WARNING: ADDICTION, ABUSE, AND MISUSE; LIFE-THREATENING RESPIRATORY DEPRESSION; ACCIDENTAL INGESTION; NEONATAL OPIOID WITHDRAWAL SYNDROME; AND CYTOCHROME P450 3A4 INTERACTION
Addiction, Abuse, and Misuse
HYSINGLA ER 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 HYSINGLA ER, and monitor all patients regularly for the development of these behaviors or conditions [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)].
Life-Threatening Respiratory Depression
Serious, life-threatening, or fatal respiratory depression may occur with use of HYSINGLA ER. Monitor for respiratory depression, especially during initiation of HYSINGLA ER or following a dose increase. Instruct patients to swallow HYSINGLA ER tablets whole; crushing, chewing, or dissolving HYSINGLA ER tablets can cause rapid release and absorption of a potentially fatal dose of hydrocodone [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)].
Accidental ingestion of even one dose of HYSINGLA ER, especially by children, can result in a fatal overdose of hydrocodone [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)].
Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome
Prolonged use of HYSINGLA ER 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 and Precautions (5.3)].
Cytochrome P450 3A4 Interaction
The concomitant use of HYSINGLA ER with all cytochrome P450 3A4 inhibitors may result in an increase in hydrocodone plasma concentrations, which could increase or prolong adverse drug effects and may cause potentially fatal respiratory depression. In addition, discontinuation of a concomitantly used cytochrome P450 3A4 inducer may result in an increase in hydrocodone plasma concentration. Monitor patients receiving HYSINGLA ER and any CYP3A4 inhibitor or inducer [see Warnings and Precautions (5.11), Drug Interactions (7.1), and Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].
INDICATIONS AND USAGE
Hysingla® ER (hydrocodone bitartrate) is indicated for the management of pain severe enough to require daily, around-the-clock, long-term opioid treatment and for which alternative treatment options are inadequate.
Limitations of Use
- Because of the risks of addiction, abuse, and misuse with opioids, even at recommended doses, and because of the greater risks of overdose and death with extended-release opioid formulations, reserve Hysingla ER for use in patients for whom alternative treatment options (e.g., non-opioid analgesics or immediate-release opioids) are ineffective, not tolerated, or would be otherwise inadequate to provide sufficient management of pain.
- Hysingla ER is not indicated as an as-needed analgesic.
- Hysingla ER is contraindicated in patients with: significant respiratory depression, acute or severe bronchial asthma in an unmonitored setting or in the absence of resuscitative equipment, known or suspected paralytic ileus and gastrointestinal obstruction, hypersensitivity to any component of Hysingla ER or the active ingredient, hydrocodone bitartrate.
WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS
Addiction, Abuse, and Misuse
- Hysingla ER contains hydrocodone, a Schedule II controlled substance. Hysingla ER exposes users to the risks of opioid addiction, abuse, and misuse. As extended-release products such as Hysingla ER deliver the opioid over an extended period of time, there is a greater risk for overdose and death due to the larger amount of hydrocodone present.
- Although the risk of addiction in any individual is unknown, it can occur in patients appropriately prescribed Hysingla ER and in those who obtain the drug illicitly. Addiction can occur at recommended doses and if the drug is misused or abused.
- Assess each patient’s risk for opioid addiction, abuse, or misuse prior to prescribing Hysingla ER, and monitor all patients receiving Hysingla ER for the development of these behaviors or 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.
- Abuse or misuse of Hysingla ER by crushing, chewing, snorting, or injecting the dissolved product will result in the uncontrolled delivery of the hydrocodone and can result in overdose and death.
- Opioid agonists such as Hysingla ER are sought by drug abusers and people with addiction disorders and are subject to criminal diversion. Consider these risks when prescribing or dispensing Hysingla ER. Strategies to reduce these risks include prescribing the drug in the smallest appropriate quantity and advising the patient on the proper disposal of unused drug.
Life‐Threatening Respiratory Depression
- Serious, life-threatening, or fatal respiratory depression has been reported with the use of modified-release opioids, even when used as recommended, and if not immediately recognized and treated, may lead to respiratory arrest and death.
- While serious, life‐threatening, or fatal respiratory depression can occur at any time during the use of Hysingla ER, the risk is greatest during the initiation of therapy or following a dose increase. Closely monitor patients for respiratory depression when initiating therapy with Hysingla ER and following dose increases.
- To reduce the risk of respiratory depression, proper dosing and titration of Hysingla ER are essential. Overestimating the Hysingla ER dose when converting patients from another opioid product can result in fatal overdose with the first dose.
- Accidental ingestion of even one dose of Hysingla ER, especially by children, can result in respiratory depression and death due to an overdose of hydrocodone.
Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome
- Prolonged use of Hysingla ER during pregnancy can result in withdrawal signs 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. 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.
Interactions with Central Nervous System Depressants
- Hypotension, profound sedation, coma, respiratory depression, and death may result if Hysingla ER is used concomitantly with other CNS depressants (e.g., sedatives, anxiolytics, hypnotics, neuroleptics, other opioids). When considering the use of Hysingla ER in a patient taking a CNS depressant, assess the duration of use of the CNS depressant and the patient’s response, including the degree of tolerance that has developed to CNS depression. Additionally, evaluate the patient’s use of alcohol or illicit drugs that cause CNS depression. If the decision to begin Hysingla ER therapy is made, start with a lower Hysingla ER dose than usual (i.e., 20-30% less), monitor patients for signs of sedation and respiratory depression and consider using a lower dose of the concomitant CNS depressant.
