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fentanyl citrate lozenge
FULL PRESCRIBING INFORMATION
WARNING: IMPORTANCE OF PROPER PATIENT SELECTION, DOSING, and POTENTIAL FOR ABUSE
Reports of serious adverse events, including deaths in patients treated with ACTIQ® have been reported. Deaths occurred as a result of improper patient selection (e.g., use in opioid non-tolerant patients) and/or improper dosing. The substitution of ACTIQ for any other fentanyl product may result in fatal overdose.
ACTIQ is indicated only for the management of breakthrough cancer pain in patients with malignancies who are already receiving and who are tolerant to around-the-clock opioid therapy for their underlying persistent cancer pain. Patients considered opioid tolerant are those who are taking around-the-clock medicine consisting of at least 60 mg of oral morphine daily, at least 25 mcg of transdermal fentanyl/hour, at least 30 mg of oral oxycodone daily, at least 8 mg oral hydromorphone daily or an equianalgesic dose of another opioid for a week or longer.
ACTIQ is not indicated for use in opioid non-tolerant patients including those with only as needed (PRN) prior exposure.
Life-threatening respiratory depression could occur at any dose in opioid non-tolerant patients. Deaths have occurred in opioid non-tolerant patients.
ACTIQ is contraindicated in the management of acute or postoperative pain including headache/migraine.
When prescribing, do not convert patients on a mcg per mcg basis to ACTIQ from other fentanyl products.
When dispensing, do not substitute an ACTIQ prescription for other fentanyl products. Substantial differences exist in the pharmacokinetic profile of ACTIQ compared to other fentanyl products that result in clinically important differences in the extent of absorption of fentanyl. As a result of these differences, the substitution of ACTIQ for any other fentanyl product may result in fatal overdose.
Special care must be used when dosing ACTIQ. If the breakthrough pain episode is not relieved 15 minutes after completion of the ACTIQ unit, patients may take ONLY ONE additional dose using the same strength and then must wait at least 4 hours before taking another dose [see Dosage And Administration (2.2)].
ACTIQ contains fentanyl, an opioid agonist and a Schedule II controlled substance, with an abuse liability similar to other opioid analgesics. ACTIQ can be abused in a manner similar to other opioid agonists, legal or illicit. This should be considered when prescribing or dispensing ACTIQ in situations where the physician or pharmacist is concerned about an increased risk of misuse, abuse or diversion. Schedule II opioid substances which include morphine, oxycodone, hydromorphone, oxymorphone, and methadone have the highest potential for abuse and risk of fatal overdose due to respiratory depression.
Patients and their caregivers must be instructed that ACTIQ contains a medicine in an amount which can be fatal to a child. Death has been reported in children who have accidentally ingested ACTIQ. All units must be kept out of the reach of children and opened units properly discarded [see Warnings And Precautions (5.3), Patient Counseling Information (17.5, 17.6), and How Supplied/Storage And Handling (16.2)].
ACTIQ is intended to be used only in the care of cancer patients and only by oncologists and pain specialists who are knowledgeable of and skilled in the use of Schedule II opioids to treat cancer pain.
The concomitant use of ACTIQ with strong and moderate cytochrome P450 3A4 inhibitors may result in an increase in fentanyl plasma concentrations, and may cause potentially fatal respiratory depression [see Drug Interactions (7)].
1 INDICATIONS AND USAGE
ACTIQ (oral transmucosal fentanyl citrate) is indicated only for the management of breakthrough cancer pain in patients 16 and older with malignancies who are already receiving and who are tolerant to around-the-clock opioid therapy for their underlying persistent cancer pain. Patients considered opioid tolerant are those who are taking around-the-clock medicine consisting of at least 60 mg of oral morphine daily, at least 25 mcg of transdermal fentanyl/hour, at least 30 mg of oral oxycodone daily, at least 8 mg of oral hydromorphone daily or an equianalgesic dose of another opioid daily for a week or longer. Patients must remain on around-the-clock opioids when taking ACTIQ.
This product must not be used in opioid non-tolerant patients because life-threatening respiratory depression and death could occur at any dose in patients not on a chronic regimen of opioids. For this reason, ACTIQ is contraindicated in the management of acute or postoperative pain.
ACTIQ is intended to be used only in the care of cancer patients and only by oncologists and pain specialists who are knowledgeable of and skilled in the use of Schedule II opioids to treat cancer pain.
2 DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION
As with all opioids, the safety of patients using such products is dependent on health care professionals prescribing them in strict conformity with their approved labeling with respect to patient selection, dosing, and proper conditions for use.
2.1 Initial Dose
Individually titrate ACTIQ to a dose that provides adequate analgesia and minimizes side effects. The initial dose of ACTIQ to treat episodes of breakthrough cancer pain is always 200 mcg. The ACTIQ unit should be consumed over 15 minutes. Patients should be prescribed an initial titration supply of six 200 mcg ACTIQ units, thus limiting the number of units in the home during titration. Patients should use up all units before increasing to a higher dose to prevent confusion and possible overdose.
2.2 Dose Titration
From this initial dose, closely follow patients and change the dosage level until the patient reaches a dose that provides adequate analgesia using a single ACTIQ dosage unit per breakthrough cancer pain episode. If signs of excessive opioid effects appear before the unit is consumed, the dosage unit should be removed from the patient’s mouth immediately, disposed of properly, and subsequent doses should be decreased. Patients should record their use of ACTIQ over several episodes of breakthrough cancer pain and review their experience with their physicians to determine if a dosage adjustment is warranted.
