FENTANYL SYSTEM- fentanyl patch
WARNING: ADDICTION, ABUSE, AND MISUSE; RISK EVALUATION AND MITIGATION STRATEGY (REMS); LIFE-THREATENING RESPIRATORY DEPRESSION; ACCIDENTAL EXPOSURE; NEONATAL OPIOID WITHDRAWAL SYNDROME; CYTOCHROME P450 3A4 INTERACTION; RISK OF INCREASED FENTANYL ABSORPTION WITH APPLICATION OF EXTERNAL HEAT; and RISKS FROM CONCOMITANT USE WITH BENZODIAZEPINES OR OTHER CNS DEPRESSANTS
Addiction, Abuse, and Misuse
Fentanyl transdermal system 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 fentanyl transdermal system, and monitor all patients regularly for the development of these behaviors and conditions [see Warnings and Precautions ( 5.1)].
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 and Precautions ( 5.2)] . 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 fentanyl transdermal system. Monitor for respiratory depression, especially during initiation of fentanyl transdermal system or following a dose increase. Because of the risk of respiratory depression, fentanyl transdermal system is contraindicated for use as an as-needed analgesic, in non-opioid tolerant patients, in acute pain, and in postoperative pain [see Contraindications ( 4) and Warnings and Precautions ( 5.3)].
Accidental exposure to even one dose of fentanyl transdermal system, especially in children, can result in a fatal overdose of fentanyl. Deaths due to an overdose of fentanyl have occurred when children and adults were accidentally exposed to fentanyl transdermal system. Strict adherence to the recommended handling and disposal instructions is of the utmost importance to prevent accidental exposure [see Warnings and Precautions ( 5.4)].
Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome
Prolonged use of fentanyl transdermal system 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 and Precautions ( 5.5)].
Cytochrome P450 3A4 Interaction
The concomitant use of fentanyl transdermal system with all cytochrome P450 3A4 inhibitors may result in an increase in fentanyl plasma concentrations, which could increase or prolong adverse drug effects and may cause potentially fatal respiratory depression. In addition, discontinuation of a concomitantly used cytochrome P450 3A4 inducer may result in an increase in fentanyl plasma concentration. Monitor patients receiving fentanyl transdermal system and any CYP3A4 inhibitor or inducer [see Warnings and Precautions ( 5.6) and Clinical Pharmacology ( 12.3)].
Risk of Increased Fentanyl Absorption with Application of External Heat
Exposure of the fentanyl transdermal system application site and surrounding area to direct external heat sources, such as heating pads or electric blankets, heat or tanning lamps, sunbathing, hot baths, saunas, hot tubs, and heated water beds may increase fentanyl absorption and has resulted in fatal overdose of fentanyl. Warn patients to avoid exposing the application site and surrounding area to direct external heat sources [see Warnings and Precautions ( 5.7)].
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 and Precautions ( 5.8), Drug Interactions ( 7)].
- Reserve concomitant prescribing of fentanyl transdermal system and benzodiazepines or other CNS depressants for use in patients for whom alternative treatment options are inadequate.
- Limit treatment to the minimum effective dosages and durations.
- Follow patients for signs and symptoms of respiratory depression and sedation.
Fentanyl transdermal system is indicated for the management of pain in opioid-tolerant patients, severe enough to require daily, around-the-clock, long-term opioid treatment and for which alternative treatment options are inadequate.
Patients considered opioid-tolerant are those who are taking, for one week or longer, at least 60 mg morphine per day, 25 mcg transdermal fentanyl per hour, 30 mg oral oxycodone per day, 8 mg oral hydromorphone per day, 25 mg oral oxymorphone per day, 60 mg oral hydrocodone per day, or an equianalgesic dose of another opioid.
Limitations of Use
- Because of the risks of addiction, abuse, and misuse with opioids, even at recommended doses, and because of the greater risks of overdose and death with extended-release/long-acting opioid formulations [see Warnings and Precautions ( 5.1)] , reserve fentanyl transdermal system for use in patients for whom alternative treatment options (e.g., non-opioid analgesics or immediate-release opioids) are ineffective, not tolerated, or would be otherwise inadequate to provide sufficient management of pain.
- Fentanyl transdermal system is not indicated as an as-needed (prn) analgesic.
Fentanyl Transdermal System should be prescribed only by healthcare professionals who are knowledgeable in the use of potent opioids for the management of chronic pain.
Due to the risk of respiratory depression, fentanyl transdermal system is only indicated for use in patients who are already opioid-tolerant. Discontinue or taper all other extended-release opioids when beginning fentanyl transdermal system therapy. As fentanyl transdermal system is only for use in opioid-tolerant patients, do not begin any patient on fentanyl transdermal system as the first opioid [see Indications and Usage ( 1)] .
- Use the lowest effective dosage for the shortest duration consistent with individual patient treatment goals [see Warnings and Precautions ( 5)] .
- Initiate the dosing regimen for each patient individually, taking into account the patient’s severity of pain, patient response, prior analgesic treatment experience, and risk factors for addiction, abuse, and misuse [see Warnings and Precautions ( 5.1)] .
- Monitor patients closely for respiratory depression, especially within the first 24-72 hours of initiating therapy with fentanyl transdermal system when serum concentrations from the initial patch will peak [see Warnings and Precautions ( 5.3)] .
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