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Ryzolt (Tramadol Hydrochloride) - Warnings and Precautions



Seizure Risk

Seizures have been reported in patients receiving tramadol hydrochloride within the recommended dosage range. Spontaneous postmarketing reports indicate that seizure risk is increased with doses above the recommended range. Concomitant use of tramadol hydrochloride increases the seizure risk in patients taking:

  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI antidepressants or anorectics),
  • Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), and other tricyclic compounds (e.g., cyclobenzaprine, promethazine, etc.), or
  • Other opioids.

Administration of RYZOLT® may enhance the seizure risk in patients taking:

  • Monoamine Oxidase (MAO) inhibitors (see WARNINGS, Use with MAO Inhibitors and Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors),
  • Neuroleptics, or
  • Other drugs that reduce the seizure threshold.

Risk of convulsions may also be increased in patients with epilepsy, those with a history of seizures, or in patients with a recognized risk for seizure (such as head trauma, certain metabolic disorders, alcohol and drug withdrawal and CNS infections). In tramadol overdose, naloxone administration may increase the risk of seizures.

Suicide Risk

Do not prescribe RYZOLT® for patients who are suicidal or addiction-prone. Prescribe RYZOLT® with caution for patients taking tranquilizers or antidepressant drugs and for patients who use alcohol in excess. Serious potential consequences of overdosage with RYZOLT® are central nervous system depression, respiratory depression and death. In treating an overdose, primary attention should be given to maintaining adequate ventilation along with general supportive treatment (see OVERDOSAGE).

Serotonin Syndrome Risk

The development of a potentially life-threatening serotonin syndrome may occur with the use of tramadol products, including RYZOLT®, particularly with concomitant use of serotonergic drugs such as SSRIs, SNRIs, TCAs, MAOIs, and triptans, with drugs which impair metabolism of serotonin (including MAOIs), and with drugs which impair metabolism of tramadol (CYP2D6 and CYP3A4 inhibitors). This may occur within the recommended dose (see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY, Pharmacokinetics).

Serotonin syndrome may include mental-status changes (e.g., agitation, hallucinations, coma), autonomic instability (e.g., tachycardia, labile blood pressure, hyperthermia), neuromuscular aberrations (e.g., hyperreflexia, incoordination) and/or gastrointestinal symptoms (e.g., nausea, vomiting, diarrhea).

Tramadol products in excessive doses, either alone or in combination with other Central Nervous System (CNS) depressants, including alcohol, are a major cause of drug-related deaths. Fatalities within the first hour of overdosage are not uncommon. Tramadol should not be taken in doses higher than those recommended by the physician. The judicious prescribing of tramadol is essential to the safe use of this drug. With patients who are depressed or suicidal, consideration should be given to the use of non-narcotic analgesics. Patients should be cautioned about the concomitant use of tramadol products and alcohol because of potentially serious CNS-additive effects of these agents. Because of its added depressant effects, tramadol should be prescribed with caution for those patients whose medical condition requires the concomitant administration of sedatives, tranquilizers, muscle relaxants, antidepressants, or other CNS-depressant drugs. Patients should be advised of the additive depressant effects of these combinations.

Many of the tramadol-related deaths have occurred in patients with previous histories of emotional disturbances or suicidal ideation or attempts as well as histories of misuse of tranquilizers, alcohol, and other CNS-active drugs. Some deaths have occurred as a consequence of the accidental ingestion of excessive quantities of tramadol alone or in combination with other drugs. Patients taking tramadol should be warned not to exceed the dose recommended by their physician.

Anaphylactoid Reactions

Serious and rarely fatal anaphylactoid reactions have been reported in patients receiving therapy with tramadol. When these events do occur, it is often following the first dose. Other reported allergic reactions include pruritus, hives, bronchospasm, angioedema, toxic epidermal necrolysis and Stevens-Johnson syndrome. Patients with a history of anaphylactoid reactions to other opioids may be at increased risk and therefore should not receive RYZOLT® (see CONTRAINDICATIONS).

Respiratory Depression

RYZOLT® should be administered cautiously in patients at risk for respiratory depression. In these patients, alternative non-opioid analgesics should be considered. When large doses of tramadol are administered with anesthetic medications or alcohol, respiratory depression may result. Respiratory depression should be treated as an overdose. If naloxone is to be administered, use cautiously because it may precipitate seizures (see WARNINGS, Seizure Risk and OVERDOSAGE).

