Prescription Drug Information: TRAMADOL HYDROCHLORIDE (Page 2 of 10)

2.3 Initial Dosage

Patients Not Currently on a Tramadol Product

The initial dose of tramadol hydrochloride extended-release tablets is 100 mg once daily.

Patients Currently on Tramadol Immediate-Release (IR) Products

Calculate the 24-hour tramadol IR dose and initiate a total daily dose of tramadol hydrochloride extended-release tablets rounded down to the next lower 100 mg increment. The dose may subsequently be individualized according to patient need.

Due to limitations in flexibility of dose selection with tramadol hydrochloride extended-release tablets, some patients maintained on tramadol IR products may not be able to convert to tramadol hydrochloride extended-release tablets.

Conversion from Other Opioids to Tramadol Hydrochloride Extended-Release Tablets

Discontinue all other around-the-clock opioid drugs when tramadol hydrochloride extended-release tablets therapy is initiated. There are no established conversion ratios for conversion from other opioids to tramadol hydrochloride extended-release tablets defined by clinical trials. Initiate dosing using tramadol hydrochloride extended-release tablets 100 mg once a day.

2.4 Titration and Maintenance of Therapy

Individually titrate tramadol hydrochloride extended-release tablets by 100 mg every five days to a dose that provides adequate analgesia and minimizes adverse reactions. The maximum daily dose of tramadol hydrochloride extended-release tablets is 300 mg per day.

Continually reevaluate patients receiving tramadol hydrochloride extended-release 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 and Precautions ( 5.1)] . 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. During chronic therapy, periodically reassess the continued need for the use of opioid analgesics.

Patients who experience breakthrough pain may require a dosage adjustment of tramadol hydrochloride extended-release tablets, or may need rescue medication with an appropriate dose of an immediate-release analgesic. If the level of pain increases after dosage stabilization, attempt to identify the source of increased pain before increasing the tramadol hydrochloride extended-release 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.

2.5 Safe Reduction or Discontinuation OfTramadol Hydrochloride Extended-Release Tablets

Do not abruptly discontinue tramadol hydrochloride extended-release tablets in patients who may be physically dependent on opioids. Rapid discontinuation of opioid analgesics in patients who are physically dependent on opioids has resulted in serious withdrawal symptoms, uncontrolled pain, and suicide. Rapid discontinuation has also been associated with attempts to find other sources of opioid analgesics, which may be confused with drug-seeking for abuse. Patients may also attempt to treat their pain or withdrawal symptoms with illicit opioids, such as heroin, and other substances.

When a decision has been made to decrease the dose or discontinue therapy in an opioid-dependent patient taking tramadol hydrochloride extended-release tablets, there are a variety of factors that should be considered, including the dose of tramadol hydrochloride extended-release tablets the patient has been taking, the duration of treatment, the type of pain being treated, and the physical and psychological attributes of the patient. It is important to ensure ongoing care of the patient and to agree on an appropriate tapering schedule and follow-up plan so that patient and provider goals and expectations are clear and realistic. When opioid analgesics are being discontinued due to a suspected substance use disorder, evaluate and treat the patient, or refer for evaluation and treatment of the substance use disorder. Treatment should include evidence-based approaches, such as medication assisted treatment of opioid use disorder. Complex patients with co-morbid pain and substance use disorders may benefit from referral to a specialist.

There are no standard opioid tapering schedules that are suitable for all patients. Good clinical practice dictates a patient-specific plan to taper the dose of the opioid gradually. For patients on tramadol hydrochloride extended-release tablets who are physically opioid-dependent, initiate the taper by a small enough increment (e.g., no greater than 10% to 25% of the total daily dose) to avoid withdrawal symptoms, and proceed with dose-lowering at an interval of every 2 to 4 weeks. Patients who have been taking opioids for briefer periods of time may tolerate a more rapid taper.

It may be necessary to provide the patient with lower dosage strengths to accomplish a successful taper. Reassess the patient frequently to manage pain and withdrawal symptoms, should they emerge. Common withdrawal symptoms include 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. If withdrawal symptoms arise, it may be necessary to pause the taper for a period of time or raise the dose of the opioid analgesic to the previous dose, and then proceed with a slower taper. In addition, monitor patients for any changes in mood, emergence of suicidal thoughts, or use of other substances.

When managing patients taking opioid analgesics, particularly those who have been treated for a long duration and/or with high doses for chronic pain, ensure that a multimodal approach to pain management, including mental health support (if needed), is in place prior to initiating an opioid analgesic taper. A multimodal approach to pain management may optimize the treatment of chronic pain, as well as assist with the successful tapering of the opioid analgesic [see Warnings and Precautions ( 5.17), Drug Abuse and Dependence ( 9.3)].

3 DOSAGE FORMS AND STRENGTHS

Extended-release tablets are available as:

100 mg tablets: White to off-white circular, biconvex, beveled edge coated tablets imprinted with ‘L010’ on one side and plain on the other side.

200 mg tablets: White to off-white circular, biconvex, beveled edge coated tablets imprinted with ‘L011’ on one side and plain on the other side.

300 mg tablets: White to off-white circular, biconvex, beveled edge coated tablets imprinted with ‘L012’ on one side and plain on the other side.

