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Neuroscience and Pain

Neuroscience and Pain

Therapies for neurologic diseases and pain conditions with unique underlying biology, affecting patients in different ways depending on co-morbidities, background genetics and psychology.

Neuroscience and Pain Medications

Please select a product from the list to view its approved indications as well as the link to its full prescribing information. The list is not an all-inclusive list of Pfizer medications in a therapeutic area and inclusion of a product within this list should not suggest it is approved for a broad therapeutic area. Please refer to each medication’s individual prescribing information for specific details.

ALSUMA® AUTO INJECTOR (sumatriptan injection solution)

These highlights do not include all the information needed to use ALSUMA AUTO INJECTOR safety and effectively. See full prescribing information for ALSUMA AUTO INJECTOR.

4 CONTRAINDICATIONS

ALSUMA is contraindicated in patients with:

5 WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS

5.1 Myocardial Ischemia, Myocardial Infarction, and Prinzmetal's Angina

ALSUMA is contraindicated in patients with ischemic or vasospastic CAD. There have been rare reports of serious cardiac adverse reactions, including acute myocardial infarction, occurring within a few hours following administration of sumatriptan. Some of these reactions occurred in patients without known CAD. ALSUMA may cause coronary artery vasospasm (Prinzmetal's angina), even in patients without a history of CAD.

Perform a cardiovascular evaluation in triptan-naive patients who have multiple cardiovascular risk factors (e.g., increased age, diabetes, hypertension, smoking, obesity, strong family history of CAD) prior to receiving ALSUMA. If there is evidence of CAD or coronary artery vasospasm, ALSUMA is contraindicated. For patients with multiple cardiovascular risk factors who have a negative cardiovascular evaluation, consider administering the first dose of ALSUMA in a medically supervised setting and performing an electrocardiogram (ECG) immediately following ALSUMA. For such patients, consider periodic cardiovascular evaluation in intermittent long-term users of ALSUMA.

5.2 Arrhythmias

Life-threatening disturbances of cardiac rhythm, including ventricular tachycardia and ventricular fibrillation leading to death, have been reported within a few hours following the administration of 5-HT1 agonists. Discontinue ALSUMA if these disturbances occur. ALSUMA is contraindicated in patients with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome or arrhythmias associated with other cardiac accessory conduction pathway disorders.

5.3 Chest, Throat, Neck and/or Jaw Pain/Tightness/Pressure

Sensations of tightness, pain, pressure, and heaviness in the precordium, throat, neck, and jaw commonly occur after treatment with ALSUMA and are usually non-cardiac in origin. However, perform a cardiac evaluation if these patients are at high cardiac risk. The use of ALSUMA is contraindicated in patients shown to have CAD and those with Prinzmetal's variant angina.

5.4 Cerebrovascular Events

Cerebral hemorrhage, subarachnoid hemorrhage, and stroke have occurred in patients treated with 5-HT1 agonists, and some have resulted in fatalities. In a number of cases, it appears possible that the cerebrovascular events were primary, the 5-HT1 agonists having been administered in the incorrect belief that the symptoms experienced were a consequence of migraine when they were not. Also, patients with migraine may be at increased risk of certain cerebrovascular events (e.g., stroke, hemorrhage, TIA). Discontinue ALSUMA if a cerebrovascular event occurs.

Before treating headaches in patients not previously diagnosed as migraineurs, and in migraineurs who present with atypical symptoms, exclude other potentially serious neurological conditions. ALSUMA is contraindicated in patients with a history of stroke or TIA.

5.5 Other Vasospasm Reactions

ALSUMA may cause non-coronary vasospastic reactions, such as peripheral vascular ischemia, gastrointestinal vascular ischemia and infarction (presenting with abdominal pain and bloody diarrhea), splenic infarction, and Raynaud's syndrome. In patients who experience symptoms or signs suggestive of non-coronary vasospasm reaction following the use of any 5-HT1 agonist, rule out a vasospastic reaction before receiving additional ALSUMA doses.

Reports of transient and permanent blindness and significant partial vision loss have been reported with the use of 5-HT1 agonists. Since visual disorders may be part of a migraine attack, a causal relationship between these events and the use of 5-HT1 agonists have not been clearly established.

5.6 Medication Overuse Headache

Overuse of acute migraine drugs (e.g., ergotamine, triptans, opioids, or combination of these drugs for 10 or more days per month) may lead to exacerbation of headache (medication overuse headache). Medication overuse headache may present as migraine-like daily headaches or as a marked increase in frequency of migraine attacks. Detoxification of patients, including withdrawal of the overused drugs and treatment of withdrawal symptoms (which often includes a transient worsening of headache) may be necessary.

5.7 Serotonin Syndrome

Serotonin syndrome may occur with ALSUMA, particularly during co-administration with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), and MAO inhibitors [see Drug Interactions (7.4)]. Serotonin syndrome symptoms may include mental status changes (e.g., agitation, hallucinations, coma), autonomic instability (e.g., tachycardia, labile blood pressure, hyperthermia), neuromuscular aberrations (e.g., hyperreflexia, incoordination), and/or gastrointestinal symptoms (e.g., nausea, vomiting, diarrhea). The onset of symptoms usually occurs within minutes to hours of receiving a new or a greater dose of a serotonergic medication. Discontinue ALSUMA if serotonin syndrome is suspected.

5.8 Increase in Blood Pressure

Significant elevation in blood pressure, including hypertensive crisis with acute impairment of organ systems, has been reported on rare occasions in patients treated with 5-HT1 agonists, including patients without a history of hypertension. Monitor blood pressure in patients treated with ALSUMA. ALSUMA is contraindicated in patients with uncontrolled hypertension.

5.9 Anaphylactic/Anaphylactoid Reactions

There have been reports of anaphylactic, anaphylactoid, and hypersensitivity reactions including angioedema in patients receiving ALSUMA. Such reactions can be life threatening or fatal. In general, anaphylactic reactions to drugs are more likely to occur in individuals with a history of sensitivity to multiple allergens. ALSUMA is contraindicated in patients with a history of hypersensitivity reaction to ALSUMA.

5.10 Seizures

Seizures have been reported following administration of ALSUMA. Some have occurred in patients with either a history of seizures or concurrent conditions predisposing to seizures. There are also reports in patients where no such predisposing factors are apparent. ALSUMA should be used with caution in patients with a history of epilepsy or conditions associated with a lowered seizure threshold.

6 ADVERSE REACTIONS

The following adverse reactions are discussed in more detail in other sections of the prescribing information:

6.1 Clinical Trials Experience

Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared with rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice.

Migraine Headache:

Table 1 lists adverse reactions that occurred in 2 US placebo-controlled clinical trials in migraine subjects [Studies 2 and 3, see Clinical Studies (14.1)] following either a single 6-mg dose of sumatriptan injection or placebo. Only reactions that occurred at a frequency of 2% or more in groups treated with sumatriptan injection 6 mg and that occurred at a frequency greater than the placebo group are included in Table 1.

Table 1. Adverse Reactions Reported by at Least 2% of Subjects and at a Greater Frequency Than Placebo in 2 Placebo-Controlled Migraine Clinical Trials (Studies 2 and 3)*
Percent of Subjects Reporting
Adverse Reaction Sumatriptan 6 mg Subcutaneous
(n = 547)
Placebo
(n = 370)
*
The sum of the percentages cited is greater than 100% because subjects may have experienced more than 1 type of adverse reaction. Only reactions that occurred at a frequency of 2% or more in groups treated with sumatriptan injection and occurred at a frequency greater than the placebo groups are included.
Includes injection site pain, stinging/burning, swelling, erythema, bruising, bleeding.
Atypical sensations 42 9
  Tingling 14 3
  Warm/hot sensation 11 4
  Burning sensation 7 <1
  Feeling of heaviness 7 1
  Pressure sensation 7 2
  Feeling of tightness 5 <1
  Numbness 5 2
  Feeling strange 2 <1
  Tight feeling in head 2 <1
Cardiovascular
  Flushing 7 2
Chest Discomfort 5 1
  Tightness in chest 3 <1
  Pressure in chest 2 <1
Ear, nose and throat
  Throat discomfort 3 <1
  Discomfort: nasal cavity/sinuses 2 <1
Injection site reaction 59 24
Miscellaneous
  Jaw discomfort 2 0
Musculoskeletal
  Weakness 5 <1
  Neck pain/stiffness 5 <1
  Myalgia 2 <1
Neurological
  Dizziness/vertigo 12 4
  Drowsiness/sedation 3 2
  Headache 2 <1
Skin
  Sweating 2 1

The incidence of adverse reactions in controlled clinical trials was not affected by gender or age of the subjects. There were insufficient data to assess the impact of race on the incidence of adverse reactions.

Cluster Headache:

In the controlled clinical trials assessing the efficacy of sumatriptan injection as a treatment for cluster headache [Studies 4 and 5, see Clinical Studies (14.2)], no new significant adverse reactions were detected that had not already been identified in trials of sumatriptan in subjects with migraine.

Overall, the frequency of adverse reactions reported in the trials of cluster headache was generally lower than in the migraine trials. Exceptions include reports of paresthesia (5% sumatriptan, 0% placebo), nausea and vomiting (4% sumatriptan, 0% placebo), and bronchospasm (1% sumatriptan, 0% placebo).

Adverse Reactions Observed In Association With The Administration of ALSUMA:

The safety of ALSUMA was evaluated in an open-label clinical trial evaluating the usability of ALSUMA during a migraine attack. Adverse reactions that occurred at a frequency of 5% or higher were injection site bruising (16%), injection site pain (6%), and injection site hemorrhage (6%).

1 INDICATIONS AND USAGE

ALSUMA™ (sumatriptan injection) is indicated in adults for the acute treatment of migraine, with or without aura, and the acute treatment of cluster headache.

Limitations of Use:

  • Use only if a clear diagnosis of migraine or cluster headache has been established. If a patient has no response to the first migraine attack treated with ALSUMA, reconsider the diagnosis of migraine before ALSUMA is administrated to treat any subsequent attacks.
  • ALSUMA is not indicated for the prevention of migraine attacks.

CELONTIN® (methsuximide)

These highlights do not include all the information needed to use CELONTIN safety and effectively. See full prescribing information for CELONTIN.

CONTRAINDICATIONS

Methsuximide should not be used in patients with a history of hypersensitivity to succinimides.

WARNINGS

Blood dyscrasias

Blood dyscrasias, including some with fatal outcome, have been reported to be associated with the use of succinimides; therefore, periodic blood counts should be performed. Should signs and/or symptoms of infection (eg, sore throat, fever) develop, blood counts should be considered at that point.

Effects on Liver

It has been reported that succinimides have produced morphological and functional changes in animal liver. For this reason, methsuximide should be administered with extreme caution to patients with known liver or renal disease. Periodic urinalysis and liver function studies are advised for all patients receiving the drug.

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

Cases of systemic lupus erythematosus have been reported with the use of succinimides. The physician should be alert to this possibility.

Suicidal Behavior and Ideation

Antiepileptic drugs (AEDs), including Celontin, increase the risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior in patients taking these drugs for any indication. Patients treated with any AED for any indication should be monitored for the emergence or worsening of depression, suicidal thoughts or behavior, and/or any unusual changes in mood or behavior.

Pooled analyses of 199 placebo-controlled clinical trials (mono- and adjunctive therapy) of 11 different AEDs showed that patients randomized to one of the AEDs had approximately twice the risk (adjusted Relative Risk 1.8, 95% CI:1.2, 2.7) of suicidal thinking or behavior compared to patients randomized to placebo. In these trials, which had a median treatment duration of 12 weeks, the estimated incidence rate of suicidal behavior or ideation among 27,863 AED-treated patients was 0.43%, compared to 0.24% among 16,029 placebo-treated patients, representing an increase of approximately one case of suicidal thinking or behavior for every 530 patients treated. There were four suicides in drug-treated patients in the trials and none in placebo-treated patients, but the number is too small to allow any conclusion about drug effect on suicide.

