LEVORPHANOL TARTRATE- levorphanol tartrate tablet
Lannett Company, Inc.
WARNING: ADDICTION, ABUSE, AND MISUSE; RISK EVALUATION AND MITIGATION STRATEGY (REMS); LIFE-THREATENING RESPIRATORY
DEPRESSION; ACCIDENTAL INGESTION; NEONATAL OPIOID WITHDRAWAL SYNDROME; and RISKS FROM CONCOMITANT USE WITH BENZODIAZEPINES OR OTHER CNS DEPRESSANTS
Addiction, Abuse, and Misuse
Levorphanol Tartrate Tablets 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 Levorphanol Tartrate Tablets, and monitor all patients regularly for the development of these behaviors and conditions [see WARNINGS].
Opioid Analgesic Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS):
To ensure that the benefits of opioid analgesics outweigh the risks of addiction, abuse, and misuse, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has required a REMS for these products [see WARNINGS]. Under the requirements of the REMS, drug companies with approved opioid analgesic products must make REMS-compliant education programs available to healthcare providers. Healthcare providers are strongly encouraged to
- Complete a REMS-compliant education program,
- counsel patients and/or their caregivers, with every prescription, on safe use, serious risks, storage, and disposal of these products,
- emphasize to patients and their caregivers the importance of reading the Medication Guide every time it is provided by their pharmacist, and
- consider other tools to improve patient, household, and community safety.
Life-Threatening Respiratory Depression
Serious, life-threatening, or fatal respiratory depression may occur with use of Levorphanol Tartrate Tablets. Monitor for respiratory depression, especially during initiation of Levorphanol Tartrate Tablets or following a dose increase [see WARNINGS].
Accidental ingestion of Levorphanol Tartrate Tablets, especially by children, can result in a fatal overdose of Levorphanol Tartrate Tablets [see WARNINGS].
Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome
Prolonged use of Levorphanol Tartrate Tablets 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].
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]
- Reserve concomitant prescribing of Levorphanol Tartrate Tablets and benzodiazepines or other CNS depressants for use in patients for whom alternative treatment options are inadequate.
- Limit dosages and durations to the minimum required.
- Follow patients for signs and symptoms of respiratory depression and sedation.
Levorphanol Tartrate Tablets, contain levorphanol, an opioid agonist with a molecular formula of C17 H23 NO • C4 H6 O6 • 2H2 O and molecular weight 443.5. Each milligram of levorphanol tartrate is equivalent to 0.58 mg levorphanol base. Levorphanol’s chemical name is levo-3-hydroxy-N-methylmorphinan. The USP nomenclature is 17-methylmorphinan 3-ol tartrate (1:1) (Salt) dihydrate. The material has 3 asymmetric carbon atoms. The chemical structure is:
Levorphanol tartrate is a white to off-white crystalline powder and sparingly soluble in water.
Levorphanol Tartrate Tablets, USP 2 mg for oral administration, are available as white, round tablet, debossed with “N” above “236” on one side and score on other side.
Levorphanol Tartrate Tablets, USP 3 mg for oral administration, are available as white, oval shaped tablet debossed with “N237” on one side and plain on other side.
In addition, the tablet contains anhydrous lactose, corn starch, and magnesium stearate.
Mechanism of Action
Levorphanol is a full opioid agonist and is relatively selective for the mu-opioid receptor, although it can bind to other opioid receptors at higher doses. The principal therapeutic action of levorphanol is analgesia. Like all full opioid agonists, there is no ceiling effect for analgesia with levorphanol. Clinically, dosage is titrated to provide adequate analgesia and may be limited by adverse reactions, including respiratory and CNS depression.
The precise mechanism of the analgesic action is unknown. However, specific CNS opioid receptors for endogenous compounds with opioid-like activity have been identified throughout the brain and spinal cord and are thought to play a role in the analgesic effects of this drug.
Effects on the Central Nervous System
The principal therapeutic action of levorphanol is analgesia.
