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Dosage and administration

2 DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION • Initiation of Detoxification and Maintenance Treatment: A single dose of 20 to 30 mg may be sufficient to suppress withdrawal syndrome. (2.3) •Do not abruptly discontinue DISKETS Dispersible Tablets in a physically dependent patient. (2.5, 5.15) • Maintenance Treatment: Clinical stability is most commonly achieved at doses between 80 to 120 mg/day. (2.4) 2.1 Important Dosage and Administration Information DISKETS Dispersible Tablets are for oral administration only. The preparation must not be injected. Methadone should be kept out of reach of children to prevent accidental ingestion. Consider the following important factors that differentiate methadone from other opioids: •The peak respiratory depressant effect of methadone occurs later and persists longer than its peak pharmacologic effect. •A high degree of opioid tolerance does not eliminate the possibility of methadone overdose, iatrogenic or otherwise. Deaths have been reported during conversion to methadone from chronic, high-dose treatment with other opioid agonists and during initiation of methadone treatment of addiction in subjects previously abusing high doses of other opioid agonists. •There is high interpatient variability in absorption, metabolism, and relative analgesic potency. Population-based conversion ratios between methadone and other opioids are not accurate when applied to individuals. •With repeated dosing, methadone is retained in the liver and then slowly released, prolonging the duration of potential toxicity. •Steady-state plasma concentrations are not attained until 3 to 5 days after initiation of dosing. •DISKETS have a narrow therapeutic index, especially when combined with other drugs. 2.2 Dosing Instructions DISKETS are intended for dispersion in a liquid immediately prior to oral administration of the prescribed dose. The tablets should not be chewed or swallowed before dispersing in liquid. DISKETS are cross-scored, allowing for flexible dosage adjustment. Each cross-scored tablet may be broken or cut in half to yield two 20-mg doses, or in quarters to yield four 10-mg doses. Prior to administration, the desired dose of DISKETS should be dispersed in approximately 120 mL (4 ounces) of water, orange juice, or other acidic fruit beverage prior to taking. Methadone hydrochloride is very soluble in water, but there are some insoluble excipients that will not entirely dissolve. If residue remains in the cup after initial administration, a small amount of liquid should be added and the resulting mixture administered to the patient. 2.3 Induction/Initial Dosing for Detoxification and Maintenance Treatment of Opioid Addiction For detoxification and maintenance of opioid dependence, methadone should be administered in accordance with the treatment standards cited in 42 CFR Section 8.12, including limitations on unsupervised administration. Administer the initial methadone dose under supervision, when there are no signs of sedation or intoxication, and the patient shows symptoms of withdrawal. An initial single dose of 20 to 30 mg of methadone will often be sufficient to suppress withdrawal symptoms. The initial dose should not exceed 30 mg. To make same-day dosing adjustments, have the patient wait 2 to 4 hours for further evaluation, when peak levels have been reached. Provide an additional 5 to 10 mg of methadone if withdrawal symptoms have not been suppressed or if symptoms reappear. The total daily dose of methadone on the first day of treatment should not ordinarily exceed 40 mg. Adjust the dose over the first week of treatment based on control of withdrawal symptoms at the time of expected peak activity (i.e., 2 to 4 hours after dosing). When adjusting the dose, keep in mind that methadone will accumulate over the first several days of dosing; deaths have occurred in early treatment due to the cumulative effects. Because DISKETS can be administered only in 10 mg increments, DISKETS may not be the appropriate product for initial dosing in many patients. Instruct patients that the dose will “hold” for a longer period of time as tissue stores of methadone accumulate. Use lower initial doses for patients whose tolerance is expected to be low at treatment entry. Any patient who has not taken opioids for more than 5 days may no longer be tolerant. Do not determine initial doses based on previous treatment episodes or dollars spent per day on illicit drug use. Also consider concurrent medications and the general condition and medical status of the patient when selecting the initial dose. During the induction phase of methadone maintenance treatment, patients are being withdrawn from opioids and may have opioid withdrawal symptoms. Monitor patients for signs and symptoms of opioid withdrawal including: lacrimation, rhinorrhea, sneezing, yawning, excessive perspiration, goose-flesh, fever, chilling alternating with flushing, restlessness, irritability, weakness, anxiety, depression, dilated pupils, tremors, tachycardia, abdominal cramps, body aches, involuntary twitching and kicking movements, anorexia, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, intestinal spasms, and weight loss and consider dose adjustment as indicated. Short-term Detoxification For a brief course of stabilization followed by a period of medically supervised withdrawal, titrate the patient to a total daily dose of about 40 mg in divided doses to achieve an adequate stabilizing level. After 2 to 3 days of stabilization, gradually decrease the dose of methadone. Decrease the dose of methadone on a daily basis or at 2-day intervals, keeping the amount of methadone sufficient to keep withdrawal symptoms at a tolerable level. Hospitalized patients may tolerate a daily reduction of 20% of the total daily dose. Ambulatory patients may need a slower schedule. Because DISKETS can be administered only in 10 mg increments, DISKETS may not be the appropriate product for gradual dose reduction in many patients. 2.4 Titration and Maintenance Treatment of Opioid Dependence Titrate patients in maintenance treatment to a dose that prevents opioid withdrawal symptoms for 24 hours, reduces drug hunger or craving, and blocks or attenuates the euphoric effects of self-administered opioids, ensuring that the patient is tolerant to the sedative effects of methadone. Most commonly, clinical stability is achieved at doses between 80 to 120 mg/day. During prolonged administration of methadone, monitor patients for persistent constipation and manage accordingly. 2.5 Medically Supervised Withdrawal after a Period of Maintenance Treatment for Opioid Addiction There is considerable variability in the appropriate rate of methadone taper in patients choosing medically supervised withdrawal from methadone treatment. Dose reductions should generally be less than 10% of the established tolerance or maintenance dose, and 10 to 14-day intervals should elapse between dose reductions. Because DISKETS can be administered only in 10 mg increments, it may not be the appropriate product for gradual dose reduction in many patients. Apprise patients of the high risk of relapse to illicit drug use associated with discontinuation of methadone maintenance treatment. 2.6 Risk of Relapse in Patients on Methadone Maintenance Treatment of Opioid Addiction Abrupt opioid discontinuation can lead to development of opioid withdrawal symptoms [see Drug Abuse and Dependence (9.3)]. Opioid withdrawal symptoms have been associated with an increased risk of relapse to illicit drug use in susceptible patients. 2.7 Considerations for Management of Acute Pain During Methadone Maintenance Treatment Patients in methadone maintenance treatment for opioid dependence who experience physical trauma, postoperative pain or other acute pain cannot be expected to derive analgesia from their existing dose of methadone. Such patients should be administered analgesics, including opioids, in doses that would otherwise be indicated for non-methadone-treated patients with similar painful conditions. When opioids are required for management of acute pain in methadone maintenance patients, somewhat higher and/or more frequent doses will often be required than would be the case for non-tolerant patients due to the opioid tolerance induced by methadone. 2.8 Dosage Adjustment During Pregnancy Methadone clearance may be increased during pregnancy. During pregnancy, a woman’s methadone dose may need to be increased or the dosing interval decreased. Methadone should be used in pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus [see Use in Specific Populations (8.1)].