The increased risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior with AEDs was observed as early as one week after starting drug treatment with AEDs and persisted for the duration of treatment assessed. Because most trials included in the analysis did not extend beyond 24 weeks, the risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior beyond 24 weeks could not be assessed.

The risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior was generally consistent among drugs in the data analyzed. The finding of increased risk with AEDs of varying mechanisms of action and across a range of indications suggests that the risk applies to all AEDs used for any indication. The risk did not vary substantially by age (5–100 years) in the clinical trials analyzed.

Table 1 shows absolute and relative risk by indication for all evaluated AEDs.

Table 1 Risk by indication for antiepileptic drugs in the pooled analysis
Indication Placebo Patients with Events Per 1000 Patients Drug Patients with Events Per 1000 Patients Relative Risk: Incidence of Events in Drug Patients/Incidence in Placebo Patients Risk Difference: Additional Drug Patients with Events Per 1000 Patients
Epilepsy 1.0 3.4 3.5 2.4
Psychiatric 5.7 8.5 1.5 2.9
Other 1.0 1.8 1.9 0.9
Total 2.4 4.3 1.8 1.9

The relative risk for suicidal thoughts or behavior was higher in clinical trials for epilepsy than in clinical trials for psychiatric or other conditions, but the absolute risk differences were similar for the epilepsy and psychiatric indications.

Anyone considering prescribing Celontin or any other AED must balance the risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior with the risk of untreated illness. Epilepsy and many other illnesses for which AEDs are prescribed are themselves associated with morbidity and mortality and an increased risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior. Should suicidal thoughts and behavior emerge during treatment, the prescriber needs to consider whether the emergence of these symptoms in any given patient may be related to the illness being treated.

Patients, their caregivers, and families should be informed that AEDs increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior and should be advised of the need to be alert for the emergence or worsening of the signs and symptoms of depression, any unusual changes in mood or behavior, or the emergence of suicidal thoughts, behavior, or thoughts about self-harm. Behaviors of concern should be reported immediately to healthcare providers.

Usage in Pregnancy

Reports suggest an association between the use of anticonvulsant drugs by women with epilepsy and an elevated incidence of birth defects in children born to these women. Data are more extensive with respect to phenytoin and phenobarbital, but these are also the most commonly prescribed anticonvulsants; less systematic or anecdotal reports suggest a possible similar association with the use of all known anticonvulsant drugs.

The reports suggesting an elevated incidence of birth defects in children of drug-treated epileptic women cannot be regarded as adequate to prove a definite cause and effect relationship. There are intrinsic methodologic problems in obtaining adequate data on drug teratogenicity in humans; the possibility also exists that other factors, eg, genetic factors or the epileptic condition itself, may be more important than drug therapy in leading to birth defects. The great majority of mothers on anticonvulsant medication deliver normal infants. It is important to note that anticonvulsant drugs should not be discontinued in patients in whom the drug is administered to prevent major seizures because of the strong possibility of precipitating status epilepticus with attendant hypoxia and threat to life. In individual cases where the severity and frequency of the seizure disorder are such that the removal of medication does not pose a serious threat to the patient, discontinuation of the drug may be considered prior to and during pregnancy, although it cannot be said with any confidence that even minor seizures do not pose some hazard to the developing embryo or fetus.

The prescribing physician will wish to weigh these considerations in treating or counseling epileptic women of childbearing potential.


PRECAUTIONS

General

It is recommended that the physician withdraw the drug slowly on the appearance of unusual depression, aggressiveness, or other behavioral alterations.

As with other anticonvulsants, it is important to proceed slowly when increasing or decreasing dosage, as well as when adding or eliminating other medication. Abrupt withdrawal of anticonvulsant medication may precipitate absence (petit mal) status.

Methsuximide, when used alone in mixed types of epilepsy, may increase the frequency of grand mal seizures in some patients.

Information for Patients

Inform patients of the availability of a Medication Guide, and instruct them to read the Medication Guide prior to taking Celontin. Instruct patients to take Celontin only as prescribed.

Methsuximide may impair the mental and/or physical abilities required for the performance of potentially hazardous tasks, such as driving a motor vehicle or other such activity requiring alertness; therefore, the patient should be cautioned accordingly. Patients taking methsuximide should be advised of the importance of adhering strictly to the prescribed dosage regimen.

Patients should be instructed to promptly contact their physician if they develop signs and/or symptoms suggesting an infection (eg, sore throat, fever).

ADVICE TO THE PHARMACIST AND PATIENT: Since methsuximide has a relatively low melting temperature (124° F), storage conditions which may promote high temperatures (closed cars, delivery vans, or storage near steam pipes) should be avoided. Do not dispense or use capsules that are not full or in which contents have melted. Effectiveness may be reduced. Protect from excessive heat (104° F).

Patients, their caregivers, and families should be counseled that AEDs, including Celontin, may increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior and should be advised of the need to be alert for the emergence or worsening of symptoms of depression, any unusual changes in mood or behavior, or the emergence of suicidal thoughts, behavior, or thoughts about self-harm. Behaviors of concern should be reported immediately to healthcare providers.

Patients should be encouraged to enroll in the North American Antiepileptic Drug (NAAED) Pregnancy Registry if they become pregnant. This registry is collecting information about the safety of antiepileptic drugs during pregnancy. To enroll, patients can call the toll free number 1-888-233-2334 (see PRECAUTIONS: Pregnancy section).

Drug Interactions

Since Celontin (methsuximide) may interact with concurrently administered antiepileptic drugs, periodic serum level determinations of these drugs may be necessary (eg, methsuximide may increase the plasma concentrations of phenytoin and phenobarbital).

Pregnancy

To provide information regarding the effects of in utero exposure to Celontin, physicians are advised to recommend that pregnant patients taking Celontin enroll in the (NAAED) Pregnancy Registry. This can be done by calling the toll free number 1-888-233-2334, and must be done by patients themselves. Information on the registry can also be found at the website:
http://www.aedpregnancyregistry.org/.

See WARNINGS.

Pediatric Use

See DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION.

ADVERSE REACTIONS

Gastrointestinal System: Gastrointestinal symptoms occur frequently and have included nausea or vomiting, anorexia, diarrhea, weight loss, epigastric and abdominal pain, and constipation.

Hemopoietic System: Hemopoietic complications associated with the administration of methsuximide have included eosinophilia, leukopenia, monocytosis, and pancytopenia with or without bone marrow suppression.

Nervous System: Neurologic and sensory reactions reported during therapy with methsuximide have included drowsiness, ataxia or dizziness, irritability and nervousness, headache, blurred vision, photophobia, hiccups, and insomnia. Drowsiness, ataxia, and dizziness have been the most frequent side effects noted. Psychologic abnormalities have included confusion, instability, mental slowness, depression, hypochondriacal behavior, and aggressiveness. There have been rare reports of psychosis, suicidal behavior, and auditory hallucinations.

Integumentary System: Dermatologic manifestations which have occurred with the administration of methsuximide have included urticaria, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, and pruritic erythematous rashes.

Cardiovascular: Hyperemia.

Genitourinary System: Proteinuria, microscopic hematuria.

Body as a Whole: Periorbital edema.

INDICATIONS AND USAGE

Celontin is indicated for the control of absence (petit mal) seizures that are refractory to other drugs.

CEREBYX® (fosphenytoin sodium)

These highlights do not include all the information needed to use CEREBYX safety and effectively. See full prescribing information for CEREBYX.

WARNING: CARDIOVASCULAR RISK ASSOCIATED WITH RAPID INFUSION RATES

The rate of intravenous CEREBYX administration should not exceed 150 mg phenytoin sodium equivalents (PE) per minute in adults and 2 mg PE/kg/min (or 150 mg PE/min, whichever is slower) in pediatric patients because of the risk of severe hypotension and cardiac arrhythmias. Careful cardiac monitoring is needed during and after administering intravenous CEREBYX. Although the risk of cardiovascular toxicity increases with infusion rates above the recommended infusion rate, these events have also been reported at or below the recommended infusion rate. Reduction in rate of administration or discontinuation of dosing may be needed [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2) and Dosage and Administration (2.3, 2.4)].

4 CONTRAINDICATIONS

CEREBYX is contraindicated in patients with:

  • A history of hypersensitivity to CEREBYX or its inactive ingredients, or to phenytoin or other hydantoins [see Warnings and Precautions (5.6)].
  • Sinus bradycardia, sino-atrial block, second and third degree A-V block, or Adams-Stokes syndrome because of the effect of parenteral phenytoin or CEREBYX on ventricular automaticity.
  • A history of prior acute hepatotoxicity attributable to CEREBYX or phenytoin [see Warnings and Precautions (5.7)].
  • Coadministration with delavirdine because of the potential for loss of virologic response and possible resistance to delavirdine or to the class of non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors.

5 WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS

5.1 Dosing Errors

Phenytoin Sodium Equivalents (PE)

Do not confuse the amount of drug to be given in PE with the concentration of the drug in the vial.

Doses of CEREBYX are always expressed in terms of milligrams of phenytoin sodium equivalents (mg PE). 1 mg PE is equivalent to 1 mg phenytoin sodium.

Do not, therefore, make any adjustment in the recommended doses when substituting CEREBYX for phenytoin sodium or vice versa. For example, if a patient is receiving 1000 mg PE of CEREBYX, that is equivalent to 1000 mg of phenytoin sodium.

Concentration of 50 mg PE/mL

Medication errors associated with CEREBYX have resulted in patients receiving the wrong dose of fosphenytoin. CEREBYX is marketed in 2 mL vials containing a total of 100 mg PE and 10 mL vials containing a total of 500 mg PE. The concentration of each vial is 50 mg PE/mL. Errors have occurred when the concentration of the vial (50 mg PE/mL) was misinterpreted to mean that the total content of the vial was 50 mg PE. These errors have resulted in two- or ten-fold overdoses of CEREBYX since each vial actually contains a total of 100 mg PE or 500 mg PE. In some cases, ten-fold overdoses were associated with fatal outcomes. To help minimize confusion, the prescribed dose of CEREBYX should always be expressed in milligrams of phenytoin equivalents (mg PE) [see Dosage and Administration (2.1)]. Additionally, when ordering and storing CEREBYX, consider displaying the total drug content (i.e., 100 mg PE/ 2 mL or 500 mg PE/ 10 mL) instead of concentration in computer systems, pre-printed orders, and automated dispensing cabinet databases to help ensure that total drug content can be clearly identified. Care should be taken to ensure the appropriate volume of CEREBYX is withdrawn from the vial when preparing the drug for administration. Attention to these details may prevent some CEREBYX medication errors from occurring.

5.2 Cardiovascular Risk Associated with Rapid Infusion

Rapid intravenous administration of CEREBYX increases the risk of adverse cardiovascular reactions, including severe hypotension and cardiac arrhythmias. Cardiac arrhythmias have included bradycardia, heart block, QT interval prolongation, ventricular tachycardia, and ventricular fibrillation which have resulted in asystole, cardiac arrest, and death. Severe complications are most commonly encountered in critically ill patients, elderly patients, and patients with hypotension and severe myocardial insufficiency. However, cardiac events have also been reported in adults and children without underlying cardiac disease or comorbidities and at recommended doses and infusion rates.

The rate of intravenous CEREBYX administration should not exceed 150 mg phenytoin sodium equivalents (PE) per minute in adults and 2 mg PE/kg/min (or 150 mg PE/min, whichever is slower) in pediatric patients [see Dosage and Administration (2.3, 2.4)].

