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Better Understanding the
Opioid Addiction Crisis

We have created this website to give you a better understanding of our company’s history, facts about the opioid landscape, our role in helping to address the crisis, and our involvement in opioid litigations.

Purdue Pharma L.P. develops prescription medicines that help meet the evolving needs of healthcare professionals, patients, and caregivers. We are a physician-founded, physician-led company currently developing medications to help patients afflicted with cancer and central nervous system disorders, while continuing our historic focus on pain management.

Our company makes extended-release opioids, including OxyContin® (oxycodone HCl) extended-release tablets CII. OxyContin has been approved by the FDA as safe and effective for its intended use since December 1995.1

OxyContin contains oxycodone, a Schedule II controlled substance (CII). This means it has a high potential for abuse, which could lead to severe psychological or physical dependence.2

OxyContin has always had an FDA-approved label with warnings about the risk of abuse and addiction, in addition to other serious risks including overdose and death. OxyContin, like all prescription drugs, is prescribed by healthcare providers who are trained to make individualized decisions about whether a particular drug is appropriate in light of the drug’s risks and benefits.

We recognize that the crisis is complex, and involves not only addiction to opioids, but also opioid abuse and misuse, which could lead to overdose and death.

Important Safety Information

WARNING: ADDICTION, ABUSE AND MISUSE; RISK EVALUATION AND MITIGATION STRATEGY (REMS); LIFE-THREATENING RESPIRATORY DEPRESSION; ACCIDENTAL INGESTION; NEONATAL OPIOID WITHDRAWAL SYNDROME; CYTOCHROME P450 3A4 INTERACTION; and RISKS FROM CONCOMITANT USE WITH BENZODIAZEPINES OR OTHER CNS DEPRESSANTS

Addiction, Abuse, and Misuse
OXYCONTIN® 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 OXYCONTIN and monitor all patients regularly for the development of these behaviors and conditions [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)].

Opioid Analgesic Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS)
To ensure that the benefits of opioid analgesics outweigh the risks of addiction, abuse, and misuse, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has required a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) for these products [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)].

Life-Threatening Respiratory Depression
Serious, life-threatening, or fatal respiratory depression may occur with use of OXYCONTIN. Monitor for respiratory depression, especially during initiation of OXYCONTIN or following a dose increase. Instruct patients to swallow OXYCONTIN tablets whole; crushing, chewing, or dissolving OXYCONTIN tablets can cause rapid release and absorption of a potentially fatal dose of oxycodone [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3)].

Accidental Ingestion
Accidental ingestion of even one dose of OXYCONTIN, especially by children, can result in a fatal overdose of oxycodone [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3)].

Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome
Prolonged use of OXYCONTIN 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 (5.4)].

Cytochrome P450 3A4 Interaction
The concomitant use of OXYCONTIN with all cytochrome P450 3A4 inhibitors may result in an increase in oxycodone plasma concentrations, which could increase or prolong adverse drug effects and may cause potentially fatal respiratory depression. In addition, discontinuation of a concomitantly used cytochrome P450 3A4 inducer may result in an increase in oxycodone plasma concentration. Monitor patients receiving OXYCONTIN and any CYP3A4 inhibitor or inducer [see Warnings and Precautions (5.5), Drug Interactions (7), Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].

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 (5.6), Drug Interactions (7)].

  • Reserve concomitant prescribing of OXYCONTIN 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.

CONTRAINDICATIONS

OxyContin is contraindicated in patients with:

  • Significant respiratory depression
  • Acute or severe bronchial asthma in an unmonitored setting or in the absence of resuscitative equipment
  • Known or suspected gastrointestinal obstruction, including paralytic ileus
  • Hypersensitivity (e.g., anaphylaxis) to oxycodone.

WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS
Addiction, Abuse, and Misuse

  • OxyContin contains oxycodone, a Schedule II controlled substance. OxyContin exposes users to the risks of opioid addiction, abuse, and misuse. Because extended-release products such as OxyContin deliver the opioid over an extended period of time, there is a greater risk for overdose and death due to the larger amount of oxycodone present.
    Although the risk of addiction in any individual is unknown, it can occur in patients appropriately prescribed OxyContin. Addiction can occur at recommended doses and if the drug is misused or abused.
  • Assess each patient’s risk for opioid addiction, abuse, or misuse prior to prescribing OxyContin, and monitor all patients receiving OxyContin for the development of these behaviors and conditions. Risks are 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 depression). The potential for these risks should not, however, prevent the proper management of pain in any given patient. Patients at increased risk may be prescribed opioids such as OxyContin, but use in such patients necessitates intensive counseling about the risks and proper use of OxyContin along with intensive monitoring for signs of addiction, abuse, and misuse.
  • Abuse or misuse of OxyContin by crushing, chewing, snorting, or injecting the dissolved product will result in the uncontrolled delivery of oxycodone and can result in overdose and death.
  • Opioids are sought by drug abusers and people with addiction disorders and are subject to criminal diversion. Consider these risks when prescribing or dispensing OxyContin. Strategies to reduce these risks include prescribing the drug in the smallest appropriate quantity and advising the patient on the proper disposal of unused drug.

