Acetaminophen and Codeine (Page 7 of 10)

Drug/Laboratory Test Interactions

Codeine may increase serum amylase levels.

Acetaminophen may produce false-positive test results for urinary 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid.

Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility

Carcinogenesis

Long-term studies to evaluate the carcinogenic potential of the combination of codeine and acetaminophen have not been conducted.

Two-year carcinogenicity studies have been conducted in F344/N rats and B6C3F1 mice. There was no evidence of carcinogenicity in male and female rats, respectively, at dietary doses up to 70 and 80 mg/kg/day of codeine sulfate (approximately 2 times the maximum recommended daily dose of 360 mg/day for adults on a mg/m2 basis) for two years. Similarly there was no evidence of carcinogenicity activity in male and female mice at dietary doses up to 400 mg/kg/day of codeine sulfate (approximately 5 times the maximum recommended daily dose of 360 mg/day for adults on a mg/m2 basis) for two years.

Long-term studies in mice and rats have been completed by the National Toxicology Program to evaluate the carcinogenic potential of acetaminophen. In 2-year feeding studies, F344/N rats and B6C3F1 mice were fed a diet containing acetaminophen up to 6,000 ppm. Female rats demonstrated equivocal evidence of carcinogenic activity based on increased incidences of mononuclear cell leukemia at 0.8 times the maximum human daily dose (MHDD) of 4 grams/day, based on a body surface area comparison. In contrast, there was no evidence of carcinogenic activity in male rats that received up to 0.7 times or mice at up to 1.2 to 1.4 times the MHDD, based on a body surface area comparison.

Mutagenesis

Codeine sulfate was not mutagenic in the in vitro bacterial reverse mutation assay or clastogenic in the in vitro Chinese hamster ovary cell chromosome aberration assay.

In the published literature, acetaminophen has been reported to be clastogenic when administered at 1,500 mg/kg/day to the rat model (3.6-times the MHDD, based on a body surface area comparison). In contrast, no clastogenicity was noted at a dose of 750 mg/kg/day (1.8-times the MHDD, based on a body surface area comparison), suggesting a threshold effect.

Impairment of Fertility

No nonclinical fertility studies have been conducted with codeine or the combination of codeine and acetaminophen.

In studies conducted by the National Toxicology Program, fertility assessments with acetaminophen have been completed in Swiss CD-1 mice via a continuous breeding study. There were no effects on fertility parameters in mice consuming up to 1.7 times the MHDD of acetaminophen, based on a body surface area comparison.

Although there was no effect on sperm motility or sperm density in the epididymis, there was a significant increase in the percentage of abnormal sperm in mice consuming 1.78 times the MHDD (based on a body surface comparison) and there was a reduction in the number of mating pairs producing a fifth litter at this dose, suggesting the potential for cumulative toxicity with chronic administration of acetaminophen near the upper limit of daily dosing.

Published studies in rodents report that oral acetaminophen treatment of male animals at doses that are 1.2 times the MHDD and greater (based on a body surface comparison) result in decreased testicular weights, reduced spermatogenesis, reduced fertility, and reduced implantation sites in females given the same doses. These effects appear to increase with the duration of treatment. The clinical significance of these findings is not known.

Infertility

Chronic use of opioids may cause reduced fertility in females and males of reproductive potential. It is not known whether these effects on fertility are reversible (see ADVERSE REACTIONS).

Pregnancy

Teratogenic Effects

Codeine

A study in rats and rabbits reported no teratogenic effect of codeine administered during the period of organogenesis in doses ranging from 5 to 120 mg/kg. In the rat, doses at the 120 mg/kg level, in the toxic range for the adult animal, were associated with an increase in embryo resorption at the time of implantation. In another study a single 100 mg/kg subcutaneous dose of codeine administered to pregnant mice reportedly resulted in delayed ossification in the offspring.

There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. Acetaminophen and codeine phosphate tablets should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

Nonteratogenic Effects

Fetal/Neonatal Adverse Reactions

Prolonged use of opioid analgesics during pregnancy for medical or nonmedical purposes can result in physical dependence in the neonate and neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome shortly after birth.

Neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome presents as irritability, hyperactivity and abnormal sleep pattern, high pitched cry, tremor, vomiting, diarrhea and failure to gain weight. The onset, duration, and severity of neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome vary based on the specific opioid used, duration of use, timing and amount of last maternal use, and rate of elimination of the drug by the newborn. Observe newborns for symptoms of neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome and manage accordingly (see WARNINGS).

Labor or Delivery

Opioids cross the placenta and may produce respiratory depression and psycho-physiologic effects in neonates. An opioid antagonist, such as naloxone, must be available for reversal of opioid-induced respiratory depression in the neonate. Acetaminophen and codeine phosphate tablets are not recommended for use in pregnant women during or immediately prior to labor, when other analgesic techniques are more appropriate. Opioid analgesics, including acetaminophen and codeine phosphate tablets, and can prolong labor through actions which temporarily reduce the strength, duration, and frequency of uterine contractions. However, this effect is not consistent and may be offset by an increased rate of cervical dilation, which tends to shorten labor. Monitor neonates exposed to opioid analgesics during labor for signs of excess sedation and respiratory depression.

Narcotic analgesics should be avoided during labor if delivery of a premature infant is anticipated. If the mother has received narcotic analgesics during labor, newborn infants should be observed closely for signs of respiratory depression. Resuscitation may be required (see OVERDOSAGE). The effect of codeine, if any, on the later growth, development, and functional maturation of the child is unknown.

Nursing Mothers

Codeine and its active metabolite, morphine, are present in human milk. There are published studies and cases that have reported excessive sedation, respiratory depression, and death in infants exposed to codeine via breast milk. Women who are ultra-rapid metabolizers of codeine achieve higher than expected serum levels of morphine, potentially leading to higher levels of morphine in breast milk that can be dangerous in their breastfed infants. In women with normal codeine metabolism (normal CYP2D6 activity), the amount of codeine secreted into human milk is low and dose-dependent.

There is no information on the effects of codeine on milk production. Because of the potential for serious adverse reactions, including excess sedation, respiratory depression, and death in a breastfed infant, advise patients that breastfeeding is not recommended during treatment with acetaminophen and codeine phosphate tablets (see WARNINGS).

Acetaminophen is excreted in breast milk in small amounts, but the significance of its effect on nursing infants is not known. Because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants from acetaminophen, a decision should be made whether to discontinue nursing or discontinue the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother.

Clinical Considerations

If infants are exposed to acetaminophen and codeine phosphate tablets through breast milk, they should be monitored for excess sedation and respiratory depression. Withdrawal symptoms can occur in breastfed infants when maternal administration of an opioid analgesic is stopped, or when breastfeeding is stopped.

Pediatric Use

The safety and effectiveness of acetaminophen and codeine phosphate tablets in pediatric patients below the age of 18 have not been established.

Life-threatening respiratory depression and death have occurred in children who received codeine (see WARNINGS). In most of the reported cases, these events followed tonsillectomy and/or adenoidectomy, and many of the children had evidence of being ultra-rapid metabolizers of codeine (i.e., multiple copies of the gene for cytochrome P450 isoenzyme 2D6 or high morphine concentrations). Children with sleep apnea may be particularly sensitive to the respiratory depressant effects of codeine. Because of the risk of life-threatening respiratory depression and death:

  • Acetaminophen and codeine phosphate tablets are contraindicated for all children younger than 12 years of age (see CONTRAINDICATIONS).

  • Acetaminophen and codeine phosphate tablets are contraindicated for post-operative management in pediatric patients younger than 18 years of age following tonsillectomy and/or adenoidectomy (see CONTRAINDICATIONS).

  • Avoid the use of acetaminophen and codeine phosphate tablets 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 unless the benefits outweigh the risks. Risk factors include conditions associated with hypoventilation, such as postoperative status, obstructive sleep apnea, obesity, severe pulmonary disease, neuromuscular disease, and concomitant use of other medications that cause respiratory depression (see WARNINGS).

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