Diphenoxylate Hydrochloride and Atropine Sulfate (Page 2 of 3)

Information for Patients

Advise Patients:

Accidental ingestion of diphenoxylate hydrochloride and atropine sulfate tablets in children, especially in those less than 6 years of age, may result in severe respiratory depression and coma. Instruct patients to take steps to store diphenoxylate hydrochloride and atropine sulfate tablets securely and out of reach of children, and to dispose of unused diphenoxylate hydrochloride and atropine sulfate tablets (see WARNINGS).
To take diphenoxylate hydrochloride and atropine sulfate tablets at the prescribed dosage. Use of a higher than prescribed dosage may include opioid and/or anticholinergic effects (see OVERDOSAGE). Report to a healthcare facility if they develop anticholinergic symptoms such as hyperthermia, flushing, tachycardia, tachypnea, hypotonia, lethargy, hallucinations, febrile convulsion, dry mouth, mydriasis or opioid symptoms such as progressive CNS and respiratory depression, miosis, seizures, or paralytic ileus.
Diphenoxylate hydrochloride and atropine sulfate tablets may produce drowsiness or dizziness. Concomitant use of alcohol or other drugs that also cause CNS depression (e.g., barbiturates, benzodiazepines, opioids, buspirone, antihistamines, and muscle relaxants) may increase this effect. Inform patients not to operate motor vehicles or other dangerous machinery until they are reasonably certain that diphenoxylate hydrochloride and atropine sulfate tablets do not affect them adversely.
To use fluid and electrolyte therapy, if prescribed along with diphenoxylate hydrochloride and atropine sulfate tablets, as instructed by their healthcare provider.
Clinical improvement of diarrhea is usually observed within 48 hours. If clinical improvement is not seen within 10 days, discontinue diphenoxylate hydrochloride and atropine sulfate tablets and contact their healthcare provider.

Drug Interactions

Alcohol

Alcohol may increase the CNS depressant effects of diphenoxylate hydrochloride and atropine sulfate and may cause drowsiness (see WARNINGS). Avoid concomitant use of diphenoxylate hydrochloride and atropine sulfate tablets with alcohol.

Other Drugs that Cause CNS Depression

The concurrent use of diphenoxylate hydrochloride and atropine sulfate with other drugs that cause CNS depression (e.g., barbiturates, benzodiazepines, opioids, buspirone, antihistamines, muscle relaxants), may potentiate the effects of diphenoxylate hydrochloride and atropine sulfate (see WARNINGS). Either diphenoxylate hydrochloride and atropine sulfate tablets or the other interacting drug should be chosen, depending on the importance of the drug to the patient. If CNS-acting drugs cannot be avoided, monitor patients for CNS adverse reactions.

MAO Inhibitors

Diphenoxylate may interact with monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) and precipitate a hypertensive crisis. Avoid use of diphenoxylate hydrochloride and atropine sulfate tablets in patients who take MAOIs and monitor for signs and symptoms of hypertensive crisis (headache, hyperthermia, hypertension).

Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, and Impairment of Fertility

No long-term study in animals has been performed to evaluate carcinogenic potential. Diphenoxylate hydrochloride was administered to male and female rats in their diets to provide dose levels of 4 and 20 mg/kg/day throughout a three-litter reproduction study. At 50 times the human dose (20 mg/kg/day), female weight gain was reduced and there was a marked effect on fertility as only 4 of 27 females became pregnant in three test breedings. The relevance of this finding to usage of diphenoxylate hydrochloride and atropine sulfate in humans is unknown.

Pregnancy

Diphenoxylate hydrochloride has been shown to have an effect on fertility in rats when given in doses 50 times the human dose (see above discussion). Other findings in this study include a decrease in maternal weight gain of 30% at 20 mg/kg/day and of 10% at 4 mg/kg/day. At 10 times the human dose (4 mg/kg/day), average litter size was slightly reduced.

Teratology studies were conducted in rats, rabbits, and mice with diphenoxylate hydrochloride at oral doses of 0.4 to 20 mg/kg/day. Due to experimental design and small numbers of litters, embryotoxic, fetotoxic, or teratogenic effects cannot be adequately assessed. However, examination of the available fetuses did not reveal any indication of teratogenicity.

There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. Diphenoxylate hydrochloride and atropine sulfate tablets should be used during pregnancy only if the anticipated benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

Nursing Mothers

Caution should be exercised when diphenoxylate hydrochloride and atropine sulfate tablets are administered to a nursing woman, since the physicochemical characteristics of the major metabolite, diphenoxylic acid, are such that it may be excreted in breast milk and since it is known that atropine is excreted in breast milk.

Pediatric Use

The safety and effectiveness of diphenoxylate hydrochloride and atropine sulfate tablets have been established in pediatric patients 13 years of age and older as adjunctive therapy in the management of diarrhea. The safety and effectiveness of this product has not been established in pediatric patients less than 13 years of age.

Diphenoxylate hydrochloride and atropine sulfate tablets are contraindicated in pediatric patients less than 6 years of age due to the risks of severe respiratory depression and coma, possibly resulting in permanent brain damage or death (see CONTRAINDICATIONS).

Diphenoxylate hydrochloride and atropine sulfate has caused atropinism, particularly in pediatric patients with Down’s Syndrome (see PRECAUTIONS).

In case of accidental ingestion of diphenoxylate hydrochloride and atropine sulfate tablets by pediatric patients, see OVERDOSAGE for recommended treatment.

ADVERSE REACTIONS

The following serious adverse reactions are described elsewhere in the labeling:

Respiratory and/or CNS depression (see WARNINGS)
Anticholinergic and opioid-toxicities, including atropinism (see WARNINGS and PRECAUTIONS)
Dehydration and electrolyte imbalance (see WARNINGS)
GI Complications in patients with infectious diarrhea (see WARNINGS)
Toxic megacolon in patients with acute ulcerative colitis (see WARNINGS)

At therapeutic doses of diphenoxylate hydrochloride and atropine sulfate, the following other adverse reactions have been reported; they are listed in decreasing order of severity, but not of frequency:

Nervous system: numbness of extremities, euphoria, depression, malaise/lethargy, confusion, sedation/drowsiness, dizziness, restlessness, headache, hallucination.

Allergic: anaphylaxis, angioneurotic edema, urticaria, swelling of the gums, pruritus.

Gastrointestinal system: megacolon, paralytic ileus, pancreatitis, vomiting, nausea, anorexia, abdominal discomfort.

The following adverse reactions related to atropine sulfate are listed in decreasing order of severity, but not of frequency: hyperthermia, tachycardia, urinary retention, flushing, dryness of the skin and mucous membranes.

DRUG ABUSE AND DEPENDENCE

Controlled Substance

Diphenoxylate hydrochloride and atropine sulfate tablets are classified as a Schedule V controlled substance by federal regulation. Diphenoxylate hydrochloride is chemically related to the narcotic analgesic meperidine.

Drug Abuse and Dependence

In doses used for the treatment of diarrhea, whether acute or chronic, diphenoxylate has not produced addiction.

Diphenoxylate hydrochloride is devoid of morphine-like subjective effects at therapeutic doses. At high doses it exhibits codeine-like subjective effects. The dose which produces antidiarrheal action is widely separated from the dose which causes central nervous system effects. The insolubility of diphenoxylate hydrochloride in commonly available aqueous media precludes intravenous self-administration. A dose of 100 to 300 mg/day, which is equivalent to 40 to 120 tablets, administered to humans for 40 to 70 days, produced opiate withdrawal symptoms. Since addiction to diphenoxylate hydrochloride is possible at high doses, the recommended dosage should not be exceeded.

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