Opioid Analgesic Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS)

  • To ensure that the benefits of opioid analgesics outweigh the risks of addiction, abuse, and misuse, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has required a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) for these products. Under the requirements of the REMS, drug companies with approved opioid analgesic products must make REMS-compliant education programs available to healthcare providers. Healthcare providers are strongly encouraged to do all of the following:
  • complete a REMS-compliant education program,
  • counsel patients and/or their caregivers, with every prescription, on safe use, serious risks, storage, and disposal of these products,
  • emphasize to patients and their caregivers the importance of reading the Medication Guide every time it is provided by their pharmacist, and
  • consider other tools to improve patient, household, and community safety.
  • To obtain further information on the opioid analgesic REMS and for a list of accredited REMS CME/CE, call 1-800-503-0784, or log on to www.opioidanalgesicrems.com. The FDA Blueprint can be found at www.fda.gov/OpioidAnalgesicREMSBlueprint

Life-Threatening Respiratory Depression

  • Serious, life-threatening, or fatal respiratory depression has been reported with the use of opioids, even when used as recommended, and if not immediately recognized and treated, may lead to respiratory arrest and death.
  • While serious, life-threatening, or fatal respiratory depression can occur at any time during the use of OxyContin, the risk is greatest during the initiation of therapy or following a dosage increase. Closely monitor patients for respiratory depression, especially within the first 24-72 hours of initiating therapy with and following dosage increases of OxyContin.
  • To reduce the risk of respiratory depression, proper dosing and titration of OxyContin are essential. Overestimating the OxyContin dosage when converting patients from another opioid product can result in a fatal overdose with the first dose.
  • Accidental ingestion of even one dose of OxyContin, especially by children, can result in respiratory depression and death due to an overdose of oxycodone.
  • Opioids can cause sleep-related breathing disorders including central sleep apnea (CSA) and sleep-related hypoxemia. Opioid use increases the risk of CSA in a dose-dependent fashion. In patients who present with CSA, consider decreasing the opioid dosage using best practices for opioid taper.

Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome

  • Prolonged use of OxyContin during pregnancy can result in withdrawal in the neonate. Neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome, unlike opioid withdrawal syndrome in adults, may be life-threatening if not recognized and treated, and requires management according to protocols developed by neonatology experts. Observe newborns for signs of neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome and manage accordingly. Advise pregnant women using opioids for a prolonged period of the risk of neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome and ensure that appropriate treatment will be available.

Risks of Concomitant Use or Discontinuation of Cytochrome P450 3A4 Inhibitors and Inducers

  • Concomitant use with a CYP3A4 inhibitor, such as macrolide antibiotics, azole-antifungal agents, and protease inhibitors, particularly when an inhibitor is added after a stable dose of OxyContin is achieved, and discontinuation of a CYP3A4 inducer, such as rifampin, carbamazepine, and phenytoin, may increase plasma concentrations of oxycodone and prolong opioid adverse reactions, which may cause potentially fatal respiratory depression. Monitor patients closely at frequent intervals and consider dosage reduction of OxyContin until stable drug effects are achieved. Concomitant use of OxyContin with CYP3A4 inducers or discontinuation of a CYP3A4 inhibitor could decrease oxycodone plasma concentrations, decrease opioid efficacy or, possibly, lead to a withdrawal syndrome in a patient who had developed physical dependence to oxycodone. Monitor patients closely at frequent intervals and consider increasing the opioid dosage if needed to maintain adequate analgesia or if symptoms of opioid withdrawal occur.

Risks from Concomitant Use with Benzodiazepines or Other CNS Depressants

  • Profound sedation, respiratory depression, coma, and death may result from the concomitant use of OxyContin with benzodiazepines or CNS depressants (e.g., non-benzodiazepines sedatives/hypnotics, anxiolytics, tranquilizers, muscle relaxants, general anesthetics, antipsychotics, other opioids, alcohol). Because of these risks, reserve concomitant prescribing of these drugs for use in patients for whom alternative treatment options are inadequate.
  • If the decision is made to prescribe a benzodiazepine or other CNS depressant concomitantly with an opioid analgesic, prescribe the lowest effective dosages and minimum durations of concomitant use. In patients already receiving an opioid analgesic, prescribe a lower initial dose of the benzodiazepine or other CNS depressant than indicated in the absence of an opioid, and titrate based on clinical response. If an opioid analgesic is initiated in a patient already taking a benzodiazepine or other CNS depressant, prescribe a lower initial dose of the opioid analgesic, and titrate based on clinical response. Follow patients closely for signs and symptoms of respiratory depression and sedation.
  • Advise both patients and caregivers about the risks of respiratory depression and sedation when OxyContin is used with benzodiazepines or other CNS depressants (including alcohol and illicit drugs). Advise patients not to drive or operate heavy machinery until the effects of concomitant use of the benzodiazepine or other CNS depressant have been determined. Screen patients for risk of substance use disorders, including opioid abuse and misuse, and warn them of the risk for overdose and death associated with the use of additional CNS depressants including alcohol and illicit drugs.
  • The use of OxyContin in patients with acute or severe bronchial asthma in an unmonitored setting or in the absence of resuscitative equipment is contraindicated. OxyContin-treated patients with significant chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or cor pulmonale, and those with a substantially decreased respiratory reserve, hypoxia, hypercapnia, or pre-existing respiratory depression are at increased risk of decreased respiratory drive including apnea, even at recommended dosages of OxyContin.

