Data from FDA - Curated by Toby Galbraith - Last updated 10 October 2017

Indication(s)

1 INDICATIONS AND USAGE BELBUCA is indicated for the management of pain severe enough to require daily, around-the-clock, long-term opioid treatment and for which alternative treatment options are inadequate. BELBUCA buccal film contains buprenorphine, a partial opioid agonist. BELBUCA is indicated for the management of pain severe enough to require daily, around-the-clock, long-term opioid treatment and for which alternative treatment options are inadequate. (1) Limitations of Use Because of the risks of addiction, abuse, and misuse with opioids, even at recommended doses, and because of the greater risks of overdose and death with long-acting opioid formulations, reserve BELBUCA for use in patients for whom alternative treatment options (e.g., non-opioid analgesics or immediate-release opioids) are ineffective, not tolerated, or would be otherwise inadequate to provide sufficient management of pain. (1) BELBUCA is not indicated as an as-needed (prn) analgesic. (1) Limitations of Use Because of the risks of addiction, abuse, and misuse with opioids, even at recommended doses, and because of the greater risks of overdose and death with long-acting opioid formulations [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)], reserve BELBUCA for use in patients for whom alternative treatment options (e.g., non-opioid analgesics or immediate-release opioids) are ineffective, not tolerated, or would be otherwise inadequate to provide sufficient management of pain. BELBUCA is not indicated as an as-needed (prn) analgesic.

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Advisory information

contraindications
4 CONTRAINDICATIONS BELBUCA is contraindicated in patients with: Significant respiratory depression [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)] Acute or severe bronchial asthma in an unmonitored setting or in the absence of resuscitative equipment [see Warnings and Precautions (5.5)] Known or suspected gastrointestinal obstruction, including paralytic ileus [see Warnings and Precautions (5.13)] Hypersensitivity (e.g., anaphylaxis) to buprenorphine [see Warnings and Precautions (5.12), and Adverse Reactions (6)] Significant respiratory depression (4) Acute or severe bronchial asthma in an unmonitored setting or in absence of resuscitative equipment (4) Known or suspected gastrointestinal obstruction, including paralytic ileus (4) Hypersensitivity to buprenorphine (4)
Adverse reactions
6 ADVERSE REACTIONS The following serious adverse reactions described elsewhere in the labeling include: Addiction, Abuse, and Misuse [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)] Life-Threatening Respiratory Depression [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)] Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3)] Interactions with Benzodiazepines and Other CNS Depressants [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4)] Adrenal Insufficiency [see Warnings and Precautions (5.6)] QTc Prolongation [see Warnings and Precautions (5.7)] Severe Hypotension [see Warnings and Precautions (5.8)] Hepatotoxicity [see Warnings and Precautions (5.10)] Anaphylactic/Allergic Reactions [see Warnings and Precautions (5.12)] Gastrointestinal Adverse Reactions [see Warnings and Precautions (5.13)] Seizures [see Warnings and Precautions (5.14)] Most common adverse reactions (>5%) include nausea, constipation, headache, vomiting, dizziness, and somnolence. (6.1) To report SUSPECTED ADVERSE REACTIONS, contact BioDelivery Sciences International, Inc. at 1-800-469-0261 or FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or www.fda.gov/medwatch. 6.1 Clinical Trial Experience 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. A total of 2,127 patients were treated with BELBUCA in controlled and open-label chronic pain trials. There were 504 patients treated for approximately six months and 253 patients treated for approximately one year. The clinical trial population consisted of patients with chronic moderate-to-severe pain. The most common serious adverse drug reactions (all ≤ 0.2%) occurring during clinical trials with BELBUCA were: cellulitis, pneumonia, ileus, atrial fibrillation, coronary artery disease, cerebrovascular accident, syncope, transient ischemic attack, chest pain, non-cardiac chest pain, ankle fracture, cholecystitis, osteoarthritis, and dehydration. The most common adverse events (≥ 2%) leading to discontinuation were nausea, vomiting, and liver function test abnormality. The most common adverse events (≥ 5%) reported by opioid naïve, opioid experienced, and overall patients exposed to BELBUCA in clinical trials and compared against placebo are shown in Tables 2, 3 and 4: Table 2: Adverse Events Reported in ≥ 5% of Patients during the Open-Label Titration Phase and Double-Blind Treatment Phase of Controlled Studies: Opioid-Naïve Patients Open-Label Titration Phase Double-Blind Treatment Phase MedDRA Preferred Term BELBUCA (N=749) BELBUCA (N=229) Placebo (N=232) Nausea 50% 10% 7% Constipation 13% 4% 3% Vomiting 8% 4% <1% Headache 8% 2% 3% Dizziness 6% 2% <1% Somnolence 7% 1% <1% Fatigue 5% 0% 1% Table 3: Adverse Events Reported in ≥ 5% of Patients during the Open-Label Titration Phase and Double-Blind Treatment Phase of Controlled Studies: Opioid-Experienced Patients Open-Label Titration Phase Double-Blind Treatment Phase MedDRA Preferred Term BELBUCA (N=810) BELBUCA (N=254) Placebo (N=256) Nausea 17% 7% 7% Constipation 8% 3% 1% Vomiting 7% 5% 2% Headache 7% 2% 3% Dizziness 5% 2% <1% Somnolence 5% 1% <1% Drug Withdrawal Syndrome 0% 4% 10% Table 4: Adverse Events Reported in ≥ 5% of Patients during the Open-Label Titration Phase and Double-Blind Treatment Phase of Controlled Studies Open-Label Titration Phase Double-Blind Treatment Phase MedDRA Preferred Term BELBUCA (N=1889) BELBUCA (N=600) Placebo (N=606) Nausea 33% 9% 8% Constipation 11% 4% 2% Vomiting 7% 5% 2% Headache 8% 4% 3% Dizziness 6% 2% <1% Somnolence 6% <1% <1% Drug Withdrawal Syndrome 1% 2% 5% The most common (≥ 5%), common (≥ 1% to < 5%), and least common (< 1%) adverse reactions reported by patients taking BELBUCA in the controlled and open-label clinical studies are presented below: Most common adverse reactions (≥ 5%): nausea, constipation, headache, vomiting, fatigue, dizziness, somnolence, diarrhea, dry mouth, and upper respiratory tract infection. Common (≥ 1% to < 5%) adverse reactions (organized by MedDRA [Medical Dictionary for Regulatory Activities] System Organ Class): Blood and lymphatic system disorders : anemia Gastrointestinal disorders : abdominal pain General disorders and administration site conditions : peripheral edema, pyrexia, drug withdrawal syndrome Infections and infestations : urinary tract infection, nasopharyngitis, sinusitis, bronchitis, gastroenteritis Injury, poisoning, and procedural complications : contusion, fall Metabolism and nutrition disorders : decreased appetite Musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders : muscle spasms, back pain Psychiatric disorders : anxiety, insomnia, depression Respiratory, thoracic and mediastinal disorders : oropharyngeal pain, sinus congestion Skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders: hyperhidrosis, pruritus, rash Vascular disorders : hot flush, hypertension Least common (<1%) adverse reactions: Abdominal discomfort, acute sinusitis, dyspepsia, toothache, asthenia, chills, cellulitis, tooth abscess, excoriation, laceration, aspartate aminotransferase increased, blood pressure increased, blood testosterone decreased, electrocardiogram QT prolonged, liver function test abnormal, musculoskeletal pain, neck pain, hypoesthesia, lethargy, migraine, tremor, cough, dyspnea, nasal congestion, rhinorrhea 6.2 Postmarketing Experience The following adverse reactions have been identified during post approval use of buprenorphine. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure. Serotonin syndrome: Cases of serotonin syndrome, a potentially life-threatening condition, have been reported during concomitant use of opioids with serotonergic drugs. Adrenal insufficiency: Cases of adrenal insufficiency have been reported with opioid use, more often following greater than one month of use. Anaphylaxis: Anaphylaxis has been reported with ingredients contained in BELBUCA. Androgen deficiency: Cases of androgen deficiency have occurred with chronic use of opioids [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.2)].

Usage information

Dosing and administration
2 DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION To be prescribed only by health care providers knowledgeable in use of potent opioids for management of chronic pain. (2.1) Use the lowest effective dosage for the shortest duration consistent with individual patient treatment goals (2.1). Individualize dosing based on the severity of pain, patient response, prior analgesic experience, and risk factors for addiction, abuse, and misuse. (2.1) For opioid-naïve patients: Initiate therapy with 75 mcg BELBUCA once daily or every 12 hours, as tolerated, for at least 4 days before increasing dose to 150 mcg every 12 hours. (2.2) Conversion from other opioids to BELBUCA: Taper current daily opioid dose to 30 mg oral morphine sulfate equivalents (MSE) or less prior to initiating therapy with BELBUCA. (2.2) For patients taking less than 30 mg oral MSE, initiate therapy with 75 mcg once daily or every 12 hours. (2.2) For patients taking between 30 mg and 89 mg oral MSE, initiate therapy with 150 mcg BELBUCA every 12 hours following analgesic taper. (2.2) For patients taking between 90 mg and 160 mg oral MSE, initiate therapy with 300 mcg BELBUCA every 12 hours following analgesic taper. (2.2) For patients taking greater than 160 mg oral MSE, consider alternate analgesic. (2.2) BELBUCA doses of 600 mcg, 750 mcg, and 900 mcg are only for use following titration from lower doses of BELBUCA. (2.2) Do not abruptly discontinue BELBUCA in a physically-dependent patient. (2.4) Patients with Severe Hepatic Impairment: Reduce the starting and incremental dose by half that of patients with normal liver function. (2.5, 5.11, 8.6) Patients with Oral Mucositis: Reduce the starting and incremental dose by half that of patients without mucositis. (2.6) 2.1 Important Dosage and Administration Instructions BELBUCA should be prescribed only by healthcare professionals who are knowledgeable in the use of potent opioids for the management of chronic pain. Use the lowest effective dosage for the shortest duration consistent with individual patients treatment goals [see Warnings and Precautions (5)]. Initiate the dosing regimen for each patient individually, taking into account the patient's severity of pain, patient response, prior analgesic treatment experience, and risk factors for addiction, abuse, and misuse [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)]. Monitor patients closely for respiratory depression, especially within the first 24-72 hours of initiating therapy and following dosage increases with BELBUCA and adjust the dosage accordingly [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)]. BELBUCA buccal film is for oral buccal use only and is to be applied to the buccal mucosa every 12 hours. Instruct patients not to use BELBUCA if the pouch seal is broken or the buccal film is cut, damaged, or changed in any way and to avoid applying BELBUCA to areas of the mouth with any open sores or lesions. 2.2 Initial Dosing Use of BELBUCA as the Initial Opioid Analgesic (opioid naïve patients) or in Patients who are not Opioid Tolerant (opioid-non-tolerant patients) Initiate treatment in opioid-naïve and opioid-non-tolerant patients with a 75 mcg film once daily or, if tolerated, every 12 hours (see Table 1) for at least 4 days, then increase dose to 150 mcg every 12 hours. Individual titration to a dose that provides adequate analgesia and minimizes adverse reactions should proceed in increments of 150 mcg every 12 hours, no more frequently than every 4 days. Doses up to 450 mcg every 12 hours were studied in opioid naïve patients in the clinical trials [see Clinical Studies (14)]. Use of higher starting doses in patients who are not opioid tolerant may cause fatal respiratory depression [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)]. Conversion from Other Opioids to BELBUCA Discontinue all other around-the-clock opioid drugs when BELBUCA therapy is initiated. There is a potential for buprenorphine to precipitate withdrawal in patients who are already on opioids. To reduce the risk of opioid withdrawal, taper patients to no more than 30 mg oral morphine sulfate equivalents (MSE) daily before beginning BELBUCA. Following analgesic taper, base the starting dose on the patient's daily opioid dose prior to taper, as described in Table 1. Patients may require additional short-acting analgesics during the taper period and during titration. BELBUCA may not provide adequate analgesia for patients requiring greater than 160 mg oral MSE per day. Consider the use of an alternate analgesic. There is inter-patient variability in the relative potency of opioid drugs and opioid formulations. Therefore, a conservative approach is advised when determining the total daily dosage of BELBUCA. It is safer to underestimate a patient's 24 hour oral buprenorphine dosage and provide rescue medication (e.g., immediate-release opioid) than to overestimate the 24 hour buprenorphine dosage and manage an adverse reaction due to overdose. In a BELBUCA clinical trial with open-label titration period, patients were converted from their prior opioid to BELBUCA using Table 1 as a guide for the initial BELBUCA dose. Table 1: Initial BELBUCA Dose Based on Prior Opioid Expressed as Oral Morphine Sulfate Equivalents Prior Daily Dose of Opioid Analgesic Before Taper to 30 mg Oral MSE Initial BELBUCA Dose Less than 30 mg oral MSE BELBUCA 75 mcg once daily or every 12 hours 30 mg to 89 mg oral MSE BELBUCA 150 mcg every 12 hours 90 mg to 160 mg oral MSE BELBUCA 300 mcg every 12 hours Greater than 160 mg oral MSE Consider alternate analgesic BELBUCA doses of 600 mcg, 750 mcg, and 900 mcg are only for use following titration from lower doses of BELBUCA. Individual titration should proceed in increments of 150 mcg every 12 hours, no more frequently than every 4 days. Conversion from Methadone to BELBUCA Close monitoring is of particular importance when converting from methadone to other opioid agonists, including BELBUCA. The ratio between methadone and other opioid agonists may vary widely as a function of previous dose exposure. Methadone has a long half-life and can accumulate in the plasma. 2.3 Titration and Maintenance of Therapy Individually titrate BELBUCA to a dose that provides adequate analgesia and minimizes adverse reactions Continually reevaluate patients receiving BELBUCA to assess the maintenance of pain control and the relative incidence of adverse reactions and monitor for the development of addiction, abuse, or misuse [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)]. Frequent communication is important among the prescriber, other members of the healthcare team, the patient, and the caregiver/family during periods of changing analgesic requirements, including initial titration. During chronic therapy, periodically reassess the continued need for opioid analgesics. Patients who experience breakthrough pain may require dosage adjustment of BELBUCA or may need rescue medication with an appropriate dose of an immediate-release analgesic. If the level of pain increases after dose stabilization, attempt to identify the source of increased pain before increasing the BELBUCA dose. The minimum titration interval of BELBUCA is 4 days, based on the pharmacokinetic profile and time to reach steady-state plasma levels [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)]. Individual titration should proceed in increments of no more than 150 mcg every 12 hours. The maximum BELBUCA dose is 900 mcg every 12 hours. Do not exceed a dose of BELBUCA 900 mcg every 12 hours due to the potential for QTc interval prolongation [see Warnings and Precautions (5.7), Adverse Reactions (6.1), and Clinical Pharmacology (12.2)]. If pain is not adequately managed on BELBUCA 900 mcg, consider an alternate analgesic. If unacceptable opioid-related adverse reactions are observed, adjust the dose to obtain an appropriate balance between the management of pain and opioid-related adverse reactions. 2.4 Discontinuation of BELBUCA When a patient no longer requires therapy with BELBUCA, taper the dose gradually while monitoring carefully for signs and symptoms of withdrawal. If the patient develops these signs or symptoms, raise the dose to the previous level and taper more slowly, either by increasing the interval between decreases, decreasing the amount of change in dose, or both. Do not abruptly discontinue BELBUCA. 2.5 Dosage Modifications in Patients with Severe Hepatic Impairment In patients with severe hepatic impairment (i.e., Child-Pugh C), reduce the starting dose and reduce the titration dose by half that of patients with normal liver function, from 150 mcg to 75 mcg [see Warnings and Precautions (5.11), Use in Special Populations (8.6), Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)]. 2.6 Dosage Modifications in Patients with Oral Mucositis In patients with known or suspected mucositis, reduce the starting dosage and titration incremental dosage by half compared to patients without mucositis [see Warnings and Precautions (5.15), Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)]. 2.7 Administration of BELBUCA BELBUCA should not be used if the package seal is broken or the film is cut, damaged, or changed in any way. First, the patient must use the tongue to wet the inside of the cheek or rinse the mouth with water to wet the area for placement of BELBUCA. BELBUCA is then applied immediately after removal from the individually sealed package. The yellow side of the BELBUCA film is placed against the inside of the cheek. The entire BELBUCA film is held in place with clean, dry fingers for 5 seconds and then left in place on the inside of the cheek until fully dissolved. BELBUCA adheres to the moist buccal mucosa and will completely dissolve after application, usually within 30 minutes. The film should not be manipulated with the tongue or finger(s) and eating food and drinking liquids should be avoided until the film has dissolved. A BELBUCA film, if chewed or swallowed, may result in lower peak concentrations and lower bioavailability than when used as directed. Demonstrate proper administration technique to the patient [see Patient Counseling Information (17)] . 2.8 Disposal Instructions Dispose of unused BELBUCA as soon as it is no longer needed. To dispose of unused BELBUCA film: Remove all BELBUCA films from their foil packages. Drop the BELBUCA films into toilet and flush. Discard foil packaging in trash. Do not flush BELBUCA down the toilet in the foil packages or cartons [see Patient Counseling Information (17)].
Use in special populations
8 USE IN SPECIFIC POPULATIONS Pregnancy: May cause fetal harm. (8.1) Lactation: Not recommended. (8.2) Moderate or Severe Hepatic Impairment: Monitor for signs and symptoms of toxicity or overdose. (5.11, 8.6) 8.1 Pregnancy Risk Summary Prolonged use of opioid analgesics during pregnancy may cause neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3)]. There are no adequate and well-controlled studies of BELBUCA or buprenorphine in pregnant women. Limited published data on use of buprenorphine, the active ingredient in BELBUCA, in pregnancy, have not shown an increased risk of major malformations. Reproductive and developmental studies in rats and rabbits identified adverse events at approximately 2 times the maximum recommended human dose (MRHD) of 1.8 mg/day of BELBUCA. Embryofetal death was observed in both rats and rabbits administered buprenorphine during the period of organogenesis at doses approximately 54 and 2.2 times, respectively, the MRHD of 1.8 mg/day of buprenorphine. Pre-and postnatal development studies in rats demonstrated increased neonatal deaths at 2.7 times and above and dystocia at approximately 27 times the MRHD of 1.8 mg/day of buprenorphine. No clear teratogenic effects were seen when buprenorphine was administered during organogenesis with a range of doses 5 times or greater than the MRHD of 1.8 mg/day of buprenorphine. However, increases in skeletal abnormalities were noted in rats and rabbits administered buprenorphine daily during organogenesis at doses approximately 5.4 and 10.8 times the MRHD of 1.8 mg/day of buprenorphine, respectively. In a few studies, some events such as acephalus and omphalocele were also observed but these findings were not clearly treatment-related [see Data]. The estimated background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage for the indicated population is unknown. Adverse outcomes in pregnancy can occur regardless of the health of the mother or the use of medications. In the U.S. general population, the estimated background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage in clinically recognized pregnancies is 2-4% and 15-20%, respectively. Clinical Considerations Fetal/Neonatal Adverse Reactions Prolonged use of opioid analgesics during pregnancy for medical or nonmedical purposes can result in physical dependence in the neonate and neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome shortly after birth. Neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome presents as irritability, hyperactivity and abnormal sleep pattern, high pitched cry, tremor, vomiting, diarrhea, and failure to gain weight. The onset, duration, and severity of neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome vary based on the specific opioid used, duration of use, timing and amount of last maternal use, and rate of elimination of the drug by the newborn. Observe newborns for symptoms of neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome and manage accordingly [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3)]. Labor or Delivery Opioids cross the placenta and may produce respiratory depression and psycho-physiologic effects in neonates. An opioid antagonist such as naloxone must be available for reversal of opioid-induced respiratory depression in the neonate. BELBUCA is not recommended for use in women immediately prior to labor, when shorter-acting analgesics or other analgesic techniques are more appropriate. Opioid analgesics, including BELBUCA, can prolong labor through actions which temporarily reduce the strength, duration, and frequency of uterine contractions. However, this effect is not consistent and may be offset by an increased rate of cervical dilation, which tends to shorten labor. Data Animal Data The exposure margins listed below are based on body surface area comparisons (mg/m2) to MRHD of 1.8 mg buprenorphine via BELBUCA. Following oral administration to rats no teratogenic effects were observed at buprenorphine doses up to 250 mg/kg/day (estimated exposure approximately 1351 times the MRHD of 1.8 mg). Following oral administration to rabbits, no teratogenic effects were observed at buprenorphine doses up to 40 mg/kg/day (estimated exposure approximately 432 times the MRHD of 1.8 mg). No definitive drug-related teratogenic effects were observed in rats and rabbits at IM doses up to 30 mg/kg/day (estimated exposure approximately 161 times and 324 times, respectively, the MRHD of 1.8 mg). Acephalus was observed in one rabbit fetus from the low-dose group and omphalocele was observed in two rabbit fetuses from the same litter in the mid-dose group; no findings were observed in fetuses from the high-dose group. Following oral administration of buprenorphine to rats, dose-related post-implantation losses, evidenced by increases in the numbers of early resorptions with consequent reductions in the numbers of fetuses, were observed at doses of 10 mg/kg/day or greater (estimated exposure approximately 54 times the MRHD of 1.8 mg). In the rabbit, increased post-implantation losses occurred at an oral dose of 40 mg/kg/day. Following IM administration in the rat and the rabbit, post-implantation losses, as evidenced by decreases in live fetuses and increases in resorptions, occurred at 30 mg/kg/day. Buprenorphine was not teratogenic in rats or rabbits after IM or subcutaneous (SC) doses up to 5 mg/kg/day (estimated exposure was approximately 27 and 54 times, respectively, the MRHD of 1.8 mg), after IV doses up to 0.8 mg/kg/day (estimated exposure was approximately 4.3 and 8.7 times, respectively, the MRHD of 1.8 mg), or after oral doses up to 160 mg/kg/day in rats (estimated exposure was approximately 865 times the MRHD of 1.8 mg) and 25 mg/kg/day in rabbits (estimated exposure was approximately 270 times the MRHD of 1.8 mg). Significant increases in skeletal abnormalities (e.g., extra thoracic vertebra or thoraco-lumbar ribs) were noted in rats after SC administration of 1 mg/kg/day and up (estimated exposure was approximately 5.4 times the MRHD of 1.8 mg), but were not observed at oral doses up to 160 mg/kg/day. Increases in skeletal abnormalities in rabbits after IM administration of 5 mg/kg/day (estimated exposure was approximately 54 times the MRHD of 1.8 mg) or oral administration of 1 mg/kg/day or greater (estimated exposure was approximately 10.8 times the MRHD of 1.8 mg) were not statistically significant. In rabbits, buprenorphine produced statistically significant pre-implantation losses at oral doses of 1 mg/kg/day or greater and post-implantation losses that were statistically significant at IV doses of 0.2 mg/kg/day or greater (estimated exposure approximately 2.2 times the MRHD of 1.8 mg). Dystocia was noted in pregnant rats treated intramuscularly with buprenorphine during gestation and lactation at 5 mg/kg/day (approximately 27 times the MRHD of 1.8 mg). Fertility, pre-, and post-natal development studies with buprenorphine in rats indicated increases in neonatal mortality after oral doses of 0.8 mg/kg/day and up (approximately 4.3 times the MRHD of 1.8 mg), after IM doses of 0.5 mg/kg/day and up (approximately 2.7 times the MRHD of 1.8 mg), and after SC doses of 0.1 mg/kg/day and up (approximately 0.5 times the MRHD of 1.8 mg). An apparent lack of milk production during these studies occurrence of righting reflex and startle response were noted in rat pups at an oral dose of 80 mg/kg/day (approximately 432 times the MRHD of 1.8 mg). 8.2 Lactation Risk Summary Based on two studies in 13 lactating women being treated for opioid dependence and their breastfed infants, buprenorphine and its metabolite norbuprenorphine are present in low levels in human milk and infant urine, and available data have not shown adverse reactions in breastfed infants [see Data]. There are no data on the effects of BELBUCA on milk production. Because of the potential for serious adverse reactions, including excess sedation and respiratory depression in a breastfed infant, advise patients that breastfeeding is not recommended during treatment with BELBUCA. Clinical Considerations Monitor infants exposed to BELBUCA through breast milk for excess sedation and respiratory depression. Withdrawal symptoms can occur in breastfed infants when maternal administration of buprenorphine is stopped or when breast-feeding is stopped. Data Based on limited data from a study of six lactating women being treated for opioid dependence who were taking a median oral dose of buprenorphine of 0.29 mg/kg/day 5-8 days after delivery, breast milk contained a median infant dose of 0.42 mcg/kg/day of buprenorphine and 0.33 mcg/kg/day of norbuprenorphine, which are equal to 0.2% and 0.12% of the maternal weight-adjusted dose. The median concentrations of buprenorphine and norbuprenorphine in infant urine were 1.0 nmol/L and 2.3 nmol/L, respectively. Based on limited data from a study of seven lactating women being treated for opioid dependence who were taking a median oral dose of buprenorphine of 7 mg/day an average of 1.12 months after delivery, the mean milk concentrations of buprenorphine and norbuprenorphine were 3.65 mcg/L and 1.94 mcg/L, respectively. Based on the limited data from this study, and assuming milk consumption of 150 mL/kg/day, an exclusively breastfed infant would receive an estimated mean of 0.55 mcg/kg/day of buprenorphine and 0.29 mcg/kg/day of norbuprenorphine, which are 0.38% and 0.18% of the maternal weight-adjusted dose. No adverse reactions were observed in the infants in these two studies. 8.3 Females and Males of Reproductive Potential Infertility Chronic use of opioids may cause reduced fertility in females and males of reproductive potential. It is not known whether these effects on fertility are reversible [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.2), Nonclinical Toxicology (13.1)]. 8.4 Pediatric Use The safety and efficacy of BELBUCA have not been established in pediatric patients. 8.5 Geriatric Use Of the total number of patients that were treated with BELBUCA in controlled and open-label chronic pain trials (2,127), 340 patients were 65 years and older. Of those, 49 patients were aged 75 years and older. The incidences of selected BELBUCA-related adverse effects were higher in older subjects. No notable differences in pharmacokinetics were observed from population pharmacokinetic analysis in subjects aged 65 compared to younger subjects. Other reported clinical experience with buprenorphine has not identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger patients. Although specific dose adjustments on the basis of advanced age are not required for pharmacokinetic reasons, use caution in the elderly population to ensure safe use. Titrate the dosage of BELBUCA slowly in geriatric patients and monitor closely for signs of central nervous system and respiratory depression [see Warnings and Precautions (5.5),and Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)]. Buprenorphine is known to be substantially excreted by the kidney, and the risk of adverse reactions to this drug may be greater in patients with impaired renal function. Because elderly patients are more likely to have decreased renal function, care should be taken in dose selection, and it may be useful to monitor renal function. 8.6 Hepatic Impairment BELBUCA has not been evaluated in patients with severe hepatic impairment. The effects of hepatic impairment on the pharmacokinetics of buprenorphine were evaluated in a pharmacokinetic study. Buprenorphine is extensively metabolized in the liver and buprenorphine plasma levels were found to be higher and the half-life was found to be longer in subjects with moderate and severe hepatic impairment, but not in subjects with mild hepatic impairment. Given that increased buprenorphine plasma levels are associated with a greater risk of toxicity and overdose, a dosage reduction in patients with severe hepatic impairment (i.e., Child-Pugh C) is recommended [see Dosage and Administration (2.5) ]. Monitor patients with severe hepatic impairment for signs and symptoms of overdose. A dosage reduction in patients with moderate hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh B) is not needed, however, monitor these patients for signs and symptoms of toxicity or overdose. A dosage reduction in patients with mild hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh A) is not needed [see Dosage and Administration (2.5), Warnings and Precautions (5.10) and Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].

Interactions

7 DRUG INTERACTIONS Table 5 Includes clinically significant drug interactions with BELBUCA. Benzodiazepines Clinical Impact: There have been a number of reports regarding coma and death associated with the misuse and abuse of the combination of buprenorphine and benzodiazepines. In many, but not all of these cases, buprenorphine was misused by self-injection of crushed buprenorphine tablets. Preclinical studies have shown that the combination of benzodiazepines and buprenorphine altered the usual ceiling effect on buprenorphine-induced respiratory depression, making the respiratory effects of buprenorphine appear similar to those of full opioid agonists. Intervention: Closely monitor patients with concurrent use of BELBUCA and benzodiazepines. Warn patients that it is extremely dangerous to self-administer benzodiazepines while taking BELBUCA, and warn patients to use benzodiazepines concurrently with BELBUCA only as directed by their physician. Benzodiazepines and Other Central Nervous System (CNS) Depressants Clinical Impact: Due to additive pharmacologic effect, the concomitant use of benzodiazepines or other CNS depressants, including alcohol, can increase the risk of hypotension, respiratory depression, profound sedation, coma, and death. Intervention: Reserve concomitant prescribing of these drugs for use in patients for whom alternative treatment options are inadequate. Limit dosages and durations to the minimum required. Follow patients closely for signs of respiratory depression and sedation [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4)]. Examples: Benzodiazepines and other sedatives/hypnotics, anxiolytics, tranquilizers, muscle relaxants, general anesthetics, antipsychotics, and other opioids, alcohol. Inhibitors of CYP3A4 Clinical Impact: The concomitant use of buprenorphine and CYP3A4 inhibitors can increase the plasma concentration of buprenorphine, resulting in increased or prolonged opioid effects, particularly when an inhibitor is added after a stable dose of BELBUCA is achieved. After stopping a CYP3A4 inhibitor, as the effects of the inhibitor decline, the buprenorphine plasma concentration will decrease [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)], potentially resulting in decreased opioid efficacy or a withdrawal syndrome in patients who had developed physical dependence to buprenorphine. Intervention: If concomitant use is necessary, consider dosage reduction of BELBUCA until stable drug effects are achieved. Monitor patients for respiratory depression and sedation at frequent intervals. If a CYP3A4 inhibitor is discontinued, consider increasing the BELBUCA dosage until stable drug effects are achieved. Monitor for signs of opioid withdrawal. Examples: Macrolide antibiotics (e.g., erythromycin), azole-antifungal agents (e.g. ketoconazole), protease inhibitors (e.g., ritonavir) CYP3A4 Inducers Clinical Impact: The concomitant use of buprenorphine and CYP3A4 inducers can decrease the plasma concentration of buprenorphine [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)], potentially resulting in decreased efficacy or onset of a withdrawal syndrome in patients who have developed physical dependence to buprenorphine. After stopping a CYP3A4 inducer, as the effects of the inducer decline, the buprenorphine plasma concentration will increase [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)], which could increase or prolong both therapeutic effects and adverse reactions and may cause serious respiratory depression. Intervention: If concomitant use is necessary, consider increasing the BELBUCA dosage until stable drug effects are achieved. Monitor for signs of opioid withdrawal. If a CYP3A4 inducer is discontinued, consider BELBUCA dosage reduction and monitor for signs of respiratory depression. Examples: Rifampin, carbamazepine, phenytoin Serotonergic Drugs Clinical Impact: The concomitant use of opioids with other drugs that affect the serotonergic neurotransmitter system has resulted in serotonin syndrome. Intervention: If concomitant use is warranted, carefully observe the patient, particularly during treatment initiation and dose adjustment. Discontinue BELBUCA if serotonin syndrome is suspected. Examples: Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), triptans, 5-HT3 receptor antagonists, drugs that affect the serotonin neurotransmitter system (e.g., mirtazapine, trazodone, tramadol), monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors (those intended to treat psychiatric disorders and also others, such as linezolid and intravenous methylene blue). Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs) Clinical Impact: MAOI interactions with opioids may manifest as serotonin syndrome opioid toxicity (e.g., respiratory depression, coma) [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)]. Intervention: The use of BELBUCA is not recommended for patients taking MAOIs or within 14 days of stopping such treatment. Examples: phenelzine, tranylcypromine, linezolid Mixed Agonist/Antagonist and Partial Agonist Opioid Analgesics Clinical Impact: May reduce the analgesic effect of BELBUCA and/or precipitate withdrawal symptoms. Intervention: Avoid concomitant use. Examples: butorphanol, nalbuphine, pentazocine Muscle Relaxants Clinical Impact: Buprenorphine may enhance the neuromuscular blocking action of skeletal muscle relaxants and produce an increased degree of respiratory depression. Intervention: Monitor patients receiving muscle relaxants and BELBUCA for signs of respiratory depression that may be greater than otherwise expected and decrease the dosage of BELBUCA and/or the muscle relaxant as necessary. Diuretics Clinical Impact: Opioids can reduce the efficacy of diuretics by inducing the release of antidiuretic hormone. Intervention: Monitor patients for signs of diminished diuresis and/or effects on blood pressure and increase the dosage of the diuretic as needed. Anticholinergic Drugs Clinical Impact: The concomitant use of anticholinergic drugs may increase the risk of urinary retention and/or severe constipation, which may lead to paralytic ileus. Intervention: Monitor patients for signs of urinary retention or reduced gastric motility when BELBUCA is used concomitantly with anticholinergic drugs. Antiretrovirals: Nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) Clinical Impact: Nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) do not appear to induce or inhibit the P450 enzyme pathway, thus no interactions with buprenorphine are expected. Intervention: None Antiretrovirals: Non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs) Clinical Impact: Non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs) are metabolized principally by CYP3A4. Efavirenz, nevirapine, and etravirine are known CYP3A inducers, whereas delaviridine is a CYP3A inhibitor. Significant pharmacokinetic interactions between NNRTIs (e.g., efavirenz and delavirdine) and buprenorphine have been shown in clinical studies, but these pharmacokinetic interactions did not result in any significant pharmacodynamic effects. Intervention: Patients who are on chronic BELBUCA treatment should have their dose monitored if NNRTIs are added to their treatment regimen. Examples: efavirenz, nevirapine, etravirine, delavirdine Antiretrovirals: Protease inhibitors (PIs) Clinical Impact: Studies have shown some antiretroviral protease inhibitors (PIs) with CYP3A4 inhibitory activity (nelfinavir, lopinavir/ritonavir, ritonavir) have little effect on buprenorphine pharmacokinetic and no significant pharmacodynamic effects. Other PIs with CYP3A4 inhibitory activity (atazanavir and atazanavir/ritonavir) resulted in elevated levels of buprenorphine and norbuprenorphine, and patients in one study reported increased sedation. Symptoms of opioid excess have been found in post-marketing reports of patients receiving buprenorphine and atazanavir with and without ritonavir concomitantly. Intervention: Monitor patients taking BELBUCA and atazanavir with and without ritonavir, and dose reduction of BELBUCA may be warranted. Examples: atazanavir, ritonavir Benzodiazepines: May increase buprenorphine-induced respiratory depression. Monitor patients on concurrent therapy closely. (7) CYP3A4 Inhibitors/Inducers: Initiating CYP3A4 inhibitors or discontinuing CYP3A4 inducers may result in an increase in buprenorphine plasma concentrations. Closely monitor patients starting CYP3A4 inhibitors or stopping CYP3A4 inducers for respiratory depression. (7) Serotonergic Drugs: Concomitant use may result in serotonin syndrome. Discontinue BELBUCA if serotonin syndrome is suspected. (7) Mixed Agonist/Antagonist and Partial Agonist Opioid Analgesics: Avoid use with BELBUCA because they may reduce analgesic effect of BELBUCA or precipitate withdrawal symptoms. (7) Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs): Can potentiate the effects of buprenorphine. Avoid concomitant use in patients receiving MAOIs or within 14 days of stopping treatment with an MAOI. (7)

More information

Category Value
Authorisation number NDA207932
Agency product number 56W8MW3EN1
Orphan designation No
Product NDC 59385-021,59385-022,59385-023,59385-024,59385-025,59385-026,59385-027
Date Last Revised 28-08-2017
Type HUMAN PRESCRIPTION DRUG
Storage and handling Store at 25°C (77°F), excursions permitted to 15° to 30°C (59°F to 86ºF). [See USP Controlled Room Temperature.] Advise patients to store buprenorphine-containing medications safely and out of sight and reach of children. Destroy any unused medication appropriately [see Patient Counseling Information (17)].
Marketing authorisation holder BioDelivery Sciences International Inc
Warnings WARNING: ADDICTION, ABUSE, AND MISUSE; LIFE-THREATENING RESPIRATORY DEPRESSION; ACCIDENTAL EXPOSURE; and NEONATAL OPIOID WITHDRAWAL SYNDROME; and RISKS FROM CONCOMITANT USE WITH BENZODIAZEPINES OR OTHER CNS DEPRESSANTS WARNING: ADDICTION, ABUSE, AND MISUSE; LIFE-THREATENING RESPIRATORY DEPRESSION; ACCIDENTAL EXPOSURE; and NEONATAL OPIOID WITHDRAWAL SYNDROME; and RISKS FROM CONCOMITANT USE WITH BENZODIAZEPINES AND OTHER CNS DEPRESSANTS See full prescribing information for complete boxed warning. BELBUCA exposes users to risks of addiction, abuse, and misuse, which can lead to overdose and death. Assess patient's risk before prescribing, and monitor regularly for these behaviors and conditions. (5.1, 10) Serious, life-threatening, or fatal respiratory depression may occur. Monitor closely, especially upon initiation or following a dose increase. Instruct patients on proper administration of BELBUCA to reduce the risk. (5.2) Accidental exposure to BELBUCA, especially in children, can result in fatal overdose of buprenorphine. (5.2) Prolonged use of BELBUCA during pregnancy can result in neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome, which may be life-threatening if not recognized and treated. If prolonged opioid use is required in a pregnant woman, advise the patient of the risk of neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome and ensure that appropriate treatment will be available. (5.3) Concomitant use of opioids with benzodiazepines or other central nervous system (CNS) depressants, including alcohol, may result in profound sedation, respiratory depression, coma, and death. Reserve concomitant prescribing for use in patients for whom alternative treatment options are inadequate; limit dosages and durations to the minimum required; and follow patients for signs and symptoms of respiratory depression and sedation. (5.4, 7) Addiction, Abuse, and Misuse BELBUCA 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 BELBUCA, and monitor all patients regularly for the development of these behaviors and conditions [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1) and Overdosage (10)]. Life-Threatening Respiratory Depression Serious, life-threatening, or fatal respiratory depression may occur with use of BELBUCA. Monitor for respiratory depression, especially during initiation of BELBUCA or following a dose increase. Misuse or abuse of BELBUCA by chewing, swallowing, snorting or injecting buprenorphine extracted from the buccal film will result in the uncontrolled delivery of buprenorphine and pose a significant risk of overdose and death [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)]. Accidental Exposure Accidental exposure to even one dose of BELBUCA, especially in children, can result in a fatal overdose of buprenorphine [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)]. Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome Prolonged use of BELBUCA during pregnancy can result in neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome, which may be life-threatening if not recognized and treated, and requires management according to protocols developed by neonatology experts. If opioid use is required for a prolonged period in a pregnant woman, advise the patient of the risk of neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome and ensure that appropriate treatment will be available [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3)]. Risks From Concomitant Use With Benzodiazepines Or Other CNS Depressants Concomitant use of opioids with benzodiazepines or other central nervous system (CNS) depressants, including alcohol, may result in profound sedation, respiratory depression, coma, and death [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4), Drug Interactions (7)]. Reserve concomitant prescribing of BELBUCA Injection 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.