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nalbuphine hydrochloride injection Warnings and Precautions

WARNINGS

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 Nalbuphine Hydrochloride Injection, 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 to 72 hours of initiating therapy with and following dosage increases of Nalbuphine Hydrochloride Injection.

To reduce the risk of respiratory depression, proper dosing and titration of Nalbuphine Hydrochloride Injection is essential [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION]. Overestimating the Nalbuphine Hydrochloride Injection dosage when converting patients from another opioid product can result in a fatal overdose with the first dose.

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].

Risks from Concomitant Use with Benzodiazepines or Other CNS Depressants

Profound sedation, respiratory depression, coma, and death may result from the concomitant use of Nalbuphine Hydrochloride Injection 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.

Advise both patients and caregivers about the risks of respiratory depression and sedation when Nalbuphine Hydrochloride Injection is 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; Drug Interactions and Information for Patients].

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

The use of Nalbuphine Hydrochloride Injection 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

Nalbuphine Hydrochloride Injection-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 use of Nalbuphine Hydrochloride Injection [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 Nalbuphine Hydrochloride Injection and when Nalbuphine Hydrochloride Injection is given concomitantly with other drugs that depress respiration [see WARNINGS]. Alternatively, consider the use of non-opioid analgesics in these patients.

Adrenal Insufficiency

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.

Severe Hypotension

Nalbuphine Hydrochloride Injection 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 Nalbuphine Hydrochloride Injection. In patients with circulatory shock, Nalbuphine Hydrochloride Injection may cause vasodilation that can further reduce cardiac output and blood pressure. Avoid the use of Nalbuphine Hydrochloride Injection in patients 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), Nalbuphine Hydrochloride Injection 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 Nalbuphine Hydrochloride Injection.

Opioids may also obscure the clinical course in a patient with a head injury. Avoid the use of Nalbuphine Hydrochloride Injection in patients with impaired consciousness or coma.

Risks of Use in Patients with Gastrointestinal Conditions

Nalbuphine Hydrochloride Injection is contraindicated in patients with known or suspected gastrointestinal obstruction, including paralytic ileus.

The nalbuphine in Nalbuphine Hydrochloride Injection 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.

Increased Risk of Seizures in Patients with Seizure Disorders

The nalbuphine in Nalbuphine Hydrochloride Injection 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 Nalbuphine Hydrochloride Injection therapy.

Withdrawal

The use of Nalbuphine Hydrochloride Injection, a mixed agonist/antagonist opioid analgesic, in patients who are receiving a full opioid agonist analgesic may reduce the analgesic effect and/or precipitate withdrawal symptoms. Avoid concomitant use of Nalbuphine Hydrochloride Injection with a full opioid agonist analgesic.

When discontinuing Nalbuphine Hydrochloride Injection, in a physically-dependent patient, gradually taper the dosage [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION]. Do not abruptly discontinue Nalbuphine Hydrochloride Injection in these patients [see DRUG ABUSE AND DEPENDENCE].

Risks of Driving and Operating Machinery

Nalbuphine Hydrochloride Injection 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 Nalbuphine Hydrochloride Injection and know how they will react to the medication [see PRECAUTIONS; Information for Patients].

Maintain patient under observation until recovered from Nalbuphine Hydrochloride Injection effects that would affect driving or other potentially dangerous tasks.

Use in Pregnancy (Other Than Labor)

Severe fetal bradycardia has been reported when Nalbuphine Hydrochloride Injection is administered during labor. Naloxone may reverse these effects. Although there are no reports of fetal bradycardia earlier in pregnancy, it is possible that this may occur. Avoid the use of Nalbuphine Hydrochloride Injection in pregnant women unless the potential benefit outweighs the risk to the fetus, and if appropriate measures such as fetal monitoring are taken to detect and manage any potential adverse effect on the fetus.

Use During Labor and Delivery

The placental transfer of nalbuphine is high, rapid, and variable with a maternal to fetal ratio ranging from 1:0.37 to 1:6. Fetal and neonatal adverse effects that have been reported following the administration of nalbuphine to the mother during labor include fetal bradycardia, respiratory depression at birth, apnea, cyanosis, and hypotonia. Some of these events have been life-threatening. Maternal administration of naloxone during labor has normalized these effects in some cases. Severe and prolonged fetal bradycardia has been reported. Permanent neurological damage attributed to fetal bradycardia has occurred. A sinusoidal fetal heart rate pattern associated with the use of nalbuphine has also been reported. Nalbuphine should be used during labor and delivery only if clearly indicated and only if the potential benefit outweighs the risk to the infant. Newborns should be monitored for respiratory depression, apnea, bradycardia and arrhythmias if nalbuphine has been used.