For detoxification and maintenance of opioid dependence, methadone should be administered in accordance with the treatment standards cited in 42 CFR Section 8.12, including limitations on unsupervised administration.

Pregnancy

8.1 Pregnancy Risk Summary Neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome (NOWS) is an expected and treatable outcome of prolonged use of opioids during pregnancy [see Warnings and Precautions (5.5)]. Pregnant women in methadone maintenance programs may have reduced incidence of obstetric and fetal complications and neonatal morbidity and mortality when compared to women using illicit drugs. Untreated opioid addiction in pregnancy is associated with adverse obstetrical outcomes and risk of continued or relapsing illicit opioid use. These risks should be considered in women treated with DISKETS Dispersible Tablets for maintenance treatment of opioid addiction. There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. In published animal reproduction studies, methadone administered subcutaneously during the early gestational period produced neural tube defects (i.e., exencephaly and cranioschisis) in the hamster at doses 2 times the human daily oral dose of 120 mg/day on a mg/m2 basis (HDD) and in mice at doses equivalent to the HDD. Administration of methadone to pregnant animals during organogenesis and through lactation resulted decreased litter size, increased pup mortality, decreased pup body weights, developmental delays, 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. Administration of methadone to male rodents prior to mating with untreated females resulted in increased neonatal mortality and significant differences in behavioral tests in the offspring at exposures comparable to and less than the HDD [see 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% to 4% and 15% to 20%, respectively. Clinical Considerations Disease-associated Maternal and Embryo-fetal Risk: Untreated opioid addiction in pregnancy is associated with adverse obstetrical outcomes such as low birth weight, preterm birth, and fetal death. In addition, untreated opioid addiction often results in continued or relapsing illicit opioid use. Dosage Adjustment During Pregnancy: The disposition of oral methadone has been studied in approximately 30 pregnant patients in 2nd and 3rd trimesters. Total body clearance of methadone was increased in pregnant patients compared to the same patients postpartum or to non-pregnant opioid-dependent women. The terminal half-life of methadone is decreased during 2nd and 3rd trimesters. The decrease in plasma half-life and increased clearance of methadone resulting in lower methadone trough levels during pregnancy can lead to withdrawal symptoms in some pregnant patients. The dosage may need to be increased or the dosing interval decreased in pregnant patients receiving DISKETS Dispersible Tablets to achieve therapeutic effect [see Dosage and Administration (2.8)]. Fetal/Neonatal Adverse Reactions: Neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome may occur in newborn infants of mothers who are receiving treatment with DISKETS. Neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome presents as irritability, hyperactivity and abnormal sleep pattern, high pitched cry, tremor, vomiting, diarrhea, and/or failure to gain weight. Signs of neonatal withdrawal usually occur in the first days after birth. The duration and severity of neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome may vary. Observe newborns for signs of neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome and manage accordingly [see Warnings and Precautions (5.5)]. 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. Opioids, including DISKETS Dispersible Tablets 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. Human Data: Reported studies have generally compared the benefit of methadone to the risk of untreated addiction to illicit drugs. Pregnant women involved in methadone maintenance programs have been reported to have significantly improved prenatal care leading to significantly reduced incidence of obstetric and fetal complications and neonatal morbidity and mortality when compared to women using illicit drugs. Several factors, including maternal use of illicit drugs, nutrition, infection and psychosocial circumstances, complicate the interpretation of investigations of the children of women who take methadone during pregnancy. Information is limited regarding dose and duration of methadone use during pregnancy, and most maternal exposure appears to occur after the first trimester of pregnancy. A review of published data on experiences with methadone use during pregnancy by the Teratogen Information System (TERIS) concluded that maternal use of methadone during pregnancy as part of a supervised, therapeutic regimen is unlikely to pose a substantial teratogenic risk (quantity and quality of data assessed as “limited to fair”). However, the data are insufficient to state that there is no risk (TERIS, last reviewed October, 2002). A retrospective case series of 101 pregnant, opioid-dependent women who underwent inpatient opiate detoxification with methadone did not demonstrate any increased risk of miscarriage in the 2nd trimester or premature delivery in the 3rd trimester. Recent studies suggest an increased risk of premature delivery in opioid-dependent women exposed to methadone during pregnancy, although the presence of confounding factors makes it difficult to determine a causal relationship. Several studies have suggested that infants born to narcotic-addicted women treated with methadone during all or part of pregnancy have been found to have decreased fetal growth with reduced birth weight, length, and/or head circumference compared to controls. This growth deficit does not appear to persist into later childhood. Children prenatally exposed to