- oxycodone hydrochloride
POM: Prescription only medicine
This information is intended for use by health professionals
Shortec 50 mg/ml, solution for injection or infusion
Oxycodone hydrochloride 50 mg/ml (equivalent to 45 mg/ml oxycodone).
For the full list of excipients, see Section 6.1.
Solution for injection or infusion.
For the treatment of moderate to severe pain in patients with cancer and post-operative pain. For the treatment of severe pain requiring the use of a strong opioid.
The dose should be adjusted according to the severity of pain, the total condition of the patient and previous or concurrent medication.
Adults over 18 years:
The following starting doses are recommended. A gradual increase in dose may be required if analgesia is inadequate or if pain severity increases.
i.v. (Bolus): Dilute in 0.9% saline, 5% dextrose or water for injections. Administer a bolus dose of 1 to 10 mg slowly over 1-2 minutes in opioid naïve patients.
Doses should not be administered more frequently than every 4 hours.
i.v. (Infusion): Dilute in 0.9% saline, 5% dextrose or water for injections. A starting dose of 2 mg/hour is recommended for opioid naïve patients.
i.v. (PCA): Dilute in 0.9% saline, 5% dextrose or water for injections. Bolus doses of 0.03 mg/kg should be administered with a minimum lock-out time of 5 minutes for opioid naïve patients.
s.c. (Bolus): Dilute in 0.9% saline, 5% dextrose or water for injections. A starting dose of 5 mg is recommended, repeated at 4-hourly intervals as required for opioid naïve patients.
s.c. (Infusion): Dilute in 0.9% saline, 5% dextrose or water for injections if required. A starting dose of 7.5 mg/day is recommended in opioid naïve patients, titrating gradually according to symptom control.
Cancer patients transferring from oral oxycodone may require much higher doses (see below).
Transferring patients between oral and parenteral oxycodone:
The dose should be based on the following ratio: 2 mg of oral oxycodone is equivalent to 1 mg of parenteral oxycodone. It must be emphasised that this is a guide to the dose required. Inter-patient variability requires that each patient is carefully titrated to the appropriate dose.
Elderly patients should be treated with caution. The lowest dose should be administered with careful titration to pain control.
Patients with renal and hepatic impairment:
The dose initiation should follow a conservative approach in these patients. The recommended adult starting dose should be reduced by 50% (for example a total daily dose of 10 mg orally in opioid naïve patients), and each patient should be titrated to adequate pain control according to their clinical situation.
There are no data on the use of Shortec injection in patients under 18 years of age.
Use in non-malignant pain:
Opioids are not first-line therapy for chronic non-malignant pain, nor are they recommended as the only treatment. Types of chronic pain which have been shown to be alleviated by strong opioids include chronic osteoarthritic pain and intervertebral disc disease. The need for continued treatment in non-malignant pain should be assessed at regular intervals
Method of administration
Subcutaneous injection or infusion
Intraveneous injection or infusion
Duration of treatment:
Oxycodone should not be used for longer than necessary.
Discontinuation of treatment:
When a patient no longer requires therapy with oxycodone, it may be advisable to taper the dose gradually to prevent symptoms of withdrawal.
Hypersensitivity to oxycodone or to any of the excipients listed in section 6.1, Oxycodone must not be used in any situation where opioids are contraindicated; severe respiratory depression with hypoxia; paralytic ileus; acute abdomen; severe chronic obstructive lung disease; cor pulmonale; severe bronchial asthma; elevated carbon dioxide levels in the blood, moderate to severe hepatic impairment; chronic constipation.
The major risk of opioid excess is respiratory depression. Caution must be exercised when administering oxycodone to the debilitated elderly, patients with severely impaired pulmonary function, patients with impaired hepatic or renal function; patients with myxedema, hypothyroidism, Addison's disease, toxic psychosis, prostate hypertrophy, adrenocortical insufficiency, alcoholism, delirium tremens, diseases of the biliary tract, pancreatitis, inflammatory bowel disorders, hypotension, hypovolaemia, raised intracranial pressure, head injury (due to risk of increased intracranial pressure) or patients taking benzodiazepines, other CNS depressants (including alcohol) or MAO inhibitors.
