NUCYNTA ER- tapentadol hydrochloride tablet, film coated, extended release
Quality Care Products, LLC
WARNING: ADDICTION, ABUSE, AND MISUSE; RISK EVALUATION AND MITIGATION STRATEGY (REMS); LIFE-THREATENING RESPIRATORY DEPRESSION; ACCIDENTAL INGESTION; NEONATAL OPIOID WITHDRAWAL SYNDROME; INTERACTION WITH ALCOHOL and RISKS FROM CONCOMITANT USE WITH BENZODIAZEPINES OR OTHER CNS DEPRESSANTS
Addiction, Abuse, and Misuse
NUCYNTA ER 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 NUCYNTA ER, 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 NUCYNTA ER. Monitor for respiratory depression, especially during initiation of NUCYNTA ER or following a dose increase. Instruct patients to swallow NUCYNTA ER tablets whole; crushing, chewing, or dissolving NUCYNTA ER tablets can cause rapid release and absorption of a potentially fatal dose of tapentadol [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3)].
Accidental ingestion of even one dose of NUCYNTA ER, especially by children, can result in a fatal overdose of tapentadol [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3)].
Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome
Prolonged use of NUCYNTA ER 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 (5.4)].
Interaction with Alcohol
Instruct patients not to consume alcoholic beverages or use prescription or non-prescription products that contain alcohol while taking NUCYNTA ER. The co-ingestion of alcohol with NUCYNTA ER may result in increased plasma tapentadol levels and a potentially fatal overdose of tapentadol [see Warnings and Precautions (5.5)].
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 (5.5) , Drug Interactions (7)].
- Reserve concomitant prescribing of NUCYNTA ER and benzodiazepines or other CNS depressants for use in patients for whom alternative treatment options are inadequate.
- Limit dosages and durations to the minimum required.
- Follow patients for signs and symptoms of respiratory depression and sedation
1 INDICATIONS AND USAGE
NUCYNTA ER (tapentadol) is 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
- neuropathic pain associated with diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) 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 extended-release opioid formulations [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)] , reserve NUCYNTA ER 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.
- NUCYNTA ER is not indicated as an as-needed (prn) analgesic.
2 DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION
2.1 Important Dosage and Administration Instructions
NUCYNTA ER should be prescribed only by healthcare professionals who are knowledgeable in the use of potent opioids for the management of chronic pain.
- 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 and following dosage increases with NUCYNTA ER and adjust the dosage accordingly [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3)].
Instruct patients to swallow NUCYNTA ER tablets whole, one tablet at a time, with enough water to ensure complete swallowing immediately after placing in the mouth [see Patient Counseling Information (17)]. Crushing, chewing, or dissolving NUCYNTA ER tablets will result in uncontrolled delivery of tapentadol and can lead to overdose or death [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)].
Discontinue all other tapentadol and tramadol products when beginning and while taking NUCYNTA ER [see Warnings and Precautions (5.7)]. Although the maximum approved total daily dose of NUCYNTA immediate-release formulation is 600 mg per day, the maximum total daily dose of NUCYNTA ER is 500 mg. Do not exceed a total daily dose of NUCYNTA ER of 500 mg.
2.2 Initial Dosage
Use of NUCYNTA ER as the First Opioid Analgesic (opioid-naïve patients)
Initiate treatment with NUCYNTA ER with the 50 mg tablet orally twice daily (approximately every 12 hours).
Use of NUCYNTA ER in Patients who are not Opioid Tolerant
The starting dose for patients who are not opioid tolerant is NUCYNTA ER 50 mg orally twice daily (approximately every 12 hours). Use of higher starting doses in patients who are not opioid tolerant may cause fatal respiratory depression.
Conversion from NUCYNTA to NUCYNTA ER
Patients can be converted from NUCYNTA to NUCYNTA ER using the equivalent total daily dose of NUCYNTA and dividing it into two equal doses of NUCYNTA ER separated by approximately 12-hour intervals. As an example, a patient receiving 50 mg of NUCYNTA four times per day (200 mg/day) may be converted to 100 mg NUCYNTA ER twice a day.
Conversion from Other Opioids to NUCYNTA ER
There are no established conversion ratios for conversion from other opioids to NUCYNTA ER defined by clinical trials. Initiate dosing using NUCYNTA ER 50 mg orally every 12 hours.
It is safer to underestimate a patient’s 24-hour oral tapentadol dosage and provide rescue medication (e.g., immediate-release opioid) than to overestimate the 24-hour oral tapentadol requirements which could result in an adverse reaction due to an overdose. While useful tables of opioid equivalents are readily available, there is inter-patient variability in the potency of opioid drugs and opioid formulations.
Close observation and frequent titration are warranted until pain management is stable on the new opioid. Monitor patients for signs and symptoms of opioid withdrawal and for signs of oversedation/toxicity after converting patients to NUCYNTA ER.
Conversion from Methadone to NUCYNTA ER
Close monitoring is of particular importance when converting from methadone to other opioid agonists. The ratio between methadone and other opioid agonists may vary widely as a function of previous dose exposure. Methadone has a long half-life and can accumulate in the plasma.
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