Tramadol Hydrochloride (Page 5 of 8)

9 DRUG ABUSE and DEPENDENCE

9.1 Controlled Substance

Tramadol Hydrochloride Extended-Release is classified as a Schedule IV controlled substance by federal regulation.

9.2 Abuse

Tramadol Hydrochloride Extended-Release contains tramadol, a mu-agonist opioid. Tramadol, like other opioids used in analgesia, can be abused and is subject to criminal diversion.

Addiction is a primary, chronic, neurobiologic disease, with genetic, psychosocial, and environmental factors influencing its development and manifestations. It is characterized by behaviors that include one or more of the following: impaired control over drug use, compulsive use, continued use despite harm, and craving. Drug addiction is a treatable disease, utilizing a multidisciplinary approach, but relapse is common.

“Drug-seeking” behavior is very common in 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 “loss” of prescriptions, tampering with prescriptions and reluctance to provide prior medical records or contact information for other treating physician(s). “Doctor shopping” to obtain additional prescriptions is common among drug abusers and people suffering from untreated addiction.

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. Tramadol Hydrochloride Extended-Release, 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.

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.

Tramadol Hydrochloride Extended-Release is intended for oral use only. The crushed capsule poses a hazard of overdose and death. This risk is increased with concurrent abuse of alcohol and other substances. With parenteral abuse, the capsule excipients can be expected to result in local tissue necrosis, infection, pulmonary granulomas, and increased risk of endocarditis and valvular heart injury. Parenteral drug abuse is commonly associated with transmission of infectious diseases such as hepatitis and HIV.

9.3 Use in Drug and Alcohol Addiction

Tramadol Hydrochloride Extended-Release is an opioid with no approved use for the management of addictive disorders. Its proper usage in individuals with drug or alcohol dependence, either active or in remission is for the management of pain requiring opioid analgesia. Concerns about abuse and addiction should not prevent the proper management of pain. However all patients treated with opioids require careful monitoring for signs of abuse and addiction, because use of opioid analgesic products carries the risk of addiction even under appropriate medical use.

9.4 Dependence

Tolerance is the need for increasing doses of opioids to maintain a defined effect such as analgesia (in the absence of disease progression or other external factors). Physical dependence is manifested by withdrawal symptoms after abrupt discontinuation of a drug or upon administration of an antagonist.

9.5 Withdrawal Symptoms

The opioid abstinence or withdrawal syndrome is characterized by some or all of the following: restlessness, lacrimation, rhinorrhea, yawning, perspiration, chills, myalgia, and mydriasis. Other symptoms also may develop, including irritability, anxiety, backache, joint pain, weakness, abdominal cramps, insomnia, nausea, anorexia, vomiting, diarrhea, or increased blood pressure, respiratory rate, or heart rate.

Generally, tolerance and/or withdrawal are more likely to occur the longer a patient is on continuous opioid therapy.

Withdrawal symptoms may occur if Tramadol Hydrochloride Extended-Release is discontinued abruptly. Onset of adverse events are likely to occur after treatment is stopped. These symptoms may include: anxiety, sweating, insomnia, rigors, pain, nausea, tremors, diarrhea, upper respiratory symptoms, piloerection, and rarely hallucinations. Clinical experiences with tramadol suggests that withdrawal symptoms may be reduced by tapering Tramadol Hydrochloride Extended-Release when discontinuing tramadol therapy [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION ( 2) and WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS ( 5.10)].

10 OVERDOSAGE

10.1 Human Experience

Acute overdosage with tramadol can be manifested by respiratory depression, somnolence progressing to stupor or coma, skeletal muscle flaccidity, cold and clammy skin, constricted pupils, bradycardia, hypotension, and death.

Deaths due to overdose have been reported with abuse and misuse of tramadol, by ingesting, inhaling, or injecting the crushed dosage forms. Review of case reports has indicated that the risk of fatal overdose is further increased when tramadol is abused concurrently with alcohol or other CNS depressants, including other opioids.

10.2 Management of Overdose

In the treatment of tramadol overdosage, primary attention should be given to the reestablishment of a patent airway and institution of assisted or controlled ventilation. Supportive measures (including oxygen and vasopressors) should be employed in the management of circulatory shock and pulmonary edema accompa- nying overdose as indicated. Cardiac arrest or arrhythmias may require cardiac massage or defibrillation.

While naloxone will reverse some, but not all, symptoms caused by overdosage with tramadol, the risk of seizures is also increased with naloxone administration. In animals, convulsions following the administration of toxic doses of Tramadol Hydrochloride Extended-Release could be suppressed with barbiturates or benzodiazepines but were increased with naloxone. Naloxone administration did not change the lethality of an overdose in mice. Hemodialysis is not expected to be helpful in an overdose because it removes less than 7% of the administered dose in a 4-hour dialysis period.

11 DESCRIPTION

Tramadol Hydrochloride Extended-Release capsules is a centrally acting synthetic analgesic in an extended-release oral formulation. The chemical name for tramadol hydrochloride USP is (±)cis -2-[(dimethylamino)methyl]-1-(3-methoxyphenyl) cyclohexanol hydrochloride. Its structural formula is:

Figure 1 The structural formula of tramadol hydrochloride

Figure 1

The molecular weight of tramadol hydrochloride, USP is 299.8. It is a white, bitter, crystalline and odorless powder that is readily soluble in water and ethanol and has a pKa of 9.41. The n-octanol/water log partition coefficient (logP) is 1.35 at pH 7. Tramadol Hydrochloride Extended-Release capsules contain a total dose of tramadol hydrochloride USP 150 mg in a combination of immediate-release and extended-release components.

Dosage Immediate-release Extended-release
150 mg 37.5 mg 112.5 mg

Tramadol Hydrochloride Extended-Release capsules are white in color. Inactive ingredients include gelatin, titanium dioxide, shellac, yellow iron oxide, lactose monohydrate 200 mesh, microcrystalline cellulose, povidone K30, corn starch, sodium starch glycolate, magnesium stearate, sucrose stearate, hypromellose, talc, polysorbate 80, Eudragit NE 30D, and simethicone emulsion.

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