Risks of Driving and Operating Machinery
Acetaminophen and codeine phosphate tablets may impair the mental or physical abilities needed to perform potentially hazardous activities such as driving a car or operating machinery. Warn patients not to drive or operate dangerous machinery unless they are tolerant to the effects of acetaminophen and codeine phosphate tablets and know how they will react to the medication (see PRECAUTIONS; Information for Patients/Caregivers).
Advise the patient to read the FDA-approved patient labeling (Medication Guide).
Storage and Disposal:
Because of the risks associated with accidental ingestion, misuse, and abuse, advise patients to store acetaminophen and codeine phosphate tablets securely, out of sight and reach of children, and in a location not accessible by others, including visitors to the home [see WARNINGS, DRUG ABUSE AND DEPENDENCE]. Inform patients that leaving acetaminophen and codeine phosphate tablets unsecured can pose a deadly risk to others in the home.
Advise patients and caregivers that when medicines are no longer needed, they should be disposed of promptly. Inform patients that medicine take-back options are the preferred way to safely dispose of most types of unneeded medicines. If no take back programs or DEA-registered collectors are available, instruct patients to dispose of acetaminophen and codeine phosphate tablets by following these four steps:
• Mix acetaminophen and codeine phosphate tablets (do not crush) with an unpalatable substance such as dirt, cat litter, or used coffee grounds;
• Place the mixture in a container such as a sealed plastic bag;
• Throw the container in the household trash;
• Delete all personal information on the prescription label of the empty bottle
Inform patients that they can visit www.fda.gov/drugdisposal for additional information on disposal of unused medicines.
Addiction, Abuse and Misuse
Inform patients that the use of acetaminophen and codeine phosphate tablets, even when taken as recommended, can result in addiction, abuse, and misuse, which can lead to overdose and death (see WARNINGS). Instruct patients not to share acetaminophen and codeine phosphate tablets with others and to take steps to protect acetaminophen and codeine phosphate tablets from theft or misuse.
Life-Threatening Respiratory Depression
Inform patients of the risk of life-threatening respiratory depression, including information that the risk is greatest when starting acetaminophen and codeine phosphate tablets or when the dosage is increased, and that it can occur even at recommended dosages.
Educate patients and caregivers on how to recognize respiratory depression and emphasize the importance of calling 911 or getting emergency medical help right away in the event of a known or suspected overdose (see WARNINGS, Life Threatening Respiratory Depression).
Patient Access to Naloxone for the Emergency Treatment of Opioid Overdose
Discuss with the patient and caregiver the availability of naloxone for the emergency treatment of opioid overdose, both when initiating and renewing treatment with acetaminophen and codeine phosphate tablets. Inform patients and caregivers about the various ways to obtain naloxone as permitted by individual state naloxone dispensing and prescribing requirements or guidelines (e.g., by prescription, directly from a pharmacist, or as part of a community-based program) (see WARNINGS, Life-Threatening Respiratory Depression; DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION).
Educate patients and caregivers on how to recognize the signs and symptoms of an overdose.
Explain to patients and caregivers that naloxone’s effects are temporary, and that they must call 911 or get emergency medical help right away in all cases of known or suspected opioid overdose, even if naloxone is administered (see OVERDOSAGE).
If naloxone is prescribed, also advise patients and caregivers:
• How to treat with naloxone in the event of an opioid overdose
• To tell family and friends about their naloxone and to keep it in a place where family and friends can access it in an emergency
• To read the Patient Information (or other educational material) that will come with their naloxone. Emphasize the importance of doing this before an opioid emergency happens, so the patient and caregiver will know what to do.
Inform patients that accidental ingestion, especially by children, may result in respiratory depression or death (see WARNINGS). Instruct patients to take steps to store acetaminophen and codeine phosphate tablets securely. Advise patients to properly dispose of acetaminophen and codeine phosphate tablets in accordance with local state guidelines and/or regulations.
Ultra-Rapid Metabolism of Codeine and Other Risk Factors for Life-Threatening Respiratory Depression in Children
Advise caregivers that acetaminophen and codeine phosphate tablets is contraindicated in all children younger than 12 years of age and in children younger than 18 years of age following tonsillectomy and/or adenoidectomy. Advise caregivers of children 12 to 18 years of age receiving acetaminophen and codeine phosphate tablets to monitor for signs of respiratory depression (see WARNINGS).
