METHADONE HYDROCHLORIDE- methadone hydrochloride tablet
WARNING: ADDICTION, ABUSE, AND MISUSE; RISK EVALUATION AND MITIGATION STRATEGY (REMS); LIFE-THREATENING RESPIRATORY DEPRESSION; ACCIDENTAL INGESTION; LIFE-THREATENING QT PROLONGATION; NEONATAL OPIOID WITHDRAWAL SYNDROME; INTERACTIONS WITH DRUGS AFFECTING CYTOCHROME P450 ISOENZYMES; RISKS FROM CONCOMITANT USE WITH BENZODIAZEPINES OR OTHER CNS DEPRESSANTS; and TREATMENT FOR OPIOID ADDICTION
Addiction, Abuse, and Misuse
Methadone hydrochloride tablets USP expose 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 Methadone Hydrochloride Tablets, USP, 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 methadone hydrochloride tablets USP. The peak respiratory depressant effect of methadone occurs later, and persists longer than the peak analgesic effect, especially during the initial dosing period. Monitor for respiratory depression, especially during initiation of methadone hydrochloride tablets USP or following a dose increase [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)].
Accidental ingestion of even one dose of methadone hydrochloride tablets, especially by children, can result in a fatal overdose of methadone [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)].
Life-threatening QT Prolongation
QT interval prolongation and serious arrhythmia (torsades de pointes) have occurred during treatment with methadone. Most cases involve patients being treated for pain with large, multiple daily doses of methadone, although cases have been reported in patients receiving doses commonly used for maintenance treatment of opioid addiction. Closely monitor patients with risk factors for development of prolonged QT interval, a history of cardiac conduction abnormalities, and those taking medications affecting cardiac conduction for changes in cardiac rhythm during initiation and titration of methadone hydrochloride tablets[see Warnings and Precautions (5.3)].
Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome
Neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome (NOWS) is an expected and treatable outcome of use of methadone hydrochloride tablets during pregnancy. NOWS may be life-threatening if not recognized and treated in the neonate. The balance between the risks of NOWS and the benefits of maternal methadone hydrochloride tablets use may differ based on the risks associated with the mother’s underlying condition, pain, or addiction. Advise the patient of the risk of NOWS so that appropriate planning for management of the neonate can occur [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4)].
Cytochrome P450 Interaction
The concomitant use of methadone hydrochloride tablets with all cytochrome P450 3A4, 2B6, 2C19, 2C9 or 2D6 inhibitors may result in an increase in methadone plasma concentrations, which could cause potentially fatal respiratory depression. In addition, discontinuation of concomitantly used cytochrome P450 3A4 2B6, 2C19, or 2C9 inducers may also result in an increase in methadone plasma concentration. Follow patients closely for respiratory depression and sedation, and consider dosage reduction with any changes of concomitant medications that can result in an increase in methadone levels [See Warnings and Precautions (5.5), Drug interactions (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 (5.6), Drug interactions (7)].
- Reserve concomitant prescribing of methadone hydrochloride tablets and benzodiazepines or other CNS depressants for use in patients for whom alternatives to benzodiazepines or other CNS depressants are inadequate.
- Limit dosages and durations to the minimum required for patients being treated for pain.
- Follow patients for signs and symptoms of respiratory depression and sedation. If the patient is visibly sedated, evaluate the cause of sedation, and consider delaying or omitting the daily methadone dose.
Conditions For Distribution And Use or Methadone Products For The Treatment Of Opioid Addiction
For detoxification and maintenance of opioid dependence, methadone should be administered in accordance with the treatment standards cited in 42 CFR Section 8, including limitations on unsupervised administration [See Indications and Usage (1), Dosage And Administration (2.1)].
Methadone hydrochloride tablets, USP are indicated for the:
- Management of pain severe enough to require daily, around-the-clock, long-term opioid treatment and for which alternative treatment options are inadequate.
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 long-acting opioids [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)] , reserve methadone hydrochloride tablets for use in patients for whom alternative analgesic treatment options (e.g., non-opioid analgesics or immediate-release opioid analgesics) are ineffective, not tolerated, or would be otherwise inadequate to provide sufficient management of pain.
- Methadone hydrochloride tablets are not indicated as an as-needed (prn) analgesic.
- Detoxification treatment of opioid addiction (heroin or other morphine-like drugs).
- Maintenance treatment of opioid addiction (heroin or other morphine-like drugs), in conjunction with appropriate social and medical services.
Conditions for Distribution and Use of Methadone Products for the Treatment of Opioid Addiction
Code of Federal Regulations, Title 42, Sec 8: Methadone products when used for the treatment of opioid addiction in detoxification or maintenance programs, shall be dispensed only by opioid treatment programs (and agencies, practitioners or institutions by formal agreement with the program sponsor) certified by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and approved by the designated state authority. Certified treatment programs shall dispense and use methadone in oral form only and according to the treatment requirements stipulated in the Federal Opioid Treatment Standards (42 CFR 8.12). See below for important regulatory exceptions to the general requirement for certification to provide opioid agonist treatment.
Failure to abide by the requirements in these regulations may result in criminal prosecution, seizure of the drug supply, revocation of the program approval, and injunction precluding operation of the program.
Regulatory Exceptions to the General Requirement for Certification to Provide Opioid Agonist Treatment:
- During inpatient care, when the patient was admitted for any condition other than concurrent opioid addiction (pursuant to 21CFR 1306.07(c)), to facilitate the treatment of the primary admitting diagnosis).
- During an emergency period of no longer than 3 days while definitive care for the addiction is being sought in an appropriately licensed facility (pursuant to 21CFR 1306.07(b)).
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