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Acetaminophen and Codeine

Pronunciation

Pronunciation

(a seet a MIN oh fen & KOE deen)

Index Terms

  • Acetaminophen/Codeine
  • Codeine and Acetaminophen
  • Codeine Phos/Acetaminophen
  • Emtec
  • Tylenol #2
  • Tylenol #3
  • Tylenol Codeine

Dosage Forms

Excipient information presented when available (limited, particularly for generics); consult specific product labeling. [DSC] = Discontinued product

Solution, Oral:

Generic: Acetaminophen 120 mg and codeine phosphate 12 mg per 5 mL (5 mL, 10 mL [DSC], 12.5 mL, 15 mL [DSC], 118 mL, 120 mL [DSC], 473 mL)

Suspension, Oral:

Capital/Codeine: Acetaminophen 120 mg and codeine phosphate 12 mg per 5 mL (473 mL) [fruit punch flavor]

Tablet, Oral:

Tylenol with Codeine #3: Acetaminophen 300 mg and codeine phosphate 30 mg [contains corn starch, sodium metabisulfite]

Tylenol with Codeine #4: Acetaminophen 300 mg and codeine phosphate 60 mg [contains corn starch, sodium metabisulfite]

Generic: Acetaminophen 300 mg and codeine phosphate 15 mg, Acetaminophen 300 mg and codeine phosphate 30 mg, Acetaminophen 300 mg and codeine phosphate 60 mg

Brand Names: U.S.

  • Capital/Codeine
  • Tylenol with Codeine #3
  • Tylenol with Codeine #4

Pharmacologic Category

  • Analgesic Combination (Opioid)
  • Analgesic, Opioid

Pharmacology

Acetaminophen: Although not fully elucidated, believed to inhibit the synthesis of prostaglandins in the central nervous system and peripherally block pain impulse generation; produces antipyresis from inhibition of hypothalamic heat-regulating center.

Codeine: Binds to opiate receptors in the CNS, causing inhibition of ascending pain pathways, altering the perception of and response to pain; causes cough suppression by direct central action in the medulla; produces generalized CNS depression.

Use: Labeled Indications

Pain management: Management of mild to moderate pain where treatment with an opioid is appropriate and for which alternative treatments are inadequate.

Limitations of use: Reserve for use in patients for whom alternative treatment options (eg, nonopioid analgesics) are ineffective, not tolerated, or would be otherwise inadequate.

Contraindications

Hypersensitivity (eg, anaphylaxis) to acetaminophen, codeine, or any component of the formulation; acute or severe bronchial asthma in an unmonitored setting or in the absence of resuscitative equipment; postoperative pain management in children who have undergone tonsillectomy and/or adenoidectomy; significant respiratory depression; GI obstruction, including paralytic ileus (known or suspected); concurrent use with monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) or use of MAOIs within the last 14 days.

Canadian labeling: Additional contraindications (not in US labeling): Use in pediatric patients <12 years. Some products may contraindicate use in patients <18 years (refer to specific product labeling).

Documentation of allergenic cross-reactivity for opioids is limited. However, because of similarities in chemical structure and/or pharmacologic actions, the possibility of cross-sensitivity cannot be ruled out with certainty.

Dosing: Adult

Note: Adult doses ≥60 mg codeine fail to give commensurate relief of pain but merely prolong analgesia and are associated with an appreciably increased incidence of side effects.

US labeling:

Pain management: Oral:

Solution or suspension: Acetaminophen 120 mg/codeine 12 mg per 5 mL: 15 mL every 4 hours as needed; adjust dose according to severity of pain and response of patient (maximum: acetaminophen 4,000 mg per 24 hours).

Tablets: Acetaminophen (300 to 1,000 mg/dose)/codeine (15 to 60 mg/dose) every 4 hours as needed; adjust dose according to severity of pain and response of patient (maximum: acetaminophen 4,000 mg/codeine 360 mg per 24 hours).

Discontinuation of therapy: For patients on long term opioid therapy, decrease dose by 25% to 50% every 2 to 4 days; monitor carefully for signs/symptoms of withdrawal. If patient displays withdrawal symptoms, increase dose to the previous level and then reduce dose more slowly by increasing interval between dose reductions, decreasing amount of daily dose reduction, or both.

Canadian labeling:

Mild to moderate pain: Oral: Solution: Acetaminophen 160 mg and codeine 8 mg per 5 mL: 10 to 20 mL every 4 hours as needed (maximum: 100 mL [acetaminophen 3,200 mg and codeine 160 mg] per 24 hours)

Mild to severe pain: Oral: Tablets: Acetaminophen (300 to 600 mg/dose) and codeine (30 to 60 mg/dose) every 4 to 6 hours as needed (maximum: Acetaminophen 3,600 mg and codeine 360 mg per 24 hours)

Dosing: Geriatric

Refer to adult dosing. Use with caution and consider initiation at the low end of the dosing range; titrate slowly.