Concomitant use of benzodiazepines and opioids may result in sedation, respiratory depression, coma and death. Because of these risks, concomitant prescribing of sedative medicines such as benzodiazepines or related drugs with opioids should be reserved for patients for whom alternative treatment options are not possible.
If a decision is made to prescribe benzodiazepines concomitantly with opioids, the lowest effective dose should be used, and the duration of treatment should be as short as possible (see also general dose recommendation in section 4.2).
The patients should be followed closely for signs and symptoms of respiratory depression and sedation. In this respect, it is strongly recommended to inform patients and their caregivers to be aware of these symptoms (see section 4.5).
Shortec injection should not be used where there is a possibility of paralytic ileus occurring. Should paralytic ileus be suspected or occur during use, Shortec injection should be discontinued immediately.
Shortec injection should be used with caution pre- or intra-operatively and within the first 12-24 hours post-operatively.
As with all opioid preparations, oxycodone products should be used with caution following abdominal surgery as opioids are known to impair intestinal motility and should not be used until the physician is assured of normal bowel function.
For appropriate patients who suffer with chronic non-malignant pain, opioids should be used as part of a comprehensive treatment programme involving other medications and treatment modalities. A crucial part of the assessment of a patient with chronic non-malignant pain is the patient's addiction and substance abuse history.
If opioid treatment is considered appropriate for the patient, then the main aim of treatment is not to minimise the dose of opioid but rather to achieve a dose which provides adequate pain relief with a minimum of side effects. There must be frequent contact between physician and patient so that dosage adjustments can be made. It is strongly recommended that the physician defines treatment outcomes in accordance with pain management guidelines. The physician and patient can then agree to discontinue treatment if these objectives are not met.
The patient may develop tolerance to the drug with chronic use and require progressively higher doses to maintain pain control. Prolonged use of this product may lead to physical dependence and a withdrawal syndrome may occur upon abrupt cessation of therapy. When a patient no longer requires therapy with oxycodone, it may be advisable to taper the dose gradually to prevent symptoms of withdrawal. The opioid abstinence or withdrawal syndrome is characterised by some or all of the following: restlessness, lacrimation, rhinorrhoea, yawning, perspiration, chills, myalgia, mydriasis and palpitations. Other symptoms also may develop, including: irritability, anxiety, backache, joint pain, weakness, abdominal cramps, insomnia, nausea, anorexia, vomiting, diarrhoea, or increased blood pressure, respiratory rate or heart rate
Hyperalgesia that will not respond to a further dose increase of oxycodone may occur, particularly in high doses. An oxycodone dose reduction or change to an alternative opioid may be required.
Oxycodone has an abuse liability similar to other strong agonist opioids. Oxycodone may be sought and abused by people with latent or manifest addiction disorders. There is potential for development of psychological dependence [addiction] to opioid analgesics, including oxycodone. Shortec should be used with particular care in patients with a history of alcohol and drug abuse.
As with other opioids, infants who are born to dependent mothers may exhibit withdrawal symptoms and may have respiratory depression at birth.
Concomitant use of alcohol and Shortec injection may increase the undesirable effects of Shortec injection; concomitant use should be avoided
Opioids, such as oxycodone hydrochloride, may influence the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal or – gonadal axes. Some changes that can be seen include an increase in serum prolactin, and decreases in plasma cortisol and testosterone. Clinical symptoms may manifest from these hormonal changes.
The concomitant use of opioids with sedative medicines such as benzodiazepines or related drugs increases the risk of sedation, respiratory depression, coma and death because of additive CNS depressant effect. The dose and duration of concomitant use should be limited (see section 4.4).
Drugs which affect the CNS include, but are not limited to: tranquillisers, anaesthetics, hypnotics, anti-depressants, non-benzodiazepine sedatives, phenothiazines, neuroleptic drugs, alcohol, other opioids, muscle relaxants and antihypertensives.
Concomitant administration of oxycodone with anticholinergics or medicines with anticholinergic activity (e.g. tricyclic anti-depressants, antihistamines, antipsychotics, muscle relaxants, anti-Parkinson drugs) may result in increased anticholinergic adverse effects. Oxycodone should be used with caution and the dosage may need to be reduced in patients using these medications.
