WARNING: ABUSE POTENTIAL, LIFE-THREATENING RESPIRATORY DEPRESSION, and ACCIDENTAL EXPOSURE
EXALGO contains hydromorphone, an opioid agonist and a Schedule II controlled substance with an abuse liability similar to other opioid agonists, legal or illicit. Assess each patient's risk for opioid abuse or addiction prior to prescribing EXALGO. The risk for opioid abuse is increased in patients with a personal or family history of substance abuse (including drug or alcohol abuse or addiction) or mental illness (e.g., major depressive disorder). Routinely monitor all patients receiving EXALGO for signs of misuse, abuse, and addiction during treatment.
Life-threatening Respiratory Depression
Respiratory depression, including fatal cases, may occur with use of EXALGO, even when the drug has been used as recommended and not misused or abused. EXALGO is for use in opioid tolerant patients only. Proper dosing and titration are essential and EXALGO should be prescribed only by healthcare professionals who are knowledgeable in the use of potent opioids for the management of chronic pain. Monitor for respiratory depression, especially during initiation of EXALGO or following a dose increase. Crushing, dissolving, or chewing the tablet can cause rapid release and absorption of a potentially fatal dose of hydromorphone.
Accidental ingestion of EXALGO, especially in children, can result in a fatal overdose of hydromorphone.