Although the risk of cardiovascular toxicity increases with infusion rates above the recommended infusion rate, these events have also been reported at or below the recommended infusion rate.

As non-emergency therapy, intravenous CEREBYX should be administered more slowly. Because of the risks of cardiac and local toxicity associated with IV CEREBYX, oral phenytoin should be used whenever possible.

Because adverse cardiovascular reactions have occurred during and after infusions, careful cardiac and respiratory monitoring is needed during and after the administration of intravenous CEREBYX. Reduction in rate of administration or discontinuation of dosing may be needed.

5.3 Withdrawal Precipitated Seizure, Status Epilepticus

Antiepileptic drugs should not be abruptly discontinued because of the possibility of increased seizure frequency, including status epilepticus. When, in the judgment of the clinician, the need for dosage reduction, discontinuation, or substitution of alternative antiepileptic medication arises, this should be done gradually. However, in the event of an allergic or hypersensitivity reaction, rapid substitution of alternative therapy may be necessary. In this case, alternative therapy should be an antiepileptic drug not belonging to the hydantoin chemical class.

5.4 Serious Dermatologic Reactions

Serious and sometimes fatal dermatologic reactions, including toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN) and Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS), have been reported with phenytoin (the active metabolite of CEREBYX) treatment. The onset of symptoms is usually within 28 days, but can occur later. CEREBYX should be discontinued at the first sign of a rash, unless the rash is clearly not drug-related. If signs or symptoms suggest SJS/TEN, use of this drug should not be resumed and alternative therapy should be considered. If a rash occurs, the patient should be evaluated for signs and symptoms of Drug Reaction with Eosinophilia and Systemic Symptoms [see Warnings and Precautions (5.5)].

Studies in patients of Chinese ancestry have found a strong association between the risk of developing SJS/TEN and the presence of HLA-B*1502, an inherited allelic variant of the HLA B gene, in patients using carbamazepine. Limited evidence suggests that HLA-B*1502 may be a risk factor for the development of SJS/TEN in patients of Asian ancestry taking other antiepileptic drugs associated with SJS/TEN, including phenytoin. Consideration should be given to avoiding CEREBYX as an alternative for carbamazepine patients positive for HLA-B*1502.

The use of HLA-B*1502 genotyping has important limitations and must never substitute for appropriate clinical vigilance and patient management. The role of other possible factors in the development of, and morbidity from, SJS/TEN, such as antiepileptic drug (AED) dose, compliance, concomitant medications, comorbidities, and the level of dermatologic monitoring have not been studied.

5.5 Drug Reaction with Eosinophilia and Systemic Symptoms (DRESS)/Multiorgan Hypersensitivity

Drug Reaction with Eosinophilia and Systemic Symptoms (DRESS), also known as Multiorgan hypersensitivity, has been reported in patients taking antiepileptic drugs, including phenytoin and CEREBYX. Some of these events have been fatal or life-threatening. DRESS typically, although not exclusively, presents with fever, rash, lymphadenopathy, and/or facial swelling, in association with other organ system involvement, such as hepatitis, nephritis, hematological abnormalities, myocarditis, or myositis sometimes resembling an acute viral infection. Eosinophilia is often present. Because this disorder is variable in its expression, other organ systems not noted here may be involved. It is important to note that early manifestations of hypersensitivity, such as fever or lymphadenopathy, may be present even though rash is not evident. If such signs or symptoms are present, the patient should be evaluated immediately. CEREBYX should be discontinued if an alternative etiology for the signs or symptoms cannot be established.

5.6 Hypersensitivity

CEREBYX and other hydantoins are contraindicated in patients who have experienced phenytoin hypersensitivity [see Contraindications (4)]. Additionally, consider alternatives to structurally similar drugs such as carboxamides (e.g., carbamazepine), barbiturates, succinimides, and oxazolidinediones (e.g., trimethadione) in these same patients. Similarly, if there is a history of hypersensitivity reactions to these structurally similar drugs in the patient or immediate family members, consider alternatives to CEREBYX.

5.7 Hepatic Injury

Cases of acute hepatotoxicity, including infrequent cases of acute hepatic failure, have been reported with phenytoin (the active metabolite of CEREBYX). These events may be part of the spectrum of DRESS or may occur in isolation [see Warnings and Precautions (5.5)]. Other common manifestations include jaundice, hepatomegaly, elevated serum transaminase levels, leukocytosis, and eosinophilia. The clinical course of acute phenytoin hepatotoxicity ranges from prompt recovery to fatal outcomes. In these patients with acute hepatotoxicity, CEREBYX should be immediately discontinued and not re-administered.

5.8 Hematopoietic Complications

Hematopoietic complications, some fatal, have occasionally been reported in association with administration of phenytoin (the active metabolite of CEREBYX). These have included thrombocytopenia, leukopenia, granulocytopenia, agranulocytosis, and pancytopenia with or without bone marrow suppression.

There have been a number of reports that have suggested a relationship between phenytoin and the development of lymphadenopathy (local or generalized), including benign lymph node hyperplasia, pseudolymphoma, lymphoma, and Hodgkin's disease. Although a cause and effect relationship has not been established, the occurrence of lymphadenopathy indicates the need to differentiate such a condition from other types of lymph node pathology. Lymph node involvement may occur with or without symptoms and signs resembling DRESS [see Warnings and Precautions (5.5)].

In all cases of lymphadenopathy, follow-up observation for an extended period is indicated and every effort should be made to achieve seizure control using alternative antiepileptic drugs.

5.9 Sensory Disturbances

Severe burning, itching, and/or paresthesia were reported by 7 of 16 normal volunteers administered IV CEREBYX at a dose of 1200 mg PE at the maximum rate of administration (150 mg PE/min). The severe sensory disturbance lasted from 3 to 50 minutes in 6 of these subjects and for 14 hours in the seventh subject. In some cases, milder sensory disturbances persisted for as long as 24 hours. The location of the discomfort varied among subjects with the groin mentioned most frequently as an area of discomfort. In a separate cohort of 16 normal volunteers (taken from 2 other studies) who were administered IV CEREBYX at a dose of 1200 mg PE at the maximum rate of administration (150 mg PE/min), none experienced severe disturbances, but most experienced mild to moderate itching or tingling. Patients administered CEREBYX at doses of 20 mg PE/kg at 150 mg PE/min are expected to experience discomfort of some degree. The occurrence and intensity of the discomfort can be lessened by slowing or temporarily stopping the infusion. The effect of continuing infusion unaltered in the presence of these sensations is unknown. No permanent sequelae have been reported thus far. The pharmacologic basis for these positive sensory phenomena is unknown, but other phosphate ester drugs, which deliver smaller phosphate loads, have been associated with burning, itching, and/or tingling predominantly in the groin area.

5.10 Local Toxicity (Including Purple Glove Syndrome)

Edema, discoloration, and pain distal to the site of injection (described as "purple glove syndrome") have also been reported following peripheral intravenous CEREBYX injection. This may or may not be associated with extravasation. The syndrome may not develop for several days after injection.

5.11 Phosphate Load

The phosphate load provided by CEREBYX (0.0037 mmol phosphate/mg PE CEREBYX) should be considered when treating patients who require phosphate restriction, such as those with severe renal impairment.

5.12 Renal or Hepatic Disease or Hypoalbuminemia

Because the fraction of unbound phenytoin (the active metabolite of CEREBYX) is increased in patients with renal or hepatic disease, or in those with hypoalbuminemia, the monitoring of phenytoin serum levels should be based on the unbound fraction in those patients. After IV administration to patients with renal and/or hepatic disease, or in those with hypoalbuminemia, fosphenytoin clearance to phenytoin may be increased without a similar increase in phenytoin clearance. This has the potential to increase the frequency and severity of adverse events.

5.13 Exacerbation of Porphyria

In view of isolated reports associating phenytoin (the active metabolite of CEREBYX) with exacerbation of porphyria, caution should be exercised in using CEREBYX in patients suffering from this disease.

5.14 Teratogenicity and Other Harm to the Newborn

CEREBYX may cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. Prenatal exposure to phenytoin (the active metabolite of CEREBYX) may increase the risks for congenital malformations and other adverse development outcomes [see Use in Specific Populations (8.1)].

Increased frequencies of major malformations (such as orofacial clefts and cardiac defects), and abnormalities characteristic of fetal hydantoin syndrome, including dysmorphic skull and facial features, nail and digit hypoplasia, growth abnormalities (including microcephaly), and cognitive deficits, have been reported among children born to epileptic women who took phenytoin alone or in combination with other antiepileptic drugs during pregnancy. There have been several reported cases of malignancies, including neuroblastoma. The overall incidence of malformations for children of epileptic women treated with antiepileptic drugs, including phenytoin, during pregnancy is about 10%, or two- to three-fold that in the general population.

A potentially life-threatening bleeding disorder related to decreased levels of vitamin K-dependent clotting factors may occur in newborns exposed to phenytoin in utero. This drug-induced condition can be prevented with vitamin K administration to the mother before delivery and to the neonate after birth.

5.15 Slow Metabolizers of Phenytoin

A small percentage of individuals who have been treated with phenytoin (the active metabolite of CEREBYX) have been shown to metabolize the drug slowly. Slow metabolism may be caused by limited enzyme availability and lack of induction; it appears to be genetically determined. If early signs of dose-related CNS toxicity develop, serum levels should be checked immediately.

5.16 Hyperglycemia

Hyperglycemia, resulting from the inhibitory effect of phenytoin (the active metabolite of CEREBYX) on insulin release, has been reported. Phenytoin may also raise the serum glucose concentrations in diabetic patients.

5.17 Serum Phenytoin Levels above Therapeutic Range

Serum levels of phenytoin (the active metabolite of CEREBYX) sustained above the therapeutic range may produce confusional states referred to as "delirium," "psychosis," or "encephalopathy," or rarely, irreversible cerebellar dysfunction and/or cerebellar atrophy. Accordingly, at the first sign of acute toxicity, serum levels should be immediately checked. CEREBYX dose reduction is indicated if serum levels are excessive; if symptoms persist, administration of CEREBYX should be discontinued.

6 ADVERSE REACTIONS

The following serious adverse reactions are described elsewhere in the labeling:

6.1 Clinical Trials Experience

Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice.

The more important adverse clinical reactions caused by the IV use of CEREBYX or phenytoin are cardiovascular collapse and/or central nervous system depression. Hypotension can occur when either drug is administered rapidly by the IV route. The rate of administration is very important; for CEREBYX, it should not exceed 150 mg PE/min [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)]. The adverse reactions most commonly observed with the use of CEREBYX in clinical trials were nystagmus, dizziness, pruritus, somnolence, and ataxia. With one exception, these reactions are commonly associated with the administration of IV phenytoin. Pruritus, however, was seen much more often following CEREBYX administration and occurred more often with IV CEREBYX administration than with IM CEREBYX administration. These reactions were dose and rate related; most alert patients (41 of 64; 64%) administered doses of ≥15 mg PE/kg at 150 mg PE/min experienced discomfort of some degree. These sensations, generally described as itching, burning, or tingling, were usually not at the infusion site. The location of the discomfort varied with the groin mentioned most frequently as a site of involvement. The paresthesia and pruritus were transient events that occurred within several minutes of the start of infusion and generally resolved within 10 minutes after completion of CEREBYX infusion. Some patients experienced symptoms for hours. These reactions did not increase in severity with repeated administration. Concurrent adverse events or clinical laboratory change suggesting an allergic process were not seen [see Warnings and Precautions (5.17)]. Approximately 2% of the 859 patients who received CEREBYX in premarketing clinical trials discontinued treatment because of an adverse event. The adverse events most commonly associated with withdrawal were pruritus (0.5%), hypotension (0.3%), and bradycardia (0.2%).