Dosing: Pediatric

US labeling: Pain management: Oral: Solution or suspension: Acetaminophen 120 mg/codeine 12 mg per 5 mL:

Children 3 to 6 years: 5 mL 3 to 4 times daily as needed

Children 7 to 12 years: 10 mL 3 to 4 times daily as needed

Adolescents: Refer to adult dosing

Canadian labeling: Children ≥12 years and Adolescents: Refer to adult dosing.

Dosing: Renal Impairment

There are no dosage adjustments provided in the manufacturer's labeling; use with caution.

Dosing: Hepatic Impairment

There are no dosage adjustments provided in the manufacturer's labeling; use with caution.

Administration

Shake suspension well before administering dose.

Storage

Store at 20°C to 25°C (68°F to 77°F); protect from light.

Drug Interactions

Alvimopan: Analgesics (Opioid) may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Alvimopan. This is most notable for patients receiving long-term (i.e., more than 7 days) opiates prior to alvimopan initiation. Management: Alvimopan is contraindicated in patients receiving therapeutic doses of opioids for more than 7 consecutive days immediately prior to alvimopan initiation. Consider therapy modification

Amphetamines: May enhance the analgesic effect of Analgesics (Opioid). Monitor therapy

Analgesics (Opioid): CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of Analgesics (Opioid). Management: Avoid concomitant use of opioid analgesics and benzodiazepines or other CNS depressants when possible. These agents should only be combined if alternative treatment options are inadequate. If combined, limit the dosages and duration of each drug. Consider therapy modification

Anticholinergic Agents: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Analgesics (Opioid). Specifically, the risk for constipation and urinary retention may be increased with this combination. Monitor therapy

Azelastine (Nasal): CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of Azelastine (Nasal). Avoid combination

Blonanserin: CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of Blonanserin. Consider therapy modification

Brimonidine (Topical): May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Monitor therapy

Busulfan: Acetaminophen may increase the serum concentration of Busulfan. Monitor therapy

Cannabis: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Monitor therapy

Chlormethiazole: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Management: Monitor closely for evidence of excessive CNS depression. The chlormethiazole labeling states that an appropriately reduced dose should be used if such a combination must be used. Consider therapy modification

Chlorphenesin Carbamate: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of CNS Depressants. Monitor therapy

Cholestyramine Resin: May decrease the absorption of Acetaminophen. Effect is minimal if cholestyramine is administered 1 hour after acetaminophen. Consider therapy modification

CNS Depressants: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of Analgesics (Opioid). Management: Avoid concomitant use of opioid analgesics and benzodiazepines or other CNS depressants when possible. These agents should only be combined if alternative treatment options are inadequate. If combined, limit the dosages and duration of each drug. Consider therapy modification

CYP2D6 Inhibitors (Moderate): May diminish the therapeutic effect of Codeine. These CYP2D6 inhibitors may prevent the metabolic conversion of codeine to its active metabolite morphine. Monitor therapy

CYP2D6 Inhibitors (Strong): May diminish the therapeutic effect of Codeine. These CYP2D6 inhibitors may prevent the metabolic conversion of codeine to its active metabolite morphine. Consider therapy modification

Dapsone (Topical): May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Methemoglobinemia Associated Agents. Monitor therapy

Dasatinib: Acetaminophen may enhance the hepatotoxic effect of Dasatinib. Dasatinib may increase the serum concentration of Acetaminophen. Consider therapy modification

Desmopressin: Analgesics (Opioid) may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Desmopressin. Monitor therapy

Dimethindene (Topical): May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Monitor therapy

Diuretics: Analgesics (Opioid) may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Diuretics. Analgesics (Opioid) may diminish the therapeutic effect of Diuretics. Monitor therapy

Dronabinol: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Monitor therapy

Droperidol: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Management: Consider dose reductions of droperidol or of other CNS agents (e.g., opioids, barbiturates) with concomitant use. Consider therapy modification

Eluxadoline: Analgesics (Opioid) may enhance the constipating effect of Eluxadoline. Avoid combination

Flunitrazepam: CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of Flunitrazepam. Consider therapy modification

Gastrointestinal Agents (Prokinetic): Analgesics (Opioid) may diminish the therapeutic effect of Gastrointestinal Agents (Prokinetic). Monitor therapy

HYDROcodone: CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of HYDROcodone. Management: Avoid concomitant use of hydrocodone and benzodiazepines or other CNS depressants when possible. These agents should only be combined if alternative treatment options are inadequate. If combined, limit the dosages and duration of each drug. Consider therapy modification

Imatinib: Acetaminophen may enhance the hepatotoxic effect of Imatinib. Monitor therapy