In cases where the breakthrough pain episode is not relieved 15 minutes after completion of the ACTIQ unit (30 minutes after the start of the unit), patients may take ONLY ONE additional dose of the same strength for that episode. Thus, patients should take a maximum of two doses of ACTIQ for any breakthrough pain episode.
Patients must wait at least 4 hours before treating another episode of breakthrough pain with ACTIQ. To reduce the risk of overdosing during titration, patients should have only one strength of ACTIQ available at any one time.
ACTIQ Titration Process
*Available dosage strengths include: 200, 400, 600, 800, 1200, and 1600 mcg.
2.3 Maintenance Dosing
Once titrated to an effective dose, patients should generally use ONLY ONE ACTIQ unit of the appropriate strength per breakthrough pain episode.
On those occasions when the breakthrough pain episode is not relieved 15 minutes after completion of the ACTIQ unit, patient may take ONLY ONE additional dose using the same strength for that episode.
Patients MUST wait at least 4 hours before treating another episode of breakthrough pain with ACTIQ. Once a successful dose has been found (i.e., an average episode is treated with a single unit), patients should limit consumption to four or fewer units per day.
Dosage adjustment of ACTIQ may be required in some patients in order to continue to provide adequate relief of breakthrough pain.
Generally, the ACTIQ dose should be increased only when a single administration of the current dose fails to adequately treat the breakthrough pain episode for several consecutive episodes.
If the patient experiences greater than four breakthrough pain episodes per day, the dose of the maintenance (around-the-clock) opioid used for persistent pain should be re-evaluated.
2.4 Administration of ACTIQ
Open the blister package with scissors immediately prior to product use. The patient should place the ACTIQ unit in his or her mouth between the cheek and lower gum, occasionally moving the drug matrix from one side to the other using the handle. The ACTIQ unit should be sucked, not chewed. A unit dose of ACTIQ, if chewed and swallowed, might result in lower peak concentrations and lower bioavailability than when consumed as directed [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].
The ACTIQ unit should be consumed over a 15-minute period. Longer or shorter consumption times may produce less efficacy than reported in ACTIQ clinical trials. If signs of excessive opioid effects appear before the unit is consumed, remove the drug matrix from the patient’s mouth immediately and decrease future doses.
3 DOSAGE FORMS AND STRENGTHS
Each dosage unit has white to off-white color and is a solid drug matrix on a handle. Each strength is marked on the individual solid drug matrix and the handle tag. ACTIQ is available in 200 mcg, 400 mcg, 600 mcg, 800 mcg, 1200 mcg and 1600 mcg strengths [see How Supplied/Storage And Handling (16.3)].
ACTIQ is contraindicated in opioid non-tolerant patients. ACTIQ is contraindicated in the management of acute or postoperative pain including headache/migraine. Life-threatening respiratory depression and death could occur at any dose in opioid non-tolerant patients.
Patients considered opioid tolerant are those who are taking around-the-clock medicine consisting of at least 60 mg of oral morphine daily, at least 25 mcg of transdermal fentanyl/hour, at least 30 mg of oral oxycodone daily, at least 8 mg of oral hydromorphone daily, or an equianalgesic dose of another opioid daily for a week or longer.
ACTIQ is contraindicated in patients with known intolerance or hypersensitivity to any of its components or the drug fentanyl. Anaphylaxis and hypersensitivity have been reported in association with the use of ACTIQ.
5 WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS
See Boxed Warning - WARNING: IMPORTANCE OF PROPER PATIENT SELECTION, DOSING, and POTENTIAL FOR ABUSE
5.1 Important Information Regarding Prescribing and Dispensing
When prescribing, DO NOT convert a patient to ACTIQ from any other fentanyl product on a mcg per mcg basis as ACTIQ and other fentanyl products are not equivalent on a microgram per microgram basis.
ACTIQ is NOT a generic version of Fentora®. When dispensing, DO NOT substitute an ACTIQ prescription for a Fentora prescription under any circumstances. Fentora and ACTIQ are not equivalent. Substantial differences exist in the pharmacokinetic profile of ACTIQ compared to other fentanyl products including Fentora that result in clinically important differences in the rate and extent of absorption of fentanyl. As a result of these differences, the substitution of ACTIQ for any other fentanyl product may result in a fatal overdose.
There are no safe conversion directions available for patients on any other fentanyl products. (Note: This includes oral, transdermal, or parenteral formulations of fentanyl.) Therefore, for opioid tolerant patients, the initial dose of ACTIQ should always be 200 mcg. Each patient should be individually titrated to provide adequate analgesia while minimizing side effects [see Dosage And Administration (2.2)].
5.2 Respiratory Depression
As with all opioids, there is a risk of clinically significant respiratory depression in patients using ACTIQ. Accordingly, follow all patients for symptoms of respiratory depression. Respiratory depression may occur more readily when opioids are given in conjunction with other agents that depress respiration.
5.3 Patient/Caregiver Instructions
Patients and their caregivers must be instructed that ACTIQ contains a medicine in an amount which can be fatal to a child. Death has been reported in children who have accidentally ingested ACTIQ. Patients and their caregivers must be instructed to keep both used and unused dosage units out of the reach of children. While all units should be disposed of immediately after use, partially consumed units represent a special risk to children. In the event that a unit is not completely consumed it must be properly disposed as soon as possible [see How Supplied/Storage And Handling (16.1, 16.2), Patient Counseling Information (17.1), and Medication Guide].
