Data from FDA - Curated by Marshall Pearce - Last updated 09 September 2017

Indication(s)

1 INDICATIONS AND USAGE EMBEDA 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. EMBEDA is a combination opioid agonist/opioid antagonist product 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 extended-release opioid formulations, reserve EMBEDA 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) EMBEDA 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 extended-release opioid formulations [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)], reserve EMBEDA 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. EMBEDA is not indicated as an as-needed (prn) analgesic.

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Advisory information

contraindications
4 CONTRAINDICATIONS EMBEDA 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)] Concurrent use of monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) or use of MAOIs within the last 14 days [see Warnings and Precautions (5.6)] Known or suspected gastrointestinal obstruction, including paralytic ileus [see Warnings and Precautions (5.10)] Hypersensitivity (e.g., anaphylaxis) to morphine or naltrexone [see Adverse Reactions (6.2)] Significant respiratory depression (4) Acute or severe bronchial asthma in an unmonitored setting or in the absence of resuscitative equipment (4) Concurrent use of monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) or use of MAOIs within the last 14 days (5.6) Known or suspected gastrointestinal obstruction, including paralytic ileus (4) Hypersensitivity to morphine or naltrexone (4)
Adverse reactions
6 ADVERSE REACTIONS The following serious adverse reactions described, or described in greater detail, in other sections: 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 Benzodiazepine or Other CNS Depressants [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4)] Interaction with Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors [see Warnings and Precautions (5.6)] Adrenal Insufficiency [see Warnings and Precautions (5.7)] Severe Hypotension [see Warnings and Precautions (5.8)] Gastrointestinal Adverse Reactions [see Warnings and Precautions (5.10)] Seizures [see Warnings and Precautions (5.11)] Withdrawal [see Warnings and Precautions (5.12)] Most common adverse reactions (>10%): constipation, nausea, and somnolence. (6.1) To report SUSPECTED ADVERSE REACTIONS, contact Pfizer, Inc. at 1-800-438-1985 or FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or www.fda.gov/medwatch. 6.1 Clinical Trials 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 with rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice. In the randomized study, the most common adverse reactions with EMBEDA therapy were constipation, nausea, and somnolence. The most common adverse reactions leading to study discontinuation were nausea, constipation (sometimes severe), vomiting, fatigue, dizziness, pruritus, and somnolence. Short-Term Randomized Study This study utilized an enriched enrollment with a randomized withdrawal design in which subjects were titrated to effect on open-label EMBEDA for up to 45 days. Once their pain was controlled, 344 of 547 subjects were randomized to either an active treatment with EMBEDA or were tapered off EMBEDA using a double-dummy design and placed on placebo. The maintenance Period was 12 weeks. Adverse reactions, reported in ≥2% of subjects in either the titration or maintenance phase of the 12-week study are presented in Table 1. Table 1: Adverse Reactions Reported in ≥2% of Subjects in the Randomized Study Titration Maintenance Adverse Reaction EMBEDA (N=547) n (%) EMBEDA (N=171) n (%) Placebo (N=173) n (%) Constipation 165 (30%) 12 (7%) 7 (4%) Nausea 106 (19%) 19 (11%) 11 (6%) Somnolence 76 (14%) 2 (1%) 5 (3%) Vomiting 46 (8%) 7 (4%) 2 (1%) Dizziness 42 (8%) 2 (1%) 2 (1%) Pruritus 34 (6%) 0 1 (1%) Dry mouth 31 (6%) 3 (2%) 2 (1%) Headache 22 (4%) 4 (2%) 2 (1%) Fatigue 16 (3%) 1 (1%) 2 (1%) Insomnia 7 (1%) 5 (3%) 4 (2%) Diarrhea 6 (1%) 12 (7%) 12 (7%) Abdominal pain upper 6 (1%) 4 (2%) 3 (2%) Flushing 0 4 (2%) 1 (1%) Long-Term Open-Label Safety Study In the long-term open-label safety study, 465 patients with chronic non-malignant pain were enrolled and 124 patients were treated for up to 1 year. The distributions of adverse events were similar to that of the randomized, controlled studies, and were consistent with the most common opioid-related adverse reactions. Adverse reactions reported in ≥2.0% of subjects are presented in Table 2. Table 2: Adverse Reactions Reported by ≥2.0% of Subjects in Long-Term Safety Study Adverse Reaction EMBEDA (N=465) n (%) Constipation 145 (31%) Nausea 103 (22%) Vomiting 37 (8%) Somnolence 34 (7%) Headache 32 (7%) Pruritus 26 (6%) Fatigue 19 (4%) Dizziness 19 (4%) Dry mouth 17 (4%) Hyperhidrosis 16 (3%) Insomnia 13 (3%) Diarrhea 10 (2%) Anxiety 10 (2%) Adverse Reactions Observed in the Phase 2/3 Studies Most common (≥10%): constipation, nausea, somnolence Common (≥1% to <10%): vomiting, headache, dizziness, pruritus, dry mouth, diarrhea, fatigue, insomnia, hyperhidrosis, anxiety, chills, abdominal pain, lethargy, edema peripheral, dyspepsia, anorexia, muscle spasms, depression, flatulence, restlessness, decreased appetite, irritability, stomach discomfort, tremor, arthralgia, hot flush, sedation Less common (<1%): Eye disorders: vision blurred, orthostatic hypotension Gastrointestinal disorders: abdominal distension, pancreatitis, abdominal discomfort, fecaloma, abdominal pain lower, abdominal tenderness General disorders and administration site conditions: malaise, asthenia, feeling jittery, drug withdrawal syndrome Hepatobiliary disorders: cholecystitis Investigations: alanine aminotransferase increased, aspartate aminotransferase increased Musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders: myalgia, muscular weakness Nervous system disorders: depressed level of consciousness, mental impairment, memory impairment, disturbance in attention, stupor, paresthesia, coordination abnormal Psychiatric disorders: disorientation, thinking abnormal, mental status changes, confusional state, euphoric mood, hallucination, abnormal dreams, mood swings, nervousness Renal and urinary disorders: urinary retention, dysuria Reproductive system and breast disorders: erectile dysfunction Respiratory, thoracic and mediastinal disorders: dyspnea, rhinorrhea Skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders: rash, piloerection, cold sweat, night sweats Vascular disorders: hypotension, flushing 6.2 Postmarketing Experience The following adverse reactions have been identified during post-approval use of morphine. 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 EMBEDA. 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 healthcare providers knowledgeable in use of potent opioids for management of chronic pain. (2.1) EMBEDA 100 mg/4 mg capsules, a single dose greater than 60 mg/2.4 mg, or a total daily dose greater than 120 mg/5 mg are only for patients in whom tolerance to an opioid of comparable potency is established. (2.1) Patients considered opioid-tolerant are those taking, for one week or longer, at least 60 mg of morphine per day, 25 mcg transdermal fentanyl per hour, 30 mg of oral oxycodone per day, 8 mg of oral hydromorphone per day, 25 mg oral oxymorphone per day, 60 mg oral hydrocodone per day, or an equianalgesic dose of another opioid. (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) Instruct patients to swallow EMBEDA capsules intact, or to sprinkle the capsule contents on applesauce and immediately swallow without chewing. (2.1) Instruct patients not to cut, break, crush, dissolve, or chew the pellets in the capsule to avoid the risk of release and absorption of a potentially fatal dose of morphine, and to avoid release of sequestered naltrexone that could precipitate opioid withdrawal. (2.1, 5.1) For opioid-naïve and opioid non-tolerant patients, initiate with 20 mg/0.8 mg capsules (morphine sulfate/naltrexone hydrochloride) orally every 24 hours. (2.2) Do not abruptly discontinue EMBEDA in a physically dependent patient. (2.5, 5.12) 2.1 Important Dosage and Administration Instructions EMBEDA should be prescribed only by healthcare professionals who are knowledgeable in the use of potent opioids for the management of chronic pain. EMBEDA 100 mg/4 mg capsules, a single dose greater than 60 mg/2.4 mg, or a total daily dose greater than 120 mg/5 mg, are only for use in patients in whom tolerance to an opioid of comparable potency is established. Patients considered opioid-tolerant are those receiving, for one week or longer, at least 60 mg oral morphine per day, 25 mcg transdermal fentanyl per hour, 30 mg of oral oxycodone per day, 8 mg of oral hydromorphone per day, 25 mg oral oxymorphone per day, 60 mg oral hydrocodone per day, or an equianalgesic dose of another opioid. Use the lowest effective dosage for the shortest duration consistent with individual patient treatment goals [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)]. 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 EMBEDA and adjust the dosage accordingly [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)]. Instruct patients to swallow EMBEDA capsules whole [see Patient Counseling Information (17)]. Crushing, chewing, or dissolving EMBEDA capsules will result in uncontrolled delivery of morphine and can lead to overdose or death [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)]. Instruct patients who are unable to swallow EMBEDA to sprinkle the capsule contents on applesauce and immediately swallow without chewing [see Dosage and Administration (2.6)]. EMBEDA is administered orally at a frequency of either once daily (every 24 hours) or twice daily (every 12 hours). 