Isoniazid: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Acetaminophen. Monitor therapy

Kava Kava: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of CNS Depressants. Monitor therapy

Lofexidine: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Monitor therapy

Magnesium Sulfate: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Monitor therapy

MAO Inhibitors: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Codeine. Monitor therapy

Methotrimeprazine: CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of Methotrimeprazine. Methotrimeprazine may enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Management: Reduce adult dose of CNS depressant agents by 50% with initiation of concomitant methotrimeprazine therapy. Further CNS depressant dosage adjustments should be initiated only after clinically effective methotrimeprazine dose is established. Consider therapy modification

MetyraPONE: May increase the serum concentration of Acetaminophen. More importantly, by inhibiting the conjugative metabolism of acetaminophen, metyrapone may shift the metabolism towards the oxidative route that produces a hepatotoxic metabolite. Monitor therapy

MetyroSINE: CNS Depressants may enhance the sedative effect of MetyroSINE. Monitor therapy

Minocycline: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Monitor therapy

Mipomersen: Acetaminophen may enhance the hepatotoxic effect of Mipomersen. Monitor therapy

Mixed Agonist / Antagonist Opioids: May diminish the analgesic effect of Analgesics (Opioid). Management: Seek alternatives to mixed agonist/antagonist opioids in patients receiving pure opioid agonists, and monitor for symptoms of therapeutic failure/high dose requirements (or withdrawal in opioid-dependent patients) if patients receive these combinations. Avoid combination

Nabilone: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Monitor therapy

Nalmefene: May diminish the therapeutic effect of Analgesics (Opioid). Management: Avoid the concomitant use of nalmefene and opioid analgesics. Discontinue nalmefene 1 week prior to any anticipated use of opioid analgesics. If combined, larger doses of opioid analgesics will likely be required. Consider therapy modification

Naltrexone: May diminish the therapeutic effect of Analgesics (Opioid). Management: Seek therapeutic alternatives to opioids. See full drug interaction monograph for detailed recommendations. Consider therapy modification

Nitric Oxide: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Methemoglobinemia Associated Agents. Combinations of these agents may increase the likelihood of significant methemoglobinemia. Management: Monitor patients for signs of methemoglobinemia (e.g., hypoxia, cyanosis) when nitric oxide is used in combination with other agents associated with development of methemoglobinemia. Avoid lidocaine/prilocaine. Monitor therapy

Orphenadrine: CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of Orphenadrine. Avoid combination

Oxomemazine: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Avoid combination

OxyCODONE: CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of OxyCODONE. Management: Avoid concomitant use of oxycodone and benzodiazepines or other CNS depressants when possible. These agents should only be combined if alternative treatment options are inadequate. If combined, limit the dosages and duration of each drug. Consider therapy modification

Paraldehyde: CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of Paraldehyde. Avoid combination

Pegvisomant: Analgesics (Opioid) may diminish the therapeutic effect of Pegvisomant. Monitor therapy

Perampanel: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Management: Patients taking perampanel with any other drug that has CNS depressant activities should avoid complex and high-risk activities, particularly those such as driving that require alertness and coordination, until they have experience using the combination. Consider therapy modification

Phenylephrine (Systemic): Acetaminophen may increase the serum concentration of Phenylephrine (Systemic). Monitor therapy

Piribedil: CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of Piribedil. Monitor therapy

Pramipexole: CNS Depressants may enhance the sedative effect of Pramipexole. Monitor therapy

Prilocaine: Methemoglobinemia Associated Agents may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Prilocaine. Combinations of these agents may increase the likelihood of significant methemoglobinemia. Management: Monitor patients for signs of methemoglobinemia (e.g., hypoxia, cyanosis) when prilocaine is used in combination with other agents associated with development of methemoglobinemia. Avoid lidocaine/prilocaine in infants receiving such agents. Monitor therapy

Probenecid: May increase the serum concentration of Acetaminophen. Probenecid may also limit the formation of at least one major non-toxic metabolite, possibly increasing the potential for formation of the toxic NAPQI metabolite. Consider therapy modification

Ramosetron: Analgesics (Opioid) may enhance the constipating effect of Ramosetron. Monitor therapy

ROPINIRole: CNS Depressants may enhance the sedative effect of ROPINIRole. Monitor therapy

Rotigotine: CNS Depressants may enhance the sedative effect of Rotigotine. Monitor therapy

Rufinamide: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of CNS Depressants. Specifically, sleepiness and dizziness may be enhanced. Monitor therapy

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors: CNS Depressants may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors. Specifically, the risk of psychomotor impairment may be enhanced. Monitor therapy

Serotonin Modulators: Analgesics (Opioid) may enhance the serotonergic effect of Serotonin Modulators. This could result in serotonin syndrome. Exceptions: Nicergoline. Monitor therapy