MAO inhibitors are known to interact with narcotic analgesics. MAO-inhibitors cause CNS excitation or depression associated with hypertensive or hypotensive crisis (see section 4.4).
Alcohol may enhance the pharmacodynamic effects of Shortec, concomitant use should be avoided.
Oxycodone is metabolised mainly by CYP3A4, with a contribution from CYP2D6. The activities of these metabolic pathways may be inhibited or induced by various co-administered drugs or dietary elements.
CYP3A4 inhibitors, such as macrolide antibiotics (e.g. clarithromycin, erythromycin and telithromycin), azole-antifungals (e.g. ketoconazole, voriconazole, itraconazole, and posaconazole), protease inhibitors (e.g. boceprevir, ritonavir, indinavir, nelfinavir and saquinavir), cimetidine and grapefruit juice may cause a reduced clearance of oxycodone that could cause an increase of the plasma concentrations of oxycodone. Therefore, the oxycodone dose may need to be adjusted accordingly.
Some specific examples are provided below:
• Itraconazole, a potent CYP3A4 inhibitor, administered 200 mg orally for five days, increased the AUC of oral oxycodone. On average, the AUC was approximately 2.4 times higher (range 1.5 - 3.4).
• Voriconazole, a CYP3A4 inhibitor, administered 200 mg twice-daily for four days (400 mg given as first two doses), increased the AUC of oral oxycodone. On average, the AUC was approximately 3.6 times higher (range 2.7 - 5.6).
• Telithromycin, a CYP3A4 inhibitor, administered 800 mg orally for four days, increased the AUC of oral oxycodone. On average, the AUC was approximately 1.8 times higher (range 1.3 – 2.3).
• Grapefruit Juice, a CYP3A4 inhibitor, administered as 200 ml three times a day for five days, increased the AUC of oral oxycodone. On average, the AUC was approximately 1.7 times higher (range 1.1 – 2.1).
CYP3A4 inducers, such as rifampicin, carbamazepine, phenytoin and St John´s Wort may induce the metabolism of oxycodone and cause an increased clearance of oxycodone that could cause a reduction of the plasma concentrations of oxycodone. The oxycodone dose may need to be adjusted accordingly.
Some specific examples are provided below:
• St Johns Wort, a CYP3A4 inducer, administered as 300 mg three times a day for fifteen days, reduced the AUC of oral oxycodone. On average, the AUC was approximately 50% lower (range 37-57%).
• Rifampicin, a CYP3A4 inducer, administered as 600 mg once-daily for seven days, reduced the AUC of oral oxycodone. On average, the AUC was approximately 86% lower
Drugs that inhibit CYP2D6 activity, such as paroxetine and quinidine, may cause decreased clearance of oxycodone which could lead to an increase in oxycodone plasma concentrations.
There are limited data from the use of oxycodone in pregnant women. Infants born to mothers who have received opioids during the last 3 to 4 weeks before giving birth pregnancy should be monitored for respiratory depression. Withdrawal symptoms may be observed in the newborn of mothers undergoing treatment with oxycodone.
No studies on fertility or the post-natal effects of intrauterine exposure have been carried out. However, studies in rats and rabbits with oral doses of oxycodone equivalent to 3 and 47 times an adult dose of 160 mg/day, respectively, did not reveal evidence of harm to the foetus due to oxycodone. Shortec injection is not recommended for use in pregnancy nor during labour.
Oxycodone may be secreted in breast milk and may cause respiratory depression in the newborn. Oxycodone should therefore not be used in breast-feeding mothers.
Oxycodone may impair the ability to drive and use machines. Oxycodone may modify patients' reactions to a varying extent depending on the dosage and individual susceptibility. Therefore, patients should not drive or operate machinery, if affected.
This medicine can impair cognitive function and can affect a patient's ability to drive safely. This class of medicine is in the list of drugs included in regulations under 5a of the Road Traffic Act 1988. When prescribing this medicine, patients should be told:
▪ The medicine is likely to affect your ability to drive.
▪ Do not drive until you know how the medicine affects you.
▪ It is an offence to drive while you have this medicine in your body over a specified limit unless you have a defence (called the 'statutory defence').
