Prescription Drug Information: Acetaminophen and Codeine Phosphate

ACETAMINOPHEN AND CODEINE PHOSPHATE- acetaminophen and codeine phosphate solution
RPK Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

WARNING: RISK OF MEDICATION ERRORS; ADDICTION, ABUSE, AND MISUSE; RISK EVALUATION AND MITIGATION STRATEGY (REMS); LIFE-THREATENING RESPIRATORY DEPRESSION; ACCIDENTAL INGESTION; ULTRA-RAPID METABOLISM OF CODEINE AND OTHER RISK FACTORS FOR LIFE-THREATENING RESPIRATORY DEPRESSION IN CHILDREN; NEONATAL OPIOID WITHDRAWAL SYNDROME; DEATH RELATED TO ULTRA-RAPID METABOLISM OF CODEINE TO MORPHINE; INTERACTIONS WITH DRUGS AFFECTING CYTOCHROME P450 ISOENZYMES; HEPATOTOXICITY; and RISKS FROM CONCOMITANT USE WITH BENZODIAZEPINES OR OTHER CNS DEPRESSANTS

Risk of Medication Errors

Ensure accuracy when prescribing, dispensing, and administering acetaminophen and codeine phosphate oral solution. Dosing errors due to confusion between mg and mL, and other codeine containing oral products of different concentrations can result in accidental overdose and death [see WARNINGS, DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION].

Addiction, Abuse, and Misuse

Acetaminophen and codeine phosphate oral solution exposes patients and other users to the risks of opioid addiction, abuse, and misuse, which can lead to overdose and death. Assess each patient’s risk prior to prescribing acetaminophen and codeine phosphate oral solution, and monitor all patients regularly for the development of these behaviors and conditions [see WARNINGS].

Opioid Analgesic Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS)

To ensure that the benefits of opioid analgesics outweigh the risks of addiction, abuse, and misuse, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has required a REMS for these products [see Warnings] . Under the requirements of the REMS, drug companies with approved opioid analgesic products must make REMS-compliant education programs available to healthcare providers. Healthcare providers are strongly encouraged to

  • complete a REMS-compliant education program,
  • counsel patients and/or their caregivers, with every prescription, on safe use, serious risks, storage, and disposal of these products,
  • emphasize to patients and their caregivers the importance of reading the Medication Guide every time it is provided by their pharmacist, and
  • consider other tools to improve patient, household, and community safety.

Life-Threatening Respiratory Depression

Serious, life-threatening, or fatal respiratory depression may occur with use of acetaminophen and codeine phosphate oral solution. Monitor for respiratory depression, especially during initiation of acetaminophen and codeine phosphate oral solution or following a dose increase [see WARNINGS].

Accidental Ingestion

Accidental ingestion of acetaminophen and codeine phosphate oral solution, especially by children, can result in a fatal overdose of acetaminophen and codeine phosphate oral solution [see WARNINGS].

Ultra-Rapid Metabolism of Codeine and Other Risk Factors for Life-threatening Respiratory Depression in Children

Life-threatening respiratory depression and death have occurred in children who received codeine. Most of the reported cases occurred following tonsillectomy and/or adenoidectomy, and many of the children had evidence of being an ultra-rapid metabolizer of codeine due to a CYP2D6 polymorphism [see WARNINGS]. Acetaminophen and codeine phosphate oral solution is contraindicated in children younger than 12 years of age and in children younger than 18 years of age following tonsillectomy and/or adenoidectomy [see CONTRAINDICATIONS]. Avoid the use of acetaminophen and codeine phosphate oral solution in adolescents 12 to 18 years of age who have other risk factors that may increase their sensitivity to the respiratory depressant effects of codeine.

Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome

Prolonged use of acetaminophen and codeine phosphate oral solution during pregnancy can result in neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome, which may be life-threatening if not recognized and treated, and requires management according to protocols developed by neonatology experts. If opioid use is required for a prolonged period in a pregnant woman, advise the patient of the risk of neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome and ensure that appropriate treatment will be available [see WARNINGS].

Interactions with Drugs Affecting Cytochrome P450 Isoenzymes

The effects of concomitant use or discontinuation of cytochrome P450 3A4 inducers, 3A4 inhibitors, or 2D6 inhibitors with codeine are complex. Use of cytochrome P450 3A4 inducers, 3A4 inhibitors, or 2D6 inhibitors with acetaminophen and codeine phosphate oral solution requires careful consideration of the effects on the parent drug, codeine, and the active metabolite, morphine [see WARNINGS; DRUG INTERACTIONS].

Hepatotoxicity

Acetaminophen has been associated with cases of acute liver failure, at times resulting in liver transplant and death. Most of the cases of liver injury are associated with the use of acetaminophen at doses that exceed 4,000 milligrams per day, and often involve more than one acetaminophen-containing product [see WARNINGS].

Risks From Concomitant Use With Benzodiazepines Or Other CNS Depressants

Concomitant use of opioids with benzodiazepines or other central nervous system (CNS) depressants, including alcohol, may result in profound sedation, respiratory depression, coma, and death [see WARNINGS; DRUG INTERACTIONS].

