Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
What Is Apadaz?
Apadaz (benzhydrocodone and acetaminophen tablets) is a combination of a prodrug of the opioid agonist hydrocodone and a non-narcotic pain reliever and fever reducer indicated for the short-term (no more than 14 days) management of acute pain severe enough to require an opioid analgesic and for which alternative treatments are inadequate.
What Are Side Effects of Apadaz?
Common side effects of Apadaz include:
- dizziness, and
Dosage for Apadaz
The dose of Apadaz is individualized based on:
- the severity of pain,
- patient response,
- prior analgesic experience, and
- risk factors for addiction, abuse, and misuse
The initial dose of Apadaz is 1 or 2 tablets every 4 to 6 hours as needed for pain.
What Drugs, Substances, or Supplements Interact with Apadaz?
Apadaz may interact with:
- macrolide antibiotics,
- azole antifungals,
- protease inhibitors,
- benzodiazepines and other sedatives/hypnotics,
- muscle relaxants,
- general anesthetics,
- other opioids,
- selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs),
- serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs),
- tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs),
- 5-HT3 receptor antagonists,
- drugs that affect the serotonin neurotransmitter system (e.g., mirtazapine, trazodone, tramadol),
- monoamine oxidase inhibitors(MAOIs),
- opioid analgesics,
- muscle relaxants,
- diuretics, and
Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use.
Apadaz During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant before using Apadaz; prolonged use of opioid analgesics during pregnancy can result in physical dependence in the neonate and neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome shortly after birth. The medications in Apadaz pass into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding. Withdrawal symptoms may occur if you suddenly stop taking Apadaz.
Our Apadaz (benzhydrocodone and acetaminophen tablets) Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Opioid medicine can slow or stop your breathing, and death may occur. A person caring for you should give naloxone and/or seek emergency medical attention if you have slow breathing with long pauses, blue colored lips, or if you are hard to wake up.
In rare cases, acetaminophen may cause a severe skin reaction that can be fatal. This could occur even if you have taken acetaminophen in the past and had no reaction. Stop taking this medicine and call your doctor right away if you have skin redness or a rash that spreads and causes blistering and peeling.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
- noisy breathing, sighing, shallow breathing, breathing that stops;
- a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;
- liver problems--nausea, upper stomach pain, tiredness, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
- low cortisol levels-- nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, dizziness, worsening tiredness or weakness; or
- high levels of serotonin in the body--agitation, hallucinations, fever, sweating, shivering, fast heart rate, muscle stiffness, twitching, loss of coordination, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea.
Serious breathing problems may be more likely in older adults and in those who are debilitated or have wasting syndrome or chronic breathing disorders.
Common side effects include:
- dizziness, drowsiness, feeling tired;
- nausea, vomiting, stomach pain;
- constipation; or
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
The following serious adverse reactions are described, or described in greater detail, in other sections:
- Addiction, Abuse, and Misuse [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
- Life-Threatening Respiratory Depression [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
- Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
- Hepatotoxicity [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
- Interactions with Benzodiazepines and other CNS Depressants [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
- Adrenal Insufficiency [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
- Severe Hypotension [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
- Serious Skin Reactions [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
- Anaphylaxis and Other Hypersensitivity Reactions [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
- Gastrointestinal Adverse Reactions [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
- Seizures [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
- Withdrawal [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
Clinical Trials Experience
Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in 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.
The safety of APADAZ was evaluated in six Phase 1 studies in which a total of 200 healthyadult subjects receive at least one oral dose of APADAZ. The most common AEs (>5%) reported across these studies were: nausea (21.5%), somnolence (18.5%), vomiting (13.0%), constipation (12.0%), pruritus (11.5%), dizziness (7.5%), and headache (6.0%).
The following adverse reactions occurred with an incidence of 1% to 5% in single-dose or repeated-dose clinical trials of APADAZ.
Gastrointestinal disorder: abdominal distension, abdominal pain, flatulence
General disorders and administration site conditions: asthenia
Nervous system disorders: presyncope, tremor
Respiratory, thoracic and mediastinal disorders: dyspnea
Vascular disorders: hot flush, hypotension
Adverse reactions occurring at less than 1%: the following lists clinically relevant adverse reactions that occurred with an incidence of less than 1% in APADAZ clinical trials.