Dose and Rate Dependency of Adverse Reactions Following IV CEREBYX: The incidence of adverse reactions tended to increase as both dose and infusion rate increased. In particular, at doses of ≥15mg PE/kg and rates ≥150 mg PE/min, transient pruritus, tinnitus, nystagmus, somnolence, and ataxia occurred 2 to 3 times more often than at lower doses or rates.

Incidence in Controlled Clinical Trials

All adverse events were recorded during the trials by the clinical investigators using terminology of their own choosing. Similar types of events were grouped into standardized categories using modified COSTART dictionary terminology. These categories are used in the tables and listings below with the frequencies representing the proportion of individuals exposed to CEREBYX or comparative therapy.

Incidence in Controlled Clinical Trials - IV Administration to Adult Patients with Epilepsy or Neurosurgical Patients: Table 1 lists adverse reactions that occurred in at least 2% of patients treated with IV CEREBYX at the maximum dose and rate in a randomized, double-blind, controlled clinical trial where the rates for phenytoin and CEREBYX administration would have resulted in equivalent systemic exposure to phenytoin.

TABLE 1. Adverse Reaction Incidence Following IV Administration at the Maximum Dose and Rate to Adult Patients with Epilepsy or Neurosurgical Patients (Events in at Least 2% of CEREBYX-Treated Patients)
BODY SYSTEM IV CEREBYX IV Phenytoin*
  Adverse Event N=90 N=22
*
The study was not designed to assess comparative safety.
BODY AS A WHOLE
  Pelvic Pain 4 0
  Asthenia 2 0
  Back Pain 2 0
  Headache 2 5
CARDIOVASCULAR
  Hypotension 8 9
  Vasodilatation 6 5
  Tachycardia 2 0
DIGESTIVE
  Nausea 9 14
  Tongue Disorder 4 0
  Dry Mouth 4 5
  Vomiting 2 9
NERVOUS
  Nystagmus 44 59
  Dizziness 31 27
  Somnolence 20 27
  Ataxia 11 18
  Stupor 8 5
  Incoordination 4 5
  Paresthesia 4 0
  Extrapyramidal Syndrome 4 0
  Tremor 3 9
  Agitation 3 0
  Hypesthesia 2 9
  Dysarthria 2 0
  Vertigo 2 0
  Brain Edema 2 5
SKIN AND APPENDAGES
  Pruritus 49 5
SPECIAL SENSES
  Tinnitus 9 9
  Diplopia 3 0
  Taste Perversion 3 0
  Amblyopia 2 9
  Deafness 2 0

Incidence in Clinical Trials - IV Administration to Pediatric Patients with Epilepsy or Neurosurgical Patients: The overall incidence of adverse reactions and the types of adverse reactions seen were similar among children and adults treated with CEREBYX. In an open-label, safety, tolerability, and pharmacokinetic study of fosphenytoin in pediatric subjects (neonates through age 16), the following adverse reactions occurred at a frequency of at least 5% in 96 subjects treated with intravenous CEREBYX: vomiting (21%), nystagmus (18%), ataxia (10%), fever (8%), nervousness (7%), pruritus (6%), somnolence (6%), hypotension (5%), and rash (5%).

Incidence in Controlled Trials - IM Administration to Adult Patients with Epilepsy: Table 2 lists adverse reactions that occurred in at least 2% of CEREBYX-treated patients in a double-blind, randomized, controlled clinical trial of adult epilepsy patients receiving either IM CEREBYX substituted for oral phenytoin or continuing oral phenytoin. Both treatments were administered for 5 days.

TABLE 2. Adverse Reaction Incidence Following Substitution of IM CEREBYX for Oral Phenytoin in Adult Patients with Epilepsy (Events in at Least 2% of CEREBYX-Treated Patients)
BODY SYSTEM IM CEREBYX Oral Phenytoin*
  Adverse Event N=179 N=61
*
The study was not designed to assess comparative safety.
BODY AS A WHOLE
  Headache 9 5
  Asthenia 9 3
DIGESTIVE
  Nausea 5 0
  Vomiting 3 0
HEMATOLOGIC AND LYMPHATIC
  Ecchymosis 7 5
NERVOUS
  Nystagmus 15 8
  Tremor 10 13
  Ataxia 8 8
  Incoordination 8 5
  Somnolence 7 10
  Dizziness 5 3
  Paresthesia 4 3
  Reflexes Decreased 3 5
SKIN AND APPENDAGES
  Pruritus 3 0

Adverse Events During Clinical Trials in Adult and Pediatric Patients

CEREBYX has been administered to approximately 900 individuals during clinical trials. Adverse events seen at least twice are listed in the following, except those already included in previous tables and listings. Events are further classified within body system categories and enumerated in order of decreasing frequency using the following definitions: frequent adverse events are defined as those occurring in greater than 1/100 individuals; infrequent adverse events are those occurring in 1/100 to 1/1000 individuals.

Body as a Whole: Frequent: fever, injection-site reaction, infection, chills, face edema, injection-site pain; Infrequent: sepsis, injection-site inflammation, injection-site edema, injection-site hemorrhage, flu syndrome, malaise, generalized edema, shock, photosensitivity reaction, cachexia, cryptococcosis.

Cardiovascular: Frequent: hypertension; Infrequent: cardiac arrest, migraine, syncope, cerebral hemorrhage, palpitation, sinus bradycardia, atrial flutter, bundle branch block, cardiomegaly, cerebral infarct, postural hypotension, pulmonary embolus, QT interval prolongation, thrombophlebitis, ventricular extrasystoles, congestive heart failure.

Digestive: Frequent: constipation; Infrequent: dyspepsia, diarrhea, anorexia, gastrointestinal hemorrhage, increased salivation, liver function tests abnormal, tenesmus, tongue edema, dysphagia, flatulence, gastritis, ileus.

Endocrine: Infrequent: diabetes insipidus.

Hematologic and Lymphatic: Infrequent: thrombocytopenia, anemia, leukocytosis, cyanosis, hypochromic anemia, leukopenia, lymphadenopathy, petechia.

Laboratory Test Abnormality: Phenytoin (the active metabolite of CEREBYX) may cause increased serum levels of glucose and alkaline phosphatase.

Metabolic and Nutritional: Frequent: hypokalemia; Infrequent: hyperglycemia, hypophosphatemia, alkalosis, acidosis, dehydration, hyperkalemia, ketosis.

Musculoskeletal: Frequent: myasthenia; Infrequent: myopathy, leg cramps, arthralgia, myalgia.

Nervous: Frequent: reflexes increased, speech disorder, dysarthria, intracranial hypertension, thinking abnormal, nervousness; Infrequent: confusion, twitching, Babinski sign positive, circumoral paresthesia, hemiplegia, hypotonia, convulsion, extrapyramidal syndrome, insomnia, meningitis, depersonalization, CNS depression, depression, hypokinesia, hyperkinesia, paralysis, psychosis, aphasia, emotional lability, coma, hyperesthesia, myoclonus, personality disorder, acute brain syndrome, encephalitis, subdural hematoma, encephalopathy, hostility, akathisia, amnesia, neurosis.

Respiratory: Frequent: pneumonia; Infrequent: pharyngitis, sinusitis, hyperventilation, rhinitis, apnea, aspiration pneumonia, asthma, dyspnea, atelectasis, cough increased, sputum increased, epistaxis, hypoxia, pneumothorax, hemoptysis, bronchitis.

Skin and Appendages: Frequent: rash; Infrequent: maculopapular rash, urticaria, sweating, skin discoloration, contact dermatitis, pustular rash, skin nodule.

Special Senses: Infrequent: visual field defect, eye pain, conjunctivitis, photophobia, hyperacusis, mydriasis, parosmia, ear pain, taste loss.

Urogenital: Infrequent: urinary retention, oliguria, dysuria, vaginitis, albuminuria, genital edema, kidney failure, polyuria, urethral pain, urinary incontinence, vaginal moniliasis.

6.2 Postmarketing Experience

The following adverse reactions have been identified during post-approval use of fosphenytoin. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.

Body as a Whole: Anaphylaxis

Laboratory Test Abnormality: Phenytoin or CEREBYX may decrease serum concentrations of T4. It may also produce lower than normal values for dexamethasone or metyrapone tests. Phenytoin may also cause increased serum levels of gamma glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT).

Nervous System Disorders: Dyskinesia

1 INDICATIONS AND USAGE

CEREBYX is indicated for the treatment of generalized tonic-clonic status epilepticus and prevention and treatment of seizures occurring during neurosurgery. CEREBYX can also be substituted, short-term, for oral phenytoin. CEREBYX should be used only when oral phenytoin administration is not possible [see Dosage and Administration (2.4) and Warnings and Precautions (5.2)].

DILANTIN® 125 (phenytoin)

These highlights do not include all the information needed to use DILANTIN 125 safety and effectively. See full prescribing information for DILANTIN 125.

4 CONTRAINDICATIONS

DILANTIN is contraindicated in patients with:

  • A history of hypersensitivity to phenytoin, its inactive ingredients, or other hydantoins [see Warnings and Precautions (5.5)].
  • A history of prior acute hepatotoxicity attributable to phenytoin [see Warnings and Precautions (5.6)].
  • Coadministration with delavirdine because of the potential for loss of virologic response and possible resistance to delavirdine or to the class of non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors.

5 WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS

5.1 Withdrawal Precipitated Seizure, Status Epilepticus

Abrupt withdrawal of phenytoin in epileptic patients may precipitate status epilepticus. When in the judgment of the clinician the need for dosage reduction, discontinuation, or substitution of alternative anticonvulsant medication arises, this should be done gradually. However, in the event of an allergic or hypersensitivity reaction, more rapid substitution of alternative therapy may be necessary. In this case, alternative therapy should be an anticonvulsant not belonging to the hydantoin chemical class.

5.2 Suicidal Behavior and Ideation

Antiepileptic drugs (AEDs), including DILANTIN, increase the risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior in patients taking these drugs for any indication. Patients treated with any AED for any indication should be monitored for the emergence or worsening of depression, suicidal thoughts or behavior, and/or any unusual changes in mood or behavior.

Pooled analyses of 199 placebo-controlled clinical trials (mono- and adjunctive therapy) of 11 different AEDs showed that patients randomized to one of the AEDs had approximately twice the risk (adjusted Relative Risk 1.8, 95% CI:1.2, 2.7) of suicidal thinking or behavior compared to patients randomized to placebo. In these trials, which had a median treatment duration of 12 weeks, the estimated incidence rate of suicidal behavior or ideation among 27,863 AED-treated patients was 0.43%, compared to 0.24% among 16,029 placebo-treated patients, representing an increase of approximately one case of suicidal thinking or behavior for every 530 patients treated. There were four suicides in drug-treated patients in the trials and none in placebo-treated patients, but the number is too small to allow any conclusion about drug effect on suicide.

The increased risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior with AEDs was observed as early as one week after starting drug treatment with AEDs and persisted for the duration of treatment assessed. Because most trials included in the analysis did not extend beyond 24 weeks, the risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior beyond 24 weeks could not be assessed.

The risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior was generally consistent among drugs in the data analyzed. The finding of increased risk with AEDs of varying mechanisms of action and across a range of indications suggests that the risk applies to all AEDs used for any indication. The risk did not vary substantially by age (5–100 years) in the clinical trials analyzed.

Table 1 shows absolute and relative risk by indication for all evaluated AEDs.

Table 1 Risk by indication for antiepileptic drugs in the pooled analysis
Indication Placebo Patients with Events Per 1000 Patients Drug Patients with Events Per 1000 Patients Relative Risk: Incidence of Events in Drug Patients/Incidence in Placebo Patients Risk Difference: Additional Drug Patients with Events Per 1000 Patients
Epilepsy 1.0 3.4 3.5 2.4
Psychiatric 5.7 8.5 1.5 2.9
Other 1.0 1.8 1.9 0.9
Total 2.4 4.3 1.8 1.9

The relative risk for suicidal thoughts or behavior was higher in clinical trials for epilepsy than in clinical trials for psychiatric or other conditions, but the absolute risk differences were similar for the epilepsy and psychiatric indications.