  • Reserve concomitant prescribing of acetaminophen and codeine phosphate oral solution and benzodiazepines or other CNS depressants for use in patients for whom alternative treatment options are inadequate.
  • Limit dosages and durations to the minimum required.
  • Follow patients for signs and symptoms of respiratory depression and sedation.

DESCRIPTION

Acetaminophen and Codeine Phosphate Oral Solution is pharmacologically classified as an analgesic.

Acetaminophen, 4′-hydroxyacetanilide, a slightly bitter, white, odorless, crystalline powder, is a non- opioid, non-salicylate analgesic and antipyretic. It has the following structural formula:

Chemical Structure

Codeine phosphate, 7,8-didehydro-4,5α-epoxy-3-methoxy-17-methylmorphinan-6α-ol phosphate (1:1) (salt) hemihydrate, a white crystalline powder, is an opioid agonist. It has the following structural formula:

Chemical Structure
(click image for full-size original)

C 18 H 21 NO 3∙ H 3 PO 4∙ 1/2H 2 O M.W. 406.37
M.W. 406.37

Each Acetaminophen and Codeine Phosphate Oral Solution, USP 120 mg/12 mg per 5 mL, for oral administration, contains:

Acetaminophen120 mg
Codeine Phosphate12 mg
Alcohol7%

INACTIVE INGREDIENTS

FD&C Red No. 40, FD&C Yellow No. 6 (Sunset Yellow), flavoring, glycerin, propylene glycol, purified water, sodium saccharin, and sucrose.

CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY

Mechanism of Action

Codeine is an opioid agonist relatively selective for the mu-opioid receptor, but with a much weaker affinity than morphine. The analgesic properties of codeine have been speculated to come from its conversion to morphine, although the exact mechanism of analgesic action remains unknown.

The precise mechanism of the analgesic properties of acetaminophen is not established but is thought to involve central actions.

Pharmacodynamics

Effects on the Central Nervous System

Codeine produces respiratory depression by direct action on brain stem respiratory centers. The respiratory depression involves a reduction in the responsiveness of the brain stem respiratory centers to both increases in carbon dioxide tension and electrical stimulation.

Codeine causes miosis, even in total darkness. Pinpoint pupils are a sign of opioid overdose but are not pathognomonic (e.g., pontine lesions of hemorrhagic or ischemic origins may produce similar findings). Marked mydriasis rather than miosis may be seen due to hypoxia in overdose situations.

Effects on the Gastrointestinal Tract and Other Smooth Muscle

Codeine causes a reduction in motility associated with an increase in smooth muscle tone in the antrum of the stomach and duodenum. Digestion of food in the small intestine is delayed and propulsive contractions are decreased. Propulsive peristaltic waves in the colon are decreased, while tone may be increased to the point of spasm, resulting in constipation. Other opioid-induced effects may include a reduction in biliary and pancreatic secretions, spasm of sphincter of Oddi, and transient elevations in serum amylase.

Effects on the Cardiovascular System

Codeine produces peripheral vasodilation, which may result in orthostatic hypotension or syncope. Manifestations of histamine release and/or peripheral vasodilation may include pruritus, flushing, red eyes, sweating, and/or orthostatic hypotension.

Effects on the Endocrine System

Opioids inhibit the secretion of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), cortisol, and luteinizing hormone (LH) in humans [see ADVERSE REACTIONS]. They also stimulate prolactin, growth hormone (GH) secretion, and pancreatic secretion of insulin and glucagon.

Chronic use of opioids may influence the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis, leading to androgen deficiency that may manifest as low libido, impotence, erectile dysfunction, amenorrhea, or infertility. The causal role of opioids in the clinical syndrome of hypogonadism is unknown because the various medical, physical, lifestyle, and psychological stressors that may influence gonadal hormone levels have not been adequately controlled for in studies conducted to date [see ADVERSE REACTIONS].

Effects on the Immune System

Opioids have been shown to have a variety of effects on components of the immune system. The clinical significance of these findings is unknown. Overall, the effects of opioids appear to be modestly immunosuppressive.

Concentration–Efficacy Relationships

The minimum effective analgesic concentration will vary widely among patients, especially among patients who have been previously treated with potent agonist opioids. The minimum effective analgesic concentration of codeine for any individual patient may increase over time due to an increase in pain, the development of a new pain syndrome, and/or the development of analgesic tolerance [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION].

RxDrugLabels.com provides trustworthy package insert and label information about marketed prescription drugs as submitted by manufacturers to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Package information is not reviewed or updated separately by RxDrugLabels.com. Every individual prescription drug label and package insert entry contains a unique identifier which can be used to secure further details directly from the U.S. National Institutes of Health and/or the FDA.

As a leading independent provider of trustworthy medication information, we source our database directly from the FDA's central repository of drug labels and package inserts under the Structured Product Labeling standard. RxDrugLabels.com provides the full prescription-only subset of the FDA's repository. Medication information provided here is not intended as a substitute for direct consultation with a qualified health professional.

Terms of Use | Copyright © 2023. All Rights Reserved.