TRAMADOL HYDROCHLORIDE (Page 5 of 13)
5.8 Serotonin Syndrome with Concomitant Use of Serotonergic Drugs
Cases of serotonin syndrome, a potentially life-threatening condition, have been reported with the use of tramadol, including tramadol hydrochloride extended-release tablets, particularly during concomitant use with serotonergic drugs. Serotonergic drugs include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), triptans, 5-HT3 receptor antagonists, drugs that affect the serotonergic neurotransmitter system (e.g., mirtazapine, trazodone, tramadol), certain muscle relaxants (i.e., cyclobenzaprine, metaxalone), and drugs that impair metabolism of serotonin (including MAO inhibitors, both those intended to treat psychiatric disorders and also others, such as linezolid and intravenous methylene blue) [see Drug Interactions ( 7)] . This may occur within the recommended dosage range.
Serotonin syndrome symptoms may include mental status changes (e.g., agitation, hallucinations, coma), autonomic instability (e.g., tachycardia, labile blood pressure, hyperthermia), neuromuscular aberrations (e.g., hyperreflexia, incoordination, rigidity), and/or gastrointestinal symptoms (e.g., nausea, vomiting, diarrhea). The onset of symptoms generally occurs within several hours to a few days of concomitant use, but may occur later than that. Discontinue tramadol hydrochloride extended-release tablets if serotonin syndrome is suspected.
5.9 Increased Risk of Seizures
Seizures have been reported in patients receiving tramadol within the recommended dosage range. Spontaneous post-marketing reports indicate that seizure risk is increased with doses of tramadol above the recommended range.
Concomitant use of tramadol increases the seizure risk in patients taking: [see Drug Interactions ( 7)] .
- Selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and Serotonin-norepinephrine re-uptake inhibitors (SNRIs) antidepressants or anorectics,
- Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), and other tricyclic compounds (e.g., cyclobenzaprine, promethazine, etc.),
- Other opioids,
- MAO inhibitors [see Warnings and Precautions ( 5.8), Drug Interactions ( 7)]
- Neuroleptics, or
- Other drugs that reduce the seizure threshold.
Risk of seizures may also increase in patients with epilepsy, those with a history of seizures, or in patients with a recognized risk for seizure (such as head trauma, metabolic disorders, alcohol and drug withdrawal, CNS infections).
In tramadol overdose, naloxone administration may increase the risk of seizure.
5.10 Suicide Risk
- Do not prescribe tramadol hydrochloride extended-release tablets for patients who are suicidal or addiction-prone. Consideration should be given to the use of non-narcotic analgesics in patients who are suicidal or depressed. [see Drug Abuse and Dependence ( 9.2)]
- Prescribe tramadol hydrochloride extended-release tablets with caution for patients with a history of misuse and/or are currently taking CNS-active drugs including tranquilizers, or antidepressant drugs, or alcohol in excess, and patients who suffer from emotional disturbance or depression [see Drug Interactions ( 7)] .
- Inform patients not to exceed the recommended dose and to limit their intake of alcohol [see Dosage and Administration ( 2.1), Warnings and Precautions ( 5.7, 5.8, 5.14)] .
5.11 Adrenal Insufficiency
Cases of adrenal insufficiency have been reported with opioid use, more often following greater than one month of use. Presentation of adrenal insufficiency may include non-specific symptoms and signs including nausea, vomiting, anorexia, fatigue, weakness, dizziness, and low blood pressure. If adrenal insufficiency is suspected, confirm the diagnosis with diagnostic testing as soon as possible. If adrenal insufficiency is diagnosed, treat with physiologic replacement doses of corticosteroids. Wean the patient off of the opioid to allow adrenal function to recover and continue corticosteroid treatment until adrenal function recovers. Other opioids may be tried as some cases reported use of a different opioid without recurrence of adrenal insufficiency. The information available does not identify any particular opioids as being more likely to be associated with adrenal insufficiency.
5.12 Life-Threatening Respiratory Depression in Patients with Chronic Pulmonary Disease or in Elderly, Cachectic, or Debilitated Patients
The use of tramadol hydrochloride extended-release tablets in patients with acute or severe bronchial asthma in an unmonitored setting or in the absence of resuscitative equipment is contraindicated.
Patients with Chronic Pulmonary Disease: Tramadol hydrochloride extended-release tablets-treated patients with significant chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or cor pulmonale, and those with a substantially decreased respiratory reserve, hypoxia, hypercapnia, or pre-existing respiratory depression are at increased risk of decreased respiratory drive including apnea, even at recommended dosages of tramadol hydrochloride extended-release tablets [see Warnings and Precautions ( 5.3)] .
Elderly, Cachectic, or Debilitated Patients: Life-threatening respiratory depression is more likely to occur in elderly, cachectic, or debilitated patients because they may have altered pharmacokinetics or altered clearance compared to younger, healthier patients [see Warnings and Precautions ( 5.3)].
Monitor such patients closely, particularly when initiating and titrating tramadol hydrochloride extended-release tablets and when tramadol hydrochloride extended-release tablets are given concomitantly with other drugs that depress respiration [see Warnings and Precautions ( 5.3, 5.6)] . Alternatively, consider the use of non-opioid analgesics in these patients.
5.13 Severe Hypotension
Tramadol hydrochloride extended-release tablets may cause severe hypotension including orthostatic hypotension and syncope in ambulatory patients. There is increased risk in patients whose ability to maintain blood pressure has already been compromised by a reduced blood volume or concurrent administration of certain CNS depressant drugs (e.g., phenothiazines or general anesthetics) [see Drug Interactions ( 7)] . Monitor these patients for signs of hypotension after initiating or titrating the dosage of tramadol hydrochloride extended-release tablets. In patients with circulatory shock, tramadol hydrochloride extended-release tablets may cause vasodilation that can further reduce cardiac output and blood pressure. Avoid the use of tramadol hydrochloride extended-release tablets in patients with circulatory shock.
5.14 Risks of Use in Patients with Increased Intracranial Pressure, Brain Tumors, Head Injury, or Impaired Consciousness
In patients who may be susceptible to the intracranial effects of CO 2 retention (e.g., those with evidence of increased intracranial pressure or brain tumors), tramadol hydrochloride extended-release tablets may reduce respiratory drive, and the resultant CO 2 retention can further increase intracranial pressure. Monitor such patients for signs of sedation and respiratory depression, particularly when initiating therapy with tramadol hydrochloride extended-release tablets.
Opioids may also obscure the clinical course in a patient with a head injury. Avoid the use of tramadol hydrochloride extended-release tablets in patients with impaired consciousness or coma.
5.15 Risks of Use in Patients with Gastrointestinal Conditions
Tramadol hydrochloride extended-release tablets are contraindicated in patients with known or suspected gastrointestinal obstruction, including paralytic ileus.
The tramadol in tramadol hydrochloride extended-release tablets may cause spasm of the sphincter of Oddi. Opioids may cause increases in serum amylase. Monitor patients with biliary tract disease, including acute pancreatitis, for worsening symptoms.
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