Physicians and dispensing pharmacists must specifically question patients or caregivers about the presence of children in the home (on a full time or visiting basis) and counsel them regarding the dangers to children from inadvertent exposure.
ACTIQ could be fatal to individuals for whom it is not prescribed and for those who are not opioid-tolerant.
5.4 Additive CNS Depressant Effects
The concomitant use of ACTIQ with other CNS depressants, including other opioids, sedatives or hypnotics, general anesthetics, phenothiazines, tranquilizers, skeletal muscle relaxants, sedating antihistamines, and alcoholic beverages may produce increased depressant effects (e.g., respiratory depression, hypotension, and profound sedation). Concomitant use with potent inhibitors of cytochrome P450 3A4 isoform (e.g., erythromycin, ketoconazole, and certain protease inhibitors) may increase fentanyl levels, resulting in increased depressant effects [see Drug Interactions (7)].
Patients on concomitant CNS depressants must be monitored for a change in opioid effects. Consideration should be given to adjusting the dose of ACTIQ if warranted.
5.5 Effects on Ability to Drive and Use Machines
Opioid analgesics impair the mental and/or physical ability required for the performance of potentially dangerous tasks (e.g., driving a car or operating machinery). Warn patients taking ACTIQ of these dangers and counsel them accordingly.
5.6 Chronic Pulmonary Disease
Because potent opioids can cause respiratory depression, titrate ACTIQ with caution in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or preexisting medical conditions predisposing them to respiratory depression. In such patients, even normal therapeutic doses of ACTIQ may further decrease respiratory drive to the point of respiratory failure.
5.7 Head Injuries and Increased Intracranial Pressure
Administer ACTIQ with extreme caution in patients who may be particularly susceptible to the intracranial effects of CO2 retention such as those with evidence of increased intracranial pressure or impaired consciousness. Opioids may obscure the clinical course of a patient with a head injury and should be used only if clinically warranted.
5.8 Cardiac Disease
Intravenous fentanyl may produce bradycardia. Therefore, use ACTIQ with caution in patients with bradyarrhythmias.
6 ADVERSE REACTIONS
6.1 Clinical Studies Experience
The safety of ACTIQ has been evaluated in 257 opioid-tolerant chronic cancer pain patients. The duration of ACTIQ use varied during the open-label study. Some patients were followed for over 21 months. The average duration of therapy in the open-label study was 129 days.
The adverse reactions seen with ACTIQ are typical opioid side effects. Frequently, these adverse reactions will cease or decrease in intensity with continued use of ACTIQ, as the patient is titrated to the proper dose. Expect opioid side effects and manage them accordingly.
The most serious adverse reactions associated with all opioids including ACTIQ are respiratory depression (potentially leading to apnea or respiratory arrest), circulatory depression, hypotension, and shock. Follow all patients for symptoms of respiratory depression.
Because the clinical trials of ACTIQ were designed to evaluate safety and efficacy in treating breakthrough cancer pain, all patients were also taking concomitant opioids, such as sustained-release morphine or transdermal fentanyl, for their persistent cancer pain. The adverse event data presented here reflect the actual percentage of patients experiencing each adverse effect among patients who received ACTIQ for breakthrough cancer pain along with a concomitant opioid for persistent cancer pain. There has been no attempt to correct for concomitant use of other opioids, duration of ACTIQ therapy, or cancer-related symptoms. Adverse reactions are included regardless of causality or severity.
Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice.
Three short-term clinical trials with similar titration schemes were conducted in 257 patients with malignancy and breakthrough cancer pain. Data are available for 254 of these patients. The goal of titration in these trials was to find the dose of ACTIQ that provided adequate analgesia with acceptable side effects (successful dose). Patients were titrated from a low dose to a successful dose in a manner similar to current titration dosing guidelines. Table 1 lists, by dose groups, adverse reactions with an overall frequency of 1% or greater that occurred during titration and are commonly associated with opioid administration or are of particular clinical interest. The ability to assign a dose-response relationship to these adverse reactions is limited by the titration schemes used in these studies. Adverse reactions are listed in descending order of frequency within each body system.
The following adverse reactions not reflected in Table 1 occurred during titration with an overall frequency of 1% or greater and are listed in descending order of frequency within each body system.
Body as a Whole: Pain, fever, abdominal pain, chills, back pain, chest pain, infection
The following reactions occurred during titration with an overall frequency of less than 1% and are listed in descending order of frequency within each body system.
Body as a Whole: Flu syndrome, abscess, bone pain
A long-term extension study was conducted in 156 patients with malignancy and breakthrough cancer pain who were treated for an average of 129 days. Data are available for 152 of these patients. Table 2 lists by dose groups, adverse reactions with an overall frequency of 1% or greater that occurred during the long-term extension study and are commonly associated with opioid administration or are of particular clinical interest. Adverse reactions are listed in descending order of frequency within each body system.
The following reactions not reflected in Table 2 occurred with an overall frequency of 1% or greater in the long-term extension study and are listed in descending order of frequency within each body system.
Body as a Whole: Pain, fever, back pain, abdominal pain, chest pain, flu syndrome, chills, infection, abdomen enlarged, bone pain, ascites, sepsis, neck pain, viral infection, fungal infection, cachexia, cellulitis, malaise, pelvic pain
The following reactions occurred with a frequency of less than 1% in the long-term extension study and are listed in descending order of frequency within each body system.
Body as a Whole: Allergic reaction, cyst, face edema, flank pain, granuloma, bacterial infection, injection site pain, mucous membrane disorder, neck rigidity
6.2 Post-Marketing Experience
Adverse reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, and, therefore, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure. Decisions to include these reactions in labeling are typically based on one or more of the following factors: (1) seriousness of the reaction, (2) frequency of the reporting, or (3) strength of causal connection to ACTIQ.
The following adverse reactions have been identified during postapproval use of ACTIQ (which contains approximately 2 grams of sugar per unit):
Digestive: Dental decay of varying severity including dental caries, tooth loss, and gum line erosion.
General Disorders and Administration Site Conditions: Application site reactions including irritation, pain, and ulcer.
7 DRUG INTERACTIONS
Fentanyl is metabolized mainly via the human cytochrome P450 3A4 isoenzyme system (CYP3A4); therefore potential interactions may occur when ACTIQ is given concurrently with agents that affect CYP3A4 activity. The concomitant use of ACTIQ with strong CYP3A4 inhibitors (e.g., ritonavir, ketoconazole, itraconazole, troleandomycin, clarithromycin, nelfinavir, and nefazodone) or moderate CYP3A4 inhibitors (e.g., amprenavir, aprepitant, diltiazem, erythromycin, fluconazole, fosamprenavir, and verapamil) may result in increased fentanyl plasma concentrations, potentially causing serious adverse drug effects including fatal respiratory depression. Patients receiving ACTIQ concomitantly with moderate or strong CYP3A4 inhibitors should be carefully monitored for an extended period of time. Dosage increase should be done conservatively.
Grapefruit and grapefruit juice decrease CYP3A4 activity, increasing blood concentrations of fentanyl, thus should be avoided.
Drugs that induce cytochrome P450 3A4 activity may have the opposite effects.
Concomitant use of ACTIQ with an MAO inhibitor, or within 14 days of discontinuation, is not recommended [see Warnings And Precautions (5.9)].
8 USE IN SPECIFIC POPULATIONS
Pregnancy Category C
There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. ACTIQ should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus. No epidemiological studies of congenital anomalies in infants born to women treated with fentanyl during pregnancy have been reported.
Chronic maternal treatment with fentanyl during pregnancy has been associated with transient respiratory depression, behavioral changes, or seizures in newborn infants characteristic of neonatal abstinence syndrome.
In women treated acutely with intravenous or epidural fentanyl during labor, symptoms of neonatal respiratory or neurological depression were no more frequent than would be expected in infants of untreated mothers.
Transient neonatal muscular rigidity has been observed in infants whose mothers were treated with intravenous fentanyl.
Fentanyl is embryocidal in rats as evidenced by increased resorptions in pregnant rats at doses of 30 mcg/kg IV or 160 mcg/kg SC. Conversion to human equivalent doses indicates this is within the range of the human recommended dosing for ACTIQ.
Fentanyl citrate was not teratogenic when administered to pregnant animals. Published studies demonstrated that administration of fentanyl (10, 100, or 500 mcg/kg/day) to pregnant rats from day 7 to 21, of their 21 day gestation, via implanted microosmotic minipumps was not teratogenic (the high dose was approximately 3-times the human dose of 1600 mcg per pain episode on a mg/m2 basis). Intravenous administration of fentanyl (10 or 30 mcg/kg) to pregnant female rats from gestation day 6 to 18, was embryo or fetal toxic, and caused a slightly increased mean delivery time in the 30 mcg/kg/day group, but was not teratogenic.
8.2 Labor and Delivery
Fentanyl readily passes across the placenta to the fetus; therefore do not use ACTIQ during labor and delivery.
8.3 Nursing Mothers
Fentanyl is excreted in human milk; therefore, do not use ACTIQ in nursing women because of the possibility of sedation and/or respiratory depression in their infants. Symptoms of opioid withdrawal may occur in infants at the cessation of nursing by women using ACTIQ.
8.4 Pediatric Use
Safety and effectiveness in pediatric patients below 16 years of age have not been established.
In a clinical study, 15 opioid-tolerant pediatric patients with breakthrough pain, ranging in age from 5 to 15 years, were treated with ACTIQ. The study was too small to allow conclusions on safety and efficacy in this patient population. Twelve of the fifteen opioid-tolerant children and adolescents aged 5 to 15 years in this study received ACTIQ at doses ranging from 200 mcg to 600 mcg. The mean (CV%; range) dose-normalized (to 200 mcg) Cmax and AUC0-8 values were 0.87 ng/mL (51%; 0.42-1.30) and 4.54 ng•h/mL (42%; 2.37-6.0), respectively, for children ages 5 to <11 years old (N = 3) and 0.68 ng/mL (72%; 0.15-1.44) and 8.38 (192%; 0.84-50.78), respectively, for children ages ≥11 to <16 y (N = 9).
8.5 Geriatric Use
Of the 257 patients in clinical studies of ACTIQ in breakthrough cancer pain, 61 (24%) were 65 years of age and older, while 15 (6%) were 75 years of age and older. Those patients over the age of 65 years were titrated to a mean dose that was about 200 mcg less than the mean dose titrated to by younger patients. No difference was noted in the safety profile of the group over 65 years of age as compared to younger patients in ACTIQ clinical trials.
Elderly patients have been shown to be more sensitive to the effects of fentanyl when administered intravenously, compared with the younger population. Therefore, exercise caution when individually titrating ACTIQ in elderly patients to provide adequate efficacy while minimizing risk.
8.6 Patients with Renal or Hepatic Impairment
Insufficient information exists to make recommendations regarding the use of ACTIQ in patients with impaired renal or hepatic function. Fentanyl is metabolized primarily via human cytochrome P450 3A4 isoenzyme system and mostly eliminated in urine. If the drug is used in these patients, it should be used with caution because of the hepatic metabolism and renal excretion of fentanyl.
9 DRUG ABUSE AND DEPENDENCE
9.1 Controlled Substance
Fentanyl is a Schedule II controlled substance that can produce drug dependence of the morphine type. ACTIQ may be subject to misuse, abuse and addiction.
9.2 Abuse and Addiction
Manage the handling of ACTIQ to minimize the risk of diversion, including restriction of access and accounting procedures as appropriate to the clinical setting and as required by law [see How Supplied/Storage And Handling (16.1, 16.2)].
Concerns about abuse, addiction, and diversion should not prevent the proper management of pain. However, all patients treated with opioids require careful monitoring for signs of abuse and addiction, because use of opioid analgesic products carries the risk of addiction even under appropriate medical use.
Addiction is a primary, chronic, neurobiologic disease, with genetic, psychosocial, and environmental factors influencing its development and manifestations. It is characterized by behaviors that include one or more of the following: impaired control over drug use, compulsive use, continued use despite harm, and craving. Drug addiction is a treatable disease, utilizing a multidisciplinary approach, but relapse is common. “Drug-seeking” behavior is very common in addicts and drug abusers.
Abuse and addiction are separate and distinct from physical dependence and tolerance. Physicians should be aware that addiction may not be accompanied by concurrent tolerance and symptoms of physical dependence in all addicts. In addition, abuse of opioids can occur in the absence of addiction and is characterized by misuse for nonmedical purposes, often in combination with other psychoactive substances. Since ACTIQ may be diverted for non-medical use, careful record keeping of prescribing information, including quantity, frequency, and renewal requests is strongly advised.
Proper assessment of patients, proper prescribing practices, periodic re-evaluation of therapy, and proper dispensing and storage are appropriate measures that help to limit abuse of opioid drugs.
Healthcare professionals should contact their State Professional Licensing Board, or State Controlled Substances Authority for information on how to prevent and detect abuse or diversion of this product.
Guide the administration of ACTIQ by the response of the patient. Physical dependence, per se, is not ordinarily a concern when one is treating a patient with chronic cancer pain, and fear of tolerance and physical dependence should not deter using doses that adequately relieve the pain.
Opioid analgesics may cause physical dependence. Physical dependence results in withdrawal symptoms in patients who abruptly discontinue the drug. Withdrawal also may be precipitated through the administration of drugs with opioid antagonist activity, e.g., naloxone, nalmefene, or mixed agonist/antagonist analgesics (pentazocine, butorphanol, buprenorphine, nalbuphine).
Physical dependence usually does not occur to a clinically significant degree until after several weeks of continued opioid usage. Tolerance, in which increasingly larger doses are required in order to produce the same degree of analgesia, is initially manifested by a shortened duration of analgesic effect, and subsequently, by decreases in the intensity of analgesia.
10.1 Clinical Presentation
The manifestations of ACTIQ overdosage are expected to be similar in nature to intravenous fentanyl and other opioids, and are an extension of its pharmacological actions with the most serious significant effect being respiratory depression [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.2)].
10.2 Immediate Management
Immediate management of opioid overdose includes removal of the ACTIQ unit, if still in the mouth, ensuring a patent airway, physical and verbal stimulation of the patient, and assessment of level of consciousness, ventilatory and circulatory status.
10.3 Treatment of Overdosage (Accidental Ingestion) in the Opioid NON-Tolerant Person
Provide ventilatory support, obtain intravenous access, and employ naloxone or other opioid antagonists as clinically indicated. The duration of respiratory depression following overdose may be longer than the effects of the opioid antagonist’s action (e.g., the half-life of naloxone ranges from 30 to 81 minutes) and repeated administration may be necessary. Consult the package insert of the individual opioid antagonist for details about such use.
10.4 Treatment of Overdose in Opioid-Tolerant Patients
Provide ventilatory support and obtain intravenous access as clinically indicated. Judicious use of naloxone or another opioid antagonist may be warranted in some instances, but it is associated with the risk of precipitating an acute withdrawal syndrome.
10.5 General Considerations for Overdose
Management of severe ACTIQ overdose includes: securing a patent airway, assisting or controlling ventilation, establishing intravenous access, and GI decontamination by lavage and/or activated charcoal, once the patient’s airway is secure. In the presence of respiratory depression or apnea, assist or control ventilation, and administer oxygen as indicated.
Although muscle rigidity interfering with respiration has not been seen following the use of ACTIQ, this is possible with fentanyl and other opioids. If it occurs, manage it by using assisted or controlled ventilation, by an opioid antagonist, and as a final alternative, by a neuromuscular blocking agent.
ACTIQ (oral transmucosal fentanyl citrate) is a solid formulation of fentanyl citrate, a potent opioid analgesic, intended for oral transmucosal administration. ACTIQ is formulated as a white to off-white solid drug matrix on a handle that is fracture resistant (ABS plastic) under normal conditions when used as directed.
ACTIQ is designed to be dissolved slowly in the mouth to facilitate transmucosal absorption. The handle allows the ACTIQ unit to be removed from the mouth if signs of excessive opioid effects appear during administration.
Active Ingredient: Fentanyl citrate, USP is N-(1-Phenethyl-4-piperidyl) propionanilide citrate (1:1). Fentanyl is a highly lipophilic compound (octanol-water partition coefficient at pH 7.4 is 816:1) that is freely soluble in organic solvents and sparingly soluble in water (1:40). The molecular weight of the free base is 336.5 (the citrate salt is 528.6). The pKa of the tertiary nitrogens are 7.3 and 8.4. The compound has the following structural formula:
Inactive Ingredients: Hydrated dextrates, citric acid, dibasic sodium phosphate, artificial berry flavor, magnesium stearate, and edible glue (modified food starch and confectioner’s sugar).
12 CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY
12.1 Mechanism of Action
Fentanyl is a pure opioid agonist whose principal therapeutic action is analgesia. Other members of the class known as opioid agonists include substances such as morphine, oxycodone, hydromorphone, codeine, and hydrocodone.
Pharmacological effects of opioid agonists include anxiolysis, euphoria, feelings of relaxation, respiratory depression, constipation, miosis, cough suppression, and analgesia. Like all pure opioid agonist analgesics, with increasing doses there is increasing analgesia, unlike with mixed agonist/antagonists or non-opioid analgesics, where there is a limit to the analgesic effect with increasing doses. With pure opioid agonist analgesics, there is no defined maximum dose; the ceiling to analgesic effectiveness is imposed only by side effects, the more serious of which may include somnolence and respiratory depression.
In general, the effective concentration and the concentration at which toxicity occurs increase with increasing tolerance with any and all opioids. The rate of development of tolerance varies widely among individuals. As a result, the dose of ACTIQ should be individually titrated to achieve the desired effect [see Dosage And Administration (2.2)].
Central Nervous System
Fentanyl produces respiratory depression by direct action on brain stem respiratory centers. The respiratory depression involves both a reduction in the responsiveness of the brain stem to increases in carbon dioxide and to electrical stimulation.
Fentanyl depresses the cough reflex by direct effect on the cough center in the medulla. Antitussive effects may occur with doses lower than those usually required for analgesia.
Fentanyl causes miosis even in total darkness. Pinpoint pupils are a sign of opioid overdose but are not pathognomonic (e.g., pontine lesions of hemorrhagic or ischemic origin may produce similar findings).
Serious or fatal respiratory depression can occur even at recommended doses. Fentanyl depresses the cough reflex as a result of its CNS activity. Although not observed with oral transmucosal fentanyl products in clinical trials, fentanyl given rapidly by intravenous injection in large doses may interfere with respiration by causing rigidity in the muscles of respiration. Therefore, physicians and other healthcare providers should be aware of this potential complication [see Boxed Warning - Warning: Importance Of Proper Patient Selection, Dosing, and Potential for Abuse, Contraindications (4), Warnings And Precautions (5.2), Adverse Reactions (6), and Overdosage (10)].
Absolute bioavailability, as determined by area under the concentration-time curve, of 15 mcg/kg in 12 adult males was 50% compared to intravenous fentanyl.
Normally, approximately 25% of the total dose of ACTIQ is rapidly absorbed from the buccal mucosa and becomes systemically available. The remaining 75% of the total dose is swallowed with the saliva and then is slowly absorbed from the GI tract. About 1/3 of this amount (25% of the total dose) escapes hepatic and intestinal first-pass elimination and becomes systemically available. Thus, the generally observed 50% bioavailability of ACTIQ is divided equally between rapid transmucosal and slower GI absorption. Therefore, a unit dose of ACTIQ, if chewed and swallowed, might result in lower peak concentrations and lower bioavailability than when consumed as directed.
Dose proportionality among four of the available strengths of ACTIQ (200, 400, 800, and 1600 mcg) has been demonstrated in a balanced crossover design in adult subjects (n=11). Mean serum fentanyl levels following these four doses of ACTIQ are shown in Figure 1. The curves for each dose level are similar in shape with increasing dose levels producing increasing serum fentanyl levels. Cmax and AUC0→∞ increased in a dose-dependent manner that is approximately proportional to the ACTIQ administered.
The pharmacokinetic parameters of the four strengths of ACTIQ tested in the dose-proportionality study are shown in Table 3. The mean Cmax ranged from 0.39 - 2.51 ng/mL. The median time of maximum plasma concentration (Tmax) across these four doses of ACTIQ varied from 20 - 40 minutes (range of 20 - 480 minutes) as measured after the start of administration.
13 NONCLINICAL TOXICOLOGY
13.1 Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility
Long-term studies in animals have not been performed to evaluate the carcinogenic potential of fentanyl.
Fentanyl citrate was not mutagenic in the in vitro Ames reverse mutation assay in S. typhimurium or E. coli, or the mouse lymphoma mutagenesis assay, and was not clastogenic in the in vivo mouse micronucleus assay.
Fentanyl has been shown to impair fertility in rats at doses of 30 mcg/kg IV and 160 mcg/kg subcutaneously. Conversion to the human equivalent doses indicates that this is within the range of the human recommended dosing for ACTIQ.
14 CLINICAL STUDIES
ACTIQ was investigated in clinical trials involving 257 opioid tolerant adult cancer patients experiencing breakthrough cancer pain. Breakthrough cancer pain was defined as a transient flare of moderate-to-severe pain occurring in cancer patients experiencing persistent cancer pain otherwise controlled with maintenance doses of opioid medications including at least 60 mg morphine/day, 50 mcg transdermal fentanyl/hour, or an equianalgesic dose of another opioid for a week or longer.
In two dose titration studies 95 of 127 patients (75%) who were on stable doses of either long-acting oral opioids or transdermal fentanyl for their persistent cancer pain titrated to a successful dose of ACTIQ to treat their breakthrough cancer pain within the dose range offered (200, 400, 600, 800, 1200 and 1600 mcg). A “successful” dose was defined as a dose where one unit of ACTIQ could be used consistently for at least two consecutive days to treat breakthrough cancer pain without unacceptable side effects. In these studies 11% of patients withdrew due to adverse reactions and 14% withdrew due to other reasons.
The successful dose of ACTIQ for breakthrough cancer pain was not predicted from the daily maintenance dose of opioid used to manage the persistent cancer pain and is thus best determined by dose titration.
A double-blind placebo controlled crossover study was performed in cancer patients to evaluate the effectiveness of ACTIQ for the treatment of breakthrough cancer pain. Of 130 patients who entered the study 92 patients (71%) achieved a successful dose during the titration phase. The distribution of successful doses is shown in Table 4.
On average, patients over 65 years of age titrated to a mean dose that was about 200 mcg less than the mean dose to which younger adult patients were titrated.
ACTIQ was administered beginning at Time 0 minutes and produced more pain relief compared with placebo at 15, 30, 45, and 60 minutes as measured after the start of administration (see Figure 2). The differences were statistically significant.
16 HOW SUPPLIED/STORAGE AND HANDLING
16.1 Storage and Handling
ACTIQ is supplied in individually sealed child-resistant blister packages. The amount of fentanyl contained in ACTIQ can be fatal to a child. Patients and their caregivers must be instructed to keep ACTIQ out of the reach of children [see Boxed Warning - Warning: Importance Of Proper Patient Selection, Dosing, and Potential For Abuse, Warnings And Precautions (5), and Patient Counseling Information (17.1)].
Store at 20-25°C (68-77°F) with excursions permitted between 15° and 30°C (59° to 86°F) until ready to use. (See USP Controlled Room Temperature.) Protect ACTIQ from freezing and moisture. Do not use if the blister package has been opened.
16.2 Disposal of ACTIQ
Patients must be advised to dispose of any units remaining from a prescription as soon as they are no longer needed. While all units should be disposed of immediately after use, partially consumed units represent a special risk because they are no longer protected by the child resistant blister package, yet may contain enough medicine to be fatal to a child [see Patient Counseling Information (17.5)].
A temporary storage bottle is provided as part of the ACTIQ Child Safety Kit [see Patient Counseling Information (17.4)]. This container is to be used by patients or their caregivers in the event that a partially consumed unit cannot be disposed of promptly. Instructions for usage of this container are included in the Medication Guide.
Patients and members of their household must be advised to dispose of any units remaining from a prescription as soon as they are no longer needed. Instructions are included in Patient Counseling Information (17.6) and in the Medication Guide. If additional assistance is required, call Cephalon, Inc., at 1-800-896-5855.
16.3 How Supplied
ACTIQ is supplied in six dosage strengths. Each unit is individually wrapped in a child-resistant, protective blister package. These blister packages are packed 30 per shelf carton for use when patients have been titrated to the appropriate dose.
Each dosage unit has a white to off-white color. Each individual solid drug matrix is marked with “ACTIQ” and the strength of the unit (“200” ,“400”, “600”, “800” ,“1200”, or “1600”). The dosage strength is also marked on the handle tag, the blister package and the carton. See blister package and carton for product information.
Note: Colors are a secondary aid in product identification. Please be sure to confirm the printed dosage before dispensing.
17 PATIENT COUNSELING INFORMATION
See the Medication Guide for specific patient instructions.
17.1 Patient/Caregiver Instructions
17.2 Dental Care
Because each ACTIQ unit contains approximately 2 grams of sugar (hydrated dextrates), frequent consumption may increase the risk of dental decay. The occurrence of dry mouth associated with the use of opioid medications (such as fentanyl) may add to this risk.
Post-marketing reports of dental decay have been received in patients taking ACTIQ [see Adverse Reactions (6.2)]. In some of these patients, dental decay occurred despite reported routine oral hygiene. As dental decay in cancer patients may be multi-factorial, patients using ACTIQ should consult their dentist to ensure appropriate oral hygiene.
17.3 Diabetic Patients
Advise diabetic patients that ACTIQ contains approximately 2 grams of sugar per unit.
17.4 ACTIQ Child Safety Kit
Provide patients and their caregivers with an ACTIQ Child Safety Kit, which contains educational materials and safe interim storage containers to help patients store ACTIQ and other medicines out of the reach of children. To obtain a supply of Child Safety Kits, health care professionals can call Cephalon, Inc., at 1-800-896-5855.
17.5 Disposal of Used ACTIQ Units
Patients must be instructed to dispose of completely used and partially used ACTIQ units.
If the patient does not entirely consume the unit and the remaining drug cannot be immediately dissolved under hot running water, the patient or caregiver must temporarily store the ACTIQ unit in the specially provided child-resistant container out of the reach of children until proper disposal is possible.
17.6 Disposal of Unopened ACTIQ Units When No Longer Needed
Patients and members of their household must be advised to dispose of any unopened units remaining from a prescription as soon as they are no longer needed.
To dispose of the unused ACTIQ units:
Do not flush the entire ACTIQ units, ACTIQ handles, blister packages, or cartons down the toilet. Dispose of the handle where children cannot reach it [see How Supplied/Storage And Handling (16.1)].
Detailed instructions for the proper storage, administration, disposal, and important instructions for managing an overdose of ACTIQ are provided in the ACTIQ Medication Guide. Encourage patients to read this information in its entirety and give them an opportunity to have their questions answered.
In the event that a caregiver requires additional assistance in disposing of excess unusable units that remain in the home after a patient has expired, instruct them to call the toll-free number for Cephalon, Inc., (1-800-896-5855) or seek assistance from their local DEA office.
Actiq® (AK-tik) CII
Read the Medication Guide that comes with Actiq before you start taking it and each time you get a new prescription. There may be new information. This Medication Guide does not take the place of talking to your doctor about your medical condition or your treatment. Share this important information with members of your household.
What is Actiq?
Who should not take Actiq?
Do Not Take Actiq:
What should I tell my doctor before I start taking Actiq?
Tell your doctor about all of your medical and mental problems, especially the ones listed below:
Tell your doctor if you are:
Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal and dietary supplements. Some medicines may cause serious or life-threatening medical problems when taken with Actiq. Sometimes, the doses of certain medicines and Actiq need to be changed if used together.
Do not take any medicine while using Actiq until you have talked to your doctor. Your doctor will tell you if it is safe to take other medicines while you are using Actiq. Be especially careful about other medicines that make you sleepy such as other pain medicines, anti-depressant medicines, sleeping pills, anxiety medicines, antihistamines, or tranquilizers.
Know the medicines you take. Keep a list of them to show your doctor and pharmacist.
How should I use Actiq?
How should I dispose of Actiq after use?
Partially used Actiq units may contain enough medicine to be harmful or fatal to a child or other adults who have not been prescribed Actiq. You must properly dispose of the Actiq handle right away after use even if there is little or no medicine left on it. Please follow these directions to dispose of the handle:
1. Once you have finished the Actiq unit and the medicine is totally gone, throw the handle away in a place that is out of the reach of children.
3. If you did not finish the entire Actiq unit and you cannot dissolve the medicine under hot running water right away, put the Actiq in the temporary storage bottle that you received in the Actiq Child Safety Kit for safe keeping. Push the Actiq unit into the opening on the top until it falls completely into the bottle. Never leave unused or partially used Actiq units where children or pets can get to them.
Do not flush entire unused Actiq units, Actiq handles, or blister packages down the toilet.
What should I avoid while taking Actiq?
What are the possible or reasonably likely SIDE EFFECTS of Actiq?
The above symptoms mean that you have taken too much (overdose) Actiq or the dose is too high for you. These symptoms may lead to serious problems or death if not treated right away. Do not take another dose of Actiq.
The most common side effects of Actiq are nausea, vomiting, dizziness and sleepiness. Other side effects include headache, low energy and constipation. Constipation (not often enough or hard bowel movements) is a very common side effect of pain medicines (opioids) including Actiq and is unlikely to go away without treatment. Talk to your doctor about dietary changes, and the use of laxatives (medicines to treat constipation) and stool softeners to prevent or treat constipation while taking Actiq.
Actiq contains sugar. Cavities and tooth decay have occurred in patients taking Actiq. When taking Actiq, you should talk to your dentist about proper care of your teeth.
Talk to your doctor about any side effects that bother you or that do not go away.
These are not all the possible side effects of Actiq. For a complete list, ask your doctor.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
How should I store Actiq?
If you need help with disposal of Actiq, call Cephalon, Inc., at 1-800-896-5855.
General Information About the Safe and Effective Use of Actiq
Medicines are sometimes prescribed for purposes other than those listed in a Medication Guide. Use Actiq only for the purpose for which it was prescribed.
Do not give Actiq to other people, even if they have the same symptoms you have.
Actiq can harm other people and even cause death.
This Medication Guide summarizes the most important information about Actiq. If you would like more information, talk with your doctor. You can also ask your pharmacist or doctor for information about Actiq that is written for healthcare professionals. You can also call Cephalon, Inc., at 1-800-896-5855.
What are the ingredients of Actiq?
Active Ingredient: fentanyl citrate
How do I use the Actiq Child Safety Kit?
The Actiq Child Safety Kit contains important information on the safe storage and handling of Actiq. The kit contents include:
This Medication Guide has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
ACTIQ is a registered trademark of Anesta Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of Cephalon, Inc.
Printed in USA
Label Code: 00010330.06
© 2000-2009 Cephalon, Inc. All rights reserved.
Package Label - Principal Display Panel – 30 Count Blister Pack, 200 mcg Actiq Oral Transmucosal Lozenge
Package Label - Principal Display Panel – 30 Count Blister Pack, 400 mcg Actiq Oral Transmucosal Lozenge
Package Label - Principal Display Panel – 30 Count Blister Pack, 600 mcg Actiq Oral Transmucosal Lozenge
Package Label - Principal Display Panel – 30 Count Blister Pack, 800 mcg Actiq Oral Transmucosal Lozenge
Package Label - Principal Display Panel – 30 Count Blister Pack, 1200 mcg Actiq Oral Transmucosal Lozenge
Package Label - Principal Display Panel – 30 Count Blister Pack, 1600 mcg Actiq Oral Transmucosal Lozenge
Revised: 11/2009 Cephalon, Inc.
Reproduced with permission of U.S. National Library of Medicine
Copyright © 2020
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