▪ This defence applies when:
▪ The medicine has been prescribed to treat a medical or dental problem; and
▪ You have taken it according to the instructions given by the prescriber and in the information provided with the medicine.
▪ Please note that it is still an offence to drive if you are unfit because of the medicine (i.e. your ability to drive is being affected).”
Details regarding a new driving offence concerning driving after drugs have been taken in the UK may be found here: https://www.gov.uk/drug-driving-law.
Adverse drug reactions are typical of full opioid agonists. Tolerance and dependence may occur (see Section 4.4). Constipation may be prevented with an appropriate laxative. If nausea or vomiting are troublesome, oxycodone may be combined with an antiemetic.
The following frequency categories form the basis for classification of the undesirable effects:
≥ 1/100 to <1/10
≥ 1/1,000 to <1/100
≥1/10,000 to <1/1,000
Frequency not known
Cannot be estimated from the available data
Immune system disorders:
Frequency not known: anaphylactic reaction, anaphylactoid reaction
Metabolism and nutrition disorders:
Common: decreased appetite.
Common: anxiety, confusional state, depression, insomnia, nervousness, abnormal thinking, abnormal dreams
Uncommon: agitation, affect lability, euphoric mood, hallucinations, decreased libido, drug dependence (see section 4.4), disorientation, mood altered, restlessness, dysphoria
Frequency not known: aggression.
Nervous system disorders:
Very common: somnolence, dizziness, headache.
Common: tremor, lethargy, sedation.
Uncommon: amnesia, convulsion, hypertonia, hypoaesthesia, involuntary muscle contractions, speech disorder, syncope, paraesthesia, dysgeusia, hypotonia.
Frequency not known: hyperalgesia.
Uncommon: visual impairment, miosis.
Ear and labyrinth disorders:
Uncommon: palpitations (in the context of withdrawal syndrome), supraventricular tachycardia.
Uncommon: vasodilatation, facial flushing
Rare: hypotension, orthostatic hypotension.
Respiratory, thoracic and mediastinal disorders:
Common: dyspnoea, bronchospasm, cough decreased.
Uncommon: respiratory depression, hiccups.
Very common: constipation, nausea, vomiting.
Common: abdominal pain, diarrhoea, dry mouth, dyspepsia.
Uncommon: dysphagia, flatulence, eructation, ileus, gastritis.
Frequency not known: dental caries.
Uncommon: increased hepatic enzymes, biliary colic.
Frequency not known: cholestasis.
Skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders:
Very common: pruritus.
Common: rash, hyperhidrosis.
Uncommon: dry skin, exfoliative dermatitis.
Renal and urinary disorders:
Uncommon: urinary retention, ureteral spasm.
Reproductive system and breast disorders:
Uncommon: erectile dysfunction, hypogonadism.
Frequency not known: amenorrhoea.
General disorders and administration site conditions:
Common: asthenia, fatigue.
Uncommon: drug withdrawal syndrome, malaise, oedema, peripheral oedema, drug tolerance, thirst, pyrexia, chills.
Frequency not known: drug withdrawal syndrome neonatal
Reporting of suspected adverse reactions
Reporting suspected adverse reactions after authorisation of the medicinal product is important. It allows continued monitoring of the benefit/risk balance of the medicinal product. Healthcare professionals are asked to report any suspected adverse reactions via the Yellow Card Scheme at: www.mhra.gov.uk/yellowcard or search for MHRA Yellow Card in the Google Play or Apple App Store.
Symptoms of overdosage
Acute overdose with oxycodone can be manifested by miosis, respiratory depression, hypotension and hallucinations. Nausea and vomiting are common in less severe cases. Non-cardiac pulmonary oedema and rhabdomyolysis are particularly common after intravenous injection of opioid analgesics. Circulatory failure and somnolence progressing to stupor or coma, hypotonia, bradycardia, pulmonary oedema and death may occur in more severe cases.
