"Nov. 2, 2012 -- Safety steps taken in the wake of the fungal meningitis outbreak have worsened drug shortages, raising questions about whether the U.S. must choose between the safety and the availability of crucial medicines.
Misuse, Abuse and Diversion of Opioids
Oxycodone can be abused in a manner similar to other opioid agonists, legal or illicit. This should be considered when prescribing or dispensing PERCOCET (oxycodone and acetaminophen) tablets in situations where the physician or pharmacist is concerned about an increased risk of misuse, abuse, or diversion. Concerns about misuse, addiction, and diversion should not prevent the proper management of pain.
Healthcare professionals should contact their State Professional Licensing Board or State Controlled Substances Authority for information on how to prevent and detect abuse or diversion of this product.
Administration of PERCOCET (oxycodone and acetaminophen) (Oxycodone and Acetaminophen Tablets, USP) should be closely monitored for the following potentially serious adverse reactions and complications:
Respiratory depression is a hazard with the use of oxycodone, one of the active ingredients in PERCOCET (oxycodone and acetaminophen) tablets, as with all opioid agonists. Elderly and debilitated patients are at particular risk for respiratory depression as are non-tolerant patients given large initial doses of oxycodone or when oxycodone is given in conjunction with other agents that depress respiration. Oxycodone should be used with extreme caution in patients with acute asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), cor pulmonale, or preexisting respiratory impairment. In such patients, even usual therapeutic doses of oxycodone may decrease respiratory drive to the point of apnea. In these patients alternative non-opioid analgesics should be considered, and opioids should be employed only under careful medical supervision at the lowest effective dose.
Head Injury and Increased Intracranial Pressure
The respiratory depressant effects of opioids include carbon dioxide retention and secondary elevation of cerebrospinal fluid pressure, and may be markedly exaggerated in the presence of head injury, other intracranial lesions or a pre-existing increase in intracranial pressure. Oxycodone produces effects on pupillary response and consciousness which may obscure neurologic signs of worsening in patients with head injuries.
Oxycodone may cause severe hypotension particularly in individuals whose ability to maintain blood pressure has been compromised by a depleted blood volume, or after concurrent administration with drugs which compromise vasomotor tone such as phenothiazines. Oxycodone, like all opioid analgesics of the morphine-type, should be administered with caution to patients in circulatory shock, since vasodilation produced by the drug may further reduce cardiac output and blood pressure. Oxycodone may produce orthostatic hypotension in ambulatory patients.
Precaution should be taken in patients with liver disease. Hepatotoxicity and severe hepatic failure occurred in chronic alcoholics following therapeutic doses.
Opioid analgesics should be used with caution when combined with CNS depressant drugs, and should be reserved for cases where the benefits of opioid analgesia outweigh the known risks of respiratory depression, altered mental state, and postural hypotension.
Acute Abdominal Conditions
The administration of PERCOCET (Oxycodone and Acetaminophen Tablets, USP) or other opioids may obscure the diagnosis or clinical course in patients with acute abdominal conditions.
PERCOCET (oxycodone and acetaminophen) tablets should be given with caution to patients with CNS depression, elderly or debilitated patients, patients with severe impairment of hepatic, pulmonary, or renal function, hypothyroidism, Addison's disease, prostatic hypertrophy, urethral stricture, acute alcoholism, delirium tremens, kyphoscoliosis with respiratory depression, myxedema, and toxic psychosis. PERCOCET (oxycodone and acetaminophen) tablets may obscure the diagnosis or clinical course in patients with acute abdominal conditions. Oxycodone may aggravate convulsions in patients with convulsive disorders, and all opioids may induce or aggravate seizures in some clinical settings.
Following administration of PERCOCET (oxycodone and acetaminophen) tablets, anaphylactic reactions have been reported in patients with a known hypersensitivity to codeine, a compound with a structure similar to morphine and oxycodone. The frequency of this possible cross-sensitivity is unknown.
Interactions with Other CNS Depressants
Patients receiving other opioid analgesics, general anesthetics, phenothiazines, other tranquilizers, centrally-acting anti-emetics, sedative-hypnotics or other CNS depressants (including alcohol) concomitantly with PERCOCET (oxycodone and acetaminophen) tablets may exhibit an additive CNS depression. When such combined therapy is contemplated, the dose of one or both agents should be reduced.
Interactions with Mixed Agonist/Antagonist Opioid Analgesics
Agonist/antagonist analgesics (i.e., pentazocine, nalbuphine, and butorphanol) should be administered with caution to a patient who has received or is receiving a course of therapy with a pure opioid agonist analgesic such as oxycodone. In this situation, mixed agonist/antagonist analgesics may reduce the analgesic effect of oxycodone and/or may precipitate withdrawal symptoms in these patients.