methadone have been reported to demonstrate mild but persistent deficits in performance on psychometric and behavioral tests. In addition, several studies suggest that children born to opioid-dependent women exposed to methadone during pregnancy may have an increased risk of visual development anomalies; however, a causal relationship has not been assigned. There are conflicting reports on whether Sudden Infant Death Syndrome occurs with an increased incidence in infants born to women treated with methadone during pregnancy. Abnormal fetal non-stress tests have been reported to occur more frequently when the test is performed 1 to 2 hours after a maintenance dose of methadone in late pregnancy compared to controls. Animal Data: Formal reproductive and developmental toxicology studies for methadone have not been conducted. Exposure margins for the following published study reports are based on a human daily dose (HDD) of 120 mg methadone using a body surface area comparison. In a published study in pregnant hamsters, a single subcutaneous dose of methadone ranging from 31 mg/kg (2 times the HDD) to 185 mg/kg on Gestation Day 8 resulted in a decrease in the number of fetuses per litter and an increase in the percentage of fetuses exhibiting neural tube defects including exencephaly, cranioschisis, and “various other lesions.” The majority of the doses tested also resulted in maternal death. In a study in pregnant mice, a single subcutaneous dose of 22 to 24 mg/kg methadone (approximately equivalent to the HDD) administered on Gestation Day 9 produced exencephaly in 11% of the embryos. In another study in pregnant mice, subcutaneous doses up to 28 mg/kg/day methadone (equivalent to the HDD) administered from Gestation Day 6 to 15 resulted in no malformations, but there were increased postimplantation loss and decreased live fetuses at 10 mg/kg/day or greater (0.4 times the HDD) and decreased ossification and fetal body weight at 20 mg/kg/day or greater (0.8 times the HDD). In a second study of pregnant mice dosed with subcutaneous doses up to 28 mg/kg/day methadone from Gestation Day 6 to 15, there was decreased pup viability, delayed onset of development of negative phototaxis and eye opening, increased righting reflexes at 5 mg/kg/day or greater (0.2 times the HDD), and decreased number of live pups at birth and decreased pup weight gain at 20 mg/kg/day or greater (0.8 times the HDD). No effects were reported in a study of pregnant rats and rabbits at oral doses up to 40 mg/kg (3 and 6 times, respectively, the HDD) administered from Gestation Days 6 to 15 and 6 to 18, respectively. When pregnant rats were treated with intraperitoneal doses of 2.5, 5, or 7.5 mg/kg methadone from one week prior to mating, through gestation until the end of lactation period, 5 mg/kg or greater (0.4 times the HDD) methadone resulted in decreases in litter size and live pups born and 7.5 mg/kg (0.6 times the HDD) resulted in decreased birth weights. Furthermore, decreased pup viability and pup body weight gain at 2.5 mg/kg or greater (0.2 times the HDD) were noted during the preweaning period. Additional animal data demonstrates evidence for neurochemical changes in the brains of offspring from methadone-treated pregnant rats, including changes to the cholinergic, dopaminergic, noradrenergic and serotonergic systems at doses below the HDD. Other animal studies have reported that prenatal and/or postnatal exposure to opioids including methadone alters neuronal development and behavior in the offspring including alterations in learning ability, motor activity, thermal regulation, nociceptive responses, and sensitivity to drugs at doses below the HDD. Treatment of pregnant rats subcutaneously with 5 mg/kg methadone from Gestation Day 14 to 19 (0.4 times the HDD) reduced fetal blood testosterone and androstenedione in males. Published animal data have reported increased neonatal mortality in the offspring of male rodents that were treated with methadone at doses comparable to and less than the HDD for 1 to 12 days before and/or during mating (with more pronounced effects in the first 4 days). In these studies, the female rodents were not treated with methadone, indicating paternally-mediated developmental toxicity. Specifically, methadone administered to the male rat prior to mating with methadone-naïve females resulted in decreased weight gain in progeny after weaning. The male progeny demonstrated reduced thymus weights, whereas the female progeny demonstrated increased adrenal weights. Behavioral testing of these male and female progeny revealed significant differences in behavioral tests compared to control animals, suggesting that paternal methadone exposure can produce physiological and behavioral changes in progeny in this model. Examination of uterine contents of methadone-naïve female mice bred to methadone-treated male mice (once a day for three consecutive days) indicated that methadone treatment produced an increase in the rate of preimplantation deaths in all post-meiotic states at 1 mg/kg/day or greater (0.04 times the HDD). Chromosome analysis revealed a dose-dependent increase in the frequency of chromosomal abnormalities at 1 mg/kg/day or greater. Studies demonstrated that methadone treatment of male rats for 21 to 32 days prior to mating with methadone-naïve females did not produce any adverse effects, suggesting that prolonged methadone treatment of the male rat resulted in tolerance to the developmental toxicities noted in the progeny. Mechanistic studies in this rat model suggest that the developmental effects of “paternal” methadone on the progeny appear to be due to decreased testosterone production. These animal data mirror the reported clinical findings of decreased testosterone levels in human males on methadone maintenance therapy for opioid addiction and in males receiving chronic intraspinal opioids.