2.2 Initial Dosage Use of EMBEDA as the First Opioid Analgesic (opioid naive patients) Initiate treatment with EMBEDA with 20 mg/0.8 mg capsule orally every 24 hours. Use of EMBEDA in Patients who are not Opioid Tolerant (opioid-non-tolerant patients) The starting dose for patients who are not opioid tolerant is EMBEDA 20 mg/0.8 mg orally every 24 hours. 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 EMBEDA Discontinue all other around-the-clock opioid drugs when EMBEDA therapy is initiated. There are no established conversion ratios from other opioids to EMBEDA defined by clinical trials. Initiate dosing using EMBEDA 30 mg orally every 24 hours. It is safer to underestimate a patient's 24-hour oral morphine dosage and provide rescue medication (e.g., immediate-release morphine) than to overestimate the 24-hour morphine dosage and manage an adverse reaction due to an overdose. While there are useful tables of opioid equivalents readily available, there is inter-patient variability in the relative potency of opioid drugs and opioid formulations. Close observation and frequent titration are warranted until pain management is stable on the new opioid. Monitor patients for signs and symptoms of opioid withdrawal and for signs of over sedation/toxicity after converting patients to EMBEDA. Conversion from Other Oral Morphine Formulations to EMBEDA Patients receiving other oral morphine formulations may be converted to EMBEDA by administering one-half of the patient's total daily oral morphine dose as EMBEDA twice daily, or by administering the total daily oral morphine dose as EMBEDA once daily. There are no data to support the efficacy or safety of prescribing EMBEDA more frequently than every 12 hours. Conversion from Parenteral Morphine, or Other Opioids, to EMBEDA When converting from parenteral morphine or other non-morphine opioids (parenteral or oral) to EMBEDA, consider the following general points: Parenteral to Oral Morphine Ratio: Between 2 mg and 6 mg of oral morphine may be required to provide analgesia equivalent to 1 mg of parenteral morphine. Typically, a dose of oral morphine that is three times the daily parenteral morphine requirement is sufficient. Other Oral or Parenteral Opioids to Oral Morphine Ratios: Specific recommendations are not available because of a lack of systematic evidence for these types of analgesic substitutions. Published relative potency data are available, but such ratios are approximations. In general, begin with half of the estimated daily morphine requirement as the initial dose, managing inadequate analgesia by supplementation with immediate-release morphine. Conversion from Methadone to EMBEDA Close monitoring is of particular importance when converting from methadone to other opioid agonists. 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. The first dose of EMBEDA may be taken with the last dose of any immediate-release opioid medication due to the extended-release characteristics of the EMBEDA formulation. 2.3 Titration and Maintenance of Therapy Individually titrate EMBEDA to a dose that provides adequate analgesia and minimizes adverse reactions. Continually reevaluate patients receiving EMBEDA to assess the maintenance of pain control and the relative incidence of adverse reactions, as well as monitoring 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 a dosage adjustment of EMBEDA, 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 EMBEDA dosage. In patients experiencing inadequate analgesia with once-daily dosing of EMBEDA, consider a twice-daily regimen. Because steady-state plasma concentrations are approximated within 24 to 36 hours, EMBEDA dose may be adjusted every 1 to 2 days. If unacceptable opioid-related adverse reactions are observed, consider reducing the dosage. Adjust the dosage to obtain an appropriate balance between management of pain and opioid-related adverse reactions. 2.4 Dosage Modifications with Concomitant Use of Central Nervous System Depressants If the patient is currently taking a central nervous system (CNS) depressant and the decision is made to begin EMBEDA, start with 1/3 to 1/2 the recommended starting dosage of EMBEDA, monitor patients for signs of respiratory depression, sedation, and hypotension, and consider using a lower dosage of the concomitant CNS depressant [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4), Drug Interactions (7)]. 2.5 Discontinuation of EMBEDA When a patient no longer requires therapy with EMBEDA, taper the dose gradually, by 25% to 50% every 2 to 4 days, 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 EMBEDA [see Warnings and Precautions (5.12), Drug Abuse and Dependence (9.3)]. 