Ambulatory Surgery and Postoperative Use
Oxycodone and other morphine-like opioids have been shown to decrease bowel motility. Ileus is a common postoperative complication, especially after intra-abdominal surgery with use of opioid analgesia. Caution should be taken to monitor for decreased bowel motility in postoperative patients receiving opioids. Standard supportive therapy should be implemented.
Use in Pancreatic/Biliary Tract Disease
Oxycodone may cause spasm of the Sphincter of Oddi and should be used with caution in patients with biliary tract disease, including acute pancreatitis. Opioids like oxycodone may cause increases in the serum amylase level.
Tolerance and Physical Dependence
Tolerance is the need for increasing doses of opioids to maintain a defined effect such as analgesia (in the absence of disease progression or other external factors). Physical dependence is manifested by withdrawal symptoms after abrupt discontinuation of a drug or upon administration of an antagonist. Physical dependence and tolerance are not unusual during chronic opioid therapy.
The opioid abstinence or withdrawal syndrome is characterized by some or all of the following: restlessness, lacrimation, rhinorrhea, yawning, perspiration, chills, myalgia, and mydriasis. Other symptoms also may develop, including: irritability, anxiety, backache, joint pain, weakness, abdominal cramps, insomnia, nausea, anorexia, vomiting, diarrhea, or increased blood pressure, respiratory rate, or heart rate.
In general, opioids should not be abruptly discontinued (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION: Cessation of Therapy).
Although oxycodone may cross-react with some drug urine tests, no available studies were found which determined the duration of detectability of oxycodone in urine drug screens. However, based on pharmacokinetic data, the approximate duration of detectability for a single dose of oxycodone is roughly estimated to be one to two days following drug exposure.
Urine testing for opiates may be performed to determine illicit drug use and for medical reasons such as evaluation of patients with altered states of consciousness or monitoring efficacy of drug rehabilitation efforts. The preliminary identification of opiates in urine involves the use of an immunoassay screening and thin-layer chromatography (TLC). Gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) may be utilized as a third-stage identification step in the medical investigational sequence for opiate testing after immunoassay and TLC. The identities of 6-keto opiates (e.g., oxycodone) can further be differentiated by the analysis of their methoxime-trimethylsilyl (MO-TMS) derivative.
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility
Animal studies to evaluate the carcinogenic potential of oxycodone and acetaminophen have not been performed.
The combination of oxycodone and acetaminophen has not been evaluated for mutagenicity. Oxycodone alone was negative in a bacterial reverse mutation assay (Ames), an in vitro chromosome aberration assay with human lymphocytes without metabolic activation and an in vivo mouse micronucleus assay. Oxycodone was clastogenic in the human lymphocyte chromosomal assay in the presence of metabolic activation and in the mouse lymphoma assay with or without metabolic activation.
Animal studies to evaluate the effects of oxycodone on fertility have not been performed.
Pregnancy Category C
Animal reproductive studies have not been conducted with PERCOCET (oxycodone and acetaminophen) . It is also not known whether PERCOCET (oxycodone and acetaminophen) can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman or can affect reproductive capacity. PERCOCET (oxycodone and acetaminophen) should not be given to a pregnant woman unless in the judgment of the physician, the potential benefits outweigh the possible hazards.
Opioids can cross the placental barrier and have the potential to cause neonatal respiratory depression. Opioid use during pregnancy may result in a physically drug-dependent fetus. After birth, the neonate may suffer severe withdrawal symptoms.
Labor and Delivery
PERCOCET (oxycodone and acetaminophen) tablets are not recommended for use in women during and immediately prior to labor and delivery due to its potential effects on respiratory function in the newborn.
Ordinarily, nursing should not be undertaken while a patient is receiving PERCOCET (oxycodone and acetaminophen) tablets because of the possibility of sedation and/or respiratory depression in the infant. Oxycodone is excreted in breast milk in low concentrations, and there have been rare reports of somnolence and lethargy in babies of nursing mothers taking an oxycodone/acetaminophen product. Acetaminophen is also excreted in breast milk in low concentrations.
Safety and effectiveness in pediatric patients have not been established.
Special precaution should be given when determining the dosing amount and frequency of PERCOCET (oxycodone and acetaminophen) tablets for geriatric patients, since clearance of oxycodone may be slightly reduced in this patient population when compared to younger patients.
In a pharmacokinetic study of oxycodone in patients with end-stage liver disease, oxycodone plasma clearance decreased and the elimination half-life increased. Care should be exercised when oxycodone is used in patients with hepatic impairment.
In a study of patients with end stage renal impairment, mean elimination half-life was prolonged in uremic patients due to increased volume of distribution and reduced clearance. Oxycodone should be used with caution in patients with renal impairment.
Last reviewed on RxList: 10/4/2010
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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