Levorphanol 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 retention and electrical stimulation.
Levorphanol 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
Levorphanol 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
Levorphanol produces peripheral vasodilation which may result in orthostatic hypotension or syncope. Manifestations of histamine release and/or peripheral vasodilation may include pruritus, flushing, red eyes, sweating, and/or orthostatic hypotension.
Effects on the Endocrine System
Opioids inhibit the secretion of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), cortisol, and luteinizing hormone (LH) in humans [see ADVERSE REACTIONS]. They also stimulate prolactin, growth hormone (GH) secretion, and pancreatic secretion of insulin and glucagon.
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].
Effects on the Immune System
Opioids have been shown to have a variety of effects on components of the immune system. The clinical significance of these findings is unknown. Overall, the effects of opioids appear to be modestly immunosuppressive.
The minimum effective analgesic concentration will vary widely among patients, especially among patients who have been previously treated with potent agonist opioids. The minimum effective analgesic concentration of levorphanol for any individual patient may increase over time due to an increase in pain, the development of a new pain syndrome, and/or the development of analgesic tolerance [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION].
Concentration–Adverse Reaction Relationships
There is a relationship between increasing levorphanol plasma concentration and increasing frequency of dose-related opioid adverse reactions such as nausea, vomiting, CNS effects, and respiratory depression. In opioid-tolerant patients, the situation may be altered by the development of tolerance to opioid-related adverse reactions [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION].
The pharmacokinetics of levorphanol have been studied in a limited number of cancer patients following intravenous (IV), intramuscular (IM) and oral (PO) administration. Following IV administration plasma concentrations of levorphanol decline in a triexponential manner with a terminal half-life of 11 to 16 hours and a clearance of 0.78 to 1.1 L/kg/hr. Based on terminal half-life, steady-state plasma concentrations should be achieved by the third day of dosing.
Levorphanol is rapidly distributed (<1 hr) and redistributed (1 to 2 hours) following IV administration and has a steady-state volume of distribution of 10 to 13 L/kg. In vitro studies of protein binding indicate that levorphanol is only 40% bound to plasma proteins.
No pharmacokinetic studies of the absorption of IM levorphanol are available, but clinical data suggests that absorption is rapid with onset of effects within 15 to 30 minutes of administration.
Levorphanol is well absorbed after PO administration with peak plasma concentrations occurring approximately 1 hour after dosing. The bioavailability of Levorphanol Tartrate Tablets compared to IM or IV administration is not known.
Plasma concentrations of levorphanol following chronic administration in patients with cancer increased with the dose, but the analgesic effect was dependent on the degree of opioid tolerance of the patient. Expected steady-state plasma concentrations for a 6-hour dosing interval can reach 2 to 5 times those following a single dose, depending on the patient’s individual clearance of the drug. Very high plasma concentrations of levorphanol can be reached in patients on chronic therapy due to the long half-life of the drug. One study in 11 patients using the drug for control of cancer pain reported plasma
concentrations from 5 to 10 ng/mL after a single 2 mg dose and up to 50 to 100 ng/mL after repeated oral doses of 20 to 50 mg/day.
Animal studies suggest that levorphanol is extensively metabolized in the liver and is eliminated as the glucuronide metabolite. This renally excreted inactive glucuronide metabolite accumulates with chronic dosing in plasma at concentrations that reach fivefold that of the parent compound.
The effects of age, sex, hepatic and renal disease on the pharmacokinetics of levorphanol are not known. As with all drugs of this class, patients at the extremes of age are expected to be more susceptible to adverse effects because of a greater pharmacodynamic sensitivity and probable increased variability in pharmacokinetics due to age or disease.
Clinical trials have been reported in the medical literature that investigated the use of Levorphanol Tartrate Tablets as a preoperative medication, as a postoperative analgesic, and in the management of chronic pain due primarily to malignancy. In each of these clinical settings Levorphanol Tartrate Tablets has been shown to be an effective analgesic of the mu-opioid type and similar to morphine, meperidine, or fentanyl.