Anyone considering prescribing DILANTIN or any other AED must balance the risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior with the risk of untreated illness. Epilepsy and many other illnesses for which AEDs are prescribed are themselves associated with morbidity and mortality and an increased risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior. Should suicidal thoughts and behavior emerge during treatment, the prescriber needs to consider whether the emergence of these symptoms in any given patient may be related to the illness being treated.

Patients, their caregivers, and families should be informed that AEDs increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior and should be advised of the need to be alert for the emergence or worsening of the signs and symptoms of depression, any unusual changes in mood or behavior, or the emergence of suicidal thoughts, behavior, or thoughts about self-harm. Behaviors of concern should be reported immediately to healthcare providers.

5.3 Serious Dermatologic Reactions

Serious and sometimes fatal dermatologic reactions, including toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN) and Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS), have been reported with phenytoin treatment. The onset of symptoms is usually within 28 days, but can occur later. DILANTIN should be discontinued at the first sign of a rash, unless the rash is clearly not drug-related. If signs or symptoms suggest SJS/TEN, use of this drug should not be resumed and alternative therapy should be considered. If a rash occurs, the patient should be evaluated for signs and symptoms of Drug Reaction with Eosinophilia and Systemic Symptoms [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4)].

Studies in patients of Chinese ancestry have found a strong association between the risk of developing SJS/TEN and the presence of HLA-B*1502, an inherited allelic variant of the HLA B gene, in patients using carbamazepine. Limited evidence suggests that HLA-B*1502 may be a risk factor for the development of SJS/TEN in patients of Asian ancestry taking other antiepileptic drugs associated with SJS/TEN, including phenytoin. Consideration should be given to avoiding phenytoin as an alternative for carbamazepine in patients positive for HLA-B*1502.

The use of HLA-B*1502 genotyping has important limitations and must never substitute for appropriate clinical vigilance and patient management. The role of other possible factors in the development of, and morbidity from, SJS/TEN, such as antiepileptic drug (AED) dose, compliance, concomitant medications, comorbidities, and the level of dermatologic monitoring have not been studied.

5.4 Drug Reaction with Eosinophilia and Systemic Symptoms (DRESS)/Multiorgan Hypersensitivity

Drug Reaction with Eosinophilia and Systemic Symptoms (DRESS), also known as Multiorgan hypersensitivity, has been reported in patients taking antiepileptic drugs, including DILANTIN. Some of these events have been fatal or life-threatening. DRESS typically, although not exclusively, presents with fever, rash, lymphadenopathy, and/or facial swelling, in association with other organ system involvement, such as hepatitis, nephritis, hematological abnormalities, myocarditis, or myositis sometimes resembling an acute viral infection. Eosinophilia is often present. Because this disorder is variable in its expression, other organ systems not noted here may be involved. It is important to note that early manifestations of hypersensitivity, such as fever or lymphadenopathy, may be present even though rash is not evident. If such signs or symptoms are present, the patient should be evaluated immediately. DILANTIN should be discontinued if an alternative etiology for the signs or symptoms cannot be established.

5.5 Hypersensitivity

DILANTIN and other hydantoins are contraindicated in patients who have experienced phenytoin hypersensitivity [see Contraindications (4)]. Additionally, consider alternatives to structurally similar drugs such as carboxamides (e.g., carbamazepine), barbiturates, succinimides, and oxazolidinediones (e.g., trimethadione) in these same patients. Similarly, if there is a history of hypersensitivity reactions to these structurally similar drugs in the patient or immediate family members, consider alternatives to DILANTIN.

5.6 Hepatic Injury

Cases of acute hepatotoxicity, including infrequent cases of acute hepatic failure, have been reported with DILANTIN. These events may be part of the spectrum of DRESS or may occur in isolation [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4)]. Other common manifestations include jaundice, hepatomegaly, elevated serum transaminase levels, leukocytosis, and eosinophilia. The clinical course of acute phenytoin hepatotoxicity ranges from prompt recovery to fatal outcomes. In these patients with acute hepatotoxicity, DILANTIN should be immediately discontinued and not readministered.

5.7 Hematopoietic Complications

Hematopoietic complications, some fatal, have occasionally been reported in association with administration of DILANTIN. These have included thrombocytopenia, leukopenia, granulocytopenia, agranulocytosis, and pancytopenia with or without bone marrow suppression.

There have been a number of reports suggesting a relationship between phenytoin and the development of lymphadenopathy (local or generalized) including benign lymph node hyperplasia, pseudolymphoma, lymphoma, and Hodgkin's disease. Although a cause and effect relationship has not been established, the occurrence of lymphadenopathy indicates the need to differentiate such a condition from other types of lymph node pathology. Lymph node involvement may occur with or without symptoms and signs of DRESS [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4)].

In all cases of lymphadenopathy, follow-up observation for an extended period is indicated and every effort should be made to achieve seizure control using alternative antiepileptic drugs.

5.8 Effects on Vitamin D and Bone

The chronic use of phenytoin in patients with epilepsy has been associated with decreased bone mineral density (osteopenia, osteoporosis, and osteomalacia) and bone fractures. Phenytoin induces hepatic metabolizing enzymes. This may enhance the metabolism of vitamin D and decrease vitamin D levels, which may lead to vitamin D deficiency, hypocalcemia, and hypophosphatemia. Consideration should be given to screening with bone-related laboratory and radiological tests as appropriate and initiating treatment plans according to established guidelines.

5.9 Renal or Hepatic Impairment, or Hypoalbuminemia

Because the fraction of unbound phenytoin is increased in patients with renal or hepatic disease, or in those with hypoalbuminemia, the monitoring of phenytoin serum levels should be based on the unbound fraction in those patients.

5.10 Exacerbation of Porphyria

In view of isolated reports associating phenytoin with exacerbation of porphyria, caution should be exercised in using this medication in patients suffering from this disease.

5.11 Teratogenicity and Other Harm to the Newborn

DILANTIN may cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. Prenatal exposure to phenytoin may increase the risks for congenital malformations and other adverse development outcomes [see Use in Specific Populations (8.1)].

Increased frequencies of major malformations (such as orofacial clefts and cardiac defects), and abnormalities characteristic of fetal hydantoin syndrome, including dysmorphic skull and facial features, nail and digit hypoplasia, growth abnormalities (including microcephaly), and cognitive deficits, have been reported among children born to epileptic women who took phenytoin alone or in combination with other antiepileptic drugs during pregnancy. There have been several reported cases of malignancies, including neuroblastoma.

The overall incidence of malformations for children of epileptic women treated with antiepileptic drugs, including phenytoin, during pregnancy is about 10%, or two- to three-fold that in the general population.

A potentially life-threatening bleeding disorder related to decreased levels of vitamin K-dependent clotting factors may occur in newborns exposed to phenytoin in utero. This drug-induced condition can be prevented with vitamin K administration to the mother before delivery and to the neonate after birth.

5.12 Slow Metabolizers of Phenytoin

A small percentage of individuals who have been treated with phenytoin have been shown to metabolize the drug slowly. Slow metabolism may be caused by limited enzyme availability and lack of induction; it appears to be genetically determined. If early signs of dose-related CNS toxicity develop, serum levels should be checked immediately.

5.13 Hyperglycemia

Hyperglycemia, resulting from the drug's inhibitory effects on insulin release, has been reported. Phenytoin may also raise the serum glucose level in diabetic patients.

5.14 Serum Phenytoin Levels above Therapeutic Range

Serum levels of phenytoin sustained above the therapeutic range may produce confusional states referred to as "delirium," "psychosis," or "encephalopathy," or rarely irreversible cerebellar dysfunction and/or cerebellar atrophy. Accordingly, at the first sign of acute toxicity, serum levels should be immediately checked. Dose reduction of phenytoin therapy is indicated if serum levels are excessive; if symptoms persist, termination is recommended.

6 ADVERSE REACTIONS

The following serious adverse reactions are described elsewhere in the labeling:

The following adverse reactions associated with the use of DILANTIN were identified in clinical studies or postmarketing reports. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.

Body as a Whole: Allergic reactions in the form of rash and rarely more serious forms and DRESS have been observed [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3, 5.4)]. Anaphylaxis has also been reported.

There have also been reports of coarsening of facial features, systemic lupus erythematosus, periarteritis nodosa, and immunoglobulin abnormalities.

Digestive System: Acute hepatic failure, toxic hepatitis, liver damage, nausea, vomiting, constipation, enlargement of the lips, and gingival hyperplasia.

Hematologic and Lymphatic System: Hematopoietic complications, some fatal, have occasionally been reported in association with administration of phenytoin. These have included thrombocytopenia, leukopenia, granulocytopenia, agranulocytosis, and pancytopenia with or without bone marrow suppression. While macrocytosis and megaloblastic anemia have occurred, these conditions usually respond to folic acid therapy. Lymphadenopathy including benign lymph node hyperplasia, pseudolymphoma, lymphoma, and Hodgkin's disease have been reported [see Warnings and Precautions (5.7)].

Laboratory Test Abnormality: Phenytoin may decrease serum concentrations of T4. It may also produce lower than normal values for dexamethasone or metyrapone tests. Phenytoin may cause increased serum levels of glucose [see Warnings and Precautions (5.13)], alkaline phosphatase, and gamma glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT).

Nervous System: The most common adverse reactions encountered with phenytoin therapy are nervous system reactions and are usually dose-related. Reactions include nystagmus, ataxia, slurred speech, decreased coordination, somnolence, and mental confusion. Dizziness, vertigo, insomnia, transient nervousness, motor twitchings, paresthesias, and headaches have also been observed. There have also been rare reports of phenytoin-induced dyskinesias, including chorea, dystonia, tremor and asterixis, similar to those induced by phenothiazine and other neuroleptic drugs. Cerebellar atrophy has been reported, and appears more likely in settings of elevated phenytoin levels and/or long-term phenytoin use [see Warnings and Precautions (5.14)].

A predominantly sensory peripheral polyneuropathy has been observed in patients receiving long-term phenytoin therapy.

Skin and Appendages: Dermatological manifestations sometimes accompanied by fever have included scarlatiniform or morbilliform rashes. A morbilliform rash (measles-like) is the most common; other types of dermatitis are seen more rarely. Other more serious forms which may be fatal have included bullous, exfoliative or purpuric dermatitis, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, and toxic epidermal necrolysis [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3)]. There have also been reports of hypertrichosis.

Investigations: Thyroid function test abnormal.

Special Senses: Altered taste sensation including metallic taste.

Urogenital: Peyronie's disease

1 INDICATIONS AND USAGE

DILANTIN is indicated for the treatment of tonic-clonic (grand mal) and psychomotor (temporal lobe) seizures.

DILANTIN® Extended Oral Capsules (phenytoin)

These highlights do not include all the information needed to use DILANTIN Extended Oral Capsules safety and effectively. See full prescribing information for DILANTIN Extended Oral Capsules.

4 CONTRAINDICATIONS

DILANTIN is contraindicated in patients with:

  • A history of hypersensitivity to phenytoin, its inactive ingredients, or other hydantoins [see Warnings and Precautions (5.5)].
  • A history of prior acute hepatotoxicity attributable to phenytoin [see Warnings and Precautions (5.6)].
  • Coadministration with delavirdine because of the potential for loss of virologic response and possible resistance to delavirdine or to the class of non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors.

