Prolonged use of opioid analgesics during pregnancy may cause neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome. Available data with tramadol hydrochloride in pregnant women are insufficient to inform a drug-associated risk for major birth defects and miscarriage.
In animal reproduction studies, tramadol administration during organogenesis decreased fetal weights and reduced ossification in mice, rats, and rabbits at 1.4, 0.6, and 3.6 times the maximum recommended human daily dosage (MRHD). Tramadol decreased pup body weight and increased pup mortality at 1.2 and 1.9 times the MRHD
. Based on animal data, advise pregnant women of the potential risk to a fetus.
The estimated background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage for the indicated population is unknown. All pregnancies have a background risk of birth defect, loss, or other adverse outcomes. In the U.S. general population, the estimated background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage in clinically recognized pregnancies is 2% to 4% and 15% to 20%, respectively.
Fetal/Neonatal Adverse Reactions
Prolonged use of opioid analgesics during pregnancy for medical or nonmedical purposes can result in respiratory depression and physical dependence in the neonate and neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome shortly after birth.
Neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome can present as irritability, hyperactivity and abnormal sleep pattern, high pitched cry, tremor, vomiting, diarrhea and failure to gain weight. The onset, duration, and severity of neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome vary based on the specific opioid used, duration of use, timing and amount of last maternal use, and rate of elimination of the drug by the newborn. Observe newborns for symptoms and signs of neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome and manage accordingly
[see Warnings and Precautions (
Neonatal seizures, neonatal withdrawal syndrome, fetal death and still birth have been reported during postmarketing.
Labor or Delivery
Opioids cross the placenta and may produce respiratory depression and psycho-physiologic effects in neonates. An opioid antagonist, such as naloxone, must be available for reversal of opioid-induced respiratory depression in the neonate. Tramadol hydrochloride is not recommended for use in pregnant women during or immediately prior to labor, when other analgesic techniques are more appropriate. Opioid analgesics, including tramadol hydrochloride, can prolong labor through actions which temporarily reduce the strength, duration, and frequency of uterine contractions. However, this effect is not consistent and may be offset by an increased rate of cervical dilation, which tends to shorten labor. Monitor neonates exposed to opioid analgesics during labor for signs of excess sedation and respiratory depression.
Tramadol has been shown to cross the placenta. The mean ratio of serum tramadol in the umbilical veins compared to maternal veins was 0.83 for 40 women given tramadol during labor.
The effect of tramadol hydrochloride, if any, on the later growth, development, and functional maturation of the child is unknown.
Tramadol has been shown to be embryotoxic and fetotoxic in mice, (120 mg/kg), rats (25 mg/kg) and rabbits (75 mg/kg) at maternally toxic dosages, but was not teratogenic at these dose levels. These doses on a mg/m
2 basis are 1.4, 0.6, and 3.6 times the maximum recommended human daily dosage (MRHD) for mouse, rat and rabbit, respectively.
No drug-related teratogenic effects were observed in progeny of mice (up to 140 mg/kg), rats (up to 80 mg/kg) or rabbits (up to 300 mg/kg) treated with tramadol by various routes. Embryo and fetal toxicity consisted primarily of decreased fetal weights, decreased skeletal ossification and increased supernumerary ribs at maternally toxic dose levels. Transient delays in developmental or behavioral parameters were also seen in pups from rat dams allowed to deliver. Embryo and fetal lethality were reported only in one rabbit study at 300 mg/kg, a dose that would cause extreme maternal toxicity in the rabbit. The dosages listed for mouse, rat and rabbit are 1.7, 1.9 and 14.6 times the MRHD, respectively.
Tramadol was evaluated in pre- and post-natal studies in rats. Progeny of dams receiving oral (gavage) dose levels of 50 mg/kg 1.2 times the MRHD or greater had decreased weights, and pup survival was decreased early in lactation at 80 mg/kg (1.9 times the MRHD).
Tramadol hydrochloride is not recommended for obstetrical preoperative medication or for post-delivery analgesia in nursing mothers because its safety in infants and newborns has not been studied.
Tramadol and its metabolite,
O -desmethyltramadol (M1), are present in human milk. There is no information on the effects of the drug on the breastfed infant or the effects of the drug on milk production. The M1 metabolite is more potent than tramadol in mu opioid receptor binding
[see Clinical Pharmacology (
. Published studies have reported tramadol and M1 in colostrum with administration of tramadol to nursing mothers in the early post-partum period. Women who are ultra-rapid metabolizers of tramadol may have higher than expected serum levels of M1, potentially leading to higher levels of M1 in breast milk that can be dangerous in their breastfed infants. In women with normal tramadol metabolism, the amount of tramadol secreted into human milk is low and dose-dependent. Because of the potential for serious adverse reactions, including excess sedation and respiratory depression in a breastfed infant, advise patients that breastfeeding is not recommended during treatment with tramadol hydrochloride
[see Warnings and Precautions (
If infants are exposed to tramadol hydrochloride through breast milk, they should be monitored for excess sedation and respiratory depression. Withdrawal symptoms can occur in breastfed infants when maternal administration of an opioid analgesic is stopped, or when breast-feeding is stopped.
Following a single IV 100 mg dose of tramadol, the cumulative excretion in breast milk within 16 hours post dose was 100 mcg of tramadol (0.1% of the maternal dose) and 27 mcg of M1.
Chronic use of opioids may cause reduced fertility in females and males of reproductive potential. It is not known whether these effects on fertility are reversible [see Adverse Reactions ( 6.2)] .
The safety and effectiveness of tramadol hydrochloride in pediatric patients have not been established.
Life-threatening respiratory depression and death have occurred in children who received tramadol [see Warnings and Precautions ( 5.4)] . In some of the reported cases, these events followed tonsillectomy and/or adenoidectomy, and one of the children had evidence of being an ultra-rapid metabolizer of tramadol (i.e., multiple copies of the gene for cytochrome P450 isoenzyme 2D6). Children with sleep apnea may be particularly sensitive to the respiratory depressant effects of tramadol. Because of the risk of life-threatening respiratory depression and death:
- Tramadol hydrochloride is contraindicated for all children younger than 12 years of age [see Contraindications ( 4)] .
- Tramadol hydrochloride is contraindicated for postoperative management in pediatric patients younger than 18 years of age following tonsillectomy and/or adenoidectomy
[see Contraindications (
Avoid the use of tramadol hydrochloride in adolescents 12 to 18 years of age who have other risk factors that may increase their sensitivity to the respiratory depressant effects of tramadol unless the benefits outweigh the risks. Risk factors include conditions associated with hypoventilation such as postoperative status, obstructive sleep apnea, obesity, severe pulmonary disease, neuromuscular disease, and concomitant use of other medications that cause respiratory depression.
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