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Acetaminophen, Caffeine, and Dihydrocodeine

Pronunciation

(a seet a MIN oh fen, KAF een, & dye hye droe KOE deen)

Index Terms

  • Caffeine, Dihydrocodeine, and Acetaminophen
  • Dihydrocodeine Bitartrate, Acetaminophen, and Caffeine

Dosage Forms

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

Capsule, Oral:

Trezix: Acetaminophen 320.5 mg, caffeine 30 mg, and dihydrocodeine bitartrate 16 mg

Trezix: Acetaminophen 356.4 mg, caffeine 30 mg, and dihydrocodeine bitartrate 16 mg [DSC]

Generic: Acetaminophen 320.5 mg, caffeine 30 mg, and dihydrocodeine bitartrate 16 mg

Tablet, Oral: Acetaminophen 712.8 mg, caffeine 60 mg, and dihydrocodeine bitartrate 32 mg [DSC]

Brand Names: U.S.

  • Trezix

Pharmacologic Category

  • Analgesic Combination (Opioid)
  • Analgesic, Opioid

Pharmacology

Acetaminophen: Inhibits the synthesis of prostaglandins in the central nervous system and peripherally blocks pain impulse generation; produces antipyresis from inhibition of hypothalamic heat-regulating center.

Caffeine: CNS stimulant; use with acetaminophen and dihydrocodeine increases the level of analgesia provided by each agent.

Dihydrocodeine: Binds to opiate receptors in the CNS, causing inhibition of ascending pain pathways, altering the perception of and response to pain; produces generalized CNS depression.

Use: Labeled Indications

Pain management: Management of pain severe enough to require an opioid analgesic 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 to provide sufficient management of pain.

Contraindications

Hypersensitivity (eg, anaphylaxis) to acetaminophen, caffeine, dihydrocodeine, codeine, or any component of the formulation; pediatric patients <12 years of age; postoperative management in pediatric patients <18 years of age who have undergone tonsillectomy and/or adenoidectomy; significant respiratory depression; acute or severe bronchial asthma in unmonitored settings or in the absence of resuscitative equipment; hypercapnia; GI obstruction, including paralytic ileus (known or suspected).

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

Pain management: Oral:

Capsule (acetaminophen 320.5 mg/caffeine 30 mg/dihydrocodeine bitartrate 16 mg): Two capsules every 4 hours as needed; adjust dose based on severity of pain (maximum dose: 10 capsules [acetaminophen 3,205 mg/caffeine 300 mg/dihydrocodeine 160 mg] per 24 hours)

Tablet (acetaminophen 712.8 mg/caffeine 60 mg/dihydrocodeine bitartrate 32 mg): One tablet every 4 hours as needed; adjust dose based on severity of pain (maximum dose: 5 tablets [acetaminophen 3,564 mg/caffeine 300 mg/dihydrocodeine 160 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 previous level and then reduce dose more slowly by increasing interval between dose reductions, decreasing amount of daily dose reduction, or both. Do not abruptly discontinue.

Dosing: Geriatric

Refer to adult dosing. Initiate therapy at low end of dosing range and use caution.

Dosing: Renal Impairment

There are no specific dosage adjustments provided in the manufacturer's labeling; use with caution and at a reduced dose.

Dosing: Hepatic Impairment

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

Storage

Store at 20°C to 25°C (68°F to 77°F). Protect from moisture.

Drug Interactions

Abiraterone Acetate: May increase the serum concentration of CYP1A2 Substrates (High risk with Inhibitors). Monitor therapy

Acebrophylline: May enhance the stimulatory effect of CNS Stimulants. Avoid combination

Adenosine: Caffeine and Caffeine Containing Products may diminish the therapeutic effect of Adenosine. Management: Monitor for decreased effect of adenosine if patient is receiving caffeine. Discontinue caffeine in advance of scheduled diagnostic use of adenosine whenever possible. Consider therapy modification

Alvimopan: Opioid Analgesics 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 Opioid Analgesics. Monitor therapy