Addiction, Abuse, and Misuse

Nalbuphine hydrochloride is a synthetic opioid agonist-antagonist analgesic. As an opioid, Nalbuphine Hydrochloride Injection 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 Nalbuphine Hydrochloride Injection. 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. 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.

Opioids are sought by drug abusers and people with addiction disorders and are subject to criminal diversion. Consider these risks when prescribing or dispensing Nalbuphine Hydrochloride Injection. Strategies to reduce these risks include prescribing the drug in the smallest appropriate quantity. 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.


PRECAUTIONS

General

Impaired Renal or Hepatic Function

Because nalbuphine is metabolized in the liver and excreted by the kidneys, Nalbuphine Hydrochloride Injection should be used with caution in patients with renal or liver dysfunction and administered in reduced amounts.

Myocardial Infarction

As with all potent analgesics, Nalbuphine Hydrochloride Injection should be used with caution in patients with myocardial infarction who have nausea or vomiting.

Cardiovascular System

During evaluation of Nalbuphine Hydrochloride Injection in anesthesia, a higher incidence of bradycardia has been reported in patients who did not receive atropine pre-operatively.

Laboratory Tests

Nalbuphine Hydrochloride Injection may interfere with enzymatic methods for the detection of opioids depending on the specificity/sensitivity of the test. Consult the test manufacturer for specific details.

Information for Patients

Patients should be advised of the following information:

Serotonin Syndrome

Inform patients that opioids could cause a rare but potentially life-threatening condition resulting from concomitant administration of serotonergic drugs. Warn patients of the symptoms of serotonin syndrome and to seek medical attention right away if symptoms develop. Instruct patients to inform their physicians if they are taking, or plan to take serotonergic medications [see PRECAUTIONS; Drug Interactions].

Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitor (MAOI) Interaction

Inform patients to avoid taking Nalbuphine Hydrochloride Injection while using any drugs that inhibit monoamine oxidase. Patients should not start MAOIs while taking Nalbuphine Hydrochloride Injection [see Drug Interactions].

Constipation

Advise patients of the potential for severe constipation, including management instructions and when to seek medical attention [see ADVERSE REACTIONS, CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].

Drug Interactions

Benzodiazepines and other Central Nervous System (CNS) Depressants

Although Nalbuphine Hydrochloride Injection possesses opioid antagonist activity, there is evidence that in nondependent patients it will not antagonize an opioid analgesic administered just before, concurrently, or just after an injection of Nalbuphine Hydrochloride Injection. Therefore, due to additive pharmacologic effects, the concomitant use of other opioid analgesics, benzodiazepines or other CNS depressants such as alcohol, other sedatives/hypnotics, anxiolytics, tranquilizers, muscle relaxants, general anesthetics, antipsychotics, and other opioids, can increase the risk of respiratory depression, profound sedation, coma, and death.

Reserve concomitant prescribing of these drugs for use in patients for whom alternative treatment options are inadequate. Limit dosages and durations to the minimum required. Follow patients closely for signs of respiratory depression and sedation [see WARNINGS].

Serotonergic Drugs

The concomitant use of opioids with other drugs that affect the serotonergic neurotransmitter system, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), triptans, 5-HT3 receptor antagonists, drugs that effect the serotonin neurotransmitter system (e.g., mirtazapine, trazodone, tramadol), certain muscle relaxants (i.e., cyclobenzaprine, metaxalone), and monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors (those intended to treat psychiatric disorders and also others, such as linezolid and intravenous methylene blue), has resulted in serotonin syndrome [see PRECAUTIONS; Information for Patients].

If concomitant use is warranted, carefully observe the patient, particularly during treatment initiation and dose adjustment. Discontinue Nalbuphine Hydrochloride Injection if serotonin syndrome is suspected.

Muscle Relaxants

Nalbuphine may enhance the neuromuscular blocking action of skeletal muscle relaxants and produce an increased degree of respiratory depression.

