Morphine Sulfate Extended Release (Page 8 of 10)


13.1 Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility

Long-term studies in animals to evaluate the carcinogenic potential of morphine have not been conducted.

No formal studies to assess the mutagenic potential of morphine have been conducted.

In the published literature, morphine was found to be mutagenic in vitro increasing DNA fragmentation in human T-cells. Morphine was reported to be mutagenic in the in vivo mouse micronucleus assay and positive for the induction of chromosomal aberrations in mouse spermatids and murine lymphocytes. Mechanistic studies suggest that the in vivo clastogenic effects reported with morphine in mice may be related to increases in glucocorticoid levels produced by morphine in this species. In contrast to the above positive findings, in vitro studies in the literature have also shown that morphine did not induce chromosomal aberrations in human leukocytes or translocations or lethal mutations in Drosophila.

Impairment of Fertility
No formal nonclinical studies to assess the potential of morphine to impair fertility have been conducted. Several nonclinical studies from the literature have demonstrated adverse effects on male fertility in the rat from exposure to morphine. One study in which male rats were administered morphine sulfate subcutaneously prior to mating (up to 30 mg/kg twice daily) and during mating (20 mg/kg twice daily) with untreated females, a number of adverse reproductive effects including reduction in total pregnancies and higher incidence of pseudopregnancies at 20 mg/kg/day (3.2 times the HDD) were reported.

Studies from the literature have also reported changes in hormonal levels in male rats (i.e. testosterone, luteinizing hormone) following treatment with morphine at 10 mg/kg/day or greater (1.6 times the HDD).

Female rats that were administered morphine sulfate intraperitoneally prior to mating exhibited prolonged estrous cycles at 10 mg/kg/day (1.6 times the HDD).

Exposure of adolescent male rats to morphine has been associated with delayed sexual maturation and following mating to untreated females, smaller litters, increased pup mortality, and/or changes in reproductive endocrine status in adult male offspring have been reported (estimated 5 times the plasma levels at the HDD).


Morphine Sulfate Extended-Release Tablets are supplied as follows:

15 mg – round, blue-colored, film-coated tablet bearing the symbol ABG on one side and 15 on the other.
Unit dose packages of 100 (10 x 10) NDC 68084-157-01

30 mg – round, lavender-colored, film-coated tablet bearing the symbol ABG on one side and 30 on the other.
Unit dose packages of 100 (10 x 10) NDC 68084-158-01

Store at 25°C (77°F); excursions permitted between 15° to 30°C (59° to 86°F) [see USP Controlled Room Temperature].

Store morphine sulfate extended-release tablets securely and dispose of properly [see Patient Counseling Information (17)].

FOR YOUR PROTECTION: Do not use if blister is torn or broken.



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 morphine sulfate extended-release tablets securely, out of sight and reach of children, and in a location not accessible by others, including visitors to the home [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1), Drug Abuse and Dependence (9.2)]. Inform patients that leaving morphine sulfate extended-release 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. Expired, unwanted, or unused morphine sulfate extended-release tablets should be disposed of by flushing the unused medication down the toilet if a drug take-back option is not readily available. Inform patients that they can visit for a complete list of medicines recommended for disposal by flushing, as well as additional information on disposal of unused medicines.

Addiction, Abuse, and Misuse
Inform patients that the use of morphine sulfate extended-release tablets, even when taken as recommended, can result in addiction, abuse, and misuse, which can lead to overdose and death [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)]. Instruct patients not to share morphine sulfate extended-release tablets with others and to take steps to protect morphine sulfate extended-release 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 morphine sulfate extended-release 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 and Precautions (5.3)].

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 morphine sulfate extended-release 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 Dosage and Administration (2.2), Warnings and Precautions (5.3)].

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 (10)].

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.

Accidental Ingestion
Inform patients that accidental ingestion, especially by children, may result in respiratory depression or death [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3)].

Interactions with Benzodiazepines and Other CNS Depressants
Inform patients and caregivers that potentially fatal additive effects may occur if morphine sulfate extended-release tablets are used with benzodiazepines or other CNS depressants, including alcohol, and not to use these concomitantly unless supervised by a healthcare provider. [see Warnings and Precautions (5.5), Drug Interactions (7)].

Serotonin Syndrome
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 of serotonin syndrome and to seek medical attention right away if symptoms develop. Instruct patients to inform their physicians if they are taking, or plan to take serotonergic medications [see Drug Interactions (7)].

MAOI Interaction
Inform patients not to take morphine sulfate extended-release tablets while using any drugs that inhibit monoamine oxidase. Patients should not start MAOIs while taking morphine sulfate extended-release tablets [see Warnings and Precautions (5.7), Drug Interactions (7)].

Adrenal Insufficiency
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 and Precautions (5.8)].

Important Administration Instructions
Instruct patients how to properly take morphine sulfate extended-release tablets, including the following:

Important Discontinuation Instructions
In order to avoid developing withdrawal symptoms, instruct patients not to discontinue morphine sulfate extended-release tablets without first discussing a tapering plan with the prescriber [see Dosage and Administration (2.6)].

Inform patients that morphine sulfate extended-release 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 and Precautions (5.9)].

Inform patients that anaphylaxis has been reported with ingredients contained in morphine sulfate extended-release tablets. Advise patients how to recognize such a reaction and when to seek medical attention [see Contraindications (4), Adverse Reactions (6)].

Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome
Inform female patients of reproductive potential that prolonged use of morphine sulfate extended-release tablets during pregnancy can result in neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome, which may be life-threatening if not recognized and treated [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4), Use in Specific Populations (8.1)].

Embryo-Fetal Toxicity
Inform female patients of reproductive potential that morphine sulfate extended-release tablets can cause fetal harm and to inform their healthcare provider of a known or suspected pregnancy [see Adverse Reactions (6.2)].

Advise patients that breastfeeding is not recommended during treatment with morphine sulfate extended-release tablets [see Use in Specific Populations (8.2)].

Inform patients that chronic use of opioids may cause reduced fertility. It is not known whether these effects on fertility are reversible [see Use in Specific Populations (8.3)].

Driving or Operating Heavy Machinery
Inform patients that morphine sulfate extended-release tablets may impair the ability to perform potentially hazardous activities such as driving a car or operating heavy machinery. Advise patients not to perform such tasks 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.

Healthcare professionals can telephone Rhodes Pharmaceuticals L.P.’s Medical Services Department (1-888-827-0616) for information on this product.

For more information about the packaging or labeling, call American Health Packaging at 1-800-707-4621.

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