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

AtoMOXetine: May enhance the hypertensive effect of Sympathomimetics. AtoMOXetine may enhance the tachycardic effect of Sympathomimetics. 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

Ciprofloxacin (Systemic): May increase the serum concentration of Caffeine. Monitor therapy

CNS Depressants: May enhance the CNS depressant effect of Opioid Analgesics. 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

Cocaine: May enhance the hypertensive effect of Sympathomimetics. Management: Consider alternatives to use of this combination when possible. Monitor closely for substantially increased blood pressure or heart rate and for any evidence of myocardial ischemia with concurrent use. Consider therapy modification

CYP1A2 Inhibitors (Moderate): May decrease the metabolism of CYP1A2 Substrates (High risk with Inhibitors). Monitor therapy

CYP1A2 Inhibitors (Strong): May decrease the metabolism of CYP1A2 Substrates (High risk with Inhibitors). 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

Deferasirox: May increase the serum concentration of CYP1A2 Substrates (High risk with Inhibitors). Monitor therapy

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

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

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

Doxofylline: Caffeine and Caffeine Containing Products may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Doxofylline. Avoid combination

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

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

Formoterol: Caffeine and Caffeine Containing Products may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Formoterol. Caffeine and Caffeine Containing Products may enhance the hypokalemic effect of Formoterol. Monitor therapy

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

Guanethidine: May enhance the arrhythmogenic effect of Sympathomimetics. Guanethidine may enhance the hypertensive effect of Sympathomimetics. 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

Indacaterol: Caffeine and Caffeine Containing Products may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Indacaterol. Caffeine and Caffeine Containing Products may enhance the hypokalemic effect of Indacaterol. Monitor therapy

Iobenguane I 123: Sympathomimetics may diminish the therapeutic effect of Iobenguane I 123. Avoid combination

Iohexol: Agents With Seizure Threshold Lowering Potential may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Iohexol. Specifically, the risk for seizures may be increased. Management: Discontinue agents that may lower the seizure threshold 48 hours prior to intrathecal use of iohexol. Wait at least 24 hours after the procedure to resume such agents. In nonelective procedures, consider use of prophylactic anticonvulsants. Consider therapy modification

Iomeprol: Agents With Seizure Threshold Lowering Potential may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Iomeprol. Specifically, the risk for seizures may be increased. Management: Discontinue agents that may lower the seizure threshold 48 hours prior to intrathecal use of iomeprol. Wait at least 24 hours after the procedure to resume such agents. In nonelective procedures, consider use of prophylactic anticonvulsants. Consider therapy modification

Iopamidol: Agents With Seizure Threshold Lowering Potential may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Iopamidol. Specifically, the risk for seizures may be increased. Management: Discontinue agents that may lower the seizure threshold 48 hours prior to intrathecal use of iopamidol. Wait at least 24 hours after the procedure to resume such agents. In nonelective procedures, consider use of prophylactic anticonvulsants. Consider therapy modification

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

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

Linezolid: May enhance the hypertensive effect of Sympathomimetics. Management: Reduce initial doses of sympathomimetic agents, and closely monitor for enhanced pressor response, in patients receiving linezolid. Specific dose adjustment recommendations are not presently available. Consider therapy modification

Lithium: Caffeine and Caffeine Containing Products may decrease the serum concentration of Lithium. 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

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

Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors: Dihydrocodeine may enhance the serotonergic effect of Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors. This could result in serotonin syndrome. Monitor therapy

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

Nalmefene: May diminish the therapeutic effect of Opioid Analgesics. 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 Opioid Analgesics. 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

Norfloxacin: May increase the serum concentration of Caffeine and Caffeine Containing Products. Monitor therapy

Obeticholic Acid: May increase the serum concentration of CYP1A2 Substrates (High risk with Inhibitors). Monitor therapy

Olodaterol: Caffeine and Caffeine Containing Products may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Olodaterol. Caffeine and Caffeine Containing Products may enhance the hypokalemic effect of Olodaterol. Monitor therapy

Opioid Analgesics: CNS Depressants may enhance the CNS depressant effect of Opioid Analgesics. 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