Life-Threatening Respiratory Depression in Patients with Chronic Pulmonary Disease or in Elderly, Cachectic, or Debilitated Patients

  • Life-threatening respiratory depression is more likely to occur in elderly, cachectic, or debilitated patients because they may have altered pharmacokinetics or altered clearance compared to younger, healthier patients.
  • Monitor such patients closely, particularly when initiating and titrating OxyContin and when OxyContin is given concomitantly with other drugs that depress respiration. Alternatively, consider the use of non-opioid analgesics in these patients.

Adrenal Insufficiency

  • Cases of adrenal insufficiency have been reported with opioid use, more often following greater than one month of use. If adrenal insufficiency is suspected, confirm the diagnosis with diagnostic testing as soon as possible. If adrenal insufficiency is diagnosed, treat with physiologic replacement doses of corticosteroids. Wean the patient off of the opioid to allow adrenal function to recover and continue corticosteroid treatment until adrenal function recovers.

Severe Hypotension

  • OxyContin may cause severe hypotension including orthostatic hypotension and syncope in ambulatory patients. There is an increased risk in patients whose ability to maintain blood pressure has already been compromised by a reduced blood volume or after concurrent administration of certain CNS depressants drugs (e.g., phenothiazines or general anesthetics). Monitor these patients for signs of hypotension after initiating or titrating the dosage of OxyContin. In patients with circulatory shock, OxyContin may cause vasodilation that can further reduce cardiac output and blood pressure. Avoid the use of OxyContin in patients with circulatory shock.

Risks of Use in Patients with Increased Intracranial Pressure, Brain Tumors, Head Injury, or Impaired Consciousness

  • In patients who may be susceptible to the intracranial effects of CO2 retention (e.g., those with evidence of increased intracranial pressure or brain tumors), OxyContin may reduce respiratory drive, and the resultant CO2 retention can further increase intracranial pressure. Monitor those patients for signs of sedation and respiratory depression, particularly when initiating therapy with OxyContin. Opioids may obscure the clinical course in a patient with a head injury. Avoid the use of OxyContin in patients with impaired consciousness or coma.

Difficulty in Swallowing and Risk for Obstruction in Patients at Risk for a Small Gastrointestinal Lumen

  • There have been post-marketing reports of difficulty swallowing OxyContin tablets. These reports include choking, gagging, regurgitation, and tablets stuck in the throat. Instruct patients not to pre-soak, lick or otherwise wet OxyContin tablets prior to placing in the mouth, and to take one tablet at a time with enough water to ensure complete swallowing immediately after placing in the mouth.
  • There have been rare post-marketing reports of cases of intestinal obstruction, and exacerbations of diverticulitis, some of which have required medical intervention to remove the tablet. Patients with underlying GI disorders such as esophageal cancer or colon cancer with a small gastrointestinal lumen are at greater risk of developing these complications. Consider use of an alternative analgesic in patients who have difficulty swallowing and patients at risk for underlying GI disorders resulting in a small gastrointestinal lumen.

Risks of Use in Patients with Gastrointestinal Conditions

  • OxyContin is contraindicated in patients with known or suspected gastrointestinal obstruction, including paralytic ileus. The oxycodone in OxyContin may cause spasm of the sphincter of Oddi. Opioids may cause increases in the serum amylase. Monitor patients with biliary tract disease, including acute pancreatitis.

Increased Risk of Seizures in Patients with Seizure Disorders

  • The oxycodone in OxyContin may increase the frequency of seizures in patients with seizure disorders, and may increase the risk of seizures occurring in other clinical settings associated with seizures. Monitor patients with a history of seizure disorders for worsened seizure control during OxyContin therapy.

Withdrawal

  • Do not abruptly discontinue OxyContin in a patient physically dependent on opioids. When discontinuing OxyContin in a physically dependent patient, gradually taper the dosage. Rapid tapering of oxycodone in a patient physically dependent on opioids may lead to a withdrawal syndrome and return of pain
  • Avoid the use of mixed agonist/antagonist (e.g., pentazocine, nalbuphine, and butorphanol) or partial agonist (e.g., buprenorphine) analgesics in patients who are receiving a full opioid agonist analgesic, including OxyContin. In these patients, mixed agonist/antagonist and partial agonist analgesics may reduce the analgesic effect and/or may precipitate withdrawal symptoms. When discontinuing OxyContin, gradually taper the dosage. Do not abruptly discontinue OxyContin.