Eye disorders: eye pruritus
Gastrointestinal disorders: diarrhea, gastroesophageal reflux disease, haematemesis
General disorders and administration site conditions: chest discomfort
Infections and infestations: rhinitis
Nervous system disorders: hypoesthesia, syncope
Psychiatric disorders: agitation, euphoric mood, nightmare
The following adverse reactions have been identified during post-approval use of hydrocodone. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.
Cases of serotonin syndrome, a potentially life-threatening condition, have been reported during concomitant use of opioids with serotonergic drugs.
Cases of adrenal insufficiency have been reported with opioid use, more often following greater than one month of use.
Anaphylaxis has been reported with ingredients contained in APADAZ.
Cases of androgen deficiency have occurred with chronic use of opioids [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].
Table 2 includes clinically significant drug interactions with APADAZ.
Table 2. Clinically Significant Drug Interactions with APADAZ.
|CYP3A4 and 2D6 Inhibitors|
|Clinical Impact:||The concomitant use of APADAZ and CYP3A4 inhibitors can increase the plasma concentration of hydrocodone, resulting in increased or prolonged opioid effects. These effects could be more pronounced with concomitant use of APADAZ and CYP2D6 and CYP3A4 inhibitors, particularly when an inhibitor is added after a stable dose of APADAZ is achieved [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
After stopping a CYP3A4 inhibitor, as the effects of the inhibitor decline, the hydrocodone plasma concentration will decrease [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY], resulting in decreased opioid efficacy or a withdrawal syndrome in patients who had developed physical dependence to hydrocodone.
|Intervention:||If concomitant use is necessary, consider dosage reduction of APADAZ until stable drug effects are achieved. Monitor patients for respiratory depression and sedation at frequent intervals.
If a CYP3A4 inhibitor is discontinued, consider increasing the APADAZ dosage until stable drug effects are achieved. Monitor for signs of opioid withdrawal.
|Examples:||Macrolide antibiotics (e.g., erythromycin), azole-antifungal agents (e.g. ketoconazole), protease inhibitors (e.g., ritonavir) etc.|
|Clinical Impact:||The concomitant use of APADAZ and CYP3A4 inducers can decrease the plasma concentration of hydrocodone [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY], resulting in decreased efficacy or onset of a withdrawal syndrome in patients who have developed physical dependence to hydrocodone [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
After stopping a CYP3A4 inducer, as the effects of the inducer decline, the hydrocodone plasma concentration will increase [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY], which could increase or prolong both the therapeutic effects and adverse reactions, and may cause serious respiratory depression.
|Intervention:||If concomitant use is necessary, consider increasing the APADAZ dosage until stable drug effects are achieved [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION]. Monitor for signs of opioid withdrawal. If a CYP3A4 inducer is discontinued, consider APADAZ dosage reduction and monitor for signs of respiratory depression.|
|Examples:||Rifampin, carbamazepine, phenytoin etc.|
|Benzodiazepines and Other Central Nervous System (CNS) Depressants|
|Clinical Impact:||Due to additive pharmacologic effect, the concomitant use of benzodiazepines or other CNS depressants, including alcohol, can increases the risk of hypotension, respiratory depression, profound sedation, coma, and death.|
|Intervention:||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. If concomitant use is warranted, consider prescribing naloxone for the emergency treatment of opioid overdose [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION, WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].|
|Examples:||Benzodiazepines and other sedatives/hypnotics, anxiolytics, tranquilizers, muscle relaxants, general anesthetics, antipsychotics, other opioids, alcohol.|
|Clinical Impact:||The concomitant use of opioids with other drugs that affect the serotonergic neurotransmitter system has resulted in serotonin syndrome.|
|Intervention:||If concomitant use is warranted, carefully observe the patient, particularly during treatment initiation and dose adjustment. Discontinue APADAZ if serotonin syndrome is suspected.|
|Examples:||Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), triptans, 5-HT3 receptor antagonists, drugs that affect the serotonin neurotransmitter system (e.g., mirtazapine, trazodone, tramadol), certain muscle relaxants (i.e. cyclobenzaprine, metaxalone) monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors (those intended to treat psychiatric disorders and also others, such as linezolid and intravenous methylene blue).|
|Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs)|
|Clinical Impact:||MAOI interactions with opioids may manifest as serotonin syndrome or opioid toxicity (e.g., respiratory depression, coma) [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
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.