Drug Interactions

7 DRUG INTERACTIONS Inhibitors of CYP3A4, CYP2B6, CYP2C19, CYP2C9, or CYP2D6 Clinical Impact: Methadone undergoes hepatic N-demethylation by several cytochrome P450 (CYP) isoforms, including CYP3A4, CYP2B6, CYP2C19, CYP2C9, and CYP2D6. The concomitant use of DISKETS Dispersible Tablets and CYP3A4, CYP2B6, CYP2C19, CYP2C9, or CYP2D6 inhibitors can increase the plasma concentration of methadone, resulting in increased or prolonged opioid effects, and may result in a fatal overdose, particularly when an inhibitor is added after a stable dose of DISKETS Dispersible Tablets is achieved. These effects may be more pronounced with concomitant use of drugs that inhibit more than one of the CYP enzymes listed above. After stopping a CYP3A4, CYP2B6, CYP2C19, CYP2C9, or CYP2D6 inhibitor, as the effects of the inhibitor decline, the methadone plasma concentration can decrease [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)], resulting in decreased opioid efficacy or withdrawal symptoms in patients physically dependent on methadone. Intervention: If concomitant use is necessary, consider dosage reduction of DISKETS Dispersible Tablets until stable drug effects are achieved. Monitor patients for respiratory depression and sedation at frequent intervals. If a CYP3A4, CYP2B6, CYP2C19, CYP2C9, or CYP2D6 inhibitor is discontinued, follow patients for signs of opioid withdrawal and consider increasing the DISKETS Dispersible Tablets dosage until stable drug effects are achieved. Examples: Macrolide antibiotics (e.g., erythromycin), azole-antifungal agents (e.g. ketoconazole), protease inhibitors (e.g., ritonavir), fluconazole, fluvoxamine, some selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) (e.g., sertraline, fluvoxamine). Inducers of CYP3A4, CYP2B6, CYP2C19, or CYP2C9 Clinical Impact: The concomitant use of DISKETS Dispersible Tablets and CYP3A4, CYP2B6, CYP2C19, or CYP2C9 inducers can decrease the plasma concentration of methadone [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)], resulting in decreased efficacy or onset of withdrawal symptoms in patients physically dependent on methadone. These effects could be more pronounced with concomitant use of drugs that can induce multiple CYP enzymes. After stopping a CYP3A4, CYP2B6, CYP2C19, or CYP2C9 inducer, as the effects of the inducer decline, the methadone plasma concentration can increase [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)], which could increase or prolong both the therapeutic effects and adverse reactions, and may cause serious respiratory depression, sedation, or death. Intervention: If concomitant use is necessary, consider increasing the DISKETS Dispersible Tablets dosage until stable drug effects are achieved. Monitor for signs of opioid withdrawal. If a CYP3A4, CYP2B6, CYP2C19, or CYP2C9 inducer is discontinued, consider DISKETS Dispersible Tablets dosage reduction and monitor for signs of respiratory depression and sedation. Examples: Rifampin, carbamazepine, phenytoin, St. John’s Wort, phenobarbital. Potentially Arrhythmogenic Agents Clinical Impact: Pharmacodynamic interactions may occur with concomitant use of methadone and potentially arrhythmogenic agents or drugs capable of inducing electrolyte disturbances (hypomagnesemia, hypokalemia). Intervention: Monitor patients closely for cardiac conduction changes. Examples: Drugs known to have potential to prolong QT interval: Class I and III antiarrhythmics, some neuroleptics and tricyclic antidepressants, and calcium channel blockers. Drugs capable of inducing electrolyte disturbances: Diuretics, laxatives, and, in rare cases, mineralocorticoid hormones. Central Nervous System (CNS) Depressants Clinical Impact: Due to additive pharmacologic effect, the concomitant use of CNS depressants can increase the risk of hypotension, respiratory depression, profound sedation, coma, and death. Intervention: Consider dose reduction of one or both drugs. Monitor patients for respiratory depression, sedation, and hypotension [see Warnings and Precautions (5.8)]. Examples: Alcohol, benzodiazepines, and other sedatives/hypnotics, anxiolytics, tranquilizers, muscle relaxants, general anesthetics, antipsychotics, other opioids. Serotonergic Drugs Clinical Impact: The concomitant use of opioids with other drugs that affect the serotonergic neurotransmitter system has resulted in serotonin syndrome [see Warnings and Precautions (5.9)]. Intervention: If concomitant use is warranted, carefully observe the patient, particularly during treatment initiation and dose adjustment. Discontinue DISKETS 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 effect 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 (5.1)]. Intervention: The use of DISKETS is not recommended for patients taking MAOIs or within 14 days of stopping such treatment. Examples: Phenelzine, tranylcypromine, linezolid. Mixed Agonist/Antagonist and Partial Agonist Opioid Analgesics Clinical Impact: Patients maintained on methadone may experience withdrawal symptoms when given opioid antagonists, mixed agonist/antagonists, and partial agonists. Intervention: Avoid concomitant use. Examples: Butorphanol, nalbuphine, pentazocine, buprenorphine. Muscle Relaxants Clinical Impact: Methadone 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 DISKETS and/or the muscle relaxant as necessary. Diuretics Clinical Impact: Opioids can reduce the efficacy of diuretics by inducing the release of antidiuretic hormone. Intervention: Monitor patients for signs of diminished diuresis and/or effects on blood pressure and increase the dosage of the diuretic as needed. Anticholinergic Drugs Clinical Impact: The concomitant use of anticholinergic drugs may increase 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 DISKETS are used concomitantly with anticholinergic drugs. Paradoxical Effects of Antiretroviral Agents on Methadone Concurrent use of certain protease inhibitors with CYP3A4 inhibitory activity, alone and in combination, such as abacavir, amprenavir, darunavir+ritonavir, efavirenz, nelfinavir, nevirapine, ritonavir, telaprevir, lopinavir+ritonavir, saquinavir+ritonavir, and tipranvir+ritonavir, has resulted in increased clearance or decreased plasma levels of methadone. This may result in reduced efficacy of DISKETS Dispersible Tablets and could precipitate a withdrawal syndrome. Monitor patients receiving DISKETS Dispersible Tablets and any of these anti-retroviral therapies closely for evidence of withdrawal effects and adjust the DISKETS Dispersible Tablets dose accordingly. Effects of Methadone on Antiretroviral Agents Didanosine and Stavudine:Experimental evidence demonstrated that methadone decreased the area under the concentration-time curve (AUC) and peak levels for didanosine and stavudine, with a more significant decrease for didanosine. Methadone disposition was not substantially altered. Zidovudine: Experimental evidence demonstrated that methadone increased the AUC of zidovudine, which could result in toxic effects. Effects of Methadone on Antidepressants Desipramine: Blood levels of desipramine have increased with concurrent methadone administration. • Potentially Arrhythmogenic Agents: Monitor patients closely for cardiac conduction changes. (7) • Interactions with CNS Depressants: Consider dose reduction of one or both drugs because of additive effects. (7) • Mixed Agonist/Antagonist and Partial Agonist Opioids: Avoid concomitant use with DISKETS because it may precipitate withdrawal symptoms. (5.15, 7)