Interaction with Central Nervous System (CNS) Depressants

RYZOLT® should be used with caution and in reduced dosages when administered to patients receiving CNS depressants such as alcohol, opioids, anesthetic agents, narcotics, phenothiazines, tranquilizers or sedative hypnotics. Tramadol increases the risk of CNS and respiratory depression in these patients.

Increased Intracranial Pressure or Head Trauma

RYZOLT® should be used with caution in patients with increased intracranial pressure or head injury. The respiratory depressant effects of opioids include carbon dioxide retention and secondary elevation of cerebrospinal fluid pressure, and may be markedly exaggerated in these patients. Additionally, pupillary changes (miosis) from tramadol may obscure the existence, extent, or course of intracranial pathology. Clinicians should also maintain a high index of suspicion for adverse drug reaction when evaluating altered mental status in these patients if they are receiving RYZOLT® (see Warnings, Respiratory Depression).

Use in Ambulatory Patients

RYZOLT® may impair the mental and physical abilities required for the performance of potentially hazardous tasks such as driving a car or operating machinery. Patients using this drug should be cautioned accordingly.

Use with MAO Inhibitors and Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors

RYZOLT® should be used with great caution in patients taking MAO inhibitors. Animal studies have shown increased deaths with combined administration of tramadol and MAO inhibitors. Concomitant use of tramadol products with MAO inhibitors or SSRIs increases the risk of adverse events, including seizure and serotonin syndrome.


Withdrawal symptoms may occur if RYZOLT® is discontinued abruptly. These symptoms may include: anxiety, sweating, insomnia, rigors, pain, nausea, tremors, diarrhea, upper respiratory symptoms, piloerection, and rarely hallucinations.

In a 12 week study, 325 patients were followed for 3 and 7 days after discontinuation of treatment with RYZOLT®. The majority of reported post-treatment adverse events including withdrawal symptoms were mild to moderate in nature. Onset of the post-treatment adverse events occurred more frequently within the first three days after treatment was stopped. Less than 1% of patients taking RYZOLT® met the DSM-IV criteria for a diagnosis of opioid withdrawal.

Clinical experience suggests that signs and symptoms of withdrawal may be reduced by tapering medication when discontinuing tramadol therapy.

Misuse, Abuse and Diversion of Opioids

Tramadol is an opioid agonist of the morphine type. Such drugs are sought by drug abusers and people with addiction disorders and are subject to criminal diversion.

Like other opioid agonists, legal or illicit, tramadol can be abused. This should be considered when prescribing or dispensing RYZOLT® in situations where the healthcare professional is concerned about a risk of misuse, abuse, or diversion.

RYZOLT® could be abused by breaking, crushing, chewing, or dissolving the product which can result in the uncontrolled delivery of the opioid, and as a consequence poses a significant risk of overdose and death.

Concerns about abuse, addiction, and diversion should not prevent the proper management of pain.

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.

Interactions with Alcohol and Drugs of Abuse

Tramadol may be expected to have additive effects when used in conjunction with alcohol, other opioids or drugs, whether legal or illicit, which cause central nervous system depression.


Acute Abdominal Conditions

The administration of RYZOLT® may complicate the clinical assessment of patients with acute abdominal conditions.

Use in Renal and Hepatic Disease

Impaired renal function results in a decreased rate and extent of excretion of tramadol and its active metabolite, M1 in patients taking an immediate-release formulation of tramadol. RYZOLT® has not been studied in patients with renal impairment. The limited availability of dose strengths and once daily dosing of RYZOLT® do not permit the dosing flexibility required for safe use in patients with severe renal impairment. Therefore, RYZOLT® should not be used in patients with severe renal impairment (see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY and DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION).

The metabolism of tramadol and M1 is reduced in patients with advanced cirrhosis of the liver. RYZOLT® has not been studied in patients with hepatic impairment. The limited availability of dose strengths and once daily dosing of RYZOLT® do not permit the dosing flexibility required for safe use in patients with hepatic impairment. Therefore, RYZOLT® should not be used in patients with hepatic impairment (see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY and DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION).

Page last updated: 2012-03-22

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