|Intervention:||The use of APADAZ is not recommended for patients taking MAOIs or within 14 days of stopping such treatment.|
|Examples:||phenelzine, tranylcypromine, linezolid|
|Mixed Agonist/Antagonist and Partial Agonist Opioid Analgesics|
|Clinical Impact:||May reduce the analgesic effect of APADAZ and/or precipitate withdrawal symptoms.|
|Intervention:||Avoid concomitant use.|
|Examples:||butorphanol, nalbuphine, pentazocine, buprenorphine|
|Clinical Impact:||Hydrocodone may enhance the neuromuscular blocking action of skeletal muscle relaxants and produce an increased degree of respiratory depression.|
|Intervention:||Monitor patients for signs of respiratory depression that may be greater than otherwise expected and decrease the dosage of APADAZ and/or the muscle relaxant as necessary. Due to the risk of respiratory depression with concomitant use of skeletal muscle relaxants and opioids, consider prescribing naloxone for the emergency treatment of opioid overdose [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION, WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].|
|Clinical Impact:||Opioids can reduce the efficacy of diuretics by inducing the release of antidiuretic hormone.|
|Intervention:||Monitor patients for signs of diminished diuresis and/or effects on blood pressure and increase the dosage of the diuretic as needed.|
|Clinical Impact:||The concomitant use of anticholinergic drugs may increase risk of urinary retention and/or severe constipation, which may lead to paralytic ileus.|
|Intervention:||M onitor patients for signs of urinary retention or reduced gastric motility when APADAZ is used concomitantly with anticholinergic drugs.|
Drug Abuse And Indepdence
APADAZ contains benzhydrocodone, a Schedule II controlled substance.
APADAZ contains benzhydrocodone, a substance with a high potential for abuse similar toother opioids including fentanyl, hydromorphone, methadone, morphine, oxycodone, oxymorphone, and tapentadol. APADAZ can be abused and is subject to misuse, addiction, and criminal diversion [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
All patients treated with opioids require careful monitoring for signs of abuse and addiction, because use of opioid analgesic products carries the risk of addiction even under appropriate medical use.
Prescription drug abuse is the intentional non-therapeutic use of a prescription drug, even once, for its rewarding psychological or physiological effects.
Drug addiction is a cluster of behavioral, cognitive, and physiological phenomena that develop after repeated substance use and includes: a strong desire to take the drug, difficulties in controlling its use, persisting in its use despite harmful consequences, a higher priority given to drug use than to other activities and obligations, increased tolerance, and sometimes a physical withdrawal.
“Drug-seeking” behavior is very common in persons with substance use disorders.Drug-seeking tactics include emergency calls or visits near the end of office hours, refusal to undergo appropriate examination, testing, or referral, repeated “loss” of prescriptions, tampering with prescriptions, and reluctance to provide prior medical records or contact information for other treating healthcare provider(s). “Doctor shopping” (visiting multiple prescribers to obtain additional prescriptions) is common among drug abusers and people suffering from untreated addiction. Preoccupation with achieving adequate pain relief can be appropriate behavior in a patient with poor pain control.
Abuse and addiction are separate and distinct from physical dependence and tolerance. Healthcare providers should be aware that addiction may not be accompanied by concurrent tolerance and symptoms of physical dependence in all addicts. In addition, abuse of opioids can occur in the absence of true addiction.
APADAZ, like other opioids, can be diverted for non-medical use into illicit channels of distribution. Careful record-keeping of prescribing information, including quantity, frequency, and renewal requests, as required by state and federal law, is strongly advised.
Proper assessment of the patient, proper prescribing practices, periodic re-evaluation of therapy, and proper dispensing and storage are appropriate measures that help to limit abuse of opioid drugs.