Sodium Nitrite: Methemoglobinemia Associated Agents may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Sodium Nitrite. Combinations of these agents may increase the likelihood of significant methemoglobinemia. Monitor therapy

Sodium Oxybate: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Management: Consider alternatives to combined use. When combined use is needed, consider minimizing doses of one or more drugs. Use of sodium oxybate with alcohol or sedative hypnotics is contraindicated. Consider therapy modification

Somatostatin Analogs: May decrease the metabolism of Codeine. The formation of two major codeine metabolites (morphine and norcodeine) may be impaired by somatostatin analogs. Monitor therapy

SORAfenib: Acetaminophen may enhance the hepatotoxic effect of SORAfenib. SORAfenib may increase the serum concentration of Acetaminophen. Consider therapy modification

Succinylcholine: May enhance the bradycardic effect of Analgesics (Opioid). Monitor therapy

Suvorexant: CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of Suvorexant. Management: Dose reduction of suvorexant and/or any other CNS depressant may be necessary. Use of suvorexant with alcohol is not recommended, and the use of suvorexant with any other drug to treat insomnia is not recommended. Consider therapy modification

Tapentadol: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Management: Avoid concomitant use of tapentadol and benzodiazepines or other CNS depressants when possible. These agents should only be combined if alternative treatment options are inadequate. If combined, limit the dosages and duration of each drug. Consider therapy modification

Tetracaine (Topical): May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Methemoglobinemia Associated Agents. Monitor therapy

Tetrahydrocannabinol: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of CNS Depressants. Monitor therapy

Thalidomide: CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of Thalidomide. Avoid combination

Vitamin K Antagonists (eg, warfarin): Acetaminophen may enhance the anticoagulant effect of Vitamin K Antagonists. This appears most likely with daily acetaminophen doses exceeding 1.3 or 2 g/day for multiple consecutive days. Monitor therapy

Zolpidem: CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of Zolpidem. Management: Reduce the Intermezzo brand sublingual zolpidem adult dose to 1.75 mg for men who are also receiving other CNS depressants. No such dose change is recommended for women. Avoid use with other CNS depressants at bedtime; avoid use with alcohol. Consider therapy modification

Test Interactions

See individual agents.

Adverse Reactions

Also see individual agents.

Frequency not defined:

Central nervous system: Dizziness, drowsiness, dysphoria, euphoria, sedation, serotonin syndrome

Dermatologic: Pruritus, skin rash

Endocrine & metabolic: Adrenocortical insufficiency

Gastrointestinal: Abdominal pain, constipation, nausea, vomiting

Hematologic & oncologic: Agranulocytosis, thrombocytopenia

Hypersensitivity: Hypersensitivity reaction

Respiratory: Dyspnea

<1% (Limited to important or life-threatening): Hypogonadism (Brennan 2013; Debono 2011), respiratory depression

ALERT: U.S. Boxed Warning

Risk of medication errors:

Ensure accuracy when prescribing, dispensing, and administering acetaminophen/codeine. Dosing errors due to confusion between mg and mL, and other acetaminophen/codeine oral suspensions of different concentrations can result in accidental overdose and death.

Addiction, abuse, and misuse:

Acetaminophen/codeine exposes patient 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 acetaminophen/codeine, and monitor all patients regularly for the development of these behaviors or conditions.

Life-threatening respiratory depression:

Serious, life-threatening, or fatal respiratory depression may occur with use of acetaminophen/codeine. Monitor for respiratory depression, especially during initiation of acetaminophen/codeine or following a dose increase.

Accidental ingestion:

Accidental ingestion of even one dose of acetaminophen/codeine, especially by children, can result in a fatal overdose of codeine.

Neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome:

Prolonged use of acetaminophen/codeine 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.

Death related to ultra-rapid metabolism of codeine to morphine:

Respiratory depression and death have occurred in children who received codeine following tonsillectomy and/or adenoidectomy and had evidence of being ultra-rapid metabolizers of codeine due to a cytochrome P450 (CYP-450) 2D6 polymorphism.

Hepatotoxicity:

Acetaminophen has been associated with cases of acute liver failure, at times resulting in liver transplant and death. Most of the cases of liver injury are associated with the use of acetaminophen at dosages that exceed 4 g/day, and often involve more than one acetaminophen-containing product.

Interactions with drugs affecting cytochrome P450:

The effects of concomitant use or discontinuation of cytochrome P450 (CYP450) 3A4 inducers, 3A4 inhibitors, or 2D6 inhibitors with codeine are complex. Use of CYP450 3A4 inducers, 3A4 inhibitors, or 2D6 inhibitors with codeine requires careful consideration of the effects on the parent drug, codeine, and the active metabolite, morphine.

