What is Exalgo?Exalgo is a prescription medicine that contains the strong opioid (narcotic) pain medicine, hydromorphone. Exalgo is used to manage moderate to severe pain that continues around-the-clock and is expected to last for a long period of time.
What is the most important information I should know about Exalgo?The medicine in Exalgo is slowly released over 24 hours. If you break, chew, crush, or dissolve Exalgo before swallowing, or inject the contents, the drug may be released too fast and you may overdose. Exalgo overdose can cause life-threatening breathing problems that can lead to death.
Do not take Exalgo unless you are already regularly using opioid pain medicines around-the-clock and your body is used to taking these medicines. This means you are opioid tolerant.
Take Exalgo exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take more than your prescribed daily dose. It is important that you do not take another dose of Exalgo within 24 hours.
Exalgo is not for use for short-term pain relief from injuries or surgery. Exalgo is not for use to treat pain that you only have once in a while ("as needed").
Prevent theft, misuse, or abuse. Keep Exalgo in a safe place to protect it from being stolen. Exalgo can be a target for people who misuse or abuse prescription medicines or street drugs.
Tell your doctor right away if you develop vomiting, severe constipation, or abdominal pain.
Do not drive or operate heavy machinery, or do other dangerous activities, until you know how Exalgo affects you. Exalgo can make you sleepy, and cause you to feel dizzy or lightheaded. This may affect your ability to think and react.
Exalgo may cause a drop in your blood pressure. This can make you feel dizzy if you get up too fast from sitting or lying down. Low blood pressure is also more likely to happen if you take other medicines that can also lower your blood pressure.
Do not stop taking Exalgo without talking to your doctor. Opioid medicines such as Exalgo can cause physical dependence. If your doctor decides you no longer need Exalgo, ask how to slowly stop taking this medicine to avoid uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms.
The Exalgo tablet is contained in a hard shell that does not dissolve in your body. The tablet shell passes through your body in your stool. You may notice something that looks like a tablet in your bowel movement; this is normal.
Who should not take Exalgo?Do not take Exalgo if you are not already regularly taking opioid pain medicine and your body is not used to taking these medicines for your pain; if you are having an asthma attack or have severe asthma, trouble breathing, or certain other lung problems; if you have a bowel blockage called paralytic ileus; if you have narrowing of the stomach or intestines, or have had surgery to your stomach or intestines; or if you are allergic to any of the ingredients in Exalgo or to medicines that contain sulfites.
What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Exalgo?Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Exalgo. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have trouble breathing or lung problems such as asthma, wheezing, or shortness of breath; if you have had a head injury or brain problem; have liver or kidney problems; have an adrenal gland problem, such as Addison's disease; have thyroid problems; have seizures (convulsions or fits); have problems with your pancreas or gallbladder; constipation; have had stomach or intestinal surgery, or a blockage in your stomach or intestine; have prostate enlargement or problems urinating; low blood pressure; have mental problems including depression, anxiety, or hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not there); if you have or had a drinking problem or drug abuse/addiction problem in the past, or a family history of this problem; if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
What is the usual dosage?The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.
Adults: The dosing of Exalgo will vary from patient to patient. Your doctor will prescribe an appropriate dose for you.
How should I take Exalgo?Take Exalgo exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not change your dose unless your doctor tells you to. Take Exalgo one time each day, at the same time every day. Swallow the tablet whole. Do not break, chew, crush, or dissolve it before swallowing, or inject the contents of Exalgo. Exalgo can be taken with or without food.
What should I avoid while taking Exalgo?Do not drive or operate heavy machinery, or do other dangerous activities until you know how Exalgo affects you. Exalgo can make you sleepy, and cause you to feel dizzy or lightheaded. This may affect your ability to think and react.
Do not drink alcohol or use prescription or nonprescription medicines that contain alcohol while taking Exalgo. Using alcohol while taking Exalgo may cause you to overdose and die.
What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Exalgo?If Exalgo is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Exalgo with the following: atropine, hyoscyamine, ipratropium, oxybutynin, central nervous system depressants (such as alcohol, antipsychotics [such as chlorpromazine and risperidone], general anesthetics [such as desflurane, enflurane, and halothane], sedatives and hypnotics [such as estazolam and zaleplon]), antidepressant medications called monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors (such as isocarboxazid, rasagiline, and selegiline), or morphine agonist/antagonists (such as buprenorphone, nalbuphine, and pentazocine).
Do not take Exalgo if you already take an MAO inhibitor or within 14 days after you stop taking an MAO inhibitor.
What are the possible side effects of Exalgo?Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.
Side effects may include: constipation, nausea, drowsiness or sleepiness, headache, vomiting, dizziness
Can I receive Exalgo if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?It is not known if Exalgo will harm your unborn baby if taken during pregnancy. Exalgo passes into breast milk. Tell your doctor immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
What should I do if I miss a dose of Exalgo?Contact your doctor if you miss a dose of Exalgo.
How should I store Exalgo?Store at room temperature. Flush any unused tablets down the toilet.
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