Risks Specific to Abuse of APADAZ
APADAZ is for oral use only. Abuse of APADAZ poses a risk of overdose and death. The risk is increased with concurrent use of APADAZ with alcohol and other central nervous system depressants.
With intravenous abuse, the inactive ingredients in APADAZ can result in local tissue necrosis, infection, pulmonary granulomas, embolism and death, and increased risk of endocarditis and valvular heart injury. Parenteral drug abuse is commonly associated with transmission of infectious diseases, such as hepatitis and HIV.
Abuse Deterrent Studies
In vitro and human abuse potential studies comparing APADAZ to an immediate-release hydrocodone/acetaminophen tablet control were conducted to assess the potential abuse deterrent properties of APADAZ.
In Vitro Testing
In vitro physical and chemical manipulation studies were performed to evaluate the ability of different methods to extract and convert benzhydrocodone to hydrocodone for the purpose of preparing APADAZ for abuse by the intravenous route or by smoking. The efficiency of extracting benzhydrocodone from APADAZ was similar compared to the efficiency of extracting hydrocodone from the non-abuse-deterrent hydrocodone/acetaminophen control. Further conversion (hydrolysis) of benzhydrocodone to hydrocodone in vitro is a difficult process. Overall, these studies showed no advantage for APADAZ over the hydrocodone/acetaminophencontrol.
Oral Clinical Abuse Potential Study
In an oral, single-center, randomized, double-blind, active-and placebo-controlled, 7-period, crossover, human abuse potential study, 71 recreational opioid users were randomized into the Treatment Phase; 62 subjects completed the study. Treatment arms included APADAZ (4, 8, and 12 tablets, each containing 6.12 mg benzhydrocodone and 325 mg acetaminophen), hydrocodone/acetaminophen (4, 8 and 12 tablets, each containing 4.54 mg hydrocodone and 325 mg acetaminophen), and placebo. The respective dosage strengths for APADAZ and hydrocodone/acetaminophen contained equimolar amounts of hydrocodone. The rate (Cmax) and extent (AUClast, AUCinf) of hydrocodone exposure following APADAZ administration was comparable to that for hydrocodone/acetaminophen across all 3 dosage strengths. There were no statistically significant differences nor any clinically meaningful differences between APADAZ and the hydrocodone/acetaminophen control for the pre-specified primary endpoint of maximal score (Emax) for Drug Liking VAS or secondary endpoints of Emax for High VAS and Take Drug Again VAS. The results do not support a finding that APADAZ can be expected to deter abuse by the oral route of administration.
Intranasal Clinical Abuse Potential Study
In an intranasal single-center, randomized, double-blind, double-dummy, two-part human abuse potential study, 46 recreational opioid users were randomized into the Treatment Phase; 42 subjects completed the study. Five treatment arms included intranasal crushed and oral APADAZ (2 tablets, each containing 6.12 mg benzhydrocodone and 325 mg acetaminophen), intranasal crushed and oral hydrocodone/acetaminophen (2 tablets, each containing 4.54 mg hydrocodone and 325 mg acetaminophen), and intranasal placebo powder. The respective dosage strengths for APADAZ and hydrocodone/acetaminophen contained equimolar amounts ofhydrocodone.
The pharmacokinetic data showed that overall (AUClast, AUCinf, and Cmax) hydrocodone exposure was comparable between intranasal crushed APADAZ and intranasal crushed hydrocodone/acetaminophen. These treatments were also comparable with cumulative hydrocodone exposure at the timepoints of 4, 8, and 24 hours (AUC0-4, AUC0-8, AUC0-24). Over the first 2 hours post-dosing (AUC0-0.5, AUC0-1, and AUC0-2), the cumulative hydrocodone exposure was lower following intranasal APADAZ compared to intranasal hydrocodone/ acetaminophen.
There were numerically small but not statistically significant differences between APADAZ and the hydrocodone/acetaminophen control observed for the pre-specified primary endpoint, maximum effect on Drug Liking VAS (Emax), and the secondary endpoints of Emax for High VAS and Take Drug Again VAS.
