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Zohydro ER FDA Alerts

The FDA Alert(s) below may be specifically about Zohydro ER or relate to a group or class of drugs which include Zohydro ER (hydrocodone).

MedWatch Safety Alerts are distributed by the FDA and published by Drugs.com. Following is a list of possible medication recalls, market withdrawals, alerts and warnings. For the latest FDA MedWatch alerts, go here.

Recent FDA Alert(s) for hydrocodone

Opioid Pain Relievers or Medicines to Treat Opioid Use Disorder - FDA Recommends Health Care Professionals Discuss Naloxone with All Patients when Prescribing

Jul 23, 2020

Audience: Consumer, Health Professional, Pharmacy

ISSUE: FDA is requiring drug manufacturers for all opioid pain relievers and medicines to treat opioid use disorder (OUD) to add new recommendations about naloxone to the prescribing information.  This will help ensure that health care professionals discuss the availability of naloxone and assess each patient’s need for a naloxone prescription when opioid pain relievers or medicines to treat OUD are being prescribed or renewed.  The patient Medication Guides will also be updated.

BACKGROUND: Opioid pain relievers are medicines that can help manage pain when other treatments and medicines are not able to provide enough pain relief.  Certain opioids are also used to treat OUD.  Opioids have serious risks, including misuse and abuse, addiction, overdose, and death.  Naloxone can help reverse opioid overdose to prevent death.

The misuse and abuse of illicit and prescription opioids and the risks of addiction, overdose, and death are a public health crisis in the United States.  As a result, FDA is committed to encouraging health care professionals to raise awareness of the availability of naloxone when they are prescribing and dispensing opioid pain relievers or medicines to treat OUD.  FDA held discussions about naloxone availability with the Anesthetic and Analgesic Drug Products and the Drug Safety and Risk Management Advisory Committees, which recommended that all patients being prescribed opioids for use in the outpatient setting would benefit from a conversation with their health care professional about the availability of naloxone. 

RECOMMENDATION:
Patients: 

  • Talk to your health care professionals about the benefits of naloxone and how to obtain it.  
  • Recognize the signs and symptoms of a possible opioid overdose.  These include slowed, shallow, or difficult breathing, severe sleepiness, or not being able to respond or wake up.  If you know or think someone is overdosing, give the person naloxone if you have access to it, and always call 911 or go to an emergency room right away.  Naloxone is a temporary treatment, so repeat doses may be required.  Even if you give naloxone, you still need to get emergency medical help right away.
  • If you have naloxone, make sure to tell your caregivers, household members, and other close contacts that you have it, where it is stored, and how to properly use it in the event of an overdose.  When using opioid medicines away from home, carry naloxone with you and let those you are with know you have it, where it is, and how to use it.  Read the Patient Information leaflet or other educational material and Instructions for Use that comes with your naloxone because it explains important information, including how to use the medicine.  

Health Care Professionals: 

  • Discuss the availability of naloxone with all patients when prescribing or renewing an opioid analgesic or medicine to treat OUD.  
  • Consider prescribing naloxone to patients prescribed medicines to treat OUD and patients prescribed opioid analgesics who are at increased risk of opioid overdose.  
  • Consider prescribing naloxone when a patient has household members, including children, or other close contacts at risk for accidental ingestion or opioid overdose.
  • Additionally, even if the patients are not receiving a prescription for an opioid analgesic or medicine to treat OUD, consider prescribing naloxone to them if they are at increased risk of opioid overdose. 
  • Educate patients and caregivers on how to recognize respiratory depression and how to administer naloxone.  Inform them about their options for obtaining naloxone as permitted by their individual state dispensing and prescribing requirements or guidelines for naloxone. Emphasize the importance of calling 911 or getting emergency medical help right away, even if naloxone is administered. 

Patients and health care professionals are encouraged to report adverse events or side effects related to the use of these products to the FDA's MedWatch Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program:

  • Complete and submit the report online.
  • Download form or call 1-800-332-1088 to request a reporting form, then complete and return to the address on the form, or submit by fax to 1-800-FDA-0178

[07/23/2020 - Drug Safety Communication - FDA] 

Source: FDA

Hydrocodone in Unapproved Prescription Products

Sep 28, 2007

Audience: Healthcare professionals, pediatricians, consumers

[Posted 09/28/2007] FDA informed healthcare professionals and consumers of its intent to take action against companies that market unapproved prescription products containing hydrocodone, a narcotic widely used as a cough suppressant and to treat pain. The drug has also been an extremely popular drug of abuse and can lead to serious illness, injury, or death, if improperly used. Hydrocodone overdose can result in breathing problems or cardiac arrest, and its use may impair motor skills and judgment.

The FDA has received reports of medication errors associated with formulation changes in unapproved hydrocodone products and reports of confusion over the similarity of the names of unapproved products to approved drug products. Most of the hydrocodone formulations now marketed to suppress coughs have not been approved. The agency is particularly concerned about improper pediatric labeling of unapproved hydrocodone cough suppressants (also known as antitussives), and the risk of medication error involving the unapproved products. No hydrocodone cough suppressant has been established as safe and effective for children under 6 years of age and some of these unapproved products carry labels with dosing instructions for children as young as 2 years of age.

Anyone marketing unapproved hydrocodone products that are currently labeled for use in children younger than 6 years of age must end further manufacturing and distribution of the products on or before October 31, 2007. Those marketing any other unapproved hydrocodone drug products must stop manufacturing such products on or before December 31, 2007, and must cease further shipment in interstate commerce on or before March 31, 2008. Further legal action could be taken against those failing to meet these deadlines.

There are a number of alternatives for patients who might be using unapproved hydrocodone cough suppressants. Consumers should consult a healthcare professional for detailed guidance on treatment options.

[September 28, 2007 - News Release - FDA]

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