Propoxyphene Napsylate and Acetaminophen (Page 3 of 5)

Use in Pancreatic/Biliary Tract Disease

Propoxyphene napsylate and acetaminophen tablets may cause spasm of the sphincter of Oddi and should be used with caution in patients with biliary tract disease, including acute pancreatitis. Opioids like propoxyphene napsylate and acetaminophen tablets may cause increases in the serum amylase level.

Hepatic or Renal Impairment

Insufficient information exists to make appropriate dosing recommendations regarding the use of either propoxyphene alone or in combination with acetaminophen in patients with hepatic or renal impairment as a function of degree of impairment. Higher plasma concentrations and/or delayed elimination may occur in case of impaired hepatic function and/or impaired renal function (see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY). If the drug is used in these patients, it should be used with caution because of the hepatic metabolism of propoxyphene and acetaminophen and renal excretion of their metabolites.

Information for Patients/Caregivers

  1. Patients should be advised to report pain and adverse experiences occurring during therapy. Individualization of dosage is essential to make optimal use of this medication.
  2. Patients should be advised not to adjust the dose of propoxyphene napsylate and acetaminophen tablets without consulting the prescribing professional.
  3. Patients should be advised that propoxyphene napsylate and acetaminophen tablets may impair mental and/or physical ability required for the performance of potentially hazardous tasks (e.g., driving, operating heavy machinery).
  4. Patients should not combine propoxyphene napsylate and acetaminophen tablets with central nervous system depressants (e.g., sleep aids, tranquilizers) except by the orders of the prescribing physician, because additive effects may occur.
  5. Patients should be instructed not to consume alcoholic beverages, including prescription and over-the-counter medications that contain alcohol, while using propoxyphene napsylate and acetaminophen tablets because of risk of serious adverse events including death.
  6. Women of childbearing potential who become, or are planning to become, pregnant should be advised to consult their physician regarding the effects of analgesics and other drug use during pregnancy on themselves and their unborn child.
  7. Patients should be advised that propoxyphene napsylate and acetaminophen tablets are a potential drug of abuse. They should protect it from theft, and it should never be given to anyone other than the individual for whom it was prescribed.
  8. Patients should be advised that if they have been receiving treatment with propoxyphene napsylate and acetaminophen tablets for more than a few weeks and cessation of therapy is indicated, it may be appropriate to taper the propoxyphene napsylate and acetaminophen tablet dose, rather than abruptly discontinue it, due to the risk of precipitating withdrawal symptoms. Their physician can provide a dose schedule to accomplish a gradual discontinuation of the medication.
  9. Instruct patients not to consume any other medication that contain acetaminophen, including acetaminophen-based over-the-counter medications, while taking propoxyphene napsylate and acetaminophen tablets.

Drug Interactions With Propoxyphene

Propoxyphene is metabolized mainly via the human cytochrome P450 3A4 isoenzyme system (CYP3A4), therefore potential interactions may occur when propoxyphene is administered concurrently with agents that affect CYP3A4 activity.

The metabolism of propoxyphene may be altered by strong CYP3A4 inhibitors (such as ritonavir, ketoconazole, itraconazole, troleandomycin, clarithromycin, nelfinavir, nefazadone, amiodarone, amprenavir, aprepitant, diltiazem, erythromycin, fluconazole, fosamprenavir, grapefruit juice, and verapamil) leading to enhanced propoxyphene plasma levels. Coadministration with agents that induce CYP3A4 activity may reduce the efficacy of propoxyphene. Strong CYP3A4 inducers such as rifampin may lead to enhanced metabolite (norpropoxyphene) levels.

Propoxyphene is also thought to possess CYP3A4 and CYP2D6 enzyme inhibiting properties and coadministration with drugs that rely on either of these enzymes for metabolism may result in increased pharmacologic or adverse effects of that drug. Severe neurologic signs, including coma, have occurred with concurrent use of carbamazepine (metabolized by CYP3A4).

Increased risk of bleeding has been observed with warfarin-like agents when given along with propoxyphene; however, the mechanistic basis of this interaction is unknown.

CNS Depressants

Patients receiving narcotic analgesics, general anesthetics, phenothiazines, other tranquilizers, sedative-hypnotics or other CNS depressants (including alcohol) concomitantly with propoxyphene napsylate and acetaminophen tablets may exhibit an additive CNS depression. Interactive effects resulting in respiratory depression, hypotension, profound sedation, or coma may result if these drugs are taken in combination with the usual dosage of propoxyphene napsylate and acetaminophen tablets. When such combined therapy is contemplated, the dose of one or both agents should be reduced.

Mixed Agonist/Antagonist Opioid Analgesics

Agonist/antagonist analgesics (i.e., pentazocine, nalbuphine, butorphanol and buprenorphine) should be administered with caution to patients who have received or are receiving a course of therapy with a pure opioid agonist analgesic such as propoxyphene napsylate and acetaminophen tablets. In this situation, mixed agonist/antagonist analgesics may reduce the analgesic effect of propoxyphene napsylate and acetaminophen tablets and/or may precipitate withdrawal symptoms in these patients.

Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs)

MAOIs have been reported to intensify the effects of at least one opioid drug causing anxiety, confusion and significant depression of respiration or coma. The use of propoxyphene napsylate and acetaminophen tablets is not recommended for patients taking MAOIs or within 14 days of stopping such treatment.

Drug Interactions With Acetaminophen

Alcohol: Hepatotoxicity has occurred in chronic alcoholics following various dose levels (moderate to excessive) of acetaminophen.

Anticholinergics: The onset of acetaminophen effect may be delayed or decreased slightly, but the ultimate pharmacological effect is not significantly affected by anticholinergics.

Oral Contraceptives: Increase in glucuronidation resulting in increased plasma clearance and a decreased half-life of acetaminophen.

Beta Blockers (Propranolol): Propranolol appears to inhibit the enzyme systems responsible for the glucuronidation and oxidation of acetaminophen. Therefore, the pharmacologic effects of acetaminophen may be increased.

Loop Diuretics: The effects of the loop diuretic may be decreased because acetaminophen may decrease renal prostaglandin excretion and decrease plasma renin activity.

Lamotrigine: Serum lamotrigine concentrations may be reduced, producing a decrease in therapeutic effects.

Probenecid: Probenecid may increase the therapeutic effectiveness of acetaminophen slightly.

Zidovudine: The pharmacologic effects of zidovudine may be decreased because of enhanced nonhepatic or renal clearance of zidovudine.

Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility

The mutagenic and carcinogenic potential of propoxyphene and acetaminophen alone and in combination have not been evaluated.

In animal studies there was no effect of propoxyphene on mating behavior, fertility, duration of gestation, or parturition when rats were fed propoxyphene as a component of their daily diet at estimated daily propoxyphene intake up to 8 fold greater than the maximum human equivalent dose (HED) based on body surface area comparison. At this highest dose, fetal weight and survival on postnatal day 4 was reduced. Acetaminophen has not been studied in animals for effects on fertility and the effects on human fertility are unknown.


Risk Summary

Pregnancy category C

There are no adequate and well-controlled studies of propoxyphene with acetaminophen in pregnant women. While there are limited data in the published literature, adequate animal reproduction studies have not been conducted with propoxyphene or acetaminophen. Therefore, it is not known whether propoxyphene or acetaminophen can affect reproduction or cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. Propoxyphene with acetaminophen should be given to a pregnant woman only if clearly needed.

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