TUSSICAPS (Page 2 of 3)

Drug Interactions

Patients receiving narcotics, antihistamines, antipsychotics, antianxiety agents, or other CNS depressants (including alcohol) concomitantly with TussiCaps® extended-release capsules may exhibit an additive CNS depression. When combined therapy is contemplated, the dose of one or both agents should be reduced.

The use of MAO inhibitors or tricyclic antidepressants with hydrocodone preparations may increase the effect of either the antidepressant or hydrocodone.

The concurrent use of other anticholinergics with hydrocodone may produce paralytic ileus.

Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility

Carcinogenicity, mutagenicity and reproductive studies have not been conducted with TussiCaps® extended-release capsules.


Teratogenic Effects. Pregnancy Category C – Hydrocodone has been shown to be teratogenic in hamsters when given in doses 700 times the human dose. There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. TussiCaps® extended-release capsules should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

Nonteratogenic Effects – Babies born to mothers who have been taking opioids regularly prior to delivery will be physically dependent. The withdrawal signs include irritability and excessive crying, tremors, hyperactive reflexes, increased respiratory rate, increased stools, sneezing, yawning, vomiting, and fever. The intensity of the syndrome does not always correlate with the duration of maternal opioid use or dose.

Labor and Delivery

As with all narcotics, administration of TussiCaps® extended-release capsules to the mother shortly before delivery may result in some degree of respiratory depression in the newborn, especially if higher doses are used.

Nursing Mothers

It is not known whether this drug is excreted in human milk. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk and because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants from TussiCaps® extended-release capsules, a decision should be made whether to discontinue nursing or to discontinue the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother.

Pediatric Use

The use of TussiCaps® extended-release capsules are contraindicated in children less than 6 years of age (see CONTRAINDICATIONS and ADVERSE REACTIONS, Respiratory, Thoracic and Mediastinal Disorders).

TussiCaps® extended-release capsules should be used with caution in pediatric patients 6 years of age and older (see WARNINGS, Pediatric Use).

Geriatric Use

Clinical studies of hydrocodone polistirex and chlorpheniramine polistirex extended-release did not include sufficient numbers of subjects aged 65 and over to determine whether they respond differently from younger subjects. Other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger patients. In general, dose selection for an elderly patient should be cautious, usually starting at the low end of the dosing range, reflecting the greater frequency of decreased hepatic, renal, or cardiac function, and of concomitant disease or other drug therapy.

This drug is known to be substantially excreted by the kidney, and the risk of toxic reactions to this drug may be greater in patients with impaired renal function. Because elderly patients are more likely to have decreased renal function, care should be taken in dose selection, and it may be useful to monitor renal function.


Gastrointestinal Disorders

Nausea and vomiting may occur; they are more frequent in ambulatory than in recumbent patients. Prolonged administration of TussiCaps® extended-release capsules may produce constipation.

General Disorders and Administration Site Conditions


Nervous System Disorders

Sedation, drowsiness, mental clouding, lethargy, impairment of mental and physical performance, anxiety, fear, dysphoria, euphoria, dizziness, psychic dependence, mood changes.

Renal and Urinary Disorders

Ureteral spasm, spasm of vesical sphincters, and urinary retention have been reported with opiates.

Respiratory, Thoracic and Mediastinal Disorders

Dryness of the pharynx, occasional tightness of the chest, and respiratory depression (see CONTRAINDICATIONS).

TussiCaps® extended-release capsules may produce dose-related respiratory depression by acting directly on brain stem respiratory centers (see OVERDOSAGE). Use of TussiCaps® extended-release capsules in children less than 6 years of age has been associated with fatal respiratory depression. Overdose with TussiCaps® extended-release capsules in children 6 years of age and older, in adolescents, and in adults has been associated with fatal respiratory depression.

Skin and Subcutaneous Tissue Disorders

Rash, pruritus.


TussiCaps® extended-release capsules are Schedule III narcotics. Psychic dependence, physical dependence and tolerance may develop upon repeated administration of narcotics; therefore, TussiCaps® extended-release capsules should be prescribed and administered with caution. However, psychic dependence is unlikely to develop when TussiCaps® extended-release capsules are used for a short time for the treatment of cough. Physical dependence, the condition in which continued administration of the drug is required to prevent the appearance of a withdrawal syndrome, assumes clinically significant proportions only after several weeks of continued oral narcotic use, although some mild degree of physical dependence may develop after a few days of narcotic therapy.


Signs and Symptoms – Serious overdosage with hydrocodone is characterized by respiratory depression (a decrease in respiratory rate and/or tidal volume, Cheyne-Stokes respiration, cyanosis), extreme somnolence progressing to stupor or coma, skeletal muscle flaccidity, cold and clammy skin, and sometimes bradycardia and hypotension. Although miosis is characteristic of narcotic overdose, mydriasis may occur in terminal narcosis or severe hypoxia. In severe overdosage, apnea, circulatory collapse, cardiac arrest and death may occur. The manifestations of chlorpheniramine overdosage may vary from central nervous system depression to stimulation.

Treatment – Primary attention should be given to the reestablishment of adequate respiratory exchange through provision of a patent airway and the institution of assisted or controlled ventilation. The narcotic antagonist naloxone hydrochloride is a specific antidote for respiratory depression which may result from overdosage or unusual sensitivity to narcotics including hydrocodone. Therefore, an appropriate dose of naloxone hydrochloride should be administered, preferably by the intravenous route, simultaneously with efforts at respiratory resuscitation. Since the duration of action of hydrocodone in this formulation may exceed that of the antagonist, the patient should be kept under continued surveillance and repeated doses of the antagonist should be administered as needed to maintain adequate respiration. For further information, see full prescribing information for naloxone hydrochloride. An antagonist should not be administered in the absence of clinically significant respiratory depression. Oxygen, intravenous fluids, vasopressors and other supportive measures should be employed as indicated. Gastric emptying may be useful in removing unabsorbed drug.


Adults and Children 12 Years and Older

One (1) full-strength TussiCaps® extended-release capsule (hydrocodone polistirex equivalent to 10 mg of hydrocodone bitartrate and chlorpheniramine polistirex equivalent to 8 mg of chlorpheniramine maleate) every 12 hours; do not exceed 2 capsules in 24 hours.

Children 6 to 11 Years of Age

One (1) half-strength TussiCaps® extended-release capsule (hydrocodone polistirex equivalent to 5 mg of hydrocodone bitartrate and chlorpheniramine polistirex equivalent to 4 mg of chlorpheniramine maleate) every 12 hours; do not exceed 2 capsules in 24 hours.

This medicine is contraindicated in children under 6 years of age (see CONTRAINDICATIONS).

All MedLibrary.org resources are included in as near-original form as possible, meaning that the information from the original provider has been rendered here with only typographical or stylistic modifications and not with any substantive alterations of content, meaning or intent.

This site is provided for educational and informational purposes only, in accordance with our Terms of Use, and is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a medical doctor, nurse, nurse practitioner or other qualified health professional.

Privacy Policy | Copyright © 2022. All Rights Reserved.