- Do not prescribe ULTRACET 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)].
- Prescribe ULTRACET 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), Warnings and Precautions (5.7, 5.8)].
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.
5.13 Life-Threatening Respiratory Depression in Patients with Chronic Pulmonary Disease or in Elderly, Cachectic, or Debilitated Patients
The use of ULTRACET in patients with acute or severe bronchial asthma in an unmonitored setting or in the absence of resuscitative equipment is contraindicated [see Contraindications (4)].
Patients with Chronic Pulmonary Disease: ULTRACET-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 ULTRACET [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 ULTRACET and when ULTRACET is given concomitantly with other drugs that depress respiration [see Warnings and Precautions (5.8), Drug Interactions (7)]. Alternatively, consider the use of non-opioid analgesics in these patients.
ULTRACET 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 ULTRACET. In patients with circulatory shock, ULTRACET may cause vasodilation that can further reduce cardiac output and blood pressure. Avoid the use of ULTRACET in patients with circulatory shock.
5.15 Risk 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 CO2 retention (e.g., those with evidence of increased intracranial pressure or brain tumors), ULTRACET may reduce respiratory drive, and the resultant CO2 retention can further increase intracranial pressure. Monitor such patients for signs of sedation and respiratory depression, particularly when initiating therapy with ULTRACET.
Opioids may also obscure the clinical course in a patient with a head injury. Avoid the use of ULTRACET in patients with impaired consciousness or coma.
Rarely, acetaminophen may cause serious skin reactions such as acute generalized exanthematous pustulosis (AGEP), Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS), and toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN), which can be fatal. Patients should be informed about the signs of serious skin reactions, and use of the drug should be discontinued at the first appearance of skin rash or any other sign of hypersensitivity.
ULTRACET is contraindicated in patients with known or suspected gastrointestinal obstruction, including paralytic ileus [see Contraindications (4)].
The tramadol in ULTRACET 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.
Serious and rarely fatal anaphylactic reactions have been reported in patients receiving therapy with tramadol. When these events do occur it is often following the first dose. Other reported allergic reactions include pruritus, hives, bronchospasm, angioedema, toxic epidermal necrolysis, and Stevens-Johnson syndrome. Patients with a history of anaphylactoid reactions to tramadol and other opioids may be at increased risk and therefore should not receive ULTRACET. If anaphylaxis or other hypersensitivity occurs, stop administration of ULTRACET immediately, discontinue ULTRACET permanently, and do not rechallenge with any formulation of tramadol. Advise patients to seek immediate medical attention if they experience any symptoms of a hypersensitivity reaction [see Contraindications (4), Information for Patients (17)].
There have been postmarketing reports of hypersensitivity and anaphylaxis associated with the use of acetaminophen. Clinical signs included swelling of the face, mouth, and throat, respiratory distress, urticaria, rash, pruritus, and vomiting. There were infrequent reports of life-threatening anaphylaxis requiring emergency medical attention. Instruct patients to discontinue ULTRACET immediately and seek medical care if they experience these symptoms. Do not prescribe ULTRACET for patients with acetaminophen allergy.
5.19 Increased Risk of Hepatotoxicity with Concomitant Use of Other Acetaminophen-containing Products
Due to the potential for acetaminophen hepatotoxicity at doses higher than the recommended dose, ULTRACET should not be used concomitantly with other acetaminophen containing products.
Do not abruptly discontinue ULTRACET in a patient physically dependent on opioids. When discontinuing ULTRACET in a physically dependent patient, gradually taper the dosage. Rapid tapering of tramadol and acetaminophen in a patient physically dependent on opioids may lead to a withdrawal syndrome and return of pain [see Dosage and Administration (2.4) , Drug Abuse and Dependence (9.3)].
Additionally, avoid the use of mixed agonist/antagonist (e.g., pentazocine, nalbuphine, and butorphanol) or partial agonist (e.g., buprenorphine) analgesics in patients who are receiving a full opioid agonist analgesic, including ULTRACET. In these patients, mixed agonist/antagonist and partial agonist analgesics may reduce the analgesic effect and/or may precipitate withdrawal symptoms [see Drug Interactions (7)].
ULTRACET may impair the mental or physical abilities needed to perform potentially hazardous activities such as driving a car or operating machinery. Warn patients not to drive or operate dangerous machinery unless they are tolerant to the effects of ULTRACET and know how they will react to the medication [see Patient Counseling Information (17)].
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