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Nubain

Last reviewed on RxList: 10/28/2019
Drug Description

NUBAIN
(nalbuphine hydrochloride) Injection

WARNING

ADDICTION, ABUSE, AND MISUSE; LIFE-THREATENING RESPIRATORY DEPRESSION; NEONATAL OPIOID WITHDRAWAL SYNDROME; and RISKS FROM CONCOMITANT USE WITH BENZODIAZEPINES OR OTHER CNS DEPRESSANTS

Addiction, Abuse, and Misuse

Nalbuphine hydrochloride injection 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 nalbuphine hydrochloride injection, and monitor all patients regularly for the development of these behaviors or conditions [see WARNINGS].

Life-Threatening Respiratory Depression

Serious, life-threatening, or fatal respiratory depression may occur with use of nalbuphine hydrochloride injection. Monitor for respiratory depression, especially during initiation of nalbuphine hydrochloride injection or following a dose increase [see WARNINGS].

Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome

Prolonged use of nalbuphine hydrochloride injection 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].

Risks From Concomitant Use With Benzodiazepines Or Other CNS Depressants

Concomitant use of opioids with benzodiazepines or other central nervous system (CNS) depressants, including alcohol, may result in profound sedation, respiratory depression, coma, and death [see WARNINGS, DRUG INTERACTIONS].

  • Reserve concomitant prescribing of nalbuphine hydrochloride and benzodiazepines or other CNS depress ants for use in patients for whom alternative treatment options are inadequate.
  • Limit dos ages and durations to the minimum required.
  • Follow patients for signs and symptoms of respiratory depression and sedation.

DESCRIPTION

Nalbuphine hydrochloride is a synthetic opioid agonist-antagonist analgesic of the phenanthrene series. It is chemically related to both the widely used opioid antagonist, naloxone, and the potent opioid analgesic, oxymorphone. Chemically nalbuphine hydrochloride is 17-(cyclobutylmethyl)-4,5α- epoxymorphinan-3,6α,14-triol hydrochloride. Nalbuphine hydrochloride molecular weight is 393.91 and is soluble in H2O (35.5 mg/mL at 25°C) and ethanol (0.8%); insoluble in CHCl3 and ether. Nalbuphine hydrochloride has pKa values of 8.71 and 9.96. The molecular formula is C21H27NO4• HCl. The structural formula is:

NALBUPHINE HYDROCHLORIDE Structural Formula Illustration

Nalbuphine Hydrochloride Injection is a sterile, nonpyrogenic solution of nalbuphine hydrochloride in water for injection. This product may be administered by subcutaneous, intramuscular or intravenous injection.

Each milliliter (mL) contains nalbuphine hydrochloride 10 mg or 20 mg; sodium citrate, dihydrate 0.47 mg and citric acid, anhydrous 0.63 mg added as buffers and may contain sodium hydroxide and/or hydrochloric acid for pH adjustment; pH 3.7 (3.0 to 4.5). Contains sodium chloride for tonicity adjustment.

Multiple-dose vials contain 1.8 mg/mL methylparaben and 0.2 mg/mL propylparaben added as preservatives. Single-dose products contain no bacteriostat or antimicrobial agent and unused portions must be discarded.

Indications & Dosage

INDICATIONS

NUBAIN is indicated for the management of pain severe enough to require an opioid analgesic and for which alternative treatments are inadequate. NUBAIN can also be used as a supplement to balanced anesthesia, for preoperative and postoperative analgesia, and for obstetrical analgesia during labor and delivery.

Limitations Of Use

Because of the risks of addiction, abuse, and misuse, with opioids, even at recommended doses [see WARNINGS], reserve NUBAIN for use in patients for whom alternative treatment options [e.g., non-opioid analgesics]

  • Have not been tolerated, or are not expected to be tolerated
  • Have not provided adequate analgesia, or are not expected to provide adequate analgesia

DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION

Important Dosage And Administration Instructions

NUBAIN should be administered as a supplement to general anesthesia only by persons specifically trained in the use of intravenous anesthetics and management of the respiratory effects of potent opioids.

Naloxone, resuscitative and intubation equipment and oxygen should be readily available.

Initiate the dosing regimen for each patient individually, taking into account the patient's severity of pain, patient response, prior analgesic treatment experience, and risk factors for addiction, abuse, and misuse [see WARNINGS].

