Tramadol Hydrochloride: Package Insert and Label Information (Page 3 of 7)

5.8 Serotonin Syndrome Risk

Cases of serotonin syndrome, a potentially life-threatening condition, have been reported with the use of tramadol, particularly during concomitant use with serotonergic drugs. Serotonergic drugs include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), triptans, 5-HT3 receptor antagonists, drugs that affect the serotonergic neurotransmitter system (e.g., mirtazapine, trazodone, tramadol), certain muscle relaxants (i.e., cyclobenzaprine, metaxalone), and drugs that impair metabolism of serotonin (including MAO inhibitors, both those intended to treat psychiatric disorders and also others, such as linezolid and intravenous methylene blue) [see Drug Interactions (7)] . This may occur within the recommended dosage range.

Serotonin syndrome symptoms may include mental status changes (e.g., agitation, hallucinations, coma), autonomic instability (e.g., tachycardia, labile blood pressure, hyperthermia), neuromuscular aberrations (e.g., hyperreflexia, incoordination, rigidity), and/or gastrointestinal symptoms (e.g., nausea, vomiting, diarrhea). The onset of symptoms generally occurs within several hours to a few days of concomitant use, but may occur later than that. Discontinue tramadol hydrochloride tablets if serotonin syndrome is suspected.

5.9 Increased Risk of Seizure

Seizures have been reported in patients receiving tramadol hydrochloride tablets within the recommended dosage range. Spontaneous post-marketing reports indicate that seizure risk is increased with doses of tramadol hydrochloride tablets above the recommended range.

Concomitant use of tramadol hydrochloride tablets increase the seizure risk in patients taking [see Drug Interactions (7)]:

  • Selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRI antidepressants or anorectics),
  • Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), and other tricyclic compounds (e.g., cyclobenzaprine, promethazine, etc.),
  • Other opioids,
  • MAO inhibitors [see Warnings and Precautions (5.8); Drug Interactions (7)].
  • Neuroleptics, or
  • Other drugs that reduce the seizure threshold.

Risk of seizure may also increase in patients with epilepsy, those with a history of seizures, or in patients with a recognized risk for seizure (such as head trauma, metabolic disorders, alcohol and drug withdrawal, CNS infections). In tramadol hydrochloride tablets overdose, naloxone administration may increase the risk of seizure.

5.10 Suicide Risk

Do not prescribe tramadol hydrochloride tablets for patients who are suicidal or addiction-prone.

5.11 Adrenal Insufficiency

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.

5.12 Life-Threatening Respiratory Depression in Patients with Chronic Pulmonary Disease or in Elderly, Cachectic, or Debilitated Patients

The use of tramadol hydrochloride 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

Tramadol hydrochloride tablets -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 dosage of tramadol hydrochloride tablets [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 tramadol hydrochloride tablets and when tramadol hydrochloride tablets are given concomitantly with other drugs that depress respiration [see Warnings and Precautions (5.7); Drug Interactions (7)]. Alternatively, consider the use of non-opioid analgesics in these patients.

5.13 Severe Hypotension

Tramadol hydrochloride 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 Drug Interactions (7)] . Monitor these patients for signs of hypotension after initiating or titrating the dosage of tramadol hydrochloride tablets. In patients with circulatory shock, tramadol hydrochloride tablets may cause vasodilation that can further reduce cardiac output and blood pressure. Avoid the use of tramadol hydrochloride tablets in patients with circulatory shock.

5.14 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 CO 2 retention (e.g., those with evidence of increased intracranial pressure or brain tumors), tramadol hydrochloride tablets may reduce respiratory drive, and the resultant CO 2 retention can further increase intracranial pressure. Monitor such patients for signs of sedation and respiratory depression, particularly when initiating therapy with tramadol hydrochloride tablets. Opioids may also obscure the clinical course in a patient with a head injury. Avoid the use of tramadol hydrochloride tablets in patients with impaired consciousness or coma.

5.15 Risks of Use in Patients with Gastrointestinal Conditions

Tramadol hydrochloride tablets are contraindicated in patients with known or suspected gastrointestinal obstruction, including paralytic ileus [see Contraindications (4)].

The tramadol in tramadol hydrochloride tablets 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.

5.16 Anaphylaxis and Other Hypersensitivity Reactions

Serious and rarely fatal anaphylactic reactions have been reported in patients receiving therapy with tramadol hydrochloride tablets. 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 hypersensitivity reactions to tramadol and other opioids may be at increased risk and therefore should not receive tramadol hydrochloride tablets [see Contraindications (4)]. If anaphylaxis or other hypersensitivity occurs, stop administration of tramadol hydrochloride tablets immediately, discontinue tramadol hydrochloride tablets 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); Patient Counselling Information (17)].