Indications And Usage

1 INDICATIONS AND USAGE DISKETS Dispersible Tablets contain methadone, an opioid agonist indicated for the: •Detoxification treatment of opioid addiction (heroin or other morphine-like drugs). •Maintenance treatment of opioid addiction (heroin or other morphine-like drugs), in conjunction with appropriate social and medical services. Conditions for Distribution and Use of Methadone Products for the Treatment of Opioid Addiction Code of Federal Regulations, Title 42, Sec 8.: Methadone products when used for the treatment of opioid addiction in detoxification or maintenance programs, shall be dispensed only by opioid treatment programs (and agencies, practitioners or institutions by formal agreement with the program sponsor) certified by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and approved by the designated state authority. Certified treatment programs shall dispense and use methadone in oral form only and according to the treatment requirements stipulated in the Federal Opioid Treatment Standards (42 CFR 8.12). See below for important regulatory exceptions to the general requirement for certification to provide opioid agonist treatment. Failure to abide by the requirements in these regulations may result in criminal prosecution, seizure of the drug supply, revocation of the program approval, and injunction precluding operation of the program. Regulatory Exceptions to the General Requirement for Certification to Provide Opioid Agonist Treatment: •During inpatient care, when the patient was admitted for any condition other than concurrent opioid addiction (pursuant to 21CFR 1306.07(c)), to facilitate the treatment of the primary admitting diagnosis. •During an emergency period of no longer than 3 days while definitive care for the addiction is being sought in an appropriately licensed facility (pursuant to 21CFR 1306.07(b)). DISKETS Dispersible Tablets are an opioid agonist indicated for the: •Detoxification treatment of opioid addiction (heroin or other morphine-like drugs). (1) •Maintenance treatment of opioid addiction (heroin or other morphine-like drugs), in conjunction with appropriate social and medical services. (1)