Levorphanol Tartrate Tablets has been studied in chronic cancer patients. Dosages were individualized to each patient’s level of opioid tolerance. In one study, starting doses of 2 mg twice a day often had to be advanced by 50% or more within a few weeks of starting therapy. A study of Levorphanol Tartrate Tablets indicates that the relative potency is approximately 4 to 8 times that of morphine, depending on the specific circumstances of use. In postoperative patients, intramuscular levorphanol was determined to be about 8 times as potent as intramuscular morphine, whereas in cancer patients with chronic pain, it was found only to be about 4 times as potent.
Individualization of Dosage
Accepted medical practice dictates that the dose of any opioid analgesic be appropriate to the degree of pain to be relieved, the clinical setting, the physical condition of the patient, and the kind and dose of concurrent medication.
Levorphanol has a long half-life similar to methadone or other slowly excreted opioids, rather than quickly excreted agents such as morphine or meperidine. Slowly excreted drugs may have some advantages in the management of chronic pain. Unfortunately, the duration of pain relief after a single dose of a slowly excreted opioid cannot always be predicted from pharmacokinetic principles, and the inter-dose interval may have to be adjusted to suit the patient’s individual pharmacodynamic response.
Levorphanol is 4 to 8 times as potent as morphine and has a longer half-life. Because there is incomplete cross-tolerance among opioids, when converting a patient from morphine to levorphanol, the total daily dose of oral levorphanol should begin at approximately 1/15 to 1/12 of the total daily dose of oral morphine that such patients had previously required and then the dose should be adjusted to the patient’s clinical response. If a patient is to be placed on fixed-schedule dosing (round-the-clock) with this drug, care should be taken to allow adequate time after each dose change (approximately 72 hours) for the patient to reach a new steady-state before a subsequent dose adjustment to avoid excessive sedation due to drug accumulation.
Levorphanol Tartrate Tablets are indicated for the management of pain severe enough to require an opioid analgesic and for which alternative treatments are inadequate.
Limitations of Use
Because of the risks of addiction, abuse, and misuse, with opioids, even at recommended doses [see WARNINGS], reserve Levorphanol Tartrate Tablets for use in patients for whom alternative treatment options [e.g., non-opioid analgesics or opioid combination products]:
- Have not been tolerated, or are not expected to be tolerated,
- Have not provided adequate analgesia, or are not expected to provide adequate analgesia
Levorphanol Tartrate Tablets are contraindicated in patients with:
- Significant respiratory depression [see WARNINGS]
- Acute or severe bronchial asthma in an unmonitored setting or in the absence of resuscitative equipment [see WARNINGS]
- Known or suspected gastrointestinal obstruction, including paralytic ileus [see WARNINGS]
- Hypersensitivity to levorphanol or any of the formulation excipients (e.g., anaphylaxis) [see WARNINGS]
Addiction, Abuse, and Misuse
Levorphanol Tartrate Tablets contains levorphanol, a Schedule II controlled substance. As an opioid, Levorphanol Tartrate Tablets exposes users to the risks of addiction, abuse, and misuse [see DRUG ABUSE AND DEPENDENCE].
Although the risk of addiction in any individual is unknown, it can occur in patients appropriately prescribed Levorphanol Tartrate Tablets. Addiction can occur at recommended dosages and if the drug is misused or abused.
Assess each patient’s risk for opioid addiction, abuse, or misuse prior to prescribing Levorphanol Tartrate Tablets, and monitor all patients receiving Levorphanol Tartrate Tablets for the development of these behaviors and conditions. Risks are increased in patients with a personal or family history of substance abuse (including drug or alcohol abuse or addiction) or mental illness (e.g., major depression). The potential for these risks should not, however, prevent the proper management of pain in any given patient. Patients at increased risk may be prescribed opioids such as Levorphanol Tartrate Tablets, but use in such patients necessitates intensive counseling about the risks and proper use of Levorphanol Tartrate Tablets along with intensive monitoring for signs of addiction, abuse and misuse. Consider prescribing naloxone for the emergency treatment of opioid overdose (see WARNINGS, Life-Threatening Respiratory Depression; DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION, Patient Access to Naloxone for the Emergency Treatment of Opioid Overdose).