Risks of Driving and Operating Machinery

  • OxyContin may impair the mental or physical abilities needed to perform potentially hazardous activities such as driving a car or operating machinery. Warn patients not to drive or operate dangerous machinery unless they are tolerant to the effects of OxyContin and know how they will react to the medication.

Laboratory Monitoring

  • Not every urine drug test for “opioids” or “opiates” detects oxycodone reliably, especially those designed for in-office use. Further, many laboratories will report urine drug concentrations below a specified “cut-off” value as “negative.” Therefore, if urine testing for oxycodone is considered in the clinical management of an individual patient, ensure that the sensitivity and specificity of the assay is appropriate, and consider the limitations of the testing used when interpreting results.

ADVERSE REACTIONS

  • OxyContin may increase the risk of serious adverse reactions such as those observed with other opioid analgesics, including respiratory depression, apnea, respiratory arrest, circulatory depression, hypotension, or shock.
  • The most common adverse reactions (> 5%) reported by adult patients in clinical trials comparing OxyContin with placebo are constipation, nausea, somnolence, dizziness, pruritus, vomiting, headache, dry mouth, asthenia, and sweating.

Please read Full Prescribing Information, including Boxed Warning.

Purdue Pharma L.P. develops prescription medicines that help meet the evolving needs of healthcare professionals, patients, and caregivers. We are a physician-founded, physician-led company currently developing medications to help patients afflicted with cancer and central nervous system disorders, while continuing our historic focus on pain management.

Our company makes extended-release opioids, including OxyContin® (oxycodone HCl) extended-release tablets CII. OxyContin has been approved by the FDA as safe and effective for its intended use since December 1995.1

OxyContin contains oxycodone, a Schedule II controlled substance (CII). This means it has a high potential for abuse, which could lead to severe psychological or physical dependence.2

OxyContin has always had an FDA-approved label with warnings about the risk of abuse and addiction, in addition to other serious risks including overdose and death. OxyContin, like all prescription drugs, is prescribed by healthcare providers who are trained to make individualized decisions about whether a particular drug is appropriate in light of the drug’s risks and benefits.

We recognize that the crisis is complex, and involves not only addiction to opioids, but also opioid abuse and misuse, which could lead to overdose and death.

Important Safety Information

WARNING: ADDICTION, ABUSE AND MISUSE; RISK EVALUATION AND MITIGATION STRATEGY (REMS); LIFE-THREATENING RESPIRATORY DEPRESSION; ACCIDENTAL INGESTION; NEONATAL OPIOID WITHDRAWAL SYNDROME; CYTOCHROME P450 3A4 INTERACTION; and RISKS FROM CONCOMITANT USE WITH BENZODIAZEPINES OR OTHER CNS DEPRESSANTS

Addiction, Abuse, and Misuse
OXYCONTIN® 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 OXYCONTIN and monitor all patients regularly for the development of these behaviors and conditions [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)].

Opioid Analgesic Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS)
To ensure that the benefits of opioid analgesics outweigh the risks of addiction, abuse, and misuse, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has required a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) for these products [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)].

Life-Threatening Respiratory Depression
Serious, life-threatening, or fatal respiratory depression may occur with use of OXYCONTIN. Monitor for respiratory depression, especially during initiation of OXYCONTIN or following a dose increase. Instruct patients to swallow OXYCONTIN tablets whole; crushing, chewing, or dissolving OXYCONTIN tablets can cause rapid release and absorption of a potentially fatal dose of oxycodone [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3)].

Accidental Ingestion
Accidental ingestion of even one dose of OXYCONTIN, especially by children, can result in a fatal overdose of oxycodone [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3)].

Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome
Prolonged use of OXYCONTIN 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 (5.4)].

Cytochrome P450 3A4 Interaction
The concomitant use of OXYCONTIN with all cytochrome P450 3A4 inhibitors may result in an increase in oxycodone plasma concentrations, which could increase or prolong adverse drug effects and may cause potentially fatal respiratory depression. In addition, discontinuation of a concomitantly used cytochrome P450 3A4 inducer may result in an increase in oxycodone plasma concentration. Monitor patients receiving OXYCONTIN and any CYP3A4 inhibitor or inducer [see Warnings and Precautions (5.5), Drug Interactions (7), Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].

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 (5.6), Drug Interactions (7)].

  • Reserve concomitant prescribing of OXYCONTIN 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.

CONTRAINDICATIONS

OxyContin is contraindicated in patients with:

  • Significant respiratory depression
  • Acute or severe bronchial asthma in an unmonitored setting or in the absence of resuscitative equipment
  • Known or suspected gastrointestinal obstruction, including paralytic ileus
  • Hypersensitivity (e.g., anaphylaxis) to oxycodone.

WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS
Addiction, Abuse, and Misuse

  • OxyContin contains oxycodone, a Schedule II controlled substance. OxyContin exposes users to the risks of opioid addiction, abuse, and misuse. Because extended-release products such as OxyContin deliver the opioid over an extended period of time, there is a greater risk for overdose and death due to the larger amount of oxycodone present.
    Although the risk of addiction in any individual is unknown, it can occur in patients appropriately prescribed OxyContin. Addiction can occur at recommended doses and if the drug is misused or abused.
  • Assess each patient’s risk for opioid addiction, abuse, or misuse prior to prescribing OxyContin, and monitor all patients receiving OxyContin for the development of these behaviors and conditions. Risks are 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 depression). The potential for these risks should not, however, prevent the proper management of pain in any given patient. Patients at increased risk may be prescribed opioids such as OxyContin, but use in such patients necessitates intensive counseling about the risks and proper use of OxyContin along with intensive monitoring for signs of addiction, abuse, and misuse.
  • Abuse or misuse of OxyContin by crushing, chewing, snorting, or injecting the dissolved product will result in the uncontrolled delivery of oxycodone and can result in overdose and death.
  • Opioids are sought by drug abusers and people with addiction disorders and are subject to criminal diversion. Consider these risks when prescribing or dispensing OxyContin. Strategies to reduce these risks include prescribing the drug in the smallest appropriate quantity and advising the patient on the proper disposal of unused drug.

Opioid Analgesic Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS)

  • To ensure that the benefits of opioid analgesics outweigh the risks of addiction, abuse, and misuse, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has required a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) for these products. Under the requirements of the REMS, drug companies with approved opioid analgesic products must make REMS-compliant education programs available to healthcare providers. Healthcare providers are strongly encouraged to do all of the following:
  • complete a REMS-compliant education program,
  • counsel patients and/or their caregivers, with every prescription, on safe use, serious risks, storage, and disposal of these products,
  • emphasize to patients and their caregivers the importance of reading the Medication Guide every time it is provided by their pharmacist, and
  • consider other tools to improve patient, household, and community safety.
  • To obtain further information on the opioid analgesic REMS and for a list of accredited REMS CME/CE, call 1-800-503-0784, or log on to www.opioidanalgesicrems.com. The FDA Blueprint can be found at www.fda.gov/OpioidAnalgesicREMSBlueprint

Life-Threatening Respiratory Depression

  • Serious, life-threatening, or fatal respiratory depression has been reported with the use of opioids, even when used as recommended, and if not immediately recognized and treated, may lead to respiratory arrest and death.
  • While serious, life-threatening, or fatal respiratory depression can occur at any time during the use of OxyContin, the risk is greatest during the initiation of therapy or following a dosage increase. Closely monitor patients for respiratory depression, especially within the first 24-72 hours of initiating therapy with and following dosage increases of OxyContin.
  • To reduce the risk of respiratory depression, proper dosing and titration of OxyContin are essential. Overestimating the OxyContin dosage when converting patients from another opioid product can result in a fatal overdose with the first dose.
  • Accidental ingestion of even one dose of OxyContin, especially by children, can result in respiratory depression and death due to an overdose of oxycodone.
  • Opioids can cause sleep-related breathing disorders including central sleep apnea (CSA) and sleep-related hypoxemia. Opioid use increases the risk of CSA in a dose-dependent fashion. In patients who present with CSA, consider decreasing the opioid dosage using best practices for opioid taper.

Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome

  • Prolonged use of OxyContin during pregnancy can result in withdrawal in the neonate. Neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome, unlike opioid withdrawal syndrome in adults, may be life-threatening if not recognized and treated, and requires management according to protocols developed by neonatology experts. Observe newborns for signs of neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome and manage accordingly. Advise pregnant women using opioids for a prolonged period of the risk of neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome and ensure that appropriate treatment will be available.

Risks of Concomitant Use or Discontinuation of Cytochrome P450 3A4 Inhibitors and Inducers

  • Concomitant use with a CYP3A4 inhibitor, such as macrolide antibiotics, azole-antifungal agents, and protease inhibitors, particularly when an inhibitor is added after a stable dose of OxyContin is achieved, and discontinuation of a CYP3A4 inducer, such as rifampin, carbamazepine, and phenytoin, may increase plasma concentrations of oxycodone and prolong opioid adverse reactions, which may cause potentially fatal respiratory depression. Monitor patients closely at frequent intervals and consider dosage reduction of OxyContin until stable drug effects are achieved. Concomitant use of OxyContin with CYP3A4 inducers or discontinuation of a CYP3A4 inhibitor could decrease oxycodone plasma concentrations, decrease opioid efficacy or, possibly, lead to a withdrawal syndrome in a patient who had developed physical dependence to oxycodone. Monitor patients closely at frequent intervals and consider increasing the opioid dosage if needed to maintain adequate analgesia or if symptoms of opioid withdrawal occur.

