophen and codeine phosphate tablets overdose, administer an opioid antagonist. In patients who are physically dependent on any opioid agonist including Acetaminophen and Codeine Phosphate Tablets, an abrupt or complete reversal of opioid effects may precipitate an acute withdrawal syndrome. The severity of the withdrawal syndrome produced will depend on the degree of physical dependence and the dose of the antagonist administered. Please see the prescribing information for the specific opioid antagonist for details of their proper use.

Because the duration of opioid reversal is expected to be less than the duration of action of acetaminophen and codeine phosphate in acetaminophen and codeine phosphate tablets, carefully monitor the patient until spontaneous respiration is reliably re-established. If the response to an opioid antagonist is suboptimal or only brief in nature, administer additional antagonist as directed by the product’s prescribing information.

Acetaminophen

Gastric decontamination with activated charcoal should be administered just prior to N-acetylcysteine (NAC) to decrease systemic absorption if acetaminophen ingestion is known or suspected to have occurred within a few hours of presentation.

Serum acetaminophen levels should be obtained immediately if the patient presents 4 hours or more after ingestion to assess potential risk of hepatotoxicity; acetaminophen levels drawn less than 4 hours post-ingestion may be misleading. To obtain the best possible outcome, NAC should be administered as soon as possible where impending or evolving liver injury is suspected. Intravenous NAC may be administered when circumstances preclude oral administration.

Vigorous supportive therapy is required in severe intoxication. Procedures to limit the continuing absorption of the drug must be readily performed since the hepatic injury is dose-dependent and occurs early in the course of intoxication.

DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION


Use the lowest effective dosage for the shortest duration consistent with individual patient treatment goals [see WARNINGS].
Important Dosage and Administration Instructions

Initiate the dosing regimen for each patient individually; taking into account the patient’s severity of pain, patient response, prior analgesic treatment experience, and risk factors for addiction, abuse, and misuse [see WARNINGS].

Monitor patients closely for respiratory depression, especially within the first 24 to 72 hours of initiating therapy and following dosage increases with acetaminophen and codeine phosphate tablets and adjust the dosage accordingly [see WARNINGS].

Initial Dosage
Initiating Treatment with Acetaminophen and Codeine Phosphate Tablets

Dosage should be adjusted according to severity of pain and response of the patient. However, it should be kept in mind that tolerance to codeine can develop with continued use and that the incidence of untoward effects is dose related. Adult doses of codeine higher than 60 mg are associated with an increased incidence of adverse reactions and are not associated with greater efficacy.

The usual adult dosage is:

Acetaminophen and Codeine Phosphate Tablets (codeine 15 mg and acetaminophen 300 mg): Take 1 to 2 tablets every 4 hours as needed for pain.

Acetaminophen and Codeine Phosphate Tablets (codeine 30 mg and acetaminophen 300 mg): Take 1 to 2 tablets every 4 hours as needed for pain.

Acetaminophen and Codeine Phosphate Tablets (codeine 60 mg and acetaminophen 300 mg): Take one tablet every 4 hours as needed for pain.

Single Doses(Range) Maximum24-Hour Dose
Codeine Phosphate 15 mg to 60 mg 360 mg
Acetaminophen 300 mg to 1000 mg 4000 mg

The prescriber must determine the number of tablets per dose, and the maximum number of tablets per 24 hours, based upon the above dosage guidance. This information should be conveyed in the prescription.
The usual dose of codeine phosphate in children is 0.5 mg/kg. Doses may be repeated up to every 4 hours.

Conversion from Other Opioids to Acetaminophen and Codeine Phosphate Tablets
There is inter-patient variability in the potency of opioid drugs and opioid formulations. Therefore, a conservative approach is advised when determining the total daily dosage of Acetaminophen and Codeine Phosphate Tablets. It is safer to underestimate a patient’s 24-hour Acetaminophen and Codeine Phosphate Tablets dosage than to overestimate the 24-hour Acetaminophen and Codeine Phosphate Tablets dosage and manage an adverse reaction due to overdose.

Initiating Treatment with Acetaminophen and Codeine Phosphate Tablets

The prescriber must determine the number of tablets per dose, and the maximum number of tablets per 24 hours based upon the above dosage guidance. This information should be conveyed in the prescription.

It should be kept in mind, however, that tolerance to codeine can develop with continued use and that the incidence of untoward effects is dose related. Adult doses of codeine higher than 60 mg fail to give commensurate relief of pain but merely prolong analgesia and are associated with an appreciably increased incidence of undesirable side effects. Equivalently high doses in children would have similar effects.
Titration and Maintenance of Therapy

Individually titrate acetaminophen and codeine phosphate tablets to a dose that provides adequate analgesia and minimizes adverse reactions. Continually reevaluate patients receiving acetaminophen and codeine phosphate tablets to assess the maintenance of pain control and the relative incidence of adverse reactions, as well as monitoring for the development of addiction, abuse, or misuse [see WARNINGS]. Frequent communication is important among the prescriber, other members of the healthcare team, the patient, and the caregiver/family during periods of changing analgesic requirements, including initial titration.

If the level of pain increases after dosage stabilization, attempt to identify the source of increased pain before increasing the acetaminophen and codeine phosphate tablets dosage. If unacceptable opioid-related adverse reactions are observed, consider reducing the dosage. Adjust the dosage to obtain an appropriate balance between management of pain and opioid-related adverse reactions.

Discontinuation of acetaminophen and codeine phosphate tablets

When a patient who has been taking acetaminophen and codeine phosphate tablets regularly and may be physically dependent no longer requires therapy with acetaminophen and codeine phosphate tablets,taper the dose gradually, by 25% to 50% every 2 to 4 days, while monitoring carefully for signs and symptoms of withdrawal. If the patient develops these signs or symptoms, raise the dose to the previous level and taper more slowly, either by increasing the interval between decreases, decreasing the amount of change in dose, or both. Do not abruptly discontinue Acetaminophen and Codeine Phosphate Tablets in a physically-dependent patient [see WARNINGS, DRUG ABUSE AND DEPENDENCE].

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