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J Pain. 2008 Apr;9(4):330-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jpain.2007.11.009. Epub 2008 Jan 16.

Effect of concomitant ingestion of alcohol on the in vivo pharmacokinetics of KADIAN (morphine sulfate extended-release) capsules.

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  • 1Clinical Pharmacology, Alpharma Pharmaceuticals LLC, Piscataway, New Jersey 08854, USA. franklin.johnson@slpharma.com


The recent withdrawal of hydromorphone hydrochloride extended-release capsules (Palladone; Purdue Pharma L.P., Stamford, CT) from the market after pharmacokinetic data revealed a risk of alcohol-induced dose-dumping prompted a re-examination of the risk-benefit profiles of extended-release drugs. Although warnings on concomitant alcohol use are included on opioid product labels, further investigations of extended-release formulations to determine the risk of dose-dumping were recommended by the US Food and Drug Administration. The present study was undertaken to assess the single-dose relative bioavailability of polymer-coated, extended-release morphine sulfate capsules (KADIAN, 100 mg; Alpharma Pharmaceuticals LLC, Piscataway, NJ). This open-label, randomized, 3-way crossover study with an additional index arm, conducted among 32 healthy male volunteers, found no significant evidence of a formulation interaction between KADIAN and alcohol, in vivo. The pharmacokinetics of serum morphine did not differ significantly among subjects taking KADIAN with water (fasted) or with 240 mL 40% alcohol under fasted or fed conditions. Analysis of variance ratios of least-squares means for ln-transformed AUC(infinity) and C(max) satisfied the criteria (90% confidence intervals within 80%-125%) to declare no drug formulation interaction among the KADIAN regimens dosed with alcohol compared with KADIAN taken with water. There were no serious adverse events or deaths reported during the study.


Because of the high rate of alcohol use in the United States, the potential for drug-alcohol interactions is an important clinical concern. Although it is recommended that alcohol not be used while the patient is taking opioids, results of this in vivo study indicate that the risk of alcohol-induced dose-dumping in connection with the use of KADIAN is negligible.

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