Risks from Concomitant Use with Benzodiazepines or Other CNS Depressants

  • Profound sedation, respiratory depression, coma, and death may result from the concomitant use of OxyContin with benzodiazepines or CNS depressants (e.g., non-benzodiazepines sedatives/hypnotics, anxiolytics, tranquilizers, muscle relaxants, general anesthetics, antipsychotics, other opioids, alcohol). Because of these risks, reserve concomitant prescribing of these drugs for use in patients for whom alternative treatment options are inadequate.
  • If the decision is made to prescribe a benzodiazepine or other CNS depressant concomitantly with an opioid analgesic, prescribe the lowest effective dosages and minimum durations of concomitant use. In patients already receiving an opioid analgesic, prescribe a lower initial dose of the benzodiazepine or other CNS depressant than indicated in the absence of an opioid, and titrate based on clinical response. If an opioid analgesic is initiated in a patient already taking a benzodiazepine or other CNS depressant, prescribe a lower initial dose of the opioid analgesic, and titrate based on clinical response. Follow patients closely for signs and symptoms of respiratory depression and sedation.
  • Advise both patients and caregivers about the risks of respiratory depression and sedation when OxyContin is used with benzodiazepines or other CNS depressants (including alcohol and illicit drugs). Advise patients not to drive or operate heavy machinery until the effects of concomitant use of the benzodiazepine or other CNS depressant have been determined. Screen patients for risk of substance use disorders, including opioid abuse and misuse, and warn them of the risk for overdose and death associated with the use of additional CNS depressants including alcohol and illicit drugs.
  • The use of OxyContin in patients with acute or severe bronchial asthma in an unmonitored setting or in the absence of resuscitative equipment is contraindicated. OxyContin-treated patients with significant chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or cor pulmonale, and those with a substantially decreased respiratory reserve, hypoxia, hypercapnia, or pre-existing respiratory depression are at increased risk of decreased respiratory drive including apnea, even at recommended dosages of OxyContin.

Life-Threatening Respiratory Depression in Patients with Chronic Pulmonary Disease or in Elderly, Cachectic, or Debilitated Patients

  • Life-threatening respiratory depression is more likely to occur in elderly, cachectic, or debilitated patients because they may have altered pharmacokinetics or altered clearance compared to younger, healthier patients.
  • Monitor such patients closely, particularly when initiating and titrating OxyContin and when OxyContin is given concomitantly with other drugs that depress respiration. Alternatively, consider the use of non-opioid analgesics in these patients.

Adrenal Insufficiency

  • Cases of adrenal insufficiency have been reported with opioid use, more often following greater than one month of use. If adrenal insufficiency is suspected, confirm the diagnosis with diagnostic testing as soon as possible. If adrenal insufficiency is diagnosed, treat with physiologic replacement doses of corticosteroids. Wean the patient off of the opioid to allow adrenal function to recover and continue corticosteroid treatment until adrenal function recovers.

Severe Hypotension

  • OxyContin may cause severe hypotension including orthostatic hypotension and syncope in ambulatory patients. There is an increased risk in patients whose ability to maintain blood pressure has already been compromised by a reduced blood volume or after concurrent administration of certain CNS depressants drugs (e.g., phenothiazines or general anesthetics). Monitor these patients for signs of hypotension after initiating or titrating the dosage of OxyContin. In patients with circulatory shock, OxyContin may cause vasodilation that can further reduce cardiac output and blood pressure. Avoid the use of OxyContin in patients with circulatory shock.

Risks of Use in Patients with Increased Intracranial Pressure, Brain Tumors, Head Injury, or Impaired Consciousness

  • In patients who may be susceptible to the intracranial effects of CO2 retention (e.g., those with evidence of increased intracranial pressure or brain tumors), OxyContin may reduce respiratory drive, and the resultant CO2 retention can further increase intracranial pressure. Monitor those patients for signs of sedation and respiratory depression, particularly when initiating therapy with OxyContin. Opioids may obscure the clinical course in a patient with a head injury. Avoid the use of OxyContin in patients with impaired consciousness or coma.

Difficulty in Swallowing and Risk for Obstruction in Patients at Risk for a Small Gastrointestinal Lumen

  • There have been post-marketing reports of difficulty swallowing OxyContin tablets. These reports include choking, gagging, regurgitation, and tablets stuck in the throat. Instruct patients not to pre-soak, lick or otherwise wet OxyContin tablets prior to placing in the mouth, and to take one tablet at a time with enough water to ensure complete swallowing immediately after placing in the mouth.
  • There have been rare post-marketing reports of cases of intestinal obstruction, and exacerbations of diverticulitis, some of which have required medical intervention to remove the tablet. Patients with underlying GI disorders such as esophageal cancer or colon cancer with a small gastrointestinal lumen are at greater risk of developing these complications. Consider use of an alternative analgesic in patients who have difficulty swallowing and patients at risk for underlying GI disorders resulting in a small gastrointestinal lumen.

Risks of Use in Patients with Gastrointestinal Conditions

  • OxyContin is contraindicated in patients with known or suspected gastrointestinal obstruction, including paralytic ileus. The oxycodone in OxyContin may cause spasm of the sphincter of Oddi. Opioids may cause increases in the serum amylase. Monitor patients with biliary tract disease, including acute pancreatitis.