CYP450 3A4 Interaction: The concomitant use of codeine with all CYP450 3A4 inhibitors or discontinuation of a CYP450 3A4 inducer may result in an increase in codeine plasma concentrations with subsequently greater metabolism by CYP450 2D6, resulting in greater morphine levels, which could increase or prolong adverse reactions and may cause potentially fatal respiratory depression. The concomitant use of codeine with all CYP450 3A4 inducers or discontinuation of a CYP450 3A4 inhibitor may result in lower codeine levels, greater norcodeine levels, and less metabolism via 2D6 with resultant lower morphine levels. This may be associated with a decrease in efficacy, and in some patients, may result in signs and symptoms of opioid withdrawal. Follow patients receiving acetaminophen/codeine and any CYP3A4 inhibitor or inducer for signs and symptoms that may reflect opioid toxicity and opioid withdrawal when acetaminophen/codeine are used in conjunction with inhibitors and inducers of CYP3A4.

CYP450 2D6 Interaction: The concomitant use of codeine with all CYP450 2D6 inhibitors may result in an increase in codeine plasma concentrations and a decrease in the plasma concentration of the active metabolite, morphine, which could result in an analgesic efficacy reduction or symptoms of opioid withdrawal. The discontinuation of a CYP450 2D6 inhibitor may result in a decrease in codeine plasma concentrations and an increase in the plasma concentration of the active metabolite, morphine, which could increase or prolong adverse reactions and may cause potentially fatal respiratory depression. Follow patients receiving acetaminophen/codeine and any CYP2D6 inhibitor for signs and symptoms that may reflect opioid toxicity and opioid withdrawal when acetaminophen/codeine are used in conjunction with inhibitors of CYP2D6.

Risks from concomitant use with benzodiazepines or other CNS depressants:

Concomitant use of opioids with benzodiazepines or other CNS depressants, including alcohol, may result in profound sedation, respiratory depression, coma, and death. Reserve concomitant prescribing of acetaminophen/codeine and benzodiazepines or other CNS depressants for use in patients for whom alternative treatment options are inadequate. Limit dosages and durations to the minimum required. Follow patients for signs and symptoms of respiratory depression and sedation.

Warnings/Precautions

Concerns related to adverse effects:

• CNS depression: May cause CNS depression, which may impair physical or mental abilities; patients must be cautioned about performing tasks which require mental alertness (eg, operating machinery or driving).

• Constipation: May cause or aggravate constipation; chronic use may result in obstructive bowel disease, particularly in those with underlying intestinal motility disorders. May also be problematic in patients with unstable angina and patients post-myocardial infarction. Consider preventive measures (eg, stool softener, increased fiber) to reduce the potential for constipation.

• Hepatotoxicity: [US Boxed Warning]: Acetaminophen has been associated with cases of acute liver failure, at times resulting in liver transplant and death. Most of the cases of liver injury are associated with the use of acetaminophen at dosages that exceed 4 g/day, and often involve more than one acetaminophen-containing product. Risk is increased with alcohol use, preexisting liver disease, and intake of more than one source of acetaminophen-containing medications. Chronic daily dosing in adults has also resulted in liver damage in some patients.

• Hypersensitivity/anaphylactic reactions: Hypersensitivity and anaphylactic reactions have been reported with acetaminophen use; discontinue immediately if symptoms of allergic or hypersensitivity reactions occur.

• Hypotension: May cause severe hypotension (including orthostatic hypotension and syncope); use with caution in patients with hypovolemia, cardiovascular disease (including acute MI), or drugs which may exaggerate hypotensive effects (including phenothiazines or general anesthetics). Monitor for symptoms of hypotension following initiation or dose titration. Avoid use in patients with circulatory shock.

• Phenanthrene hypersensitivity: Use with caution in patients with hypersensitivity reactions to other phenanthrene-derivative opioid agonists (hydrocodone, hydromorphone, levorphanol, oxycodone, oxymorphone).

• Respiratory depression: [US Boxed Warning]: Serious, life-threatening, or fatal respiratory depression may occur with use. Monitor for respiratory depression, especially during initiation of therapy or following a dose increase. Carbon dioxide retention from opioid-induced respiratory depression can exacerbate the sedating effects of opioids.

• Skin reactions: Serious and potentially fatal skin reactions, including acute generalized exanthematous pustulosis (AGEP), Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS), and toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN), have occurred rarely with acetaminophen use. Discontinue therapy at the first appearance of skin rash or any other sign of hypersensitivity.

Disease-related concerns:

• Abdominal conditions: May obscure diagnosis or clinical course of patients with acute abdominal conditions.

• Adrenocortical insufficiency: Use with caution in patients with adrenocortical insufficiency, including Addison disease. Long-term opioid use may cause secondary hypogonadism, which may lead to sexual dysfunction, infertility, mood disorders, and osteoporosis (Brennan 2013).