The effects of overdosage will be potentiated by the simultaneous ingestion of alcohol or other psychotropic drugs
Treatment of overdosage
Primary attention should be given to the establishment of a patent airway and institution of assisted or controlled ventilation. The pure opioid antagonists such as naloxone are specific antidotes against symptoms from opioid overdose. Other supportive measures should be employed as needed,
In the case of massive overdosage, administer naloxone intravenously (0.4 to 2mg for an adult and 0.01mg/kg body weight for children) if the patient is in a coma or respiratory depression is present. Repeat the dose at 2 minute intervals if there is no response. If repeated doses are required then an infusion of 60% of the initial dose per hour is a useful starting point. A solution of 10 mg made up in 50 ml dextrose will produce 200 micrograms/ml for infusion using an IV pump (dose adjusted to the clinical response). Infusions are not a substitute for frequent review of the patient's clinical state.
Intramuscular naloxone is an alternative in the event that IV access is not possible. As the duration of action of naloxone is relatively short, the patient must be carefully monitored until spontaneous respiration is reliably re-established. Naloxone is a competitive antagonist and large doses (4 mg) may be required in seriously poisoned patients.
For less severe overdosage, administer naloxone 0.2 mg intravenously followed by increments of 0.1 mg every 2 minutes if required.
The patient should be observed for at least 6 hours after the last dose of naloxone.
Naloxone should not be administered in the absence of clinically significant respiratory or circulatory depression secondary to oxycodone overdosage. Naloxone should be administered cautiously to persons who are known, or suspected, to be physically dependent on oxycodone. In such cases, an abrupt or complete reversal of opioid effects may precipitate pain and an acute withdrawal syndrome.
Pharmacotherapeutic group: Natural opium alkaloids
ATC code: N02A A05
Oxycodone is a full opioid agonist with no antagonist properties. It has an affinity for kappa, mu and delta opioid receptors in the brain and spinal cord. Oxycodone is similar to morphine in its action. The therapeutic effect is mainly analgesic, anxiolytic, antitussive and sedative.
Opioids may induce spasm of the sphincter of Oddi.
See section 4.4.
Other pharmacological effects
In vitro and animal studies indicate various effects of natural opioids, such as morphine, on components of the immune system; the clinical significance of these findings is unknown. Whether oxycodone, a semisynthetic opioid, has immunological effects similar to morphine is unknown.
Pharmacokinetic studies in healthy subjects demonstrated an equivalent availability of oxycodone from Shortec injection when administered as a 5 mg dose by the intravenous and subcutaneous routes, as a single bolus dose or a continuous infusion over 8 hours.
Following absorption, oxycodone is distributed throughout the entire body. Approximately 45% is bound to plasma protein. It is metabolised in the liver to produce noroxycodone, oxymorphone and various conjugated glucuronides. The analgesic effects of the metabolites are clinically insignificant. The active drug and its metabolites are excreted in both urine and faeces.
The plasma concentrations of oxycodone are only minimally affected by age, being 15% greater in elderly as compared to young subjects.
Female subjects have, on average, plasma oxycodone concentrations up to 25% higher than males on a body weight adjusted basis.
The drug penetrates the placenta and can be found in breast milk.
When compared to normal subjects, patients with mild to severe hepatic dysfunction may have higher plasma concentrations of oxycodone and noroxycodone, and lower plasma concentrations of oxymorphone. There may be an increase in the elimination half-life of oxycodone and this may be accompanied by an increase in drug effects.
When compared to normal subjects, patients with mild to severe renal dysfunction may have higher plasma concentrations of oxycodone and its metabolites. There may be an increase in the elimination half-life of oxycodone and this may be accompanied by an increase in drug effects.
Non-clinical data reveal no special hazard for humans based on conventional studies of safety pharmacology, repeated dose toxicity, and genotoxicity.
Oxycodone had no effect on fertility or early embryonic development in male and female rats at doses as high as 8 mg/kg/d. Also, oxycodone did not induce any deformities in rats at doses as high as 8 mg/kg/d or in rabbits at doses as high as 125 mg/kg/d. Dose-related increases in developmental variations (increased incidences of extra (27) presacral vertebrae and extra pairs of ribs) were observed in rabbits when the data for individual fetuses were analyzed. However, when the same data were analyzed using litters as opposed to individual fetuses, there was no dose-related increase in developmental variations although the incidence of extra presacral vertebrae remained significantly higher in the 125 mg/kg/d group compared to the control group. Since this dose level was associated with severe pharmacotoxic effects in the pregnant animals, the fetal findings may have been a secondary consequence of severe maternal toxicity.