Monitor patients for signs of respiratory depression that may be greater than otherwise expected and decrease the dosage of Nalbuphine Hydrochloride Injection and/or the muscle relaxant as necessary.

Diuretics

Opioids can reduce the efficacy of diuretics by inducing the release of antidiuretic hormone.

Monitor patients for signs of diminished diuresis and/or effects on blood pressure and increase the dosage of the diuretic as needed.

Anticholinergic Drugs

The concomitant use of anticholinergic drugs may increase risk of urinary retention and/or severe constipation, which may lead to paralytic ileus.

Monitor patients for signs of urinary retention or reduced gastric motility when Nalbuphine Hydrochloride Injection is used concomitantly with anticholinergic drugs.

Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs)

MAOI (e.g., phenelzine, tranylcypromine, linezolid) interactions with opioids may manifest as serotonin syndrome [see Drug Interactions] or opioid toxicity (e.g., respiratory depression, coma [see WARNINGS]).

The use of Nalbuphine Hydrochloride Injection is not recommended for patients taking MAOIs or within 14 days of stopping such treatment.

If urgent use of an opioid is necessary, use test doses and frequent titration of small doses to treat pain while closely monitoring blood pressure and signs and symptoms of CNS and respiratory depression.

Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility

Carcinogenesis

There was no evidence of carcinogenicity in long term animal studies were performed in rats (24 months) and mice (19 months) by oral administration at doses up to 200 mg/kg [12 times the maximum recommended human daily dose (MRHD)] and 200 mg/ per day (6 times the MRDH), respectively.

Mutagenesis

Nalbuphine Hydrochloride Injection induced an increased frequency of mutation in the mouse lymphoma assay. Nalbuphine Hydrochloride Injection did not have mutagenic activity in the Ames test with four bacterial strains, in the Chinese Hamster Ovary HGPRT assays or in the Sister Chromatid Exchange Assay. Clastogenic activity was not observed in the mouse micronucleus test or the cytogenicity bone marrow assay in rats.

Impairment of Fertility

Female rats were treated with nalbuphine hydrochloride beginning 15 days prior to mating through Lactation Day 20 via subcutaneous doses of 14, 28, or 56 mg/kg/day (0.85, 1.7, or 3.4 times the MRHD of 160 mg/day based on body surface area, respectively). Male rats were treated via oral gavage with the same nalbuphine hydrochloride doses beginning 60 days prior to and throughout mating. There were no adverse effects on either male or female fertility.

Pregnancy

Risk Summary

Prolonged use of opioid analgesics during pregnancy may cause neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome. Available data with Nalbuphine Hydrochloride Injection in pregnant women are insufficient to inform a drug-associated risk for major birth defects and miscarriage.

In animal reproduction studies, nalbuphine decreased pup survival and pup body weights when pregnant female rats were treated late in gestation and throughout lactation at 1.7 times the MRHD and when female and male rats treated either prior to mating and throughout gestation and lactation. No malformations were observed in either rats or rabbits at doses 6.1 and 3.9 times the MRHD, respectively [see Data].

The estimated background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage for the indicated population is unknown. All pregnancies have a background risk of birth defect, loss, or other adverse outcomes. In the U.S. general population, the estimated background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage in clinically recognized pregnancies is 2–4% and 15–20%, respectively.

Clinical Considerations

Fetal/Neonatal Adverse Reactions

Severe fetal bradycardia has been reported when nalbuphine hydrochloride is administered during labor. Naloxone may reverse these effects. Although there are no reports of fetal bradycardia earlier in pregnancy, it is possible that this may occur. This drug should be used in pregnancy only if clearly needed, if the potential benefit outweighs the risk to the fetus, and if appropriate measures such as fetal monitoring are taken to detect and manage any potential adverse effect on the fetus.