• Biliary tract impairment: Use with caution in patients with biliary tract dysfunction, including acute pancreatitis; opioids may cause constriction of sphincter of Oddi.

• CNS depression/coma: Avoid use in patients with impaired consciousness or coma as these patients are susceptible to intracranial effects of CO2 retention.

• Delirium tremens: Use with caution in patients with delirium tremens.

• G6PD deficiency: Use acetaminophen with caution in patients with known G6PD deficiency.

• Head trauma: Use with extreme caution in patients with head injury, intracranial lesions, or elevated intracranial pressure; exaggerated elevation of ICP may occur.

• Hepatic impairment: Use with caution in patients with hepatic impairment. Use with caution in patients with alcoholic liver disease; consuming ≥3 alcoholic drinks/day may increase the risk of liver damage.

• Mental health conditions: Use opioids with caution for chronic pain in patients with mental health conditions (eg, depression, anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder) due to increased risk for opioid use disorder and overdose; more frequent monitoring is recommended (Dowell [CDC 2016]).

• Obesity: Use with caution in patients who are morbidly obese.

• Prostatic hyperplasia/urinary stricture: Use with caution in patients with prostatic hyperplasia and/or urinary stricture.

• Psychosis: Use with caution in patients with toxic psychosis.

• Renal impairment: Use with caution in patients with renal impairment.

• Respiratory disease: Use with caution and monitor for respiratory depression in patients with significant chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or cor pulmonale, and those with a substantially decreased respiratory reserve, hypoxia, hypercapnia, or preexisting respiratory depression, particularly when initiating and titrating therapy; critical respiratory depression may occur, even at therapeutic dosages. Consider the use of alternative nonopioid analgesics in these patients.

• Seizure disorder: Use with caution in patients with a history of seizure disorders; may cause or exacerbate seizures.

• Sleep-disordered breathing: Use opioids with caution for chronic pain and titrate dosage cautiously in patients with risk factors for sleep-disordered breathing, including HF and obesity. Avoid opioids in patients with moderate to severe sleep-disordered breathing (Dowell [CDC 2016]).

• Thyroid dysfunction: Use with caution in patients with thyroid dysfunction.

Concurrent drug therapy issues:

• Benzodiazepines and other CNS depressants: [US Boxed Warning]: Concomitant use of opioids with benzodiazepines or other CNS depressants, including alcohol, may result in profound sedation, respiratory depression, coma, and death. Reserve concomitant prescribing of acetaminophen/codeine and benzodiazepines or other CNS depressants for use in patients for whom alternative treatment options are inadequate. Limit dosages and durations to the minimum required. Follow patients for signs and symptoms of respiratory depression and sedation.

• Cytochrome P450 3A4 interactions: [US Boxed Warning]: The concomitant use of codeine with all cytochrome P450 3A4 inhibitors or discontinuation of a CYP450 3A4 inducer may result in an increase in codeine plasma concentrations with subsequently greater metabolism by CYP450 2D6, resulting in greater morphine levels, which could increase or prolong adverse reactions and may cause potentially fatal respiratory depression. The concomitant use of codeine with all CYP450 3A4 inducers or discontinuation of a CYP450 3A4 inhibitor may result in lower codeine levels, greater norcodeine levels, and less metabolism via 2D6 with resultant lower morphine levels. The concomitant use of codeine with all CYP450 2D6 inhibitors may result in an increase in codeine plasma concentrations and a decrease in the plasma concentration of the active metabolite, morphine. The discontinuation of a CYP450 2D6 inhibitor may result in a decrease in codeine plasma concentrations and an increase in the plasma concentration of the active metabolite, morphine. Follow patients receiving acetaminophen/codeine and any CYP2D6 inhibitor or CYP3A4 inhibitor or inducer for signs and symptoms that may reflect opioid toxicity and opioid withdrawal when acetaminophen/codeine are used in conjunction with inhibitors of CYP2D6 or inhibitors and inducers of CYP3A4.

• Drug-drug interactions: Potentially significant interactions may exist, requiring dose or frequency adjustment, additional monitoring, and/or selection of alternative therapy. Consult drug interactions database for more detailed information.

Special populations:

• CYP2D6 “ultrarapid metabolizers”: Use caution in patients with two or more copies of the variant CYP2D6*2 allele; may have extensive conversion to morphine and thus increased opioid-mediated effects. Avoid the use of codeine in these patients; consider alternative analgesics such as morphine or a nonopioid agent (Crews 2012). The occurrence of this phenotype is seen in 0.5% to 1% of Chinese and Japanese, 0.5% to 1% of Hispanics, 1% to 10% of Caucasians, 3% of African-Americans, and 16% to 28% of North Africans, Ethiopians, and Arabs.