2.6 Administration of EMBEDA Instruct patients to swallow EMBEDA capsules intact. The capsules contain pellets that consist of morphine and sequestered naltrexone. The pellets in the capsules are not to be crushed, dissolved, or chewed due to the risk of rapid release and absorption of a potentially fatal dose of morphine [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)]. Consuming EMBEDA capsules that have been altered by crushing, chewing, or dissolving the pellets can release sufficient naltrexone to precipitate withdrawal in opioid-dependent individuals [see Warnings and Precautions (5.12)]. Alternatively, the contents of the EMBEDA capsules (pellets) may be sprinkled over applesauce and then swallowed. This method is appropriate only for patients able to reliably swallow the applesauce without chewing. Other foods have not been tested and should not be substituted for applesauce. Instruct the patient to: Sprinkle the pellets onto a small amount of applesauce and consume immediately without chewing. Rinse the mouth to ensure all pellets have been swallowed. Discard any unused portion of the EMBEDA capsules after the contents have been sprinkled on applesauce. Do not administer EMBEDA pellets through a nasogastric or gastric tube.
Use in special populations
8 USE IN SPECIFIC POPULATIONS Pregnancy: May cause fetal harm. (8.1) Lactation: Not recommended. (8.3) 8.1 Pregnancy Risk Summary Prolonged use of opioid analgesics during pregnancy can cause neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3)]. There are no available data with EMBEDA in pregnant women to inform a drug-associated risk for major birth defects and miscarriage. Published studies with morphine use during pregnancy have not reported a clear association with morphine and major birth defects [see Human Data]. In published animal reproduction studies, morphine administered subcutaneously during the early gestational period produced neural tube defects (i.e., exencephaly and cranioschisis) at 5 and 16 times the human daily dose of 60 mg based on body surface area (HDD) in hamsters and mice, respectively, lower fetal body weight and increased incidence of abortion at 0.4 times the HDD in the rabbit, growth retardation at 6 times the HDD in the rat, and axial skeletal fusion and cryptorchidism at 16 times the HDD in the mouse. Administration of morphine sulfate to pregnant rats during organogenesis and through lactation resulted in cyanosis, hypothermia, decreased brain weights, pup mortality, decreased pup body weights, and adverse effects on reproductive tissues at 3–4 times the HDD; and long-term neurochemical changes in the brain of offspring which correlate with altered behavioral responses that persist through adulthood at exposures comparable to and less than the HDD [see Animal Data]. Based on animal data, advise pregnant women of the potential risk to a fetus. The estimated background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage for the indicated population is unknown. All pregnancies have a background risk of birth defect, loss, or other adverse outcomes. 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. EMBEDA is not recommended for use in pregnant women during or immediately prior to labor, when use of shorter-acting analgesics or other analgesic techniques are more appropriate. Opioid analgesics, including EMBEDA, 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. Monitor neonates exposed to opioid analgesics during labor for signs of excess sedation and respiratory depression. Data Human Data The results from a population-based prospective cohort, including 70 women exposed to morphine during the first trimester of pregnancy and 448 women exposed to morphine at any time during pregnancy, indicate no increased risk for congenital malformations. However, these studies cannot definitely establish the absence of any risk because of methodological limitations, including small sample size and non-randomized study design. Animal Data Formal reproductive and developmental toxicology studies for morphine have not been conducted. Exposure margins for the following published study reports are based on human daily dose of 60 mg morphine using a body surface area comparison (HDD). Neural tube defects (exencephaly and cranioschisis) were noted following subcutaneous administration of morphine sulfate (35–322 mg/kg) on Gestation Day 8 to pregnant hamsters (4.7 to 43.5 times the HDD). A no adverse effect level was not defined in this study and the findings cannot be clearly attributed to maternal toxicity. Neural tube defects (exencephaly), axial skeletal fusions, and cryptorchidism were reported following a single subcutaneous (SC) injection of morphine