Labor and Delivery

The placental transfer of nalbuphine is high, rapid, and variable with a maternal to fetal ratio ranging from 1:0.37 to 1:6. Fetal and neonatal adverse effects that have been reported following the administration of nalbuphine to the mother during labor include fetal bradycardia, respiratory depression at birth, apnea, cyanosis, and hypotonia. Some of these events have been life-threatening. Maternal administration of naloxone during labor has normalized these effects in some cases. Severe and prolonged fetal bradycardia has been reported. Permanent neurological damage attributed to fetal bradycardia has occurred. A sinusoidal fetal heart rate pattern associated with the use of nalbuphine has also been reported. Nalbuphine Hydrochloride Injection should be used during labor and delivery only if clearly indicated and only if the potential benefit outweighs the risk to the infant. Newborns should be monitored for respiratory depression, apnea, bradycardia and arrhythmias if Nalbuphine Hydrochloride Injection has been used.

Opioids cross the placenta and may produce respiratory depression and psycho-physiologic effects in neonates. An opioid antagonist, such as naloxone, must be available for reversal of opioid-induced respiratory depression in the neonate. Nalbuphine Hydrochloride Injection is not recommended for use in pregnant women during or immediately prior to labor, when other analgesic techniques are more appropriate. Opioid analgesics, including Nalbuphine Hydrochloride Injection, can prolong labor through actions which temporarily reduce the strength, duration, and frequency of uterine contractions. However, this effect is not consistent and may be offset by an increased rate of cervical dilation, which tends to shorten labor. Monitor neonates exposed to opioid analgesics during labor for signs of excess sedation and respiratory depression.

Data

Animal Data

Pregnant rats were treated with nalbuphine hydrochloride from Gestation Day 6 to 15 via subcutaneous doses of 7, 14, or 100 mg/kg/day (0.4, 0.85, or 6.1 times the MRHD of 160 mg/day based on body surface area, respectively). There was no evidence of malformations or embryotoxicity despite reductions in maternal weight gain in the mid- and high-dose groups.

Pregnant rabbits were treated with nalbuphine hydrochloride from Gestation Day 7 to 19 via intravenous doses of 4, 8, or 32 mg/kg/day (0.5, 1, or 3.9 times the MRHD based on body surface area, respectively). There was no evidence of malformations or embryotoxicity despite reductions in maternal weight gain in the high-dose group.

Pregnant rats were treated with nalbuphine hydrochloride from Gestation Day 15 to Lactation Day 20 via subcutaneous doses of 14, 28, or 56 mg/kg/day (0.85, 1.7, or 3.4 times the MRHD based on body surface area, respectively). Pup survival was decreased in the mid- and high-dose groups and neonatal body weights were dose dependently reduced. Maternal toxicity was noted in all treatment groups (reduced body weights).

Female rats were treated with nalbuphine hydrochloride beginning 15 days prior to mating through Lactation Day 20 via subcutaneous doses of 14, 28, or 56 mg/kg/day (0.85, 1.7, or 3.4 times the MRHD of 160 mg/day based on body surface area, respectively). Male rats were treated via oral gavage with the same oxymorphone hydrochloride doses beginning 60 days prior to and throughout mating. There was reduced pup survival in the high dose group animals and reduced pup body weights in the mid- and high-dose groups.

Lactation

Limited data suggest that Nalbuphine Hydrochloride Injection is excreted in maternal milk but only in a small amount (less than 1% of the administered dose) and with a clinically insignificant effect. Infants exposed to Nalbuphine Hydrochloride Injection through breast milk should be monitored for excess sedation and respiratory depression. Withdrawal symptoms can occur in breastfed infants when maternal administration of an opioid analgesic is stopped, or when breast-feeding is stopped.

Pediatric Use

Safety and effectiveness in pediatric patients below the age of 18 years have not been established.

Geriatric Use

Elderly patients (aged 65 years or older) may have increased sensitivity to Nalbuphine Hydrochloride Injection. In general, use caution when selecting a dosage for an elderly patient, usually starting at the low end of the dosing range, reflecting the greater frequency of decreased hepatic, renal, or cardiac function and of concomitant disease or other drug therapy.

Respiratory depression is the chief risk for elderly patients treated with opioids, and has occurred after large initial doses were administered to patients who were not opioid-tolerant or when opioids were co-administered with other agents that depress respiration. Titrate the dosage of Nalbuphine Hydrochloride Injection slowly in geriatric patients [see WARNINGS].

Nalbuphine is known to be substantially excreted by the kidney, and the risk of adverse reactions to this drug may be greater in patients with impaired renal function. Because elderly patients are more likely to have decreased renal function, care should be taken in dose selection, and it may be useful to monitor renal function.

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