OPANA ER (Page 4 of 11)


OPANA ER TABLETS are to be swallowed whole, and are not to be broken, chewed, crushed or dissolved. Taking broken, chewed, crushed or dissolved OPANA ER TABLETS could lead to the rapid release and absorption of a potentially fatal dose of oxymorphone.

Patients must not consume alcoholic beverages, or prescription or non-prescription medications containing alcohol, while on OPANA ER therapy. The co-ingestion of alcohol with OPANA ER may result in increased plasma levels and a potentially fatal overdose of oxymorphone.

Misuse, Abuse and Diversion of Opioids

OPANA ER contains oxymorphone, an opioid agonist similar to morphine, and is a Schedule II controlled substance. Opioid agonists have the potential for being abused and are sought by drug abusers and people with addiction disorders and are subject to criminal diversion.

Oxymorphone can be abused in a manner similar to other opioid agonists, legal or illicit. This should be considered when prescribing or dispensing OPANA ER in situations where the physician or pharmacist is concerned about an increased risk of misuse, abuse, or diversion.

OPANA ER tablets may be abused by crushing, chewing, snorting or injecting the product. These practices will result in the uncontrolled delivery of the opioid and pose a significant risk to the abuser that could result in overdose and death (see WARNINGS and WARNINGS: Drug Abuse and Addiction).

Concerns about abuse, addiction, and diversion should not prevent the proper management of pain.

Healthcare professionals should contact their State Professional Licensing Board, or State Controlled Substances Authority for information on how to prevent and detect abuse or diversion of this product.

Interactions with Alcohol and Drugs of Abuse

Oxymorphone may be expected to have additive effects when used in conjunction with alcohol, other opioids, or illicit drugs that cause central nervous system depression because respiratory depression, hypotension, and profound sedation or coma may result. An in vivo study examined the effect of alcohol (40%, 20%, 4% and 0%) on the bioavailability of a single dose of 40 mg of OPANA ER in healthy, fasted volunteers. The results showed that the oxymorphone mean AUC was 13% higher (not statistically significant) after co-administration of 240 mL of 40% alcohol. The AUC was essentially unaffected in subjects following the co-administration of OPANA ER and ethanol (240 mL of 20% or 4% ethanol).

There was a highly variable effect on Cmax with concomitant administration of alcohol and OPANA ER. The change in Cmax ranged from a decrease of 50% to an increase of 270% across all conditions studied. Following concomitant administration of 240 mL of 40% ethanol the Cmax increased on average by 70%, and up to 270% in individual subjects. Following the concomitant administration of 240mL of 20% ethanol the Cmax increased on average by 31% and up to 260% in individual subjects. Following the concomitant administration of 240 mL of 4 % ethanol, the Cmax increased by 7% on average and as much as 110% for individual subjects.

Drug Abuse and Addiction

Controlled Substance

OPANA ER contains oxymorphone, an opioid with an abuse liability similar to morphine and other opioid agonists and is a Schedule II controlled substance. OPANA ER and other opioids used in analgesia, can be abused and are subject to criminal diversion (see WARNINGS: Misuse, Abuse and Diversion of Opioids).

Drug addiction is characterized by a preoccupation with the procurement, hoarding, and abuse of drugs for non-medicinal purposes. Drug addiction is treatable, utilizing a multi-disciplinary approach, but relapse is common.

“Drug seeking” behavior is very common to addicts and drug abusers. Drug-seeking tactics include emergency calls or visits near the end of office hours, refusal to undergo appropriate examination, testing or referral, repeated claims of loss of prescriptions, tampering with prescriptions and reluctance to provide prior medical records or contact information for other treating physician(s). “Doctor shopping” (visiting multiple prescribers) to obtain additional prescriptions is common among drug abusers and people suffering from untreated addiction. Preoccupation with achieving adequate pain relief can be appropriate behavior in a patient with poor pain control.

Abuse and addiction are separate and distinct from physical dependence and tolerance. Physicians should be aware that addiction may not be accompanied by concurrent tolerance and symptoms of physical dependence in all addicts. In addition, abuse of opioids can occur in the absence of true addiction and is characterized by misuse for non-medical purposes, often in combination with other psychoactive substances. OPANA ER, like other opioids, may be diverted for non-medical use. Careful record-keeping of prescribing information, including quantity, frequency, and renewal requests is strongly advised.

Abuse of OPANA ER poses a risk of overdose and death. This risk is increased with concurrent abuse of OPANA ER with alcohol and other substances. In addition, parenteral drug abuse is commonly associated with transmission of infectious disease such as hepatitis and HIV.

Proper assessment of the patient, proper prescribing practices, periodic re-evaluation of therapy, and proper dispensing and storage are appropriate measures that help to limit abuse of opioid drugs.

Infants born to mothers physically dependent on opioids will also be physically dependent and may exhibit respiratory difficulties and withdrawal symptoms (see PRECAUTIONS: Usage in Pregnancy and PRECAUTIONS: Labor and Delivery).

Respiratory Depression

Respiratory depression is the chief hazard of OPANA ER. Respiratory depression is a particular potential problem in elderly or debilitated patients as well as in those suffering from conditions accompanied by hypoxia or hypercapnia when even moderate therapeutic doses may dangerously decrease pulmonary ventilation.

OPANA ER should be administered with extreme caution to patients with conditions accompanied by hypoxia, hypercapnia, or decreased respiratory reserve such as: asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or cor pulmonale, severe obesity, sleep apnea syndrome, myxedema, kyphoscoliosis, CNS depression or coma. In these patients, even usual therapeutic doses of oxymorphone may decrease respiratory drive while simultaneously increasing airway resistance to the point of apnea. Alternative non-opioid analgesics should be considered, and oxymorphone should be employed only under careful medical supervision at the lowest effective dose in such patients.

Interactions with Other Central Nervous System Depressants

Patients receiving other opioid analgesics, general anesthetics, phenothiazines or other tranquilizers, sedatives, hypnotics, or other CNS depressants (including alcohol) concomitantly with oxymorphone may experience respiratory depression, hypotension, profound sedation, or coma (see PRECAUTIONS: Drug-Drug Interactions).

Head Injury and Increased Intracranial Pressure

In the presence of head injury, intracranial lesions or a preexisting increase in intracranial pressure, the possible respiratory depressant effects of opioid analgesics and their potential to elevate cerebrospinal fluid pressure (resulting from vasodilation following CO2 retention) may be markedly exaggerated. Furthermore, opioid analgesics can produce effects on pupillary response and consciousness, which may obscure neurologic signs of further increases in intracranial pressure in patients with head injuries.

Hypotensive Effect

OPANA ER, like all opioid analgesics, may cause severe hypotension in an individual whose ability to maintain blood pressure has been compromised by a depleted blood volume, or after concurrent administration with drugs such as phenothiazines or other agents which compromise vasomotor tone. OPANA ER, like all opioid analgesics, should be administered with caution to patients in circulatory shock, since vasodilation produced by the drug may further reduce cardiac output and blood pressure.

Hepatic Impairment

A study of OPANA ER in patients with hepatic disease indicated greater plasma concentrations than those with normal hepatic function (see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY). OPANA ER should be used with caution in patients with mild impairment. These patients should be started with the lowest dose and titrated slowly while carefully monitoring for side effects. OPANA ER is contraindicated for patients with moderate and severe hepatic impairment (see CONTRAINDICATIONS, WARNINGS, and DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION).

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