Table 3: Summary Statistics of Maximum Scores (Emax) on Drug Liking, High and Take Drug Again, Following Intranasal Administration of APADAZ, Hydrocodone/APAP, and Placebo
|APADAZ Crushed||Hydrocodone/APAP Crushed||Placebo|
|Mean (SE)||75.9 (2.3)||79.0 (2.7)||53.0 (1.2)|
|Median (Range)||74.0 (50-100)||80.0 (50-100)||51.0 (50-85)|
|Mean (SE)||61.8 (4.6)||59.1 (5.1)||8.8 (3.8)|
|Median (Range)||68.5 (0-100)||67.5 (0-100)||0.0 (0-100)|
|Take Drug Again*|
|Mean (SE)||69.5 (3.9)||74.5 (3.9)||48.2 (2.2)|
|Median (Range)||68.0 (0-100)||81.5 (0-100)||50.0 (0-100)|
|* Bipolar scale (0=maximum negative response, 50=neutral response, 100=maximum positive response)
** Unipolar scale (0=maximum negative response, 100=maximum positive response)
Additional secondary analyses of Drug Liking based on area under the effect curve analyses (AUE) for the first half hour, hour, and 2 hours post-dosing, demonstrated numerically small differences between intranasal APADAZ and intranasal hydrocodone/acetaminophen. However, there were no differences between these two treatments with respect to the cumulative High experienced over the first 2 hours post-dosing using similar AUE analyses. There are no data to support that small differences in the early Drug Liking experience over the first 2 hours are clinically relevant findings consistent with possible abuse-deterrent effects, particularly in the setting of the Emax analyses for Drug Liking, Take Drug Again, and High that do not support a deterrent effect. Based on the overall results, APADAZ cannot be expected to deter abuse by the intranasal route of administration.
The in vitro studies that evaluated physical manipulation and extraction for the purpose of preparing APADAZ for abuse by the intravenous route or by smoking did not find an advantage for APADAZ over the hydrocodone/acetaminophen control.
The results of the oral and intranasal human abuse potential studies do not support a finding that APADAZ can be expected to deter abuse by the oral or nasal routes of administration.
Both tolerance and physical dependence can develop during chronic opioid therapy. 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). Tolerance may occur to both the desired and undesired effects of drugs, and may develop at different rates for differenteffects.
Physical dependence is a physiological state in which the body adapts to the drug after a period of regular exposure, resulting in withdrawal symptoms after abrupt discontinuation or a significant dosage reduction of a drug. Withdrawal also may be precipitated through the administration of drugs with opioid antagonist activity (e.g., naloxone, nalmefene), mixed agonist/antagonist analgesics (e.g., pentazocine, butorphanol, nalbuphine), or partial agonists (e.g., buprenorphine). Physical dependence may not occur to a clinically significant degree until after several days to weeks of continued opioid usage.
Do not abruptly discontinue APADAZ in a patient physically dependent on opioids. Rapid tapering of APADAZ in a patient physically dependent on opioids may lead to serious withdrawal symptoms, uncontrolled pain, and suicide. Rapid discontinuation has also been associated with attempts to find other sources of opioid analgesics, which may be confused with drug-seeking for abuse.
When discontinuing APADAZ, gradually taper the dosage using a patient-specific plan that considers the following: the dose of APADAZ the patient has been taking, the duration of treatment, and the physical and psychological attributes of the patient. To improve the likelihood of a successful taper and minimize withdrawal symptoms, it is important that the opioid tapering schedule is agreed upon by the patient. In patients taking opioids for a long duration at high doses, ensure that a multimodal approach to pain management, including mental health support (if needed), is in place prior to initiating an opioid analgesic taper [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION, WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Infants born to mothers physically dependent on opioids will also be physically dependent and may exhibit respiratory difficulties and withdrawal signs [see Use In Specific Populations].
Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Apadaz (Benzhydrocodone and Acetaminophen)
© Apadaz Patient Information is supplied by Cerner Multum, Inc. and Apadaz Consumer information is supplied by First Databank, Inc., used under license and subject to their respective copyrights.
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