Opioids are sought by drug abusers and people with addiction disorders and are subject to criminal diversion. Consider these risks when prescribing or dispensing Levorphanol Tartrate Tablets. Strategies to reduce these risks include prescribing the drug in smallest appropriate quantity and advising the patient on the proper disposal of unused drug [see PRECAUTIONS; Information for Patients/Caregivers]. Contact local state professional licensing board or state controlled substances authority for information on how to prevent and detect abuse or diversion of this product.
Opioid Analgesic Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS)
To ensure that the benefits of opioid analgesics outweigh the risks of addiction, abuse, and misuse, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has required a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) for these products. Under the requirements of the REMS, drug companies with approved opioid analgesic products must make REMS-compliant education programs available to healthcare providers. Healthcare providers are strongly encouraged to do all of the following:
- Complete a REMS-compliant education program offered by an accredited provider of continuing education (CE) or another education program that includes all the elements of the FDA Education Blueprint for Health Care Providers Involved in the Management or Support of Patients with Pain.
- Discuss the safe use, serious risks, and proper storage and disposal of opioid analgesics with patients and/or their caregivers every time these medicines are prescribed. The Patient Counseling Guide (PCG) can be obtained at this link: www.fda.gov/OpioidAnalgesicREMSPCG.
- Emphasize to patients and their caregivers the importance of reading the Medication Guide that they will receive from their pharmacist every time an opioid analgesic is dispensed to them.
- Consider using other tools to improve patient, household, and community safety, such as patient-prescriber agreements that reinforce patient-prescriber responsibilities.
To obtain further information on the opioid analgesic REMS and for a list of accredited REMS CME/CE, call 800-503-0784, or log on to www.opioidanalgesicrems.com. The FDA Blueprint can be found at www.fda.gov/OpioidAnalgesicREMSBlueprint.
Life Threatening Respiratory Depression
Serious, life-threatening, or fatal respiratory depression has been reported with the use of opioids even when used as recommended. Respiratory depression, if not immediately recognized and treated, may lead to respiratory arrest and death. Management of respiratory depression may include close observation, supportive measures, and use of opioid antagonists, depending on the patient’s clinical status [see OVERDOSAGE]. Carbon dioxide (CO2 ) retention from opioid-induced respiratory depression can exacerbate the sedating effects of opioids.
While serious, life-threatening, or fatal respiratory depression can occur at any time during the use of Levorphanol Tartrate Tablets, the risk is greatest during the initiation of therapy or following a dosage increase. Monitor patients closely for respiratory depression, especially within the first 24-72 hours of initiating therapy with and following dosage increases of Levorphanol Tartrate Tablets.
To reduce the risk of respiratory depression, proper dosing and titration of Levorphanol Tartrate Tablets are essential [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION]. Overestimating the Levorphanol Tartrate Tablets dosage when converting patients from another opioid product can result in a fatal overdose with the first dose.
Accidental ingestion of even one dose of Levorphanol Tartrate Tablets, especially by children, can result in respiratory depression and death due to an overdose of Levorphanol Tartrate Tablets.
Educate patients and caregivers on how to recognize respiratory depression and emphasize the importance of calling 911 or getting emergency medical help right away in the event of a known or suspected overdose (see PRECAUTIONS, Information for Patients/Caregivers).
The initial dose of Levorphanol Tartrate Tablets should be reduced by 50% or more when the drug is given to patients with any condition affecting respiratory reserve or in conjunction with other drugs affecting the respiratory center. Subsequent doses should then be individually titrated according to the patient’s response.