Opioids (Mixed Agonist / Antagonist): May diminish the analgesic effect of Opioid Analgesics. 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

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

Peginterferon Alfa-2b: May increase the serum concentration of CYP1A2 Substrates (High risk with Inhibitors). Monitor therapy

Pegvisomant: Opioid Analgesics 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

Pipemidic Acid: May increase the serum concentration of Caffeine and Caffeine Containing Products. 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

QuiNIDine: May diminish the analgesic effect of Dihydrocodeine. Specifically, quinidine may prevent the metabolic conversion of dihydrocodeine to its active metabolite Monitor therapy

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

Regadenoson: Caffeine and Caffeine Containing Products may diminish the vasodilatory effect of Regadenoson. Management: Avoiding using caffeine or other methylxanthine containing products (e.g., theophylline) for at least 12 hours prior to the administration of regadenoson. Consider therapy modification

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: Opioid Analgesics 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

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

Stiripentol: May increase the serum concentration of Caffeine and Caffeine Containing Products. Avoid combination

Succinylcholine: May enhance the bradycardic effect of Opioid Analgesics. 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

Sympathomimetics: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of other Sympathomimetics. Monitor therapy

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

Tedizolid: May enhance the hypertensive effect of Sympathomimetics. Tedizolid may enhance the tachycardic effect of Sympathomimetics. Monitor therapy

Teriflunomide: May decrease the serum concentration of Caffeine and Caffeine Containing Products. Monitor therapy

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

TiZANidine: CYP1A2 Inhibitors (Weak) may increase the serum concentration of TiZANidine. Management: Avoid these combinations when possible. If combined use is necessary, initiate tizanidine at an adult dose of 2 mg and increase in 2 to 4 mg increments based on patient response. Monitor for increased effects of tizanidine, including adverse reactions. Consider therapy modification

Vemurafenib: May increase the serum concentration of CYP1A2 Substrates (High risk with Inhibitors). Management: Consider alternatives to such combinations whenever possible, particularly if the CYP1A2 substrate has a relatively narrow therapeutic index. Consider therapy modification

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

Frequency not defined. Most common reactions with this combination include:

Central nervous system: Dizziness, drowsiness, sedation

Dermatologic: Dermatological reaction, pruritus

Gastrointestinal: Constipation, nausea, vomiting

Postmarketing and/or case reports (Limited to important or life-threatening): Hypogonadism (Brennan, 2013; Debono, 2011)

ALERT: U.S. Boxed Warning

Addiction, abuse, and misuse:

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, and monitor all patients regularly for the development of these behaviors and conditions.

Life-threatening respiratory depression:

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.

Accidental ingestion:

Accidental ingestion, especially by children, can result in a fatal overdose of dihydrocodeine.

Ultra-rapid metabolism of codeine and other risk factors for life-threatening respiratory depression in children

Life-threatening respiratory depression and death have occurred in children who received codeine. Most of the reported cases occurred following tonsillectomy and/or adenoidectomy, and many of the children had evidence of being an ultra-rapid metabolizer of codeine due to cytochrome P450 (CYP-450) 2D6 polymorphism. Acetaminophen/caffeine/dihydrocodeine is contraindicated in pediatric patients <12 years of age and in pediatric patients <18 years of age following tonsillectomy and/or adenoidectomy. Avoid the use of acetaminophen/caffeine/dihydrocodeine in pediatric patients 12 to 18 years of age who have other risk factors that may increase their sensitivity to the respiratory depressant effects of codeine.

Neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome:

Prolonged use of opioids 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.

Interactions with drugs affecting cytochrome P450 isoenzymes

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

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 1 acetaminophen-containing product.

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/caffeine/dihydrocodeine 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 constipation, which may be problematic in patients with unstable angina and patients post-myocardial infarction (MI). 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 1 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 that may exaggerate hypotensive effects (including phenothiazines or general anesthetics). Monitor for symptoms of hypotension following initiation or dose titration. Use with caution in patients with circulatory shock.

