OPANA ER (Page 9 of 11)

Initiation of Therapy

Opioid-Naïve Patients

It is suggested that patients who are not opioid-experienced being initiated on chronic around-the-clock opioid therapy be started with OPANA ER 5 mg every 12 hours. Thereafter, it is recommended that the dose be individually titrated, preferably at increments of 5-10 mg every 12 hours every 3-7 days, to a level that provides adequate analgesia and minimizes side effects under the close supervision of the prescribing physician (see CLINICAL TRIALS: 12-Week Study in Opioid-Naïve Patients with Low Back Pain).

Opioid-Experienced Patients

Conversion from OPANA to OPANA ER

Patients receiving OPANA may be converted to OPANA ER by administering half the patient’s total daily oral OPANA dose as OPANA ER, every 12 hours. For example, a patient receiving 40 mg/day OPANA may require 20 mg OPANA ER every 12 hours.

Conversion from Parenteral Oxymorphone to OPANA ER

Given the absolute oral bioavailability of approximately 10%, patients receiving parenteral oxymorphone may be converted to OPANA ER by administering 10 times the patient’s total daily parenteral oxymorphone dose as OPANA ER in two equally divided doses (e.g., IV dose x 10/2). For example, approximately 20 mg of OPANA ER, every 12 hours, may be required to provide pain relief equivalent to a total daily dose of 4 mg of parenteral oxymorphone. Due to patient variability with regards to opioid analgesic response, upon conversion patients should be closely monitored to ensure adequate analgesia and to minimize side effects.

Conversion from Other Oral Opioids to OPANA ER

For conversion from other opioids to OPANA ER, physicians and other healthcare professionals are advised to refer to published relative potency information, keeping in mind that conversion ratios are only approximate. In general, it is safest to start the OPANA ER therapy by administering half of the calculated total daily dose of OPANA ER (see conversion ratio table below) in 2 divided doses, every 12 hours. The initial dose of OPANA ER can be gradually adjusted until adequate pain relief and acceptable side effects have been achieved. The following table provides approximate equivalent doses, which may be used as a guideline for conversion. The conversion ratios and approximate equivalent doses in this conversion table are only to be used for the conversion from current opioid therapy to OPANA ER. In a Phase 3 clinical trial with an open-label titration period, patients were converted from their current opioid to OPANA ER using the following table as a guide. In general, patients were able to successfully titrate to a stabilized dose of OPANA ER within 4 weeks (see Clinical TRIALS: 12-Week Study in Opioid-Experienced Patients with Low Back Pain). There is substantial patient variation in the relative potency of different opioid drugs and formulations.

CONVERSION RATIOS TO OPANA ER
Approximate Equivalent Dose
Opioid Oral

OralConversion Ratio a

Oxymorphone 10 mg 1
Hydrocodone 20 mg 0.5
Oxycodone 20 mg 0.5
Methadone 20 mg 0.5
Morphine 30 mg 0.333

a Ratio for conversion of oral opioid dose to approximate oxymorphone equivalent dose. Select opioid and multiply the dose by the conversion ratio to calculate the approximate oral oxymorphone equivalent.

  • The conversion ratios and approximate equivalent doses in this conversion table are only to be used for the conversion from current opioid therapy to Opana ER.
  • Sum the total daily dose for the opioid and multiply by the conversion ratio to calculate the oxymorphone total daily dose.
  • For patients on a regimen of mixed opioids, calculate the approximate oral oxymorphone dose for each opioid and sum the totals to estimate the total daily oxymorphone dose.
  • The dose of OPANA ER can be gradually adjusted, preferably at increments of 10 mg every 12 hours every 3-7 days, until adequate pain relief and acceptable side effects have been achieved (see Individualization of Dose).

Individualization of Dose

Once therapy is initiated, pain relief and other opioid effects should be frequently assessed. In clinical practice, titration of the total daily OPANA ER dose should be based upon the amount of supplemental opioid utilization, severity of the patient’s pain, and the patient’s ability to tolerate the opioid. Patients should be titrated to generally mild or no pain with the regular use of no more than two doses of supplemental analgesia, i.e. “rescue,” per 24 hours.

If signs of excessive opioid-related adverse experiences are observed, the next dose may be reduced. If this adjustment leads to inadequate analgesia, a supplemental dose of OPANA, another immediate-release opioid, or a non-opioid analgesic may be administered. Dose adjustments should be made to obtain an appropriate balance between pain relief and opioid-related adverse experiences. If significant adverse events occur before the therapeutic goal of mild or no pain is achieved, the events should be treated aggressively. Once adverse events are under control, upward titration should continue to an acceptable level of pain control.

During periods of changing analgesic requirements, including initial titration, frequent contact is recommended between physician, other members of the healthcare team, the patient and the caregiver/family. Patients and caregivers/family members should be advised of the potential side effects.

Patients with Hepatic Impairment

Patients with mild hepatic impairment should be started with the lowest dose and titrated slowly while carefully monitoring side effects. OPANA ER is contraindicated in patients with moderate and severe hepatic dysfunction (see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY, CONTRAINDICATIONS and PRECAUTIONS).

Patients with Renal Impairment

There are 57% and 65% increases in oxymorphone bioavailability in patients with moderate and severe renal impairment, respectively (see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY and PRECAUTIONS). Accordingly, in patients with creatinine clearance rate less than 50 mL/min, OPANA ER should be started with the lowest dose and titrated slowly while carefully monitoring side effects.

Use with CNS Depressants

OPANA ER, like all opioid analgesics, should be started at 1/3 to 1/2 of the usual dose in patients who are concurrently receiving other central nervous system depressants including sedatives or hypnotics, general anesthetics, phenothiazines, tranquilizers, and alcohol because respiratory depression, hypotension, and profound sedation or coma may result. No specific interaction between oxymorphone and monoamine oxidase inhibitors has been observed, but caution in the use of any opioid in patients taking this class of drugs is appropriate (see PRECAUTIONS: General and PRECAUTIONS: Drug-Drug Interactions).

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