Warnings And Cautions

5 WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS • Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome: Neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome (NOWS) is an expected and treatable outcome of prolonged use of opioids during pregnancy. (5.5) • Life-Threatening Respiratory Depression in Patients with Chronic Pulmonary Disease or in Elderly, Cachectic, or Debilitated Patients: Monitor closely, particularly during initiation and titration. (5.7) • Serotonin Syndrome: Potentially life-threatening condition could result from concomitant serotonergic drug administration. Discontinue DISKETS if serotonin syndrome is suspected. (5.9) • Adrenal Insufficiency: If diagnosed, treat with physiologic replacement of corticosteroids, and wean patient off of the opioid. (5.10) • Severe Hypotension: Monitor during dose initiation and titration. (5.11) • Risks of Use in Patients with Head Injury and Increased Intracranial Pressure: Monitor for sedation and respiratory depression. Avoid use of methadone in patients with impaired consciousness or coma susceptible to intracranial effects of CO2 retention. (5.12) 5.1 Life-Threatening Respiratory Depression Serious, life-threatening, or fatal respiratory depression has been reported with the use of methadone, even when used as recommended. Respiratory depression, if not immediately recognized and treated, may lead to respiratory arrest and death. Respiratory depression from opioids is manifested by a reduced urge to breathe and a decreased rate of respiration, often associated with a “sighing” pattern of breathing (deep breaths separated by abnormally long pauses). Carbon dioxide (CO2) retention from opioid-induced respiratory depression can exacerbate the sedating effects of opioids. Management of respiratory depression may include close observation, supportive measures, and use of opioid antagonists, depending on the patient’s clinical status [see Overdosage ( 10 )]. While serious, life-threatening, or fatal respiratory depression can occur at any time during the use of DISKETS, the risk is greatest during the initiation of therapy or following a dose increase. The peak respiratory depressant effect of methadone occurs later, and persists longer than the peak pharmacologic effect, especially during the initial dosing period. Monitor patients closely for respiratory depression, when initiating therapy with DISKETS and following dose increases. Instruct patients against use by individuals other than the patient for whom methadone was prescribed and to keep methadone out of the reach of children, as such inappropriate use may result in fatal respiratory depression. To reduce the risk of respiratory depression, proper dosing and titration of methadone are essential [see Dosage and Administration (2.3)]. Overestimating the methadone dosage when initiating treatment can result in fatal overdose with the first dose. To further reduce the risk of respiratory depression, consider the following: •Patients tolerant to other opioids may be incompletely tolerant to methadone. Incomplete cross-tolerance is of particular concern for patients tolerant to other mu-opioid agonists. Deaths have been reported during conversion from chronic, high-dose treatment with other opioid agonists. Follow induction directions closely to avoid inadvertent overdose [see Dosage and Administration ( 2.3 )]. •Proper dosing and titration are essential and methadone should be overseen only by healthcare professionals who are knowledgeable in the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of methadone. 5.2 Life-Threatening QT Prolongation Cases of QT interval prolongation and serious arrhythmia (torsades de pointes) have been observed during treatment with methadone. These cases appear to be more commonly associated with, but not limited to, higher dose treatment (> 200 mg/day). Most cases involve patients being treated for pain with large, multiple daily doses of methadone, although cases have been reported in patients receiving doses commonly used for maintenance treatment of opioid addiction. In most patients on the lower doses typically used for maintenance, concomitant medications and/or clinical conditions such as hypokalemia were noted as contributing factors. However, the evidence strongly suggests that methadone possesses the potential for adverse cardiac conduction effects in some patients. The effects of methadone on the QT interval have been confirmed in in vivo laboratory studies, and methadone has been shown to inhibit cardiac potassium channels in in vitro studies. Closely monitor patients with risk factors for development of prolonged QT interval (e.g., cardiac hypertrophy, concomitant diuretic use, hypokalemia, hypomagnesemia), a history of cardiac conduction abnormalities, and those taking medications affecting cardiac conduction. QT prolongation has also been reported in patients with no prior cardiac history who have received high doses of methadone. Evaluate patients developing QT prolongation while on DISKETS Dispersible Tablets treatment for the presence of modifiable risk factors, such as concomitant medications with cardiac effects, drugs which might cause electrolyte abnormalities, and drugs which might act as inhibitors of methadone metabolism. Only initiate therapy with DISKETS Dispersible Tablets in patients for whom the anticipated benefit outweighs the risk of QT prolongation and development of dysrhythmias that have been reported with high doses of methadone. The use of methadone in patients already known to have a prolonged QT interval has not been systematically studied. 5.3 Accidental Ingestion Accidental ingestion of even one dose of DISKETS Dispersible Tablets, especially by children, can result in respiratory depression and death due to an overdose. Keep DISKETS Dispersible Tablets out of reach of children to prevent accidental ingestion. 5.4 Misuse, Abuse, and Diversion of Opioids DISKETS Dispersible Tablets contain methadone, an opioid agonist and a Schedule II controlled substance. Methadone can be abused in a manner similar to other opioid agonists, legal or illicit. Opioid agonists are sought by drug abusers and people with addiction disorders and are subject to criminal diversion. Contact local state professional licensing board or state controlled substances authority for information on how to prevent and detect abuse or diversion of this product. 5.5 Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome Neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome (NOWS) is an expected and treatable outcome of prolonged use of opioids during pregnancy, whether that use is medically-authorized or illicit. Unlike opioid withdrawal syndrome in adults, NOWS may be life-threatening if not recognized and treated in the neonate. Healthcare professionals should observe newborns for signs of NOWS and manage accordingly [see Use in Specific Populations ( 8.1 )]. Advise pregnant women receiving opioid addiction treatment with DISKETS of the risk of neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome and ensure that appropriate treatment will be available [see Use in Specific Populations ( 8.1 )]. This risk must be balanced against the risk of untreated opioid addiction which often results in continued or relapsing illicit opioid use and is associated with poor pregnancy outcomes. Therefore, prescribers should discuss the importance and benefits of management of opioid addiction throughout pregnancy. 