Kadian Warnings and Precautions
Warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking Kadian include the following:
- The 100 mg and 200 mg strengths of this medication are appropriate only for people who are accustomed to taking opioid medications (who are "opioid tolerant"). Kadian is approved only for around-the-clock use (not for occasional or "as needed" use) in people with chronic pain. It is not appropriate for short-term use.
- Kadian contains tiny extended-release pellets. Do not dissolve, chew, or crush the capsules, as this could release too much medication, causing an overdose.
- Kadian is a narcotic medication with significant potential for abuse. It is not a good choice for people who have a history of alcohol or drug abuse (see Kadian Abuse). Do not take the drug more frequently, longer, or at a higher dose than prescribed. If you feel you may be developing a problem with Kadian, please seek help from your healthcare provider.
- The medication can cause problems in people with head injuries or high intracranial pressure. Kadian should only be used with extreme caution in such circumstances.
- Kadian can cause slow and irregular breathing. In severe situations, this may be life-threatening. This may be especially dangerous in people with lung problems.
- Kadian can cause a decrease in blood pressure, which can be especially dangerous if you already have low blood pressure.
- Narcotics such as Kadian are likely to cause constipation. This side effect does not go away as you continue to take the drug. Usually, laxatives are necessary to treat and prevent constipation due to Kadian (see Kadian and Constipation). Let your healthcare provider know if you develop severe constipation, as this could be a sign of an intestinal blockage.
- Kadian can interfere with the diagnosis of many conditions that cause severe abdominal (stomach) pain.
- Like any other narcotic, Kadian can cause dizziness and drowsiness, and may increase the risk of falls in elderly people.
- Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how Kadian affects you. Your reflexes and reaction times may be significantly affected, even if you feel fine.
- Check with your healthcare provider before taking the drug if you have hypothyroidism, Addison's disease, an enlarged prostate, epilepsy, gallbladder problems, pancreatic disease, or kidney disease, as Kadian may not be the best choice for you.
- Kadian can potentially interact with several other medications (see Kadian Drug Interactions).
- Kadian is considered a pregnancy Category C medication. This means that it may not be safe for use during pregnancy, although the full risks are not known (see Kadian and Pregnancy).
- Kadian passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the drug (see Kadian and Breastfeeding).