5 WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS

5.1 Withdrawal Precipitated Seizure, Status Epilepticus

Abrupt withdrawal of phenytoin in epileptic patients may precipitate status epilepticus. When, in the judgment of the clinician, the need for dosage reduction, discontinuation, or substitution of alternative anticonvulsant medication arises, this should be done gradually. However, in the event of an allergic or hypersensitivity reaction, more rapid substitution of alternative therapy may be necessary. In this case, alternative therapy should be an anticonvulsant drug not belonging to the hydantoin chemical class.

5.2 Suicidal Behavior and Ideation

Antiepileptic drugs (AEDs), including DILANTIN, increase the risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior in patients taking these drugs for any indication. Patients treated with any AED for any indication should be monitored for the emergence or worsening of depression, suicidal thoughts or behavior, and/or any unusual changes in mood or behavior.

Pooled analyses of 199 placebo-controlled clinical trials (mono- and adjunctive therapy) of 11 different AEDs showed that patients randomized to one of the AEDs had approximately twice the risk (adjusted Relative Risk 1.8, 95% CI:1.2, 2.7) of suicidal thinking or behavior compared to patients randomized to placebo. In these trials, which had a median treatment duration of 12 weeks, the estimated incidence rate of suicidal behavior or ideation among 27,863 AED-treated patients was 0.43%, compared to 0.24% among 16,029 placebo-treated patients, representing an increase of approximately one case of suicidal thinking or behavior for every 530 patients treated. There were four suicides in drug-treated patients in the trials and none in placebo-treated patients, but the number is too small to allow any conclusion about drug effect on suicide.

The increased risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior with AEDs was observed as early as one week after starting drug treatment with AEDs and persisted for the duration of treatment assessed. Because most trials included in the analysis did not extend beyond 24 weeks, the risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior beyond 24 weeks could not be assessed.

The risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior was generally consistent among drugs in the data analyzed. The finding of increased risk with AEDs of varying mechanisms of action and across a range of indications suggests that the risk applies to all AEDs used for any indication. The risk did not vary substantially by age (5 to 100 years) in the clinical trials analyzed.

Table 1 shows absolute and relative risk by indication for all evaluated AEDs.

Table 1 Risk by indication for antiepileptic drugs in the pooled analysis
Indication Placebo Patients with Events Per 1000 Patients Drug Patients with Events Per 1000 Patients Relative Risk: Incidence of Events in Drug Patients/Incidence in Placebo Patients Risk Difference: Additional Drug Patients with Events Per 1000 Patients
Epilepsy 1.0 3.4 3.5 2.4
Psychiatric 5.7 8.5 1.5 2.9
Other 1.0 1.8 1.9 0.9
Total 2.4 4.3 1.8 1.9

The relative risk for suicidal thoughts or behavior was higher in clinical trials for epilepsy than in clinical trials for psychiatric or other conditions, but the absolute risk differences were similar for the epilepsy and psychiatric indications.

Anyone considering prescribing DILANTIN or any other AED must balance the risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior with the risk of untreated illness. Epilepsy and many other illnesses for which AEDs are prescribed are themselves associated with morbidity and mortality and an increased risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior. Should suicidal thoughts and behavior emerge during treatment, the prescriber needs to consider whether the emergence of these symptoms in any given patient may be related to the illness being treated.

Patients, their caregivers, and families should be informed that AEDs increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior and should be advised of the need to be alert for the emergence or worsening of the signs and symptoms of depression, any unusual changes in mood or behavior, or the emergence of suicidal thoughts, behavior, or thoughts about self-harm. Behaviors of concern should be reported immediately to healthcare providers.

5.3 Serious Dermatologic Reactions

Serious and sometimes fatal dermatologic reactions, including toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN) and Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS), have been reported with phenytoin treatment. The onset of symptoms is usually within 28 days, but can occur later. DILANTIN should be discontinued at the first sign of a rash, unless the rash is clearly not drug-related. If signs or symptoms suggest SJS/TEN, use of this drug should not be resumed and alternative therapy should be considered. If a rash occurs, the patient should be evaluated for signs and symptoms of Drug Reaction with Eosinophilia and Systemic Symptoms [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4)].

Studies in patients of Chinese ancestry have found a strong association between the risk of developing SJS/TEN and the presence of HLA-B*1502, an inherited allelic variant of the HLA B gene, in patients using carbamazepine. Limited evidence suggests that HLA-B*1502 may be a risk factor for the development of SJS/TEN in patients of Asian ancestry taking other antiepileptic drugs associated with SJS/TEN, including phenytoin. Consideration should be given to avoiding phenytoin as an alternative for carbamazepine in patients positive for HLA-B*1502.

The use of HLA-B*1502 genotyping has important limitations and must never substitute for appropriate clinical vigilance and patient management. The role of other possible factors in the development of, and morbidity from, SJS/TEN, such as antiepileptic drug (AED) dose, compliance, concomitant medications, comorbidities, and the level of dermatologic monitoring have not been studied.

5.4 Drug Reaction with Eosinophilia and Systemic Symptoms (DRESS)/Multiorgan Hypersensitivity

Drug Reaction with Eosinophilia and Systemic Symptoms (DRESS), also known as Multiorgan hypersensitivity, has been reported in patients taking antiepileptic drugs, including DILANTIN. Some of these events have been fatal or life-threatening. DRESS typically, although not exclusively, presents with fever, rash, lymphadenopathy, and/or facial swelling, in association with other organ system involvement, such as hepatitis, nephritis, hematological abnormalities, myocarditis, or myositis sometimes resembling an acute viral infection. Eosinophilia is often present. Because this disorder is variable in its expression, other organ systems not noted here may be involved. It is important to note that early manifestations of hypersensitivity, such as fever or lymphadenopathy, may be present even though rash is not evident. If such signs or symptoms are present, the patient should be evaluated immediately. DILANTIN should be discontinued if an alternative etiology for the signs or symptoms cannot be established.

5.5 Hypersensitivity

DILANTIN and other hydantoins are contraindicated in patients who have experienced phenytoin hypersensitivity [see Contraindications (4)]. Additionally, consider alternatives to structurally similar drugs such as carboxamides (e.g., carbamazepine), barbiturates, succinimides, and oxazolidinediones (e.g., trimethadione) in these same patients. Similarly, if there is a history of hypersensitivity reactions to these structurally similar drugs in the patient or immediate family members, consider alternatives to DILANTIN.

5.6 Hepatic Injury

Cases of acute hepatotoxicity, including infrequent cases of acute hepatic failure, have been reported with DILANTIN. These events may be part of the spectrum of DRESS or may occur in isolation [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4)]. Other common manifestations include jaundice, hepatomegaly, elevated serum transaminase levels, leukocytosis, and eosinophilia. The clinical course of acute phenytoin hepatotoxicity ranges from prompt recovery to fatal outcomes. In these patients with acute hepatotoxicity, DILANTIN should be immediately discontinued and not readministered.

5.7 Hematopoietic Complications

Hematopoietic complications, some fatal, have occasionally been reported in association with administration of DILANTIN. These have included thrombocytopenia, leukopenia, granulocytopenia, agranulocytosis, and pancytopenia with or without bone marrow suppression.

There have been a number of reports suggesting a relationship between phenytoin and the development of lymphadenopathy (local or generalized) including benign lymph node hyperplasia, pseudolymphoma, lymphoma, and Hodgkin's disease. Although a cause and effect relationship has not been established, the occurrence of lymphadenopathy indicates the need to differentiate such a condition from other types of lymph node pathology. Lymph node involvement may occur with or without symptoms and signs of DRESS [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4)].

In all cases of lymphadenopathy, follow-up observation for an extended period is indicated and every effort should be made to achieve seizure control using alternative antiepileptic drugs.

5.8 Effects on Vitamin D and Bone

The chronic use of phenytoin in patients with epilepsy has been associated with decreased bone mineral density (osteopenia, osteoporosis, and osteomalacia) and bone fractures. Phenytoin induces hepatic metabolizing enzymes. This may enhance the metabolism of vitamin D and decrease vitamin D levels, which may lead to vitamin D deficiency, hypocalcemia, and hypophosphatemia. Consideration should be given to screening with bone-related laboratory and radiological tests as appropriate and initiating treatment plans according to established guidelines.

5.9 Renal or Hepatic Impairment or Hypoalbuminemia

Because the fraction of unbound phenytoin is increased in patients with renal or hepatic disease, or in those with hypoalbuminemia, the monitoring of phenytoin serum levels should be based on the unbound fraction in those patients.

5.10 Exacerbation of Porphyria

In view of isolated reports associating phenytoin with exacerbation of porphyria, caution should be exercised in using this medication in patients suffering from this disease.

5.11 Teratogenicity and Other Harm to the Newborn

DILANTIN may cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. Prenatal exposure to phenytoin may increase the risks for congenital malformations and other adverse development outcomes [see Use in Specific Populations (8.1)].

Increased frequencies of major malformations (such as orofacial clefts and cardiac defects), and abnormalities characteristic of fetal hydantoin syndrome, including dysmorphic skull and facial features, nail and digit hypoplasia, growth abnormalities (including microcephaly), and cognitive deficits, have been reported among children born to epileptic women who took phenytoin alone or in combination with other antiepileptic drugs during pregnancy. There have been several reported cases of malignancies, including neuroblastoma.

The overall incidence of malformations for children of epileptic women treated with antiepileptic drugs, including phenytoin, during pregnancy is about 10%, or two- to three-fold that in the general population.

A potentially life-threatening bleeding disorder related to decreased levels of vitamin K-dependent clotting factors may occur in newborns exposed to phenytoin in utero. This drug-induced condition can be prevented with vitamin K administration to the mother before delivery and to the neonate after birth.

5.12 Slow Metabolizers of Phenytoin

A small percentage of individuals who have been treated with phenytoin have been shown to metabolize the drug slowly. Slow metabolism may be caused by limited enzyme availability and lack of induction; it appears to be genetically determined. If early signs of dose-related CNS toxicity develop, serum levels should be checked immediately.

5.13 Hyperglycemia

Hyperglycemia, resulting from the drug's inhibitory effects on insulin release, has been reported. Phenytoin may also raise the serum glucose level in diabetic patients.

5.14 Serum Phenytoin Levels above Therapeutic Range

Serum levels of phenytoin sustained above the therapeutic range may produce confusional states referred to as "delirium," "psychosis," or "encephalopathy," or rarely irreversible cerebellar dysfunction and/or cerebellar atrophy. Accordingly, at the first sign of acute toxicity, serum levels should be immediately checked. Dose reduction of phenytoin therapy is indicated if serum levels are excessive; if symptoms persist, termination is recommended.

6 ADVERSE REACTIONS

The following serious adverse reactions are described elsewhere in the labeling:

The following adverse reactions associated with the use of DILANTIN were identified in clinical studies or postmarketing reports. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.

Body as a Whole: Allergic reactions in the form of rash and rarely more serious forms and DRESS have been observed [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3, 5.4)]. Anaphylaxis has also been reported.

There have also been reports of coarsening of facial features, systemic lupus erythematosus, periarteritis nodosa, and immunoglobulin abnormalities.

Digestive System: Acute hepatic failure, toxic hepatitis, liver damage, nausea, vomiting, constipation, enlargement of the lips, and gingival hyperplasia.

Hematologic and Lymphatic System: Hematopoietic complications, some fatal, have occasionally been reported in association with administration of phenytoin. These have included thrombocytopenia, leukopenia, granulocytopenia, agranulocytosis, and pancytopenia with or without bone marrow suppression. While macrocytosis and megaloblastic anemia have occurred, these conditions usually respond to folic acid therapy. Lymphadenopathy including benign lymph node hyperplasia, pseudolymphoma, lymphoma, and Hodgkin's disease have been reported [see Warnings and Precautions (5.7)].

Laboratory Test Abnormality: Phenytoin may decrease serum concentrations of T4. It may also produce lower than normal values for dexamethasone or metyrapone tests. Phenytoin may cause increased serum levels of glucose [see Warnings and Precautions (5.13)], alkaline phosphatase, and gamma glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT).