sulfate to pregnant mice (100–500 mg/kg) on Gestation Day 8 or 9 at 200 mg/kg or greater (16 times the HDD) and fetal resorption at 400 mg/kg or higher (32 times the HDD). No adverse effects were noted following 100 mg/kg morphine in this model (8 times the HDD). In one study, following continuous subcutaneous infusion of doses greater than or equal to 2.72 mg/kg to mice (0.2 times the HDD), exencephaly, hydronephrosis, intestinal hemorrhage, split supraoccipital, malformed sternebrae, and malformed xiphoid were noted. The effects were reduced with increasing daily dose; possibly due to rapid induction of tolerance under these infusion conditions. The clinical significance of this report is not clear. Decreased fetal weights were observed in pregnant rats treated with 20 mg/kg/day morphine sulfate (3.2 times the HDD) from Gestation Day 7 to 9. There was no evidence of malformations despite maternal toxicity (10% mortality). In a second rat study, decreased fetal weight and increased incidences of growth retardation were noted at 35 mg/kg/day (5.7 times the HDD) and there was a reduced number of fetuses at 70 mg/kg/day (11.4 times the HDD) when pregnant rats were treated with 10, 35, or 70 mg/kg/day morphine sulfate via continuous infusion from Gestation Day 5 to 20. There was no evidence of fetal malformations or maternal toxicity. An increased incidence of abortion was noted in a study in which pregnant rabbits were treated with 2.5 (0.8 times the HDD) to 10 mg/kg morphine sulfate via subcutaneous injection from Gestation Day 6 to 10. In a second study, decreased fetal body weights were reported following treatment of pregnant rabbits with increasing doses of morphine (10–50 mg/kg/day) during the pre-mating period and 50 mg/kg/day (16 times the HDD) throughout the gestation period. No overt malformations were reported in either publication; although only limited endpoints were evaluated. In published studies in rats, exposure to morphine during gestation and/or lactation periods is associated with: decreased pup viability at 12.5 mg/kg/day or greater (2 times the HDD); decreased pup body weights at 15 mg/kg/day or greater (2.4 times the HDD); decreased litter size, decreased absolute brain and cerebellar weights, cyanosis, and hypothermia at 20 mg/kg/day (3.2 times the HDD); alteration of behavioral responses (play, social-interaction) at 1 mg/kg/day or greater (0.2 times the HDD); alteration of maternal behaviors (e.g., decreased nursing and pup retrievals) in mice at 1 mg/kg or higher (0.08 times the HDD) and rats at 1.5 mg/kg/day or higher (0.2 times the HDD); and a host of behavioral abnormalities in the offspring of rats, including altered responsiveness to opioids at 4 mg/kg/day (0.7 times the HDD) or greater. Fetal and/or postnatal exposure to morphine in mice and rats has been shown to result in morphological changes in fetal and neonatal brain and neuronal cell loss, alteration of a number of neurotransmitter and neuromodulator systems, including opioid and non-opioid systems, and impairment in various learning and memory tests that appear to persist into adulthood. These studies were conducted with morphine treatment usually in the range of 4 to 20 mg/kg/day (0.7 to 3.2 times the HDD). Additionally, delayed sexual maturation and decreased sexual behaviors in female offspring at 20 mg/kg/day (3.2 times the HDD), and decreased plasma and testicular levels of luteinizing hormone and testosterone, decreased testes weights, seminiferous tubule shrinkage, germinal cell aplasia, and decreased spermatogenesis in male offspring were also observed at 20 mg/kg/day (3.2 times the HDD). Decreased litter size and viability were observed in the offspring of male rats that were intraperitoneally administered morphine sulfate for 1 day prior to mating at 25 mg/kg/day (4.1 times the HDD) and mated to untreated females. Decreased viability and body weight and/or movement deficits in both first and second generation offspring were reported when male mice were treated for 5 days with escalating doses of 120 to 240 mg/kg/day morphine sulfate (9.7 to 19.5 times the HDD) or when female mice treated with escalating doses of 60 to 240 mg/kg/day (4.9 to 19.5 times the HDD) followed by a 5-day treatment-free recovery period prior to mating. Similar multigenerational findings were also seen in female rats pre-gestationally treated with escalating doses of 10 to 22 mg/kg/day morphine (1.6 to 3.6 times the HDD). 8.2 Lactation Risk Summary Morphine is present in breast milk. Published lactation studies report variable concentrations of morphine in breast milk with administration of immediate-release morphine to nursing mothers in the early postpartum period with a milk-to-plasma morphine AUC ratio of 2.5:1 measured in one lactation study. However, there is insufficient information to determine the effects of morphine on the breastfed infant and the effects of morphine on milk production. Lactation studies have not been conducted with extended-release morphine, including EMBEDA. 