Opioids can cause sleep-related breathing disorders including central sleep apnea (CSA) and sleep-related hypoxemia. Opioid use increases the risk of CSA in a dose-dependent fashion. In patients who present with CSA, consider decreasing the opioid dosage using best practices for opioid taper [see Dosage and Administration].
Patient Access to Naloxone for the Emergency Treatment of Opioid Overdose
Discuss the availability of naloxone for the emergency treatment of opioid overdose with the patient and caregiver and assess the potential need for access to naloxone, both when initiating and renewing treatment with Levorphanol Tartrate Tablets. Inform patients and caregivers about the various ways to obtain naloxone as permitted by individual state naloxone dispensing and prescribing requirements or guidelines (e.g., by prescription, directly from a pharmacist, or as part of a community-based program). Educate patients and caregivers on how to recognize respiratory depression and emphasize the importance of calling 911 or getting emergency medical help, even if naloxone is administered (see PRECAUTIONS, Information for Patients/Caregivers).
Consider prescribing naloxone, based on the patient’s risk factors for overdose, such as concomitant use of other CNS depressants, a history of opioid use disorder, or prior opioid overdose. The presence of risk factors for overdose should not prevent the proper management of pain in any given patient. Also consider prescribing naloxone if the patient has household members (including children) or other close contacts at risk for accidental ingestion or overdose. If naloxone is prescribed, educate patients and caregivers on how to treat with naloxone (see WARNINGS, Addiction, Abuse, and Misuse, Risks from Concomitant Use with Benzodiazepines or Other CNS Depressants; PRECAUTIONS, Information for Patients/Caregivers).
Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome
Prolonged use of Levorphanol Tartrate Tablets during pregnancy can result in withdrawal in the neonate. Neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome, unlike opioid withdrawal syndrome in adults, may be life-threatening if not recognized and treated, and requires management according to protocols developed by neonatology experts. Observe newborns for signs of neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome and manage accordingly. Advise pregnant women using opioids for a prolonged period of the risk of neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome and ensure that appropriate treatment will be available [see PRECAUTIONS; Information for Patients/Caregivers, Pregnancy].
Risks from Concomitant Use with Benzodiazepines or Other CNS Depressants
Profound sedation, respiratory depression, coma, and death may result from the concomitant use of Levorphanol Tartrate Tablets with benzodiazepines or other CNS depressants (e.g., non-benzodiazepine sedatives/hypnotics, anxiolytics, tranquilizers, muscle relaxants, general anesthetics, antipsychotics, other opioids, alcohol). Because of these risks, reserve concomitant prescribing of these drugs for use in patients for whom alternative treatment options are inadequate.
Observational studies have demonstrated that concomitant use of opioid analgesics and benzodiazepines increases the risk of drug-related mortality compared to use of opioid analgesics alone. Because of similar pharmacological properties, it is reasonable to expect similar risk with the concomitant use of other CNS depressant drugs with opioid analgesics [see PRECAUTIONS, Drug Interactions].
If the decision is made to prescribe a benzodiazepine or other CNS depressant concomitantly with an opioid analgesic, prescribe the lowest effective dosages and minimum durations of concomitant use. In patients already receiving an opioid analgesic, prescribe a lower initial dose of the benzodiazepine or other CNS depressant than indicated in the absence of an opioid, and titrate based on clinical response. If an opioid analgesic is initiated in a patient already taking a benzodiazepine or other CNS depressant, prescribe a lower initial dose of the opioid analgesic, and titrate based on clinical response. Follow patients closely for signs and symptoms of respiratory depression and sedation.
If concomitant use is warranted, consider prescribing naloxone for the emergency treatment of opioid overdose (see WARNINGS, Life-Threatening Respiratory Depression; DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION, Patient Access to Naloxone for the Emergency Treatment of Opioid Overdose).
