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Important Safety Information for Drug Delivery Systems

Cancer Pain

SynchroMed® II Drug Infusion System Brief Statement:

Product technical manuals and the appropriate drug labelling must be reviewed prior to use for detailed disclosure.


Chronic intraspinal (epidural and intrathecal) infusion of preservative-free morphine sulphate sterile solution in the treatment of chronic intractable pain.


Infection; implant depth greater than 2.5 cm below skin; insufficient body size; spinal anomalies; drugs with preservatives, drug contraindications, drug formulations with pH ≤3, use of catheter access port (CAP) kit for refills or of refill kit for catheter access, blood sampling through CAP in vascular applications, use of Personal Therapy Manager to administer opioid to opioid-naive patients.


Non-indicated formulations may contain neurotoxic preservatives, antimicrobials, or antioxidants, or may be incompatible with and damage the system. Failure to comply with all product instructions, including use of drugs or fluids not indicated for use with system, or of questionable sterility or quality, or use of non-Medtronic components or inappropriate kits, can result in improper use, technical errors, increased risks to patient, tissue damage, damage to the system requiring revision or replacement, and/or change in therapy, and may result in additional surgical procedures, a return of underlying symptoms, and/or a clinically significant or fatal drug under- or overdose. Refer to appropriate drug labelling for indications, contraindications, warnings, precautions, dosage and administration, screening procedures and underdose and overdose symptoms and methods of management. Physicians must be familiar with the drug stability information in the product technical manuals and must understand the dose relationship to drug concentration and pump flow rate before prescribing pump infusion. An inflammatory mass that can result in serious neurological impairment, including paralysis, may occur at the tip of the implanted catheter. Clinicians should monitor patients on intraspinal therapy carefully for any new neurological signs or symptoms, change in underlying symptoms, or need for rapid dose escalation.

Inform patients of the signs and symptoms of drug under- or overdose, appropriate drug warnings and precautions regarding drug interactions, potential side effects, and signs and symptoms that require medical attention, including prodromal signs and symptoms of inflammatory mass. If it is suspected or known that all or part of the drug was injected into the pocket during the refill procedure, monitor the patient closely for signs and symptoms of overdose in an appropriate facility for a sufficient amount of time or until the symptoms have resolved. Failure to recognize signs and symptoms and seek appropriate medical intervention can result in serious injury or death. Instruct patients to notify their healthcare professionals of the implanted pump before medical tests/procedures, to return for refills at prescribed times, to carry their Medtronic device identification card, to avoid manipulating the pump through the skin, to consult with their clinician if the pump alarms and before traveling or engaging in activities that can stress the infusion system or involve pressure or temperature changes. Strong sources of electromagnetic interference (EMI), such as short wave (RF) diathermy and MRI, can negatively interact with the pump and cause heating of the implanted pump, system damage, or changes in pump operation or flow rate, that can result in patient injury from tissue heating, additional surgical procedures, a return of underlying symptoms, and/or a clinically significant or fatal drug underdose or overdose. Avoid using shortwave (RF) diathermy within 30 cm of the pump or catheter. Effects of other types of diathermy (microwave, ultrasonic, etc.) on the pump are unknown. Drug infusion is suspended during MRI; for patients who can not safely tolerate suspension, use alternative drug delivery method during MRI. Confirm pump status before and after MRI. Reference product labelling for information on sources of EMI, effects on patient and system, and steps to reduce risks from EMI.


Monitor patients after device or catheter replacement for signs of underdose/overdose. Infuse preservative-free (intraspinal) saline or, for vascular applications, infuse heparinized solutions therapy at minimum flow rate if therapy is discontinued for an extended period of time to avoid system damage. EMI may interfere with programmer telemetry during pump programming sessions. EMI from the SynchroMed programmer may interfere with other active implanted devices (e.g., pacemaker, defibrillator, neurostimulator).

Adverse Events:

Include, but are not limited to, spinal/vascular procedure risks; infection; bleeding; tissue damage, damage to the system or loss of, or change in, therapy that may result in additional surgical procedures, a return of underlying symptoms, and/or a clinically significant or fatal drug underdose or overdose, due to end of device service life, failure of the catheter, pump or other system component, pump inversion, technical/programming errors, injection into the pocket or subcutaneous tissue or improper use, including use of non-indicated formulations and/or not using drugs or system in accordance with labelling; pocket seroma, hematoma, erosion, infection; post-lumbar puncture (spinal headache); CSF leak and rare central nervous system pressure-related problems; hygroma; radiculitis; arachnoiditis; spinal cord bleeding/damage; meningitis; neurological impairment (including paralysis) due to inflammatory mass; potential serious adverse effects from catheter fragments in intrathecal space, including potential to compromise antibiotic effectiveness for CSF infection; anaesthesia complications; body rejection phenomena; local and systemic drug toxicity and related side effects; potential serious adverse effects from catheter placement in intravascular applications.

Product Advisories

Medtronic has notified physicians about product advisories related to Medtronic Targeted Drug Delivery Systems. This information can be found at

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