ULTRAM

ULTRAM- tramadol hydrochloride tablet, coated
PD-Rx Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

WARNING: ADDICTION, ABUSE, AND MISUSE; LIFE-THREATENING RESPIRATORY DEPRESSION; ACCIDENTAL INGESTION; ULTRA-RAPID METABOLISM OF TRAMADOL AND OTHER RISK FACTORS FOR LIFE-THREATENING RESPIRATORY DEPRESSION IN CHILDREN; NEONATAL OPIOID WITHDRAWAL SYNDROME; INTERACTIONS WITH DRUGS AFFECTING CYTOCHROME P450 ISOENZYMES; and RISKS FROM CONCOMITANT USE WITH BENZODIAZEPINES OR OTHER CNS DEPRESSANTS

ADDICTION, ABUSE AND MISUSE

ULTRAM exposes patients and other users to the risks of opioid addiction, abuse and misuse, which can lead to overdose and death. Assess each patient’s risk prior to prescribing ULTRAM, and monitor all patients regularly for the development of these behaviors and conditions (see WARNINGS).

LIFE-THREATENING RESPIRATORY DEPRESSION

Serious, life-threatening, or fatal respiratory depression may occur with use of ULTRAM. Monitor for respiratory depression, especially during initiation of ULTRAM or following a dose increase (see WARNINGS).

ACCIDENTAL INGESTION

Accidental ingestion of ULTRAM, especially by children, can be fatal. (see WARNINGS).

ULTRA-RAPID METABOLISM OF TRAMADOL AND OTHER RISK FACTORS FOR LIFE-THREATENING RESPIRATORY DEPRESSION IN CHILDREN

Life-threatening respiratory depression and death have occurred in children who received tramadol. Some of the reported cases followed tonsillectomy and/or adenoidectomy; in at least one case, the child had evidence of being an ultra-rapid metabolizer of tramadol due to a CYP2D6 polymorphism (see WARNINGS). ULTRAM is contraindicated in children younger than 12 years of age and in children younger than 18 years of age following tonsillectomy and/or adenoidectomy (see CONTRAINDICATIONS). Avoid the use of ULTRAM 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 (see WARNINGS).

NEONATAL OPIOID WITHDRAWAL SYNDROME

Prolonged use of ULTRAM during pregnancy can result in neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome, which may be life-threatening if not recognized and treated, and requires management according to protocols developed by neonatology experts. If opioid use is required for a prolonged period in a pregnant woman, advise the patient of the risk of neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome and ensure that appropriate treatment will be available (see WARNINGS).

INTERACTIONS WITH DRUGS AFFECTING CYTOCHROME P450 ISOENZYMES

The effects of concomitant use or discontinuation of cytochrome P450 3A4 inducers, 3A4 inhibitors, or 2D6 inhibitors with tramadol are complex. Use of cytochrome P450 3A4 inducers, 3A4 inhibitors, or 2D6 inhibitors with ULTRAM requires careful consideration of the effects on the parent drug, tramadol, and the active metabolite, M1 (see WARNINGS, PRECAUTIONS; Drug Interactions).

RISKS FROM CONCOMITANT USE WITH BENZODIAZEPINES OR OTHER CNS DEPRESSANTS

Concomitant use of opioids with benzodiazepines or other central nervous system (CNS) depressants, including alcohol, may result in profound sedation, respiratory depression, coma, and death (see WARNINGS, PRECAUTIONS; Drug Interactions).

  • Reserve concomitant prescribing of ULTRAM and benzodiazepines or other CNS depressants for use in patients for whom alternative treatment options are inadequate.
  • Limit treatment to the minimum effective dosages and durations.
  • Follow patients for signs and symptoms of respiratory depression and sedation.