5.17 Withdrawal

Do not abruptly discontinue tramadol hydrochloride tablets in a patient physically dependent on opioids. When discontinuing tramadol hydrochloride tablets in a physically dependent patient, gradually taper the dosage. Rapid tapering of tramadol in a patient physically dependent on opioids may lead to a withdrawal syndrome and return of pain [see Dosage and Administration ( 2.5), 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 tramadol hydrochloride tablets. In these patients, mixed agonist/antagonist and partial agonist analgesics may reduce the analgesic effect and/or precipitate withdrawal symptoms [see Drug Interactions (7)].

5.18 Driving and Operating Machinery

Tramadol hydrochloride 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 tramadol hydrochloride tablets and know how they will react to the medication [see Patient Counselling Information (17)].

6 ADVERSE REACTIONS

The following serious adverse reactions are described, or described in greater detail, in other sections:

6.1 Clinical Trials Experience

  • Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice.
  • Tramadol hydrochloride tablets were administered to 550 patients during the double-blind or open-label extension periods in U.S. studies of chronic nonmalignant pain. Of these patients, 375 were 65 years old or older. Table 1 reports the cumulative incidence rate of adverse reactions by 7, 30 and 90 days for the most frequent reactions (5% or more by 7 days). The most frequently reported events were in the central nervous system and gastrointestinal system. Although the reactions listed in the table are felt to be probably related to tramadol hydrochloride tablets administration, the reported rates also include some events that may have been due to underlying disease or concomitant medication. The overall incidence rates of adverse experiences in these trials were similar for tramadol hydrochloride tablets and the active control groups, TYLENOL with Codeine #3 (acetaminophen 300 mg with codeine phosphate 30 mg), and aspirin 325 mg with codeine phosphate 30 mg, however, the rates of withdrawals due to adverse events appeared to be higher in the tramadol hydrochloride tablets groups.
Table 1: Cumulative Incidence of Adverse Reactions for Tramadol Hydrochloride Tablets in Chronic Trials of Nonmalignant Pain (N=427)
Up to 7 Days Up to 30 Days Up to 90 Days

Dizziness/Vertigo

26%

31%

33%

Nausea

24%

34%

40%

Constipation

24%

38%

46%

Headache

18%

26%

32%

Somnolence

16%

23%

25%

Vomiting

9%

13%

17%

Pruritus

8%

10%

11%

“CNS Stimulation” 1

7%

11%

14%

Asthenia

6%

11%

12%

Sweating

6%

7%

9%

Dyspepsia

5%

9%

13%

Dry Mouth

5%

9%

10%

Diarrhea

5%

6%

10%

1 “CNS Stimulation” is a composite of nervousness, anxiety, agitation, tremor, spasticity, euphoria, emotional lability and hallucinations

Incidence 1% to Less than 5% Possibly Causally Related

The following lists adverse reactions that occurred with an incidence of 1% to less than 5% in clinical trials, and for which the possibility of a causal relationship with tramadol hydrochloride tablets exist.

Body as a Whole: Malaise.

Cardiovascular: Vasodilation.

Central Nervous System: Anxiety, Confusion, Coordination disturbance, Euphoria, Miosis, Nervousness, Sleep disorder.

Gastrointestinal: Abdominal pain, Anorexia, Flatulence.

Musculoskeletal: Hypertonia.

Skin: Rash.

Special Senses: Visual disturbance.

Urogenital: Menopausal symptoms, Urinary frequency, Urinary retention.

Incidence Less than 1%, Possibly Causally Related

The following lists adverse reactions that occurred with an incidence of less than 1% in clinical trials of tramadol and/or reported in post-marketing experience with tramadol-containing products.

Body as a Whole: Accidental injury, Allergic reaction, Anaphylaxis, Death, Suicidal tendency, Weight loss, Serotonin syndrome (mental status change, hyperreflexia, fever, shivering, tremor, agitation, diaphoresis, seizures and coma).

Cardiovascular: Orthostatic hypotension, Syncope, Tachycardia.

Central Nervous System: Abnormal gait, Amnesia, Cognitive dysfunction, Depression, Difficulty in concentration, Hallucinations, Paresthesia, Seizure, Tremor.

Respiratory: Dyspnea.

Skin: Stevens-Johnson syndrome/Toxic epidermal necrolysis, Urticaria, Vesicles.

Special Senses: Dysgeusia.

Urogenital: Dysuria, Menstrual disorder.

Other Adverse Experiences, Causal Relationship Unknown

A variety of other adverse events were reported infrequently in patients taking tramadol hydrochloride tablets during clinical trials and/or reported in post-marketing experience. A causal relationship between tramadol hydrochloride tablets and these events has not been determined. However, the most significant events are listed below as alerting information to the physician.

Cardiovascular: Abnormal ECG, Hypertension, Hypotension, Myocardial ischemia, Palpitations, Pulmonary edema, Pulmonary embolism.

Central Nervous System: Migraine.

Gastrointestinal: Gastrointestinal bleeding, Hepatitis, Stomatitis, Liver failure.

Laboratory Abnormalities: Creatinine increase, Elevated liver enzymes, Hemoglobin decrease, Proteinuria.

Sensory: Cataracts, Deafness, Tinnitus.

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