Nervous System: The most common adverse reactions encountered with phenytoin therapy are nervous system reactions and are usually dose-related. Reactions include nystagmus, ataxia, slurred speech, decreased coordination, somnolence, and mental confusion. Dizziness, vertigo, insomnia, transient nervousness, motor twitchings, paresthesias, and headaches have also been observed. There have also been rare reports of phenytoin-induced dyskinesias, including chorea, dystonia, tremor and asterixis, similar to those induced by phenothiazine and other neuroleptic drugs. Cerebellar atrophy has been reported, and appears more likely in settings of elevated phenytoin levels and/or long-term phenytoin use [see Warnings and Precautions (5.14)].

A predominantly sensory peripheral polyneuropathy has been observed in patients receiving long-term phenytoin therapy.

Skin and Appendages: Dermatological manifestations sometimes accompanied by fever have included scarlatiniform or morbilliform rashes. A morbilliform rash (measles-like) is the most common; other types of dermatitis are seen more rarely. Other more serious forms which may be fatal have included bullous, exfoliative or purpuric dermatitis, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, and toxic epidermal necrolysis [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3)]. There have also been reports of hypertrichosis.

Investigations: Thyroid function test abnormal.

Special Senses: Altered taste sensation including metallic taste.

Urogenital: Peyronie's disease

1 INDICATIONS AND USAGE

DILANTIN is indicated for the treatment of tonic-clonic (grand mal) and psychomotor (temporal lobe) seizures and prevention and treatment of seizures occurring during or following neurosurgery.

DILANTIN® Infatabs (phenytoin)

These highlights do not include all the information needed to use DILANTIN Infatabs safety and effectively. See full prescribing information for DILANTIN Infatabs.

4 CONTRAINDICATIONS

DILANTIN is contraindicated in patients with:

  • A history of hypersensitivity to phenytoin, its inactive ingredients, or other hydantoins [see Warnings and Precautions (5.5)].
  • A history of prior acute hepatotoxicity attributable to phenytoin [see Warnings and Precautions (5.6)].
  • Coadministration with delavirdine because of the potential for loss of virologic response and possible resistance to delavirdine or to the class of non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors.

5 WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS

5.1 Withdrawal Precipitated Seizure, Status Epilepticus

Abrupt withdrawal of phenytoin in epileptic patients may precipitate status epilepticus. When, in the judgment of the clinician, the need for dosage reduction, discontinuation, or substitution of alternative anticonvulsant medication arises, this should be done gradually. However, in the event of an allergic or hypersensitivity reaction, more rapid substitution of alternative therapy may be necessary. In this case, alternative therapy should be an anticonvulsant not belonging to the hydantoin chemical class.

5.2 Suicidal Behavior and Ideation

Antiepileptic drugs (AEDs), including DILANTIN INFATABS, increase the risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior in patients taking these drugs for any indication. Patients treated with any AED for any indication should be monitored for the emergence or worsening of depression, suicidal thoughts or behavior, and/or any unusual changes in mood or behavior.

Pooled analyses of 199 placebo-controlled clinical trials (mono- and adjunctive therapy) of 11 different AEDs showed that patients randomized to one of the AEDs had approximately twice the risk (adjusted Relative Risk 1.8, 95% CI:1.2, 2.7) of suicidal thinking or behavior compared to patients randomized to placebo. In these trials, which had a median treatment duration of 12 weeks, the estimated incidence rate of suicidal behavior or ideation among 27,863 AED-treated patients was 0.43%, compared to 0.24% among 16,029 placebo-treated patients, representing an increase of approximately one case of suicidal thinking or behavior for every 530 patients treated. There were four suicides in drug-treated patients in the trials and none in placebo-treated patients, but the number is too small to allow any conclusion about drug effect on suicide.

The increased risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior with AEDs was observed as early as one week after starting drug treatment with AEDs and persisted for the duration of treatment assessed. Because most trials included in the analysis did not extend beyond 24 weeks, the risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior beyond 24 weeks could not be assessed.

The risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior was generally consistent among drugs in the data analyzed. The finding of increased risk with AEDs of varying mechanisms of action and across a range of indications suggests that the risk applies to all AEDs used for any indication. The risk did not vary substantially by age (5–100 years) in the clinical trials analyzed.

Table 1 shows absolute and relative risk by indication for all evaluated AEDs.

Table 1 Risk by indication for antiepileptic drugs in the pooled analysis
Indication Placebo Patients with Events Per 1000 Patients Drug Patients with Events Per 1000 Patients Relative Risk: Incidence of Events in Drug Patients/Incidence in Placebo Patients Risk Difference: Additional Drug Patients with Events Per 1000 Patients
Epilepsy 1.0 3.4 3.5 2.4
Psychiatric 5.7 8.5 1.5 2.9
Other 1.0 1.8 1.9 0.9
Total 2.4 4.3 1.8 1.9

The relative risk for suicidal thoughts or behavior was higher in clinical trials for epilepsy than in clinical trials for psychiatric or other conditions, but the absolute risk differences were similar for the epilepsy and psychiatric indications.

Anyone considering prescribing DILANTIN INFATABS or any other AED must balance the risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior with the risk of untreated illness. Epilepsy and many other illnesses for which AEDs are prescribed are themselves associated with morbidity and mortality and an increased risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior. Should suicidal thoughts and behavior emerge during treatment, the prescriber needs to consider whether the emergence of these symptoms in any given patient may be related to the illness being treated.

Patients, their caregivers, and families should be informed that AEDs increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior and should be advised of the need to be alert for the emergence or worsening of the signs and symptoms of depression, any unusual changes in mood or behavior, or the emergence of suicidal thoughts, behavior, or thoughts about self-harm. Behaviors of concern should be reported immediately to healthcare providers.

5.3 Serious Dermatologic Reactions

Serious and sometimes fatal dermatologic reactions, including toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN) and Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS), have been reported with phenytoin treatment. The onset of symptoms is usually within 28 days, but can occur later. DILANTIN should be discontinued at the first sign of a rash, unless the rash is clearly not drug-related. If signs or symptoms suggest SJS/TEN, use of this drug should not be resumed and alternative therapy should be considered. If a rash occurs, the patient should be evaluated for signs and symptoms of Drug Reaction with Eosinophilia and Systemic Symptoms [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4)].

Studies in patients of Chinese ancestry have found a strong association between the risk of developing SJS/TEN and the presence of HLA-B*1502, an inherited allelic variant of the HLA B gene, in patients using carbamazepine. Limited evidence suggests that HLA-B*1502 may be a risk factor for the development of SJS/TEN in patients of Asian ancestry taking other antiepileptic drugs associated with SJS/TEN, including phenytoin. Consideration should be given to avoiding phenytoin as an alternative for carbamazepine in patients positive for HLA-B*1502.

The use of HLA-B*1502 genotyping has important limitations and must never substitute for appropriate clinical vigilance and patient management. The role of other possible factors in the development of, and morbidity from, SJS/TEN, such as antiepileptic drug (AED) dose, compliance, concomitant medications, comorbidities, and the level of dermatologic monitoring have not been studied.

5.4 Drug Reaction with Eosinophilia and Systemic Symptoms (DRESS)/Multiorgan Hypersensitivity

Drug Reaction with Eosinophilia and Systemic Symptoms (DRESS), also known as Multiorgan hypersensitivity, has been reported in patients taking antiepileptic drugs, including DILANTIN. Some of these events have been fatal or life-threatening. DRESS typically, although not exclusively, presents with fever, rash, lymphadenopathy, and/or facial swelling, in association with other organ system involvement, such as hepatitis, nephritis, hematological abnormalities, myocarditis, or myositis sometimes resembling an acute viral infection. Eosinophilia is often present. Because this disorder is variable in its expression, other organ systems not noted here may be involved. It is important to note that early manifestations of hypersensitivity, such as fever or lymphadenopathy, may be present even though rash is not evident. If such signs or symptoms are present, the patient should be evaluated immediately. DILANTIN should be discontinued if an alternative etiology for the signs or symptoms cannot be established.

5.5 Hypersensitivity

DILANTIN and other hydantoins are contraindicated in patients who have experienced phenytoin hypersensitivity [see Contraindications (4)]. Additionally, consider alternatives to structurally similar drugs such as carboxamides (e.g., carbamazepine), barbiturates, succinimides, and oxazolidinediones (e.g., trimethadione) in these same patients. Similarly, if there is a history of hypersensitivity reactions to these structurally similar drugs in the patient or immediate family members, consider alternatives to DILANTIN.

5.6 Hepatic Injury

Cases of acute hepatotoxicity, including infrequent cases of acute hepatic failure, have been reported with DILANTIN. These events may be part of the spectrum of DRESS or may occur in isolation [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4)]. Other common manifestations include jaundice, hepatomegaly, elevated serum transaminase levels, leukocytosis, and eosinophilia. The clinical course of acute phenytoin hepatotoxicity ranges from prompt recovery to fatal outcomes. In these patients with acute hepatotoxicity, DILANTIN should be immediately discontinued and not readministered.

5.7 Hematopoietic Complications

Hematopoietic complications, some fatal, have occasionally been reported in association with administration of DILANTIN. These have included thrombocytopenia, leukopenia, granulocytopenia, agranulocytosis, and pancytopenia with or without bone marrow suppression.

There have been a number of reports suggesting a relationship between phenytoin and the development of lymphadenopathy (local or generalized) including benign lymph node hyperplasia, pseudolymphoma, lymphoma, and Hodgkin's disease. Although a cause and effect relationship has not been established, the occurrence of lymphadenopathy indicates the need to differentiate such a condition from other types of lymph node pathology. Lymph node involvement may occur with or without symptoms and signs of DRESS [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4)].

In all cases of lymphadenopathy, follow-up observation for an extended period is indicated and every effort should be made to achieve seizure control using alternative antiepileptic drugs.

5.8 Effects on Vitamin D and Bone

The chronic use of phenytoin in patients with epilepsy has been associated with decreased bone mineral density (osteopenia, osteoporosis, and osteomalacia) and bone fractures. Phenytoin induces hepatic metabolizing enzymes. This may enhance the metabolism of vitamin D and decrease vitamin D levels, which may lead to vitamin D deficiency, hypocalcemia, and hypophosphatemia. Consideration should be given to screening with bone-related laboratory and radiological tests as appropriate and initiating treatment plans according to established guidelines.

5.9 Renal or Hepatic Impairment or Hypoalbuminemia

Because the fraction of unbound phenytoin is increased in patients with renal or hepatic disease, or in those with hypoalbuminemia, the monitoring of phenytoin serum levels should be based on the unbound fraction in those patients.

5.10 Exacerbation of Porphyria

In view of isolated reports associating phenytoin with exacerbation of porphyria, caution should be exercised in using this medication in patients suffering from this disease.

5.11 Teratogenicity and Other Harm to the Newborn

DILANTIN may cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. Prenatal exposure to phenytoin may increase the risks for congenital malformations and other adverse development outcomes [see Use in Specific Populations (8.1)].

Increased frequencies of major malformations (such as orofacial clefts and cardiac defects), and abnormalities characteristic of fetal hydantoin syndrome, including dysmorphic skull and facial features, nail and digit hypoplasia, growth abnormalities (including microcephaly), and cognitive deficits, have been reported among children born to epileptic women who took phenytoin alone or in combination with other antiepileptic drugs during pregnancy. There have been several reported cases of malignancies, including neuroblastoma.

The overall incidence of malformations for children of epileptic women treated with antiepileptic drugs, including phenytoin, during pregnancy is about 10%, or two- to three-fold that in the general population.