DESCRIPTION

ULTRAM (tramadol hydrochloride) tablets are an opioid agonist. The chemical name for tramadol hydrochloride is (±) cis -2-[(dimethylamino)methyl]-1-(3-methoxyphenyl) cyclohexanol hydrochloride. The structural formula is:

Chemical Structure
(click image for full-size original)

The molecular weight of tramadol hydrochloride is 299.8. Tramadol hydrochloride is a white, bitter, crystalline and odorless powder. It 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. ULTRAM tablets contain 50 mg of tramadol hydrochloride and are white in color. Inactive ingredients in the tablet are pregelatinized corn starch, modified starch (corn), hypromellose, lactose, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, polyethylene glycol, polysorbate 80, sodium starch glycolate, titanium dioxide and carnauba wax.

CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY

Mechanism of Action

ULTRAM contains tramadol, an opioid agonist and inhibitor of norepinephrine and serotonin re-uptake. Although the mode of action is not completely understood, the analgesic effect of tramadol is believed to be due to both binding to µ-opioid receptors and weak inhibition of re-uptake of norepinephrine and serotonin.

Opioid activity is due to both low affinity binding of the parent compound and higher affinity binding of the O -demethylated metabolite M1 to µ-opioid receptors. In animal models, M1 is up to 6 times more potent than tramadol in producing analgesia and 200 times more potent in µ-opioid binding. Tramadol-induced analgesia is only partially antagonized by the opiate antagonist naloxone in several animal tests. The relative contribution of both tramadol and M1 to human analgesia is dependent upon the plasma concentrations of each compound (see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY; Pharmacokinetics).

Tramadol has been shown to inhibit reuptake of norepinephrine and serotonin in vitro, as have some other opioid analgesics. These mechanisms may contribute independently to the overall analgesic profile of tramadol. Analgesia in humans begins approximately within one hour after administration and reaches a peak in approximately two to three hours.

Pharmacodynamics

Effects on the Central Nervous System

Tramadol produces respiratory depression by direct action on brain stem respiratory centers. The respiratory depression involves a reduction in the responsiveness of the brain stem respiratory centers to both increases in carbon dioxide tension and electrical stimulation.

Tramadol causes miosis, even in total darkness. Pinpoint pupils are a sign of opioid overdose but are not pathognomonic (e.g., pontine lesions of hemorrhagic or ischemic origins may produce similar findings). Marked mydriasis rather than miosis may be seen due to hypoxia in overdose situations.

Effects on the Gastrointestinal Tract and Other Smooth Muscle

Tramadol causes a reduction in motility associated with an increase in smooth muscle tone in the antrum of the stomach and duodenum. Digestion of food in the small intestine is delayed and propulsive contractions are decreased. Propulsive peristaltic waves in the colon are decreased, while tone may be increased to the point of spasm resulting in constipation. Other opioid-induced effects may include a reduction in biliary and pancreatic secretions, spasm of sphincter of Oddi, and transient elevations in serum amylase.

Effects on the Cardiovascular System

Tramadol produces peripheral vasodilation, which may result in orthostatic hypotension or syncope. Manifestations of peripheral vasodilation may include pruritus, flushing, red eyes, sweating and/or orthostatic hypotension.

The effect of oral tramadol on the QTcF interval was evaluated in a double-blind, randomized, four-way crossover, placebo- and positive- (moxifloxacin) controlled study in 68 adult male and female healthy subjects. At a 600 mg/day dose (1.5-fold the maximum immediate-release daily dose), the study demonstrated no significant effect on the QTcF interval.

Effects on the Endocrine System

Opioids inhibit the secretion of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), cortisol, and luteinizing hormone (LH) in humans. They also stimulate prolactin, growth hormone (GH) secretion, and pancreatic secretion of insulin and glucagon (see WARNINGS; ADVERSE REACTIONS).

Chronic use of opioids may influence the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis, leading to androgen deficiency that may manifest as low libido, impotence, erectile dysfunction, amenorrhea, or infertility. The causal role of opioids in the clinical syndrome of hypogonadism is unknown because the various medical, physical, lifestyle, and psychological stressors that may influence gonadal hormone levels have not been adequately controlled for in studies conducted to date (see ADVERSE REACTIONS).

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