Increased Risk of Seizures in Patients with Seizure Disorders

  • The oxycodone in OxyContin may increase the frequency of seizures in patients with seizure disorders, and may increase the risk of seizures occurring in other clinical settings associated with seizures. Monitor patients with a history of seizure disorders for worsened seizure control during OxyContin therapy.

Withdrawal

  • Do not abruptly discontinue OxyContin in a patient physically dependent on opioids. When discontinuing OxyContin in a physically dependent patient, gradually taper the dosage. Rapid tapering of oxycodone in a patient physically dependent on opioids may lead to a withdrawal syndrome and return of pain
  • Avoid the use of mixed agonist/antagonist (e.g., pentazocine, nalbuphine, and butorphanol) or partial agonist (e.g., buprenorphine) analgesics in patients who are receiving a full opioid agonist analgesic, including OxyContin. In these patients, mixed agonist/antagonist and partial agonist analgesics may reduce the analgesic effect and/or may precipitate withdrawal symptoms. When discontinuing OxyContin, gradually taper the dosage. Do not abruptly discontinue OxyContin.

Risks of Driving and Operating Machinery

  • OxyContin may impair the mental or physical abilities needed to perform potentially hazardous activities such as driving a car or operating machinery. Warn patients not to drive or operate dangerous machinery unless they are tolerant to the effects of OxyContin and know how they will react to the medication.

Laboratory Monitoring

  • Not every urine drug test for “opioids” or “opiates” detects oxycodone reliably, especially those designed for in-office use. Further, many laboratories will report urine drug concentrations below a specified “cut-off” value as “negative.” Therefore, if urine testing for oxycodone is considered in the clinical management of an individual patient, ensure that the sensitivity and specificity of the assay is appropriate, and consider the limitations of the testing used when interpreting results.

ADVERSE REACTIONS

  • OxyContin may increase the risk of serious adverse reactions such as those observed with other opioid analgesics, including respiratory depression, apnea, respiratory arrest, circulatory depression, hypotension, or shock.
  • The most common adverse reactions (> 5%) reported by adult patients in clinical trials comparing OxyContin with placebo are constipation, nausea, somnolence, dizziness, pruritus, vomiting, headache, dry mouth, asthenia, and sweating.

Please read Full Prescribing Information, including Boxed Warning.

What Are Opioids?

The term opioid is used to describe a class of drugs that includes both illegal heroin and illicitly made fentanyl, and pain relievers available legally by prescription, such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, morphine, and others.

Prescription pain relievers are powerful pain-reducing medications prescribed by doctors to treat pain severe enough to warrant use of an opioid when other pain medicines cannot be taken or are not able to provide enough pain relief. They also have serious risks, including misuse and abuse, addiction, overdose, and death.3

Because of their high potential for abuse, prescription opioid analgesics are regulated by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) as controlled substances under the Controlled Substances Act, and only healthcare providers registered with the DEA can prescribe these opioid analgesics.

OxyContin® is a CII prescription opioid approved 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 in adults.4

Illegal opioids such as heroin and illicitly made fentanyl, by contrast, have no approved medical use. When reading about opioids, it is important to understand whether the author is referring to all types of opioids, just legal opioids, or just illegal opioids.

The Prescription Opioid Market

The rate of opioid prescriptions began increasing in the early 1990s, from 76 million in 1991 to a peak of 219 million in 2011.5 OxyContin has never exceeded 4%6 of total prescriptions and currently accounts for only 1.3% of the total prescriptions for opioid pain medications.7 While the active ingredient in OxyContin is oxycodone, it is important to note that all oxycodone is not OxyContin.

US Opioid Analgesic Prescriptions

US Opioid Analgesic Prescriptions Chart

Data Source: IQVIA™ MVP Launch (1992-2012) / National Prescription Audit® (2012-2018)

 Opioid Analgesic Prescriptions = All oral liquids and solid dosage forms (single entity and combination IRO§ and ERO§) and transdermal opioid analgesics dispensed via retail, mail-order, and long-term care channels. Excludes opioid analgesics in transmucosal, injectable, intranasal, and suppository formulations, and opioids that are indicated for uses other than as analgesics.

§ IRO
 = Immediate-Release Opioid; ERO = Extended-Release Opioid

* Includes generic oxycodone HCI ERO products referencing OxyContin®, where applicable

Today, extended-release opioid prescriptions are a small percentage of the total opioid market

The prescription opioid market is divided between extended release (ER) and immediate-release (IR) opioid products. ER formulations like OxyContin are a small percentage of the total number of opioid prescriptions written, accounting for approximately 10% of the total of all opioid prescriptions, compared to 90.4% of the total for IR opioid prescriptions.8

Total Opioid Prescription Market (2018)9

Total Opioid Prescription Market Chart (2018)

Our History & Values

Two doctors wanted to help more patients than they could in their practices. So they built a company.

In 1952, two physician brothers sought to combine their experience with patients with new, scientific innovations to pursue clinically effective, compassionate care. So they built a pharmaceutical company to do it — Purdue. Purdue’s mission has always been the same: to serve doctors and patients.