Monitor patients closely for respiratory depression, especially within the first 24 to 72 hours of initiating therapy and following dosage increases with NUBAIN and adjust the dosage accordingly [see WARNINGS].

Parenteral drug products should be inspected visually for particulate matter and discoloration prior to administration whenever solution and container permit.

Initial Dosage

The usual recommended adult dose is 10 mg for a 70 kg individual administered subcutaneously, intramuscularly, or intravenously; this dose may be repeated every 3 to 6 hours as necessary. Dosage should be adjusted according to the severity of the pain, physical status of the patient, and other medications which the patient may be receiving (see WARNINGS; Risks from Concomitant Use with Benzodiazepines or Other CNS Depressants ]. In nontolerant individuals, the recommended single maximum dose is 20 mg with a maximum total daily dose of 160 mg

The use of NUBAIN as a supplement to balanced anesthesia requires larger doses than those recommended for analgesia. Induction doses of nalbuphine hydrochloride range from 0.3 mg/kg to 3 mg/kg intravenously to be administered over a 10 to 15 minute period with maintenance doses of 0.25 to 0.5 mg/kg in single intravenous administrations as required. The use of NUBAIN may be followed by respiratory depression which can be reversed with the opioid antagonist naloxone hydrochloride.

Titration And Maintenance Of Therapy

Individually titrate NUBAIN to a dose that provides adequate analgesia and minimizes adverse reactions. Continually reevaluate patients receiving nalbuphine hydrochloride to assess the maintenance of pain control and the relative incidence of adverse reactions, as well as monitoring for the development of addiction, abuse, or misuse [see WARNINGS]. Frequent communication is important among the prescriber, other members of the healthcare team, the patient, and the caregiver/family during periods of changing analgesic requirements, including initial titration.

If the level of pain increases after dosage stabilization, attempt to identify the source of increased pain before increasing the nalbuphine hydrochloride dosage. If unacceptable opioid-related adverse reactions are observed, consider reducing the dosage. Adjust the dosage to obtain an appropriate balance between management of pain and opioid-related adverse events.

Discontinuation Of NUBAIN

When a patient who has been taking NUBAIN regularly and may be physically dependent no longer requires therapy with NUBAIN, taper the dose gradually, by 25% to 50% every 2 to 4 days, while monitoring carefully for signs and symptoms of withdrawal. If the patient develops these signs or symptoms, raise the dose to the previous level and taper more slowly, either by increasing the interval between decreases, decreasing the amount of change in dose, or both.. Do not abruptly discontinue NUBAIN in a physically-dependent patient [see WARNINGS, Drug Abuse And Dependence].

HOW SUPPLIED

NUBAIN® (nalbuphine hydrochloride) injection for intramuscular, subcutaneous, or intravenous use is a sterile solution available in:

NDC XXXXX-XXX-XX (sulfite-free) 10 mg/mL, 10 mL multiple dose vials (box of 1)
NDC XXXXX-XXX-XX (sulfite/paraben-free) 10 mg/mL, 1 mL ampuls (box of 10)
NDC XXXXX-XXX-XX (sulfite-free) 20 mg/mL, 10 mL multiple dose vials (box of 1)
NDC XXXXX-XXX-XX (sulfite/paraben-free) 20 mg/mL, 1 mL ampuls (box of 10)

Store at 25°C (77°F); excursions permitted to 15°-30°C (59°-86°F). [See USP Controlled Room Temperature.]

Protect from excessive light. Store in carton until contents have been used.

Distributed by: Par Pharmaceutical Chestnut Ridge, NY 10977. Revised : Oct 2019

QUESTION

Medically speaking, the term "myalgia" refers to what type of pain? See Answer
Side Effects

SIDE EFFECTS

The most frequent adverse reaction in 1066 patients treated in clinical studies with NUBAIN was sedation 381 (36%).

Less frequent reactions were: sweaty/clammy 99 (9%), nausea/vomiting 68 (6%), dizziness/vertigo 58 (5%), dry mouth 44 (4%), and headache 27 (3%).

Other adverse reactions which occurred (reported incidence of 1% or less) were:

CNS Effects: Nervousness, depression, restlessness, crying, euphoria, floating, hostility, unusual dreams, confusion, faintness, hallucinations, dysphoria, feeling of heaviness, numbness, tingling, unreality. The incidence of psychotomimetic effects, such as unreality, depersonalization, delusions, dysphoria and hallucinations has been shown to be less than that which occurs with pentazocine.