4 CONTRAINDICATIONS

Tramadol hydrochloride extended-release tablets are contraindicated for:

  • all children younger than 12 years of age [see Warnings and Precautions ( 5.4)]
  • post-operative management in children younger than 18 years of age following tonsillectomy and/or adenoidectomy [see Warnings and Precautions ( 5.4)] .

Tramadol hydrochloride extended-release tablets are also contraindicated in patients with:

  • Significant respiratory depression [see Warnings and Precautions ( 5.3)]
  • Acute or severe bronchial asthma in an unmonitored setting or in the absence of resuscitative equipment [see Warnings and Precautions ( 5.12)]
  • Known or suspected gastrointestinal obstruction, including paralytic ileus [see Warnings and Precautions ( 5.15)]
  • Hypersensitivity to tramadol (e.g., anaphylaxis) [see Warnings and Precautions (5.16), Adverse Reactions ( 6.2)]
  • Concurrent use of monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) or use within the last 14 days [see Drug Interactions ( 7)].

5 WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS

5.1 Addiction, Abuse, and Misuse

Tramadol hydrochloride extended-release tablet contains tramadol, a Schedule IV controlled substance. As an opioid, tramadol hydrochloride extended-release tablet exposes users to the risks of addiction, abuse, and misuse. Because extended-release products such as tramadol hydrochloride extended-release tablets deliver the opioid over an extended period of time, there is a greater risk for overdose and death due to the larger amount of tramadol present . Tramadol hydrochloride extended-release tablet contains tramadol, a Schedule IV controlled substance. As an opioid, tramadol hydrochloride extended-release tablet exposes users to the risks of addiction, abuse, and misuse. Because extended-release products such as tramadol hydrochloride extended-release tablets deliver the opioid over an extended period of time, there is a greater risk for overdose and death due to the larger amount of tramadol present [see Drug Abuse and Dependence( 9)] .

Although the risk of addiction in any individual is unknown, it can occur in patients appropriately prescribed tramadol hydrochloride extended-release tablets. Addiction can occur at recommended dosages and if the drug is misused or abused.Although the risk of addiction in any individual is unknown, it can occur in patients appropriately prescribed tramadol hydrochloride extended-release tablets. Addiction can occur at recommended dosages and if the drug is misused or abused.

Assess each patient’s risk for opioid addiction, abuse, or misuse prior to prescribing tramadol hydrochloride extended-release tablets, and monitor all patients receiving tramadol hydrochloride extended-release tablets for the development of these behaviors and conditions. Risks are increased in patients with a personal or family history of substance abuse (including drug or alcohol abuse or addiction) or mental illness (e.g., major depression). The potential for these risks should not, however, prevent the proper management of pain in any given patient. Patients at increased risk may be prescribed opioids such as tramadol hydrochloride extended-release tablets, but use in such patients necessitates intensive counseling about the risks and proper use of tramadol hydrochloride extended-release tablets along with intensive monitoring for signs of addiction, abuse, and misuse. Assess each patient’s risk for opioid addiction, abuse, or misuse prior to prescribing tramadol hydrochloride extended-release tablets, and monitor all patients receiving tramadol hydrochloride extended-release tablets for the development of these behaviors and conditions. Risks are increased in patients with a personal or family history of substance abuse (including drug or alcohol abuse or addiction) or mental illness (e.g., major depression). The potential for these risks should not, however, prevent the proper management of pain in any given patient. Patients at increased risk may be prescribed opioids such as tramadol hydrochloride extended-release tablets, but use in such patients necessitates intensive counseling about the risks and proper use of tramadol hydrochloride extended-release tablets along with intensive monitoring for signs of addiction, abuse, and misuse. Consider prescribing naloxone for the emergency treatment of opioid overdose [see Dosage and Administration ( 2.2), Warnings and Precautions ( 5.3)] .

Abuse or misuse of tramadol hydrochloride extended-release tablets by cutting, breaking, chewing, crushing, snorting, or injecting the dissolved product will result in the uncontrolled delivery of tramadol and can result in overdose and death . Abuse or misuse of tramadol hydrochloride extended-release tablets by cutting, breaking, chewing, crushing, snorting, or injecting the dissolved product will result in the uncontrolled delivery of tramadol and can result in overdose and death [see Overdosage ( 10)] .

Opioids are sought by drug abusers and people with addiction disorders and are subject to criminal diversion. Consider these risks when prescribing or dispensing tramadol hydrochloride extended-release tablets. Strategies to reduce these risks include prescribing the drug in the smallest appropriate quantity and advising the patient on the proper disposal of unused drug . Contact local state professional licensing board or state controlled substances authority for information on how to prevent and detect abuse or diversion of this product. Opioids are sought by drug abusers and people with addiction disorders and are subject to criminal diversion. Consider these risks when prescribing or dispensing tramadol hydrochloride extended-release tablets. Strategies to reduce these risks include prescribing the drug in the smallest appropriate quantity and advising the patient on the proper disposal of unused drug [see Patient Counseling Information ( 17)] . Contact local state professional licensing board or state controlled substances authority for information on how to prevent and detect abuse or diversion of this product.

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