A potentially life-threatening bleeding disorder related to decreased levels of vitamin K-dependent clotting factors may occur in newborns exposed to phenytoin in utero. This drug-induced condition can be prevented with vitamin K administration to the mother before delivery and to the neonate after birth.

5.12 Slow Metabolizers of Phenytoin

A small percentage of individuals who have been treated with phenytoin have been shown to metabolize the drug slowly. Slow metabolism may be caused by limited enzyme availability and lack of induction; it appears to be genetically determined. If early signs of dose-related CNS toxicity develop, serum levels should be checked immediately.

5.13 Hyperglycemia

Hyperglycemia, resulting from the drug's inhibitory effects on insulin release, has been reported. Phenytoin may also raise the serum glucose level in diabetic patients.

5.14 Serum Phenytoin Levels above Therapeutic Range

Serum levels of phenytoin sustained above the therapeutic range may produce confusional states referred to as "delirium," "psychosis," or "encephalopathy," or rarely irreversible cerebellar dysfunction and/or cerebellar atrophy. Accordingly, at the first sign of acute toxicity, serum levels should be immediately checked. Dose reduction of phenytoin therapy is indicated if serum levels are excessive; if symptoms persist, termination is recommended.

6 ADVERSE REACTIONS

The following serious adverse reactions are described elsewhere in the labeling:

The following adverse reactions associated with the use of DILANTIN were identified in clinical studies or postmarketing reports. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.

Body as a Whole: Allergic reactions in the form of rash and rarely more serious forms and DRESS have been observed [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3, 5.4)]. Anaphylaxis has also been reported.

There have also been reports of coarsening of facial features, systemic lupus erythematosus, periarteritis nodosa, and immunoglobulin abnormalities.

Digestive System: Acute hepatic failure, toxic hepatitis, liver damage, nausea, vomiting, constipation, enlargement of the lips, and gingival hyperplasia.

Hematologic and Lymphatic System: Hematopoietic complications, some fatal, have occasionally been reported in association with administration of phenytoin. These have included thrombocytopenia, leukopenia, granulocytopenia, agranulocytosis, and pancytopenia with or without bone marrow suppression. While macrocytosis and megaloblastic anemia have occurred, these conditions usually respond to folic acid therapy. Lymphadenopathy including benign lymph node hyperplasia, pseudolymphoma, lymphoma, and Hodgkin's disease have been reported [see Warnings and Precautions (5.7)].

Laboratory Test Abnormality: Phenytoin may decrease serum concentrations of T4. It may also produce lower than normal values for dexamethasone or metyrapone tests. Phenytoin may cause increased serum levels of glucose [see Warnings and Precautions (5.13)], alkaline phosphatase, and gamma glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT).

Nervous System: The most common adverse reactions encountered with phenytoin therapy are nervous system reactions and are usually dose-related. Reactions include nystagmus, ataxia, slurred speech, decreased coordination, somnolence, and mental confusion. Dizziness, vertigo, insomnia, transient nervousness, motor twitchings, paresthesias, and headaches have also been observed. There have also been rare reports of phenytoin-induced dyskinesias, including chorea, dystonia, tremor and asterixis, similar to those induced by phenothiazine and other neuroleptic drugs. Cerebellar atrophy has been reported, and appears more likely in settings of elevated phenytoin levels and/or long-term phenytoin use [see Warnings and Precautions (5.14)].

A predominantly sensory peripheral polyneuropathy has been observed in patients receiving long-term phenytoin therapy.

Skin and Appendages: Dermatological manifestations sometimes accompanied by fever have included scarlatiniform or morbilliform rashes. A morbilliform rash (measles-like) is the most common; other types of dermatitis are seen more rarely. Other more serious forms which may be fatal have included bullous, exfoliative or purpuric dermatitis, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, and toxic epidermal necrolysis [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3)]. There have also been reports of hypertrichosis.

Investigations: Thyroid function test abnormal.

Special Senses: Altered taste sensation including metallic taste.

Urogenital: Peyronie's disease

1 INDICATIONS AND USAGE

DILANTIN INFATABS are indicated for the treatment of generalized tonic-clonic (grand mal) and complex partial (psychomotor, temporal lobe) seizures and prevention and treatment of seizures occurring during or following neurosurgery.

DILANTIN® IV (phenytoin)

These highlights do not include all the information needed to use DILANTIN IV safety and effectively. See full prescribing information for DILANTIN IV.

WARNING: CARDIOVASCULAR RISK ASSOCIATED WITH RAPID INFUSION

The rate of intravenous DILANTIN administration should not exceed 50 mg per minute in adults and 1–3 mg/kg/min (or 50 mg per minute, whichever is slower) in pediatric patients because of the risk of severe hypotension and cardiac arrhythmias. Careful cardiac monitoring is needed during and after administering intravenous DILANTIN. Although the risk of cardiovascular toxicity increases with infusion rates above the recommended infusion rate, these events have also been reported at or below the recommended infusion rate. Reduction in rate of administration or discontinuation of dosing may be needed [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1) and Dosage and Administration (2.1)].

4 CONTRAINDICATIONS

DILANTIN is contraindicated in patients with:

  • A history of hypersensitivity to phenytoin, its inactive ingredients, or other hydantoins [see Warnings and Precautions (5.5)].
  • Sinus bradycardia, sino-atrial block, second and third degree A-V block, and Adams-Stokes syndrome because of the effect of parenteral phenytoin on ventricular automaticity.
  • A history of prior acute hepatotoxicity attributable to phenytoin [see Warnings and Precautions (5.6)].
  • Coadministration with delavirdine because of the potential for loss of virologic response and possible resistance to delavirdine or to the class of non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors.

5 WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS

5.1 Cardiovascular Risk Associated with Rapid Infusion

Rapid intravenous administration of DILANTIN increases the risk of adverse cardiovascular reactions, including severe hypotension and cardiac arrhythmias. Cardiac arrhythmias have included bradycardia, heart block, ventricular tachycardia, and ventricular fibrillation which have resulted in asystole, cardiac arrest, and death. Severe complications are most commonly encountered in critically ill patients, elderly patients, and patients with hypotension and severe myocardial insufficiency. However, cardiac events have also been reported in adults and children without underlying cardiac disease or comorbidities and at recommended doses and infusion rates.

Intravenous administration should not exceed 50 mg per minute in adults. In pediatric patients, administer the drug at a rate not exceeding 1 to 3 mg/kg/min or 50 mg per minute, whichever is slower.

Although the risk of cardiovascular toxicity increases with infusion rates above the recommended infusion rate, these events have also been reported at or below the recommended infusion rate.

As non-emergency therapy, DILANTIN should be administered more slowly as either a loading dose or by intermittent infusion. Because of the risks of cardiac and local toxicity associated with intravenous DILANTIN, oral phenytoin should be used whenever possible.

Because adverse cardiovascular reactions have occurred during and after infusions, careful cardiac and respiratory monitoring is needed during and after the administration of intravenous DILANTIN. Reduction in rate of administration or discontinuation of dosing may be needed.

5.2 Withdrawal Precipitated Seizure, Status Epilepticus

Antiepileptic drugs should not be abruptly discontinued because of the possibility of increased seizure frequency, including status epilepticus. When, in the judgment of the clinician, the need for dosage reduction, discontinuation, or substitution of alternative antiepileptic medication arises, this should be done gradually. However, in the event of an allergic or hypersensitivity reaction, rapid substitution of alternative therapy may be necessary. In this case, alternative therapy should be an antiepileptic drug not belonging to the hydantoin chemical class.

5.3 Serious Dermatologic Reactions

Serious and sometimes fatal dermatologic reactions, including toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN) and Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS), have been reported with phenytoin treatment. The onset of symptoms is usually within 28 days, but can occur later. DILANTIN should be discontinued at the first sign of a rash, unless the rash is clearly not drug-related. If signs or symptoms suggest SJS/TEN, use of this drug should not be resumed and alternative therapy should be considered. If a rash occurs, the patient should be evaluated for signs and symptoms of Drug Reaction with Eosinophilia and Systemic Symptoms [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4)].

Studies in patients of Chinese ancestry have found a strong association between the risk of developing SJS/TEN and the presence of HLA-B*1502, an inherited allelic variant of the HLA B gene, in patients using carbamazepine. Limited evidence suggests that HLA-B*1502 may be a risk factor for the development of SJS/TEN in patients of Asian ancestry taking other antiepileptic drugs associated with SJS/TEN, including phenytoin. Consideration should be given to avoiding phenytoin as an alternative for carbamazepine in patients positive for HLA-B*1502.

The use of HLA-B*1502 genotyping has important limitations and must never substitute for appropriate clinical vigilance and patient management. The role of other possible factors in the development of, and morbidity from, SJS/TEN, such as antiepileptic drug (AED) dose, compliance, concomitant medications, comorbidities, and the level of dermatologic monitoring have not been studied.

5.4 Drug Reaction with Eosinophilia and Systemic Symptoms (DRESS)/Multiorgan Hypersensitivity

Drug Reaction with Eosinophilia and Systemic Symptoms (DRESS), also known as Multiorgan hypersensitivity, has been reported in patients taking antiepileptic drugs, including DILANTIN. Some of these events have been fatal or life-threatening. DRESS typically, although not exclusively, presents with fever, rash, lymphadenopathy, and/or facial swelling, in association with other organ system involvement, such as hepatitis, nephritis, hematological abnormalities, myocarditis, or myositis sometimes resembling an acute viral infection. Eosinophilia is often present. Because this disorder is variable in its expression, other organ systems not noted here may be involved. It is important to note that early manifestations of hypersensitivity, such as fever or lymphadenopathy, may be present even though rash is not evident. If such signs or symptoms are present, the patient should be evaluated immediately. DILANTIN should be discontinued if an alternative etiology for the signs or symptoms cannot be established.

5.5 Hypersensitivity

DILANTIN and other hydantoins are contraindicated in patients who have experienced phenytoin hypersensitivity [see Contraindications (4)]. Additionally, consider alternatives to structurally similar drugs such as carboxamides (e.g., carbamazepine), barbiturates, succinimides, and oxazolidinediones (e.g., trimethadione) in these same patients. Similarly, if there is a history of hypersensitivity reactions to these structurally similar drugs in the patient or immediate family members, consider alternatives to DILANTIN.

5.6 Hepatic Injury

Cases of acute hepatotoxicity, including infrequent cases of acute hepatic failure, have been reported with DILANTIN. These events may be part of the spectrum of DRESS or may occur in isolation [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4)]. Other common manifestations include jaundice, hepatomegaly, elevated serum transaminase levels, leukocytosis, and eosinophilia. The clinical course of acute phenytoin hepatotoxicity ranges from prompt recovery to fatal outcomes. In these patients with acute hepatotoxicity, DILANTIN should be immediately discontinued and not re-administered.

5.7 Hematopoietic Complications

Hematopoietic complications, some fatal, have occasionally been reported in association with administration of DILANTIN. These have included thrombocytopenia, leukopenia, granulocytopenia, agranulocytosis, and pancytopenia with or without bone marrow suppression.

There have been a number of reports suggesting a relationship between phenytoin and the development of lymphadenopathy (local or generalized) including benign lymph node hyperplasia, pseudolymphoma, lymphoma, and Hodgkin's disease. Although a cause and effect relationship has not been established, the occurrence of lymphadenopathy indicates the need to differentiate such a condition from other types of lymph node pathology. Lymph node involvement may occur with or without symptoms and signs resembling DRESS [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4)].

In all cases of lymphadenopathy, follow-up observation for an extended period is indicated and every effort should be made to achieve seizure control using alternative antiepileptic drugs.

5.8 Local toxicity (Including Purple Glove Syndrome)

Soft tissue irritation and inflammation has occurred at the site of injection with and without extravasation of intravenous phenytoin.

Edema, discoloration and pain distal to the site of injection (described as "purple glove syndrome