Cardiovascular: Hypertension, hypotension, bradycardia, tachycardia.

Gastrointestinal: Cramps, dyspepsia, bitter taste.

Respiratory: Depression, dyspnea, asthma.

Dermatologic: Itching, burning, urticaria.

Miscellaneous: Speech difficulty, urinary urgency, blurred vision, flushing and warmth.

Allergic Reactions: Anaphylactic/anaphylactoid and other serious hypersensitivity reactions have been reported following the use of nalbuphine and may require immediate, supportive medical treatment. These reactions may include shock, respiratory distress, respiratory arrest, bradycardia, cardiac arrest, hypotension, or laryngeal edema. Some of these allergic reactions may be life-threatening. Other allergic-type reactions reported include stridor, bronchospasm, wheezing, edema, rash, pruritus, nausea, vomiting, diaphoresis, weakness, and shakiness.

Postmarketing Experience

The following adverse reactions have been identified during post approval use of nalbuphine. 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.

Abdominal pain, pyrexia, depressed level or loss of consciousness, somnolence, tremor, anxiety, pulmonary edema, agitation, seizures, and injection site reactions such as pain, swelling, redness, burning, and hot sensations. Death has been reported from severe allergic reactions to NUBAIN treatment. Fetal death has been reported where mothers received NUBAIN during labor and delivery.

Serotonin syndrome: Cases of serotonin syndrome, a potentially life-threatening condition, have been reported during concomitant use of opioids with serotonergic drugs.

Adrenal insufficiency: Cases of adrenal insufficiency have been reported with opioid use, more often following greater than one month of use.

Drug Abuse And Dependence

Abuse

NUBAIN contains nalbuphine, which can be abused and is subject to misuse, addiction, and criminal diversion [see WARNINGS].

All patients treated with opioids require careful monitoring for signs of abuse and addiction, since 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 health care 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. Health care 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.

NUBAIN, 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 NUBAIN

Abuse of NUBAIN poses a risk of overdose and death. The risk is increased with concurrent abuse of NUBAIN with alcohol and other central nervous system depressants.

Parenteral drug abuse is commonly associated with transmission of infectious diseases such as hepatitis and HIV.

Dependence

Both tolerance and physical dependence opioid therapy 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 different effects.

Physical dependence results 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 (pentazocine, butorphanol, nalbuphine), or partial agonists (buprenorphine). Physical dependence may not occur to a clinically significant degree until after several days to weeks of continued opioid usage.

NUBAIN should not be abruptly discontinued [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION]. If NUBAIN is abruptly discontinued in a physically-dependent patient, a withdrawal syndrome may occur. Some or all of the following can characterize this syndrome: restlessness, lacrimation, rhinorrhea, yawning, perspiration, chills, myalgia, and mydriasis. Other signs and 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.

Infants born to mothers physically dependent on opioids will also be physically dependent and may exhibit respiratory difficulties and withdrawal signs [see PRECAUTIONS; Pregnancy].

Drug Interactions

DRUG INTERACTIONS

Benzodiazepines And Other Central Nervous System (CNS) Depressants

Although NUBAIN 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 NUBAIN. 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 PATIENT INFORMATION]

If concomitant use is warranted, carefully observe the patient, particularly during treatment initiation and dose adjustment. Discontinue NUBAIN 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 NUBAIN 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 NUBAIN 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 NUBAIN 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

NUBAIN induced an increased frequency of mutation in the mouse lymphoma assay. NUBAIN 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 NUBAIN 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 NUBAIN 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. NUBAIN 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 NUBAIN 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. NUBAIN is not recommended for use in pregnant women during or immediately prior to labor, when other analgesic techniques are more appropriate. Opioid analgesics, including NUBAIN, 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 NUBAIN (nalbuphine hydrochloride) 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 NUBAIN 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 NUBAIN. 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 NUBAIN 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.

Warnings & 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 (CO) 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 NUBAIN, 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 NUBAIN.

To reduce the risk of respiratory depression, proper dosing and titration of NUBAIN are essential [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION]. Overestimating the NUBAIN 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 NUBAIN 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 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 NUBAIN 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 DRUG INTERACTIONS and PATIENT INFORMATION].