• Cachectic or debilitated patients: Use with caution in cachectic or debilitated patients; there is a greater potential for critical respiratory depression, even at therapeutic dosages. Consider the use of alternative nonopioid analgesics in these patients.

• Elderly: Use with caution in the elderly; may be more sensitive to adverse effects, such as respiratory depression. Use opioids for chronic pain with caution in this age group; monitor closely due to an increased potential for risks, including certain risks such as falls/fracture, cognitive impairment, and constipation. Clearance may also be reduced in older adults (with or without renal impairment) resulting in a narrow therapeutic window and increasing the risk for respiratory depression or overdose (Dowell [CDC 2016]). Consider the use of alternative nonopioid analgesics in these patients.

• Neonates: Neonatal withdrawal syndrome: [US Boxed Warning]: Prolonged use during pregnancy can cause neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome, which may be life-threatening if not recognized and treated 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. Signs and symptoms include irritability, hyperactivity and abnormal sleep pattern, high pitched cry, tremor, vomiting, diarrhea and failure to gain weight. Onset, duration, and severity depend on the drug used, duration of use, maternal dose, and rate of drug elimination by the newborn.

• Pediatric: [US Boxed Warning]: Respiratory depression and death have occurred in children who received codeine following tonsillectomy and/or adenoidectomy and were found to have evidence of being ultrarapid metabolizers of codeine due to a CYP2D6 polymorphism; children with obstructive sleep apnea may be at increased risk. Deaths have also occurred in nursing infants after being exposed to high concentrations of morphine because the mothers were ultrarapid metabolizers. Use is contraindicated in the postoperative pain management of children who have undergone tonsillectomy and/or adenoidectomy.

Dosage form specific issues:

• Benzyl alcohol and derivatives: Some dosage forms may contain sodium benzoate/benzoic acid; benzoic acid (benzoate) is a metabolite of benzyl alcohol; large amounts of benzyl alcohol (≥99 mg/kg/day) have been associated with a potentially fatal toxicity (“gasping syndrome”) in neonates; the “gasping syndrome” consists of metabolic acidosis, respiratory distress, gasping respirations, CNS dysfunction (including convulsions, intracranial hemorrhage), hypotension, and cardiovascular collapse (AAP ["Inactive" 1997]; CDC 1982); some data suggests that benzoate displaces bilirubin from protein binding sites (Ahlfors 2001); avoid or use dosage forms containing benzyl alcohol derivative with caution in neonates. See manufacturer's labeling.

• Metabisulfite: Some products may contain metabisulfite which may cause allergic reactions.

• Oral suspensions: [US Boxed Warning]: Dosing errors due to confusion between mg and mL, and other acetaminophen/codeine oral suspensions of different concentrations can result in accidental overdose and death. Ensure accuracy when prescribing, dispensing, and administering oral suspension.

• Propylene glycol: Some dosage forms may contain propylene glycol; large amounts are potentially toxic and have been associated hyperosmolality, lactic acidosis, seizures and respiratory depression; use caution (AAP ["Inactive" 1997]; Zar 2007).

Other warnings/precautions:

• Abuse/misuse/diversion: [US Boxed Warning]: Use 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 oxycodone/acetaminophen, and monitor all patients regularly for the development of these behaviors or conditions. Use with caution in patients with a history of drug abuse or acute alcoholism; potential for drug dependency exists. Other factors associated with increased risk for misuse include younger age, concomitant depression (major), and psychotropic medication use. Consider offering naloxone prescriptions in patients with factors associated with an increased risk for overdose, such as history of overdose or substance use disorder, higher opioid dosages (≥50 morphine milligram equivalents/day orally), and concomitant benzodiazepine use (Dowell [CDC 2016]). Abuse or misuse of ER tablets by crushing, chewing, snorting, or injecting the dissolved product will result in the uncontrolled delivery of the oxycodone and can result in overdose and death.

• Accidental ingestion: [US Boxed Warning]: Accidental ingestion of even one dose of acetaminophen/codeine, especially by children, can result in a fatal overdose of codeine.

• Appropriate use: Chronic pain (outside of end-of-life or palliative care, active cancer treatment, sickle cell disease, or medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder) in outpatient setting in adults: Opioids should not be used as first-line therapy for chronic pain management (pain >3-month duration or beyond time of normal tissue healing) due to limited short-term benefits, undetermined long-term benefits, and association with serious risks (eg, overdose, MI, auto accidents, risk of developing opioid use disorder). Preferred management includes nonpharmacologic therapy and nonopioid therapy (eg, NSAIDs, acetaminophen, certain anticonvulsants and antidepressants). If opioid therapy is initiated, it should be combined with nonpharmacologic and nonopioid therapy, as appropriate. Prior to initiation, known risks of opioid therapy should be discussed and realistic treatment goals for pain/function should be established, including consideration for discontinuation if benefits do not outweigh risks. Therapy should be continued only if clinically meaningful improvement in pain/function outweighs risks. Therapy should be initiated at the lowest effective dosage using immediate-release opioids (instead of extended-release/long-acting opioids). Risk associated with use increases with higher opioid dosages. Risks and benefits should be re-evaluated when increasing dosage to ≥50 morphine milligram equivalents (MME)/day orally; dosages ≥90 MME/day orally should be avoided unless carefully justified (Dowell [CDC 2016]).