Interactions with Benzodiazepines and Other CNS Depressants
Inform patients and caregivers that potentially fatal additive effects may occur if acetaminophen and codeine phosphate tablets are used with benzodiazepines or other CNS depressants, including alcohol, and not to use these drugs concomitantly unless supervised by a healthcare provider (see WARNINGS, PRECAUTIONS; Drug Interactions).
Inform patients that opioids could cause a rare but potentially life-threatening condition resulting from concomitant administration of serotonergic drugs. Warn patients of the symptoms and signs of serotonin syndrome and to seek medical attention right away if symptoms develop.
Instruct patients to inform their healthcare provider if they are taking, or plan to take serotonergic medications (see PRECAUTIONS; Drug Interactions).
Inform patients not to take acetaminophen and codeine phosphate tablets while using any drugs that inhibit monoamine oxidase. Patients should not start MAOIs while taking acetaminophen and codeine phosphate tablets (see WARNINGS, Drug Interactions).
Inform patients that opioids could cause adrenal insufficiency, a potentially life-threatening condition. Adrenal insufficiency may present with non-specific symptoms and signs such as nausea, vomiting, anorexia, fatigue, weakness, dizziness, and low blood pressure. Advise patients to seek medical attention if they experience a constellation of these symptoms (see WARNINGS).
Important Administration Instructions
Instruct patients how to properly take acetaminophen and codeine phosphate tablets (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION).
· Advise patients not to adjust the dose of acetaminophen and codeine phosphate tablets without consulting a physician or other healthcare professional.
· If patients have been receiving treatment with acetaminophen and codeine phosphate tablets for more than a few weeks and cessation of therapy is indicated, counsel them on the importance of safely tapering the dose and that abruptly discontinuing the medication could precipitate withdrawal symptoms. Provide a dose schedule to accomplish a gradual discontinuation of the medication (see WARNINGS).
Important Discontinuation Instructions
In order to avoid developing withdrawal symptoms, instruct patients not to discontinue acetaminophen and codeine phosphate tablets without first discussing a tapering plan with the prescriber (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION)
Maximum Daily Dose of Acetaminophen
Inform patients not to take more than 4,000 milligrams of acetaminophen per day. Advise patients to call their healthcare provider if they have taken more than the recommended dose.
Inform patients that acetaminophen and codeine phosphate tablets may cause orthostatic hypotension and syncope. Instruct patients how to recognize symptoms of low blood pressure and how to reduce the risk of serious consequences should hypotension occur (e.g., sit or lie down, carefully rise from a sitting or lying position) (see WARNINGS; Hypotension).
Inform patients that anaphylaxis has been reported with ingredients contained in acetaminophen and codeine phosphate tablets. Advise patients how to recognize such a reaction, and if they develop signs of allergy such as a rash or difficulty breathing to stop taking acetaminophen and codeine phosphate tablets and seek medical attention.(see CONTRAINDICATIONS,ADVERSE REACTIONS).
Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome
Inform female patients of reproductive potential that prolonged use of acetaminophen and codeine phosphate tablets during pregnancy can result in neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome, which may be life-threatening if not recognized and treated (see WARNINGS, PRECAUTIONS: Pregnancy).
Inform female patients of reproductive potential that acetaminophen and codeine phosphate tablets can cause fetal harm and to inform the prescriber of a known or suspected pregnancy (see PRECAUTIONS; Pregnancy).
Advise women that breastfeeding is not recommended during treatment with acetaminophen and codeine phosphate tablets (see PRECAUTIONS; Nursing Mothers).
Inform patients that chronic use of opioids may cause reduced fertility. It is not known whether these effects on fertility are reversible.
Driving or Operating Heavy Machinery
Inform patients that acetaminophen and codeine phosphate tablets may impair the mental and/or physical abilities required for the performance of potentially hazardous tasks such as driving a car or operating machinery and to avoid such tasks while taking this product, until they know how they will react to the medication.
Advise patients of the potential for severe constipation, including management instructions and when to seek medical attention (see ADVERSE REACTIONS, CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY).
Disposal of Unused acetaminophen and codeine phosphate tablets
Advise patients to properly dispose of acetaminophen and codeine phosphate tablets. Advise patients to throw the drug in the household trash following these steps:
1. Remove them from their original containers and mix them with an undesirable substance, such as used coffee grounds or kitty litter (this makes the drug less appealing to children and pets, and unrecognizable to people who may intentionally go through the trash seeking drugs).
2. Place the mixture in a sealable bag, empty can, or other container to prevent the drug from leaking or breaking out of a garbage bag, or dispose of unused tablets in accordance with local state guidelines and/or regulations.
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