Advise both patients and caregivers about the risks of respiratory depression and sedation when Levorphanol Tartrate Tablets are used with benzodiazepines or other CNS depressants (including alcohol and illicit drugs). Advise patients not to drive or operate heavy machinery until the effects of concomitant use of the benzodiazepine or other CNS depressant have been determined. Screen patients for risk of substance use disorders, including opioid abuse and misuse, and warn them of the risk for overdose and death associated with the use of additional CNS depressants including alcohol and illicit drugs [see PRECAUTIONS; Information for Patients/Caregivers, Drug Interactions].
Life-Threatening Respiratory Depression in Patients with Chronic Pulmonary Disease or in Elderly, Cachectic, or Debilitated Patient
The use of Levorphanol Tartrate 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: Patients treated with Levorphanol Tartrate Tablets 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 levorphanol [see WARNINGS].
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].
Monitor such patients closely, particularly when initiating and titrating Levorphanol Tartrate Tablets and when Levorphanol Tartrate Tablets are given concomitantly with other drugs that depress respiration [see WARNINGS]. Alternatively, consider the use of non-opioid analgesics in these patients.
Cases of adrenal insufficiency have been reported with opioid use, more often following greater than 1 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.
The use of Levorphanol Tartrate Tablets in acute myocardial infarction or in cardiac patients with myocardial dysfunction or coronary insufficiency should be limited because the effects of Levorphanol Tartrate Tablets on the work of the heart are unknown.
Levorphanol Tartrate 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 PRECAUTIONS; Drug Interactions]. Monitor these patients for signs of hypotension after initiating or titrating the dosage of Levorphanol Tartrate Tablets. In patients with circulatory shock Levorphanol Tartrate Tablets may cause vasodilatation that can further reduce cardiac output and blood pressure. Avoid the use of Levorphanol Tartrate Tablets with circulatory shock.
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 CO2 retention (e.g., those with evidence of increased intracranial pressure or brain tumors), Levorphanol Tartrate Tablets 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 Levorphanol Tartrate Tablets.
Opioids may also obscure the clinical course in a patient with a head injury. Avoid the use of Levorphanol Tartrate Tablets in patients with impaired consciousness or coma.
Risks of Use in Patients with Gastrointestinal Conditions
Levorphanol Tartrate Tablets are contraindicated in patients with known or suspected gastrointestinal obstruction, including paralytic ileus.
The levorphanol in Levorphanol Tartrate Tablets may cause spasm of the sphincter of Oddi. Levorphanol Tartrate Tablets has been shown to cause moderate to marked rises in pressure in the common bile duct when given in analgesic doses. It is not recommended for use in biliary surgery.
Opioids may cause increases in serum amylase. Monitor patients with biliary tract disease, including acute pancreatitis, for worsening symptoms.
Increased Risk of Seizures in Patients with Seizure Disorders
The levorphanol in Levorphanol Tartrate Tablets may increase the frequency of seizures in patients with seizure disorders, and may increase the risk of seizures occurring in other clinical settings associated with seizures. Monitor patients with a history of seizure disorders for worsened seizure control during Levorphanol Tartrate Tablets therapy.
Do not abruptly discontinue Levorphanol in a patient physically dependent on opioids. When discontinuing Levorphanol in a physically dependent patient, gradually taper the dosage. Rapid tapering of Levorphanol in a patient physically dependent on opioids may lead to a withdrawal syndrome and return of pain [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION, DRUG ABUSE AND DEPENDENCE].
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 Levorphanol. In these patients, mixed agonist/antagonist and partial agonist analgesics may reduce the analgesic effect and/or precipitate withdrawal symptoms [see DRUG INTERACTIONS].
Risks of Driving and Operating Machinery
Levorphanol Tartrate Tablets 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 Levorphanol Tartrate Tablets and know how they will react to the medication [see PRECAUTIONS; Information for Patients/Caregivers].
Use in Liver Disease
Levorphanol Tartrate Tablets should be administered with caution to patients with extensive liver disease who may be vulnerable to excessive sedation due to increased pharmacodynamic sensitivity or impaired metabolism of the drug.
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