One of the company’s first products was Betadine® (povidone iodine), an antiseptic widely used by surgeons. In 1969, concerned about “moon germs,” NASA chose Betadine Surgical Scrub to disinfect the hatch of the Apollo 11 Capsule after the historic moonwalk mission in 1969.10

Purdue developed formulations using time-release technologies, first used to treat asthma.11 Exploring the attributes of time-release technology in other types of medicine, Purdue turned its attention to pain relief. At the time, morphine was available to treat cancer pain, but it was available only through an immediate-release formulation, or by an intravenous drip or injection, usually administered in hospitals.12,13 Purdue scientists pioneered a major breakthrough, formulating morphine in a time-release tablet14 that allowed for less frequent daily dosing, and could be prescribed by a healthcare professional for use by a patient outside of the hospital.

Click to read more

By 1990, pain medicine experts viewed chronic pain as a major health problem.15 By 2001, they viewed properly prescribed opioids as useful in treating chronic pain,16 and by 2010, they viewed opioids as “essential” to the treatment of chronic severe pain.17

Seeking to develop another treatment option for doctors to consider prescribing for their patients with chronic pain, Purdue developed OxyContin. In 1995, after rigorous testing in accordance with standards at that time, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the medicine for the treatment of certain appropriate pain patients.

Unfortunately, people seeking to abuse the medicine discovered they could crush, snort, or inject the tablets for an immediate “high”. To help address this problem, Purdue spent nearly a decade and hundreds of millions of dollars to reformulate OxyContin to make it more difficult to abuse by snorting or injection. However, abuse of OxyContin by the intranasal, intravenous and oral routes is still possible, and all opioids, including those with FDA-recognized abuse-deterrent properties, carry risks of abuse, addiction, and misuse, which can lead to overdose and death.

Our company’s goal is to ensure that our opioid pain medications are prescribed only to appropriate patients in the right doses for the right durations. The OxyContin FDA-approved labeling, for example, advises healthcare professionals to use the lowest effective dosage for the shortest duration consistent with individual patient treatment goals. It also advises healthcare professionals that OxyContin exposes users to risks of addiction, abuse, and misuse. The company has also distributed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Guideline, which provides advice about prescribing opioid pain medications, and supports medically appropriate limits on the duration of initial opioid prescriptions.

While no single intervention alone will solve the crisis, Purdue is working with others to try to address the problem.

In 1952, two physician brothers sought to combine their experience with patients with new, scientific innovations to pursue clinically effective, compassionate care. So they built a pharmaceutical company to do it — Purdue. Purdue’s mission has always been the same: to serve doctors and patients.

One of the company’s first products was Betadine® (povidone iodine), an antiseptic widely used by surgeons. In 1969, concerned about “moon germs,” NASA chose Betadine Surgical Scrub to disinfect the hatch of the Apollo 11 Capsule after the historic moonwalk mission in 1969.10

Purdue developed formulations using time-release technologies, first used to treat asthma.11 Exploring the attributes of time-release technology in other types of medicine, Purdue turned its attention to pain relief. At the time, morphine was available to treat cancer pain, but it was available only through an immediate-release formulation, or by an intravenous drip or injection, usually administered in hospitals.12,13 Purdue scientists pioneered a major breakthrough, formulating morphine in a time-release tablet14 that allowed for less frequent daily dosing, and could be prescribed by a healthcare professional for use by a patient outside of the hospital.

Click to read more

By 1990, pain medicine experts viewed chronic pain as a major health problem.15 By 2001, they viewed properly prescribed opioids as useful in treating chronic pain,16 and by 2010, they viewed opioids as “essential” to the treatment of chronic severe pain.17

Seeking to develop another treatment option for doctors to consider prescribing for their patients with chronic pain, Purdue developed OxyContin. In 1995, after rigorous testing in accordance with standards at that time, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the medicine for the treatment of certain appropriate pain patients.

Unfortunately, people seeking to abuse the medicine discovered they could crush, snort, or inject the tablets for an immediate “high”. To help address this problem, Purdue spent nearly a decade and hundreds of millions of dollars to reformulate OxyContin to make it more difficult to abuse by snorting or injection. However, abuse of OxyContin by the intranasal, intravenous and oral routes is still possible, and all opioids, including those with FDA-recognized abuse-deterrent properties, carry risks of abuse, addiction, and misuse, which can lead to overdose and death.

Our company’s goal is to ensure that our opioid pain medications are prescribed only to appropriate patients in the right doses for the right durations. The OxyContin FDA-approved labeling, for example, advises healthcare professionals to use the lowest effective dosage for the shortest duration consistent with individual patient treatment goals. It also advises healthcare professionals that OxyContin exposes users to risks of addiction, abuse, and misuse. The company has also distributed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Guideline, which provides advice about prescribing opioid pain medications, and supports medically appropriate limits on the duration of initial opioid prescriptions.

While no single intervention alone will solve the crisis, Purdue is working with others to try to address the problem.