In a study of peri- and postnatal development in rats, maternal body weight and food intake parameters were reduced for doses ≥ 2 mg/kg/d compared to the control group. Body weights were lower in the F1 generation from maternal rats in the 6 mg/kg/d dosing group. There were no effects on physical, reflexological, or sensory developmental parameters or on behavioural and reproductive indices in the F1 pups (the NOEL for F1 pups was 2 mg/kg/d based on body weight effects seen at 6 mg/kg/d). There were no effects on the F2 generation at any dose in the study.
The results of in vitro and in vivo studies indicate that the genotoxic risk of Shortec to humans is minimal or absent at the systemic oxycodone concentrations that are achieved therapeutically.
Oxycodone was not genotoxic in a bacterial mutagenicity assay or in an in vivo micronucleus assay in the mouse. Oxycodone produced a positive response in the in vitro mouse lymphoma assay in the presence of rat liver S9 metabolic activation at dose levels greater than 25 μg/mL. Two in vitro chromosomal aberrations assays with human lymphocytes were conducted. In the first assay, oxycodone was negative without metabolic activation but was positive with S9 metabolic activation at the 24- hour time point but not at other time points or at 48 hours after exposure. In the second assay, oxycodone did not show any clastogenicity either with or without metabolic activation at any concentration or time point.
No animal studies to evaluate the carcinogenic potential of oxycodone have been conducted.
Citric acid monohydrate
Hydrochloric acid, dilute
Water for injections
This medicinal product must not be mixed with other medicinal products except those mentioned in section 6.6.
Cyclizine at concentrations of 3 mg/ml or less, when mixed with Shortec injection, either undiluted or diluted with water for injections, shows no sign of precipitation over a period of 24 hours storage at room temperature. Precipitation has been shown to occur in mixtures with Shortec injection at cyclizine concentrations greater than 3 mg/ml or when diluted with 0.9% saline. However, if the dose of Shortec injection is reduced and the solution is sufficiently diluted with Water for Injections, concentrations greater than 3 mg/ml are possible. It is recommended that Water for Injections be used as a diluent when cyclizine and oxycodone hydrochloride are co-administered either intravenously or subcutaneously as an infusion.
Prochlorperazine is chemically incompatible with Shortec injection.
5 years unopened.
After opening use immediately.
For further information see Section 6.6.
No special precautions for storage prior to opening.
For further information on use after opening see Section 6.6.
Clear glass ampoules: 1 ml
Pack size: 5 ampoules.
The injection should be given immediately after opening the ampoule. Once opened, any unused portion should be discarded. Chemical and physical in-use stability has been demonstrated for 24 hours at room temperature.
From a microbiological point of view, the product should be used immediately. If not used immediately, in-use storage times and conditions prior to use are the responsibility of the user and would normally not be longer than 24 hours at 2 to 8°C, unless reconstitution, dilution, etc has taken place in controlled and validated aseptic conditions.
No evidence of incompatibility was observed between Shortec injection and representative bands of injectable forms of the following drugs, when stored in high and low dose combinations in polypropylene syringes over a 24-hour period at ambient temperature.
Dexamethasone sodium phosphate
Shortec 50 mg/ml injection, undiluted or diluted to 3 mg/ml with 0.9% w/v saline, 5% w/v dextrose or water for injections, is physically and chemically stable when in contact with representative brands of polypropylene or polycarbonate syringes, polyethylene or PVC tubing, and PVC or EVA infusion bags, over a 24-hour period at room temperature (25°C).
The 50 mg/ml injection, whether undiluted or diluted to 3 mg/ml in the infusion fluids used in these studies and contained in the various assemblies, does not need to be protected from light.
Inappropriate handling of the undiluted solution after opening of the original ampoule, or of the diluted solutions may compromise the sterility of the product.
Qdem Pharmaceuticals Ltd
Cambridge Science Park
Cambridge CB4 0AB
04 September 2013
Cambridge Science Park, Milton Road, Cambridge, CB4 0AB
+44(0)1223 426 929
+44(0)1223 426 929
+44(0)1223 426 929