• Dosage limit: Limit acetaminophen dose from all sources (prescription, OTC, combination products) to <4 g/day in adults. Do not use acetaminophen/codeine concomitantly with other acetaminophen-containing products.

• Optimal regimen: An opioid-containing analgesic regimen should be tailored to each patient's needs and based upon the type of pain being treated (acute versus chronic), the route of administration, degree of tolerance for opioids (naive versus chronic user), age, weight, and medical condition. The optimal analgesic dose varies widely among patients; doses should be titrated to pain relief/prevention.

• Surgery: Opioids decrease bowel motility; monitor for decreased bowel motility in postop patients receiving opioids. Use with caution in the perioperative setting; individualize treatment when transitioning from parenteral to oral analgesics.

• Withdrawal: Concurrent use of mixed agonist/antagonist (eg, pentazocine, nalbuphine, butorphanol) or partial agonist (eg, buprenorphine) analgesics may precipitate withdrawal symptoms and/or reduced analgesic efficacy in patients following prolonged therapy with mu opioid agonists. Abrupt discontinuation following prolonged use may also lead to withdrawal symptoms. Taper dose gradually when discontinuing.

Monitoring Parameters

Pain relief, respiratory and mental status, blood pressure, heart rate; signs/symptoms of addiction, abuse, or misuse; signs or symptoms of hypogonadism or hypoadrenalism (Brennan 2013)

Alternate recommendations: Chronic pain (long-term therapy outside of end-of-life or palliative care, active cancer treatment, sickle cell disease, or medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder): Evaluate benefits/risks of opioid therapy within 1 to 4 weeks of treatment initiation and with dose increases. Re-evaluate benefits/risks every 3 months during therapy or more frequently in patients at increased risk of overdose or opioid use disorder. Urine drug testing is recommended prior to initiation and re-checking should be considered at least yearly (includes controlled prescription medications and illicit drugs of abuse). State prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) data should be reviewed by clinicians prior to initiation and periodically during therapy (frequency ranging from every prescription to every 3 months) (Dowell [CDC 2016]).

Pregnancy Risk Factor

C

Pregnancy Considerations

Animal reproduction studies have not been conducted with this combination. [US Boxed Warning]: Prolonged use of opioids during pregnancy can cause neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome, which may be life-threatening if not recognized and treated 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. Refer to individual agents.

Patient Education

• Discuss specific use of drug and side effects with patient as it relates to treatment. (HCAHPS: During this hospital stay, were you given any medicine that you had not taken before? Before giving you any new medicine, how often did hospital staff tell you what the medicine was for? How often did hospital staff describe possible side effects in a way you could understand?)

• Patient may experience abdominal pain, sweating a lot, nausea, or vomiting. Have patient report immediately to prescriber signs of liver problems (dark urine, fatigue, lack of appetite, nausea, abdominal pain, light-colored stools, vomiting, or jaundice), severe dizziness, passing out, angina, confusion, severe constipation, severe loss of strength and energy, urinary retention, change in amount of urine passed, chills, pharyngitis, mood changes, severe headache, difficulty breathing, slow breathing, shallow breathing, tachycardia, noisy breathing, seizures, bruising, bleeding, vision changes, severe fatigue, sexual dysfunction (males), amenorrhea, decreased libido, infertility, signs of adrenal gland problems (severe nausea, vomiting, severe dizziness, passing out, muscle weakness, severe fatigue, mood changes, lack of appetite, or weight loss), signs of serotonin syndrome (dizziness, severe headache, agitation, hallucinations, tachycardia, arrhythmia, flushing, tremors, sweating a lot, change in balance, severe nausea, or severe diarrhea), or signs of Stevens-Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis (red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin [with or without fever]; red or irritated eyes; or sores in mouth, throat, nose, or eyes) (HCAHPS).

• Educate patient about signs of a significant reaction (eg, wheezing; chest tightness; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; seizures; or swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat). Note: This is not a comprehensive list of all side effects. Patient should consult prescriber for additional questions.

Intended Use and Disclaimer: Should not be printed and given to patients. This information is intended to serve as a concise initial reference for health care professionals to use when discussing medications with a patient. You must ultimately rely on your own discretion, experience, and judgment in diagnosing, treating, and advising patients.

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