5.6 Risks of Concomitant Use of Cytochrome P450 3A4, 2B6, 2C19, 2C9, or 2D6 Inhibitors or Discontinuation of P450 3A4, 2B6, 2C19, or 2C9 Inducers Concomitant use of DISKETS with CYP3A4, CYP2B6, CYP2C19, CYP2C9, or CYP2D6 inhibitors, may increase plasma concentrations of methadone, prolong opioid adverse reactions, and may cause potentially fatal respiratory depression, particularly when an inhibitor is added after a stable dose of DISKETS is achieved. Similarly, discontinuation of concomitant CYP3A4, CYP2B6, CYP2C19, or CYP2C9 inducers in DISKETS-treated patients may increase methadone plasma concentrations resulting in fatal respiratory depression. Consider dosage reduction of DISKETS when using concomitant CYP3A4, CYP2B6, CYP2C19, CYP2C9 or CYP2D6 inhibitors or discontinuing CYP3A4, CYP2B6, CYP2C19, or CYP2C9 inducers in methadone-treated patients, and follow patients closely at frequent intervals for signs and symptoms of respiratory depression and sedation [see Drug Interactions ( 7 )]. Addition of CYP3A4, CYP2B6, CYP2C19, or CYP2C9 inducers or discontinuation of CYP3A4, CYP2B6, CYP2C19, CYP2C9, or CYP2D6 inhibitors in patients treated with DISKETS may decrease methadone plasma concentrations, reducing efficacy and may lead to opioid withdrawal symptoms in patients physically dependent on methadone. When using DISKETS with CYP3A4, CYP2B6, CYP2C19, or CYP2C9 inducers or discontinuing CYP3A4, CYP2B6, CYP2C19, CYP2C9, or CYP2D6 inhibitors, follow patients for signs or symptoms of opioid withdrawal and consider increasing the DISKETS dosage as needed [see Drug Interactions ( 7 )]. 5.7 Life-Threatening Respiratory Depression in Patients with Chronic Pulmonary Disease or in Elderly, Cachectic, or Debilitated Patients The use of DISKETS in patients with acute or severe bronchial asthma in an unmonitored setting or in the absence of resuscitative equipment is contraindicated. Patients with Chronic Pulmonary Disease DISKETS-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 DISKETS [see Warnings and Precautions ( 5.1 )]. 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 [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)]. Monitor such patients closely, particularly when initiating and titrating DISKETS and when DISKETS is given concomitantly with other drugs that depress respiration [see Warnings and Precautions (5.8)]. 5.8 Risks Due to Concomitant Use with CNS Depressants and Illicit Drugs Profound sedation, respiratory depression, coma, and death may result if methadone is used concomitantly with other CNS depressants (e.g., sedatives, anxiolytics, hypnotics, neuroleptics, other opioids). When considering the use of DISKETS Dispersible Tablets in a patient taking a CNS depressant, assess the duration of use of the CNS depressant and the patient’s response, including the degree of tolerance that has developed to CNS depression. Additionally, consider the patient’s use, if any, of alcohol or illicit drugs that cause CNS depression. If methadone therapy is to be initiated in a patient taking a CNS depressant, start with a lower methadone dose than usual and monitor patients for signs of sedation and respiratory depression and consider using a lower dose of the concomitant CNS depressant [see Drug Interactions (7)]. Deaths associated with illicit use of methadone have frequently involved concomitant benzodiazepine abuse. 5.9 Serotonin Syndrome with Concomitant Use of Serotonergic Drugs Cases of serotonin syndrome, a potentially life-threatening condition, have been reported during concomitant use of DISKETS with serotonergic drugs. Serotonergic drugs include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), triptans, 5-HT3 receptor antagonists, drugs that affect the serotonergic neurotransmitter system (e.g., mirtazapine, trazodone, tramadol), and drugs that impair metabolism of serotonin (including MAO inhibitors, both those intended to treat psychiatric disorders and also others, such as linezolid and intravenous methylene blue) [see Drug Interactions ( 7 )]. This may occur within the recommended dosage range. Serotonin syndrome symptoms 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, rigidity), and/or gastrointestinal symptoms (e.g., nausea, vomiting, diarrhea). The onset of symptoms generally occurs within several hours to a few days of concomitant use, but may occur later than that. Discontinue DISKETS if serotonin syndrome is suspected. 5.10 Adrenal Insufficiency Cases of adrenal insufficiency have been reported with opioid use, more often following greater than one month of use. Presentation of adrenal insufficiency may include non-specific symptoms and signs including nausea, vomiting, anorexia, fatigue, weakness, dizziness, and low blood pressure. 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. Other opioids may be tried as some cases reported use of a different opioid without recurrence of adrenal insufficiency. The information available does not identify any particular opioids as being more likely to be associated with adrenal insufficiency. 5.11 Severe Hypotension Methadone may cause severe hypotension including orthostatic hypotension and syncope in ambulatory patients. There is an increased risk in patients whose ability to maintain normal blood pressure is compromised by a reduced blood volume or concurrent administration of certain CNS depressant drugs (e.g. phenothiazines or general anesthetics) [see Drug Interactions (7)]. Monitor these patients for signs of hypotension after initiating or titrating the dosage of DISKETS Dispersible Tablets. In patients with circulatory shock, DISKETS may cause vasodilation that can further reduce cardiac output and blood pressure. Avoid the use of DISKETS in patients with circulatory shock. 5.12 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). DISKETS may reduce respiratory drive, and the resultant CO2 retention can further increase intracranial pressure. Monitor such patients for signs of sedation and respiratory depression, particularly when initiating therapy with methadone. Opioids may also obscure the clinical course in a patient with a head injury. Avoid the use of methadone in patients with impaired consciousness or coma. 5.13 Risks of Use in Patients with Gastrointestinal Conditions DISKETS Dispersible Tablets are contraindicated in patients with known or suspected gastrointestinal obstruction, including paralytic ileus. The methadone in DISKETS 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, for worsening symptoms. 5.14 Increased Risks of Seizure in Patients with Seizure Disorders Methadone may increase frequency of seizures in patients with seizure disorders, and increase the risks of seizures occurring in other clinical settings associated with seizures. Monitor patients with a history of seizure disorders for worsened seizure control during DISKETS Dispersible Tablets therapy. 5.15 Withdrawal Avoid the use of mixed agonist/antagonist (i.e., pentazocine, nalbuphine, and butorphanol) or partial agonist (e.g., buprenorphine) analgesics in patients who are receiving a full opioid agonist, including DISKETS Dispersible Tablets. In these patients, mixed agonists/antagonist and partial agonist analgesics may precipitate withdrawal symptoms [see Drug Interactions (7)]. When discontinuing DISKETS Dispersible Tablets, gradually taper the dosage [see Dosage and Administration (2.4, 2.5)]. Do not abruptly discontinue DISKETS Dispersible Tablets [see Drug Abuse and Dependence (9.3)]. 5.16 Risks of Driving and Operating Machinery DISKETS Dispersible Tablets 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 DISKETS Dispersible Tablets and know how they will react to the medication [see Patient Counseling Information (17)]. 5.17 Laboratory Test Interactions False positive urine drug screens for methadone have been reported for several drugs including diphenhydramine, doxylamine, clomipramaine, chlorpromazine, thioridazine, quetiapine, and verapamil.