• Phenanthrene hypersensitivity: Use opioids with caution in patients with hypersensitivity reactions to other phenanthrene-derivative opioid agonists (codeine, hydrocodone, hydromorphone, levorphanol, 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: Use with caution in patients with CNS depression or coma as these patients are susceptible to intracranial effects of CO2 retention.

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

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

• 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.

• 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 and at a reduced dose 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 having a substantially decreased respiratory reserve, hypoxia, hypercarbia, or preexisting respiratory depression, particularly when initiating therapy 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 disorder; may cause or exacerbate preexisting 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/caffeine/dihydrocodeine 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 interactions: [US Boxed Warning]: The effects of concomitant use or discontinuation of cytochrome P450 (CYP-450) 3A4 inducers, 3A4 inhibitors, or 2D6 inhibitors with codeine are complex. Use of CYP-450 3A4 inducers, 3A4 inhibitors, or 2D6 inhibitors with acetaminophen/caffeine/dihydrocodeine requires careful consideration of the effects on the parent drug, codeine, and the active metabolite, morphine.

• 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 “ultra-rapid 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 patients, 0.5% to 1% of Hispanic patients, 1% to 10% of Caucasian patients, 3% of African-American patients, and 16% to 28% of North African, Ethiopian, and Arab patients.

• 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 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. Prolonged use of opioids during pregnancy can cause neonatal 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]: Life-threatening respiratory depression and death have occurred in children who received codeine. Most of the reported cases occurred following tonsillectomy and/or adenoidectomy and many of the children had evidence of being ultra-rapid metabolizers of codeine due to a CYP-450 2D6 polymorphism. Acetaminophen/caffeine/dihydrocodeine is contraindicated in pediatric patients <12 years of age and in pediatric patients <18 years of age following tonsillectomy and/or adenoidectomy. Avoid the use of acetaminophen/caffeine/dihydrocodeine in pediatric patients 12 to 18 years of age who have other risk factors that may increase their sensitivity to the respiratory depressant effects of codeine. Risk factors include conditions associated with hypoventilation, such as postoperative status, obstructive sleep apnea, obesity, severe pulmonary disease, neuromuscular disease, and concomitant use of other medications that cause respiratory depression. Deaths have also occurred in nursing infants after being exposed to high concentrations of morphine because the mothers were ultra-rapid metabolizers. Use the lowest effective dose for the shortest period of time to reduce the risk of high concentrations of dihydromorphine.

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 acetaminophen/caffeine/dihydrocodeine, 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]).

• Accidental ingestion: [US Boxed Warning]: Accidental ingestion, especially in children, can result in a fatal overdose of dihydrocodeine.

• 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]).

• Caffeine: May cause CNS and cardiovascular stimulation, as well as GI irritation in high doses.

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

• Optimal regimen: An opioid-containing analgesic regimen should be tailored to each patient's needs and based on 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 decrease 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 analgesics (eg, pentazocine, nalbuphine, butorphanol) or partial agonist analgesics (eg, buprenorphine) 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 of misuse, abuse, and addiction; 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. Reevaluate 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 opioids during pregnancy can cause neonatal 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. Dihydrocodeine is a semisynthetic analogue of codeine; it has been shown to cause respiratory depression in the fetus when administered to women during labor (Leppert 2010; Myers 1958; Sliom 1970). Also refer to the Acetaminophen and Caffeine individual monographs for additional information.

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 nausea, vomiting, or sweating a lot. Have patient report immediately to prescriber 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 liver problems (dark urine, fatigue, lack of appetite, nausea, abdominal pain, light-colored stools, vomiting, or jaundice), confusion, severe dizziness, passing out, change in balance, anxiety, severe loss of strength and energy, severe constipation, urinary retention, change in amount of urine passed, bradycardia, tachycardia, abnormal heartbeat, chills, pharyngitis, hallucinations, mood changes, tinnitus, severe headache, severe fatigue, difficulty breathing, slow breathing, shallow breathing, noisy breathing, bruising, bleeding, vision changes, seizures, sexual dysfunction (males), amenorrhea, decreased libido, infertility, 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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