Prolonged use of opioid analgesics during pregnancy may cause neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4)]. Available data with HYSINGLA ER in pregnant women are insufficient to inform a drug-associated risk for major birth defects and miscarriage. In animal reproduction studies with hydrocodone in rats and rabbits no embryotoxicity or teratogenicity was observed. However, reduced pup survival rates, reduced fetal/pup body weights, and delayed ossification were observed at doses causing maternal toxicity. In all of the studies conducted, the exposures in animals were less than the human exposure [see Data].
The estimated background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage for the indicated population is unknown. All pregnancies have a background risk of birth defect, loss, or other adverse outcomes. In the U.S. general population, the estimated background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage in clinically recognized pregnancies is 2-4% and 15-20%, respectively.
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 and Precautions (5.4)].
Labor and 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. HYSINGLA ER is not recommended for use in pregnant women during or immediately prior to labor, when use of shorter-acting analgesics or other analgesic techniques are more appropriate. Opioid analgesics, including HYSINGLA ER, 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.
No evidence of embryotoxicity or teratogenicity was observed after oral administration of hydrocodone throughout the period of organogenesis in rats and rabbits at doses up to 30 mg/kg/day (approximately 0.1 and 0.3 times, respectively, the human hydrocodone dose of 120 mg/day based on AUC exposure comparisons). However, in these studies, reduced fetal body weights and delayed ossification were observed in rat at 30 mg/kg/day and reduced fetal body weights were observed in rabbits at 30 mg/kg/day (approximately 0.1 and 0.3 times, respectively, the human hydrocodone dose of 120 mg/day based on AUC exposure comparisons). In a pre- and post-natal development study pregnant rats were administered oral hydrocodone throughout the period of gestation and lactation. At a dose of 30 mg/kg/day decreased pup viability, pup survival indices, litter size and pup body weight were observed. This dose is approximately 0.1 times the human hydrocodone dose of 120 mg/day based on AUC exposure comparisons.
Hydrocodone is present in human milk. A published lactation study reports variable concentrations of hydrocodone and hydromorphone (an active metabolite) in breast milk with administration of immediate-release hydrocodone to nursing mothers in the early post-partum period. This lactation study did not assess breastfed infants for potential adverse drug reactions. Lactation studies have not been conducted with HYSINGLA, and no information is available on the effects of the drug on the breastfed infant or the effects of the drug on milk production. Because of the potential for serious adverse reactions, including excess sedation and respiratory depression in a breastfed infant, advise patients that breastfeeding is not recommended during treatment with HYSINGLA ER.
Monitor infants exposed to HYSINGLA ER through breast milk 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.
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 (6.2)].
HYSINGLA ER gradually forms a viscous hydrogel (i.e., a gelatinous mass) when exposed to water or other fluids. Pediatric patients may be at increased risk of esophageal obstruction, dysphagia, and choking because of a smaller gastrointestinal lumen if they ingest HYSINGLA ER [see Warnings and Precautions (5.12)]
In a controlled pharmacokinetic study, elderly subjects (greater than 65 years) compared to young adults had similar plasma concentrations of hydrocodone [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)]. Of the 1827 subjects exposed to HYSINGLA ER in the pooled chronic pain studies, 241 (13%) were age 65 and older (including those age 75 and older), while 42 (2%) were age 75 and older. In clinical trials with appropriate initiation of therapy and dose titration, no untoward or unexpected adverse reactions were seen in the elderly patients who received HYSINGLA ER.
In general, use caution when selecting a dosage for an elderly patient, usually starting at the low end of the dosing range, reflecting the greater frequency of decreased hepatic, renal, or cardiac function and of concomitant disease or other drug therapy.
Respiratory depression is the chief risk for elderly patients treated with opioids, and has occurred after large initial doses were administered to patients who were not opioid-tolerant or when opioids were co-administered with other agents that depress respiration. Titrate the dosage of HYSINGLA ER slowly in geriatric patients and monitor closely for signs of central nervous system and respiratory depression [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3)].
Hydrocodone is known to be substantially excreted by the kidney, and the risk of adverse reactions to this drug may be greater in patients with impaired renal function. Because elderly patients are more likely to have decreased renal function, care should be taken in dose selection, and it may be useful to monitor renal function.
No adjustment in starting dose with HYSINGLA ER is required in patients with mild or moderate hepatic impairment. Patients with severe hepatic impairment may have higher plasma concentrations than those with normal hepatic function [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)]. Therefore, a dosage reduction is recommended for these patients [see Dosage and Administration (2.5)]. Monitor closely for respiratory depression, sedation, and hypotension.
No dose adjustment is needed in patients with mild renal impairment. Patients with moderate or severe renal impairment or end stage renal disease have higher plasma concentrations than those with normal renal function [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)]. Therefore, a dosage reduction is recommended for these patients [see Dosage and Administration (2.6)]. Monitor closely for respiratory depression, sedation, and hypotension.
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