Overdosage

10 OVERDOSAGE Clinical Symptoms Acute overdosage with methadone can be manifested by respiratory depression, somnolence progressing to stupor or coma, skeletal-muscle flaccidity, cold and clammy skin, constricted pupils, and, in some cases, pulmonary edema, bradycardia, hypotension, partial or complete airway obstruction, atypical snoring, and death. Marked mydriasis rather than miosis may be seen with hypoxia in overdose situations [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.2)]. In severe overdosage, particularly by the intravenous route, apnea, circulatory collapse, cardiac arrest, and death may occur. Treatment of Overdose In case of overdose, priorities are the re-establishment of a patent and protected airway and institution of assisted or controlled ventilation if needed. Employ other supportive measures (including oxygen, vasopressors) in the management of circulatory shock and pulmonary edema as indicated. Cardiac arrest or arrhythmias will require advanced life support techniques. The opioid antagonists, such as naloxone or nalmefene, are specific antidotes to respiratory depression resulting from opioid overdose. For clinically significant respiratory or circulatory depression secondary to methadone overdose, administer an opioid antagonist. Opioid antagonists should not be administered in the absence of clinically significant respiratory or circulatory depression secondary to methadone overdose. Because the duration of reversal would be expected to be less than the duration of action of methadone, carefully monitor the patient until spontaneous respiration is reliably reestablished. If the response to opioid antagonists is suboptimal or not sustained, administer additional antagonist as directed in the product’s prescribing information. In an individual physically dependent on opioids, administration of the recommended usual dosage of the antagonist will precipitate an acute withdrawal syndrome. The severity of the withdrawal symptoms experienced will depend on the degree of physical dependence and the dose of the antagonist administered. If a decision is made to treat serious respiratory depression in the physically dependent patient, administration of the antagonist should be initiated with care and by titration with smaller than usual doses of the antagonist.

Adverse Reactions

6 ADVERSE REACTIONS The following serious adverse reactions and/or conditions are described, or described in greater detail, in other sections: •Respiratory Depression [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)] •QT Prolongation [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)] •Interactions with CNS Depressants [see Warnings and Precautions (5.8)] •Serotonin Syndrome [see Warnings and Precautions (5.9)] •Adrenal Insufficiency [see Warnings and Precautions (5.10)] •Severe Hypotension [see Warnings and Precautions (5.11)] •Gastrointestinal Adverse Reactions [see Warnings and Precautions (5.13)] •Seizures [see Warnings and Precautions (5.14)] •Withdrawal [see Warnings and Precautions (5.15)] The following adverse reactions have been identified during post-approval use of methadone. 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. The major hazards of methadone are respiratory depression and, to a lesser degree, systemic hypotension. Respiratory arrest, shock, cardiac arrest, and death have occurred. The most frequently observed adverse reactions included lightheadedness, dizziness, sedation, nausea, vomiting, and sweating. These effects seemed to be more prominent in ambulatory patients and in those who are not suffering severe pain. Other adverse reactions include the following: Body as a Whole:asthenia (weakness), edema, headache Cardiovascular:arrhythmias, bigeminal rhythms, bradycardia, cardiomyopathy, ECG abnormalities, extra systoles, flushing, heart failure, hypotension, palpitations, phlebitis, QT interval prolongation, syncope, T-wave inversion, tachycardia, torsade de pointes, ventricular fibrillation, ventricular tachycardia Central Nervous System: agitation, confusion, disorientation, dysphoria, euphoria, insomnia, hallucinations, seizures, visual disturbances Endocrine: hypogonadism Gastrointestinal: abdominal pain, anorexia, biliary tract spasm, constipation, dry mouth, glossitis Hematologic: Reversible thrombocytopenia has been described in opioid addicts with chronic hepatitis. Metabolic: hypokalemia, hypomagnesemia, weight gain Musculoskeletal: decreased muscle mass and strength, osteoporosis and fractures Renal: antidiuretic effect, urinary retention or hesitancy Reproductive: amenorrhea, reduced libido and/or potency, reduced ejaculate volume, reduced seminal vesicle and prostate secretions, decreased sperm motility, abnormalities in sperm morphology Respiratory: pulmonary edema, respiratory depression Skin and Subcutaneous Tissue: pruritus, urticaria, other skin rashes, and rarely, hemorrhagic urticaria Hypersensitivity: Anaphylaxis has been reported with ingredients contained in DISKETS Dispersible Tablets. 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 DISKETS. Androgen Deficiency: Cases of androgen deficiency have occurred with chronic use of opioids [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.2)]. Most Common Adverse Reactions Are: lightheadedness, dizziness, sedation, nausea, vomiting, and sweating. (6) To report SUSPECTED ADVERSE REACTIONS, contact West-Ward Pharmaceuticals Corp. at 1-800-962-8364 or FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or www.fda.gov/medwatch.

Recent major changes

Boxed Warning 12/2016 Warnings and Precautions (5) 12/2016

Mechanism

12.1 Mechanism of Action Methadone hydrochloride is a mu-agonist; a synthetic opioid with multiple actions qualitatively similar to those of morphine, the most prominent of which involves the central nervous system and organs composed of smooth muscle. The methadone withdrawal syndrome, although qualitatively similar to that of morphine, differs in that the onset is slower, the course is more prolonged, and the symptoms are less severe. Some data also indicate that methadone acts as an antagonist at the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor. The contribution of NMDA receptor antagonism to methadone’s efficacy is unknown.

Contraindications

4 CONTRAINDICATIONS DISKETS Dispersible Tablets are contraindicated in patients with: •Significant respiratory depression [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)]. •Acute or severe bronchial asthma in an unmonitored setting or in the absence of resuscitative equipment [see Warnings and Precautions (5.7)]. •Known or suspected gastrointestinal obstruction, including paralytic ileus [see Warnings and Precautions (5.13)]. •Hypersensitivity (e.g. anaphylaxis) to methadone or any other ingredient in DISKETS Dispersible Tablets [see Adverse Reactions (6)]. •Significant respiratory depression (4) •Acute or severe bronchial asthma (4) •Known or suspected paralytic ileus (4) •Known hypersensitivity to methadone (4)