Use in Elderly, Cachectic, and Debilitated Patients
- Closely monitor elderly, cachectic, and debilitated patients, since life-threatening respiratory depression is more likely to occur due to altered pharmacokinetics or clearance, particularly when initiating and titrating Hysingla ER and when given concomitantly with other drugs that depress respiration.
Use in Patients with Chronic Pulmonary Disease
- When initiating therapy and titrating with Hysingla ER, monitor patients with significant chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or cor pulmonale, and patients having a substantially decreased respiratory reserve, hypoxia, hypercapnia, or pre‐existing respiratory depression. In these patients, even usual therapeutic doses of Hysingla ER may decrease respiratory drive to the point of apnea. Consider the use of alternative non‐opioid analgesics in these patients if possible.
Use in Patients with Head Injury and Increased Intracranial Pressure
- In the presence of head injury, intracranial lesions or a preexisting increase in intracranial pressure, the possible respiratory depressant effects of opioid analgesics and their potential to elevate cerebrospinal fluid pressure (resulting from vasodilation following CO2 retention) may be markedly exaggerated. Furthermore, opioid analgesics can produce effects on pupillary response and consciousness, which may obscure neurologic signs of further increases in intracranial pressure in patients with head injuries.
- Monitor patients closely who may be susceptible to the intracranial effects of CO2 retention (e.g., those with evidence of increased intracranial pressure or impaired consciousness). Opioids may obscure the clinical course in a patient with a head injury. Avoid the use of Hysingla ER in patients with impaired consciousness or coma.
- Hysingla ER may cause severe hypotension including orthostatic hypotension and syncope in ambulatory patients. There is an increased risk in patients whose ability to maintain blood pressure has been compromised by a depleted blood volume or after concurrent administration with drugs (e.g., phenothiazines or other agents which compromise vasomotor tone). Monitor these patients for signs of hypotension after initiating or titrating the dose of Hysingla ER. In patients with circulatory shock, Hysingla ER may cause vasodilation that can further reduce cardiac output and blood pressure. Avoid the use of Hysingla ER in patients with circulatory shock.
Gastrointestinal Obstruction, Dysphagia, and Choking
- In the clinical studies with specific instructions to take Hysingla ER with water to swallow the tablets, 11 out of 2476 subjects reported difficulty swallowing Hysingla ER. These reports included esophageal obstruction, dysphagia, and choking, one of which had required medical intervention to remove the tablet. Instruct patients not to pre-soak, lick or otherwise wet Hysingla ER tablets prior to placing in the mouth, and to take one tablet at a time with enough water to ensure complete swallowing immediately after placing in the mouth.
- Patients with underlying gastrointestinal disorders such as esophageal cancer or colon cancer with a small gastrointestinal lumen are at greater risk of developing these complications. Consider use of an alternative analgesic in patients who have difficulty swallowing and patients at risk for underlying gastrointestinal disorders resulting in a small gastrointestinal lumen.
Decreased Bowel Motility
- Hysingla ER is contraindicated in patients with gastrointestinal obstruction, including paralytic ileus. Opioids diminish propulsive peristaltic waves in the gastrointestinal tract and decrease bowel motility. Monitor for decreased bowel motility in post-operative patients receiving opioids. The administration of Hysingla ER may obscure the diagnosis or clinical course in patients with acute abdominal conditions. Hydrocodone may cause spasm of the sphincter of Oddi. Monitor patients with biliary tract disease, including acute pancreatitis.
Cytochrome P450 3A4 Inhibitors and Inducers
- The clinical results with CYP3A4 inhibitors show an increase in hydrocodone plasma concentrations and possibly increased or prolonged opioid effects, which could be more pronounced with concomitant use of CYP3A4 inhibitors. The expected clinical result with CYP3A4 inducers is a decrease in hydrocodone plasma concentrations, lack of efficacy or, possibly, development of an abstinence syndrome in a patient who had developed physical dependence to hydrocodone.
- If co-administration is necessary, caution is advised when initiating therapy with, currently taking, or discontinuing CYP3A4 inhibitors or inducers. Evaluate these patients at frequent intervals and consider dose adjustments until stable drug effects are achieved.
Driving and Operating Machinery
- Hysingla ER may impair the mental and physical abilities needed to perform potentially hazardous activities such as driving a car or operating machinery. Peak blood levels of hydrocodone may occur 14 – 16 hours (range 6 – 30 hours) after initial dosing of Hysingla ER. Blood levels of hydrocodone, in some patients, may be high at the end of 24 hours after repeated-dose administration. Warn patients not to drive or operate dangerous machinery unless they are tolerant to the effects of Hysingla ER and know how they will react to the medication.
Interaction with Mixed Agonist/Antagonist Opioid Analgesics
- Avoid the use of mixed agonist/antagonist analgesics (i.e., pentazocine, nalbuphine, and butorphanol) in patients who have received, or are receiving, a course of therapy with a full opioid agonist analgesic, including Hysingla ER. In these patients, mixed agonists/antagonists analgesics may reduce the analgesic effect and/or may precipitate withdrawal symptoms.
QTc Interval Prolongation
- QTc prolongation has been observed with Hysingla ER following doses of 160 mg. This observation should be considered in making decisions regarding patient monitoring when prescribing Hysingla ER in patients with congestive heart failure, bradyarrhythmias, electrolyte abnormalities, or who are taking medications known to prolong QTc interval.
- Hysingla ER should be avoided in patients with congenital long QT syndrome. In patients who develop QTc prolongation, consider reducing the dose by 33 – 50%, or changing to an alternate analgesic.
- Most common treatment-emergent adverse reactions (≥5%) reported by patients treated with Hysingla ER in the clinical trials were constipation, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, upper respiratory tract infection, dizziness, headache, and somnolence.