Life-Threatening Respiratory Depression In Patients With Chronic Pulmonary Disease Or In Elderly, Cachectic, Or Debilitated Patients

The use of NUBAIN 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

NUBAIN-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 NUBAIN [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 NUBAIN and when NUBAIN 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

NUBAIN 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]. Monitor these patients for signs of hypotension after initiating or titrating the dosage of NUBAIN. In patients with circulatory shock, NUBAIN may cause vasodilation that can further reduce cardiac output and blood pressure. Avoid the use of NUBAIN 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), NUBAIN 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 NUBAIN.

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

Risks Of Use In Patients With Gastrointestinal Conditions

NUBAIN is contraindicated in patients with known or suspected gastrointestinal obstruction, including paralytic ileus.

The nalbuphine in NUBAIN 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 NUBAIN 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 NUBAIN therapy.

Withdrawal

The use of NUBAIN, 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 NUBAIN with a full opioid agonist analgesic.

When discontinuing NUBAIN in a physically-dependent patient, gradually taper the dosage (SEE DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION). Do not abruptly discontinue NUBAIN in these patients (see Drug Abuse And Dependence).

Risks Of Driving And Operating Machinery

NUBAIN 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 NUBAIN and know how they will react to the medication [see PATIENT INFORMATION].

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

Use In Pregnancy (Other Than Labor)

Severe fetal bradycardia has been reported when NUBAIN 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 NUBAIN 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. NUBAIN 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 NUBAIN has been used.

Addiction, Abuse, And Misuse

Nalbuphine hydrochloride is a synthetic opioid agonist-antagonist analgesic. As an opioid, NUBAIN 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 NUBAIN. 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 NUBAIN. 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 NUBAIN is metabolized in the liver and excreted by the kidneys, NUBAIN should be used with caution in patients with renal or liver dysfunction and administered in reduced amounts.

Myocardial Infarction

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

Cardiovascular System

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

Laboratory Tests

NUBAIN 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.

Overdosage & Contraindications

OVERDOSE

Clinical Presentation

Acute overdose with NUBAIN alone can be manifested by respiratory depression and dysphoria. Acute overdose with NUBAIN and other opioids or CNS depressants can be manifested by respiratory depression, somnolence progressing to stupor or coma, skeletal muscle flaccidity, cold and clammy skin, constricted pupils, and, in some cases, pulmonary edema, bradycardia, hypotension, partial or complete airway obstruction, atypical snoring, and death. Marked mydriasis rather than miosis may be seen with hypoxia in overdose situations.

Treatment Of Overdose

In case of overdose, priorities are the reestablishment of a patent and protected airway and institution of assisted or controlled ventilation, if needed. Employ other supportive measures (including oxygen and vasopressors) in the management of circulatory shock and pulmonary edema as indicated. Cardiac arrest or arrhythmias will require advanced life-support techniques.

The opioid antagonists, naloxone or nalmefene, are specific antidotes to respiratory depression resulting from opioid overdose. For clinically significant respiratory or circulatory depression secondary to nalbuphine hydrochloride overdose, administer an opioid antagonist. Opioid antagonists should not be administered in the absence of clinically significant respiratory or circulatory depression secondary to NUBAIN overdose.

Because the duration of opioid reversal is expected to be less than the duration of action of nalbuphine, carefully monitor the patient until spontaneous respiration is reliably re-established. If the response to an opioid antagonist is suboptimal or only brief in nature, administer additional antagonist as directed by the product's prescribing information.

In an individual physically dependent on opioids, administration of the recommended usual dosage of the antagonist will precipitate an acute withdrawal syndrome. The severity of the withdrawal symptoms experienced will depend on the degree of physical dependence and the dose of the antagonist administered. If a decision is made to treat serious respiratory depression in the physically dependent patient, administration of the antagonist should be initiated with care and by titration with smaller than usual doses of the antagonist.

CONTRAINDICATIONS

NUBAIN is contraindicated in patients with:

  • Significant respiratory depression [see WARNINGS]
  • Acute or severe bronchial asthma in an unmonitored setting or in the absence of resuscitative equipment [see WARNINGS]
  • Known or suspected gastrointestinal obstruction, including paralytic ileus [see WARNINGS]
  • Hypersensitivity to nalbuphine to any of the other ingredients in NUBAIN.
Clinical Pharmacology

CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY

Mechanism Of Action

Nalbuphine is an agonist at kappa opioid receptors and an antagonist at mu opioid receptors.

Pharmacodynamics

NUBAIN is a potent analgesic. Its analgesic potency is essentially equivalent to that of morphine on a milligram basis up to a dosage of approximately 30 mg.

The opioid antagonist activity of NUBAIN is one-fourth as potent as nalorphine and 10 times that of pentazocine.

NUBAIN may produce the same degree of respiratory depression as equianalgesic doses of morphine. However, NUBAIN exhibits a ceiling effect such that increases in dose greater than 30 mg do not produce further respiratory depression in the absence of other CNS active medications affecting respiration.

NUBAIN by itself has potent opioid antagonist activity at doses equal to or lower than its analgesic dose. When administered following or concurrent with mu agonist opioid analgesics (e.g., morphine, oxymorphone, fentanyl), NUBAIN may partially reverse or block opioid-induced respiratory depression from the mu agonist analgesic. NUBAIN may precipitate withdrawal in patients dependent on opioid drugs. NUBAIN should be used with caution in patients who have been receiving mu opioid analgesics on a regular basis.

Effects On The Central Nervous System

Nalbuphine produces respiratory depression by direct action on brain stem respiratory centers. The respiratory depression involves a reduction in the responsiveness of the brain stem respiratory centers to both increases in carbon dioxide tension and electrical stimulation. However, there may be a ceiling effect for the respiratory depression caused by nalbuphine. Although a mixed agonist/antagonist, the respiratory depressant effects of nalbuphine can be reversed by naloxone.

Nalbuphine causes miosis, even in total darkness. Pinpoint pupils are a sign of opioid overdose but are not pathognomonic (e.g., pontine lesions of hemorrhagic or ischemic origins may produce similar findings). Marked mydriasis rather than miosis may be seen due to hypoxia in overdose situations.

Effects On The Gastrointestinal Tract And Other Smooth Muscle

Nalbuphine causes a reduction in motility associated with an increase in smooth muscle tone in the antrum of the stomach and duodenum. Digestion of food in the small intestine is delayed and propulsive contractions are decreased. Propulsive peristaltic waves in the colon are decreased, while tone may be increased to the point of spasm, resulting in constipation. Other opioid-induced effects may include a reduction in biliary and pancreatic secretions, spasm of sphincter of Oddi, and transient elevations in serum amylase.

Effects On The Cardiovascular System

During use of nalbuphine during anesthesia, a higher incidence of bradycardia has been reported in patients who did not receive atropine pre-operatively.

Opioids produce peripheral vasodilation, which may result in orthostatic hypotension or syncope. Manifestations of histamine release and/or peripheral vasodilation may include pruritus, flushing, red eyes, sweating, and/or orthostatic hypotension.

Effects On The Endocrine System

Opioids inhibit the secretion of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), cortisol, and luteinizing hormone (LH) in humans (see ADVERSE REACTIONS). They also stimulate prolactin, growth hormone (GH) secretion, and pancreatic secretion of insulin and glucagon.

Chronic use of opioids may influence the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis, leading to androgen deficiency that may manifest as low libido, impotence, erectile dysfunction, amenorrhea, or infertility. The causal role of opioids in the clinical syndrome of hypogonadism is unknown because the various medical, physical, lifestyle, and psychological stressors that may influence gonadal hormone levels have not been adequately controlled for in studies conducted to date (see ADVERSE REACTIONS).

Effects On The Immune System

Opioids have been shown to have a variety of effects on components of the immune system in in vitro and animal models. The clinical significance of these findings is unknown. Overall, the effects of opioids appear to be modestly immunosuppressive.

Concentration–Efficacy Relationships

The minimum effective analgesic concentration will vary widely among patients, especially among patients who have been previously treated with potent agonist opioids. The minimum effective analgesic concentration of nalbuphine for any individual patient may increase over time due to an increase in pain, the development of a new pain syndrome, and/or the development of analgesic tolerance (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION).

Pharmacokinetics

The onset of action of NUBAIN occurs within 2 to 3 minutes after intravenous administration, and in less than 15 minutes following subcutaneous or intramuscular injection. The plasma half-life of nalbuphine is 5 hours, and in clinical studies the duration of analgesic activity has been reported to range from 3 to 6 hours.

The metabolic pathway for nalbuphine has not been defined, but is likely hepatic.

Medication Guide

PATIENT INFORMATION

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 DRUG INTERACTIONS]

Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitor (MAOI) Interaction

Inform patients to avoid taking NUBAIN while using any drugs that inhibit monoamine oxidase. Patients should not start MAOIs while taking NUBAIN [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).

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Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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