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 EMBEDA. Clinical Considerations Monitor infants exposed to EMBEDA through breast milk for excess sedation and respiratory depression. Withdrawal symptoms can occur in breastfed infants when maternal administration of morphine is stopped, or when breastfeeding is stopped. 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 Adverse Reactions (6.2), Clinical Pharmacology (12.2)]. In published animal studies, morphine administration adversely effected fertility and reproductive endpoints in male rats and prolonged estrus cycle in female rats [See Nonclinical Toxicology (13.1)]. 8.4 Pediatric Use The safety and efficacy of EMBEDA in patients less than 18 years of age have not been established. 8.5 Geriatric Use Clinical studies of EMBEDA did not include sufficient numbers of subjects aged 65 and over to determine whether they respond differently from younger subjects. The pharmacokinetics of EMBEDA have not been investigated in elderly patients (>65 years) although such patients were included in clinical studies. In a long-term open-label safety study, the pre-dose plasma morphine concentrations after dose normalization were similar for subjects <65 years and those ≥65 years of age. Limited data are available on the pharmacokinetics of EMBEDA in geriatric patients [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)]. Elderly patients (aged 65 years or older) may have increased sensitivity to EMBEDA. In general, use caution when selecting a dosage for an elderly patient, usually starting at the low end of the dosing range, reflecting the greater frequency of decreased hepatic, renal, or cardiac function and of concomitant disease or other drug therapy. Respiratory depression is the chief risk for elderly patients treated with opioids, and has occurred after large initial doses were administered to patients who were not opioid-tolerant or when opioids were co-administered with other agents that depress respiration. Titrate the dosage of EMBEDA slowly in geriatric patients and monitor closely for signs of central nervous system and respiratory depression [see Warnings and Precautions (5.5)]. This drug 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 Morphine pharmacokinetics have been reported to be significantly altered in patients with cirrhosis. Start these patients with a lower than usual dosage of EMBEDA and titrate slowly while monitoring for signs of respiratory depression, sedation, and hypotension [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)]. 8.7 Renal Impairment Morphine pharmacokinetics are altered in patients with renal failure. Start these patients with a lower than usual dosage of EMBEDA and titrate slowly while monitoring for signs of respiratory depression, sedation, and hypotension [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].

Interactions

7 DRUG INTERACTIONS Table 3 includes clinically significant drug interactions with EMBEDA. Table 3: Clinically Significant Drug Interactions with EMBEDA Alcohol Clinical Impact: Concomitant use of alcohol with EMBEDA can result in an increase of morphine plasma levels and potentially fatal overdose of morphine. Intervention: Instruct patients not to consume alcoholic beverages or use prescription or non-prescription products containing alcohol while on EMBEDA therapy [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4), Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)]. 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 Dosage and Administration (2.4) and Warnings and Precautions (5.4)]. Examples: Benzodiazepines, and other sedatives/hypnotics, anxiolytics, tranquilizers, muscle relaxants, general anesthetics, antipsychotics, other opioids, alcohol. 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 EMBEDA 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 or opioid toxicity (e.g., respiratory depression, coma) [see Warnings and Precautions (5.6)]. Intervention: Do not use EMBEDA in 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 EMBEDA and/or precipitate withdrawal symptoms. Intervention: Avoid concomitant use. Examples: Butorphanol, nalbuphine, pentazocine, buprenorphine Muscle Relaxants Clinical Impact: Opioids may enhance the neuromuscular blocking action of skeletal muscle relaxants and produce an increased degree of respiratory depression. Intervention: Monitor patients for signs of respiratory depression that may be greater than otherwise expected and decrease the dosage of EMBEDA and/or muscle relaxant as necessary. Cimetidine Clinical Impact: The concomitant use of cimetidine can potentiate morphine effects and increase risk of hypotension, respiratory depression, profound sedation, coma, and death. Intervention: Monitor patients for respiratory depression that may be greater than otherwise expected and decrease the dosage of EMBEDA and/or cimetidine 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 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 EMBEDA is used concomitantly with anticholinergic drugs. P-Glycoprotein (PGP) Inhibitors Clinical Impact: The concomitant use of PGP-inhibitors can increase the exposure of morphine by about two-fold and can increase risk of hypotension, respiratory depression, profound sedation, coma, and death. Intervention: Monitor patients for signs of respiratory depression that may be greater than otherwise expected and decrease the dosage of EMBEDA and/or PGP-inhibitor as necessary. Serotonergic Drugs: Concomitant use may result in serotonin syndrome. Discontinue EMBEDA if serotonin syndrome is suspected. (7) Mixed Agonist/Antagonist and Partial Agonist Opioid Analgesics: Avoid use with EMBEDA because they may reduce analgesic effect of EMBEDA or precipitate withdrawal symptoms. (5.12, 7)

More information

Category Value
Authorisation number NDA022321
Agency product number X3P646A2J0
Orphan designation No
Product NDC 60793-437,60793-434,60793-435,60793-433,60793-430,60793-431
Date Last Revised 21-12-2016
Type HUMAN PRESCRIPTION DRUG
RXCUI 863852
Storage and handling Store at 25°C (77°F); excursions permitted between 15° and 30°C (59° and 86°F) [see USP Controlled Room Temperature]. Dispense in a sealed, tamper-evident, childproof, light-resistant container.
Marketing authorisation holder Pfizer Laboratories Div Pfizer Inc
Warnings WARNING: ADDICTION, ABUSE, AND MISUSE; LIFE-THREATENING RESPIRATORY DEPRESSION; ACCIDENTAL INGESTION; NEONATAL OPIOID WITHDRAWAL SYNDROME; INTERACTION WITH ALCOHOL; and RISKS FROM CONCOMITANT USE WITH BENZODIAZEPINES OR OTHER CNS DEPRESSANTS Addiction, Abuse, and Misuse EMBEDA® 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 EMBEDA, and monitor all patients regularly for the development of these behaviors and conditions [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)]. Life-threatening Respiratory Depression Serious, life-threatening, or fatal respiratory depression may occur with use of EMBEDA. Monitor for respiratory depression, especially during initiation of EMBEDA or following a dose increase. Instruct patients to swallow EMBEDA capsules whole, or to sprinkle the contents of the capsule on applesauce and swallow immediately without chewing. Crushing, chewing, or dissolving the pellets in EMBEDA can cause rapid release and absorption of a potentially fatal dose of morphine [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)]. Accidental Ingestion Accidental ingestion of even one dose of EMBEDA, especially by children, can result in a fatal overdose of morphine [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)]. Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome Prolonged use of EMBEDA 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)]. Interaction with Alcohol Instruct patients not to consume alcoholic beverages or use prescription or non-prescription products that contain alcohol while taking EMBEDA. The co-ingestion of alcohol with EMBEDA may result in increased plasma level and a potentially fatal overdose of morphine [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4)]. 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 EMBEDA 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. WARNING: ADDICTION, ABUSE, AND MISUSE; LIFE-THREATENING RESPIRATORY DEPRESSION; ACCIDENTAL INGESTION; NEONATAL OPIOID WITHDRAWAL SYNDROME; INTERACTION WITH ALCOHOL; and RISKS FROM CONCOMITANT USE WITH BENZODIAZEPINES OR OTHER CNS DEPRESSANTS See full prescribing information for complete boxed warning. EMBEDA exposes users to risks of addiction, abuse, and misuse, which can lead to overdose and death. Assess each patient's risk before prescribing, and monitor regularly for these behaviors and conditions. (5.1) Serious, life-threatening, or fatal respiratory depression may occur. Monitor closely, especially upon initiation or following a dose increase. Instruct patients to swallow EMBEDA capsules whole to avoid exposure to a potentially fatal dose of morphine. (5.2) Accidental ingestion of EMBEDA, especially by children, can result in fatal overdose of morphine. (5.2) Prolonged use of EMBEDA 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). Instruct patients not to consume alcohol or any products containing alcohol while taking EMBEDA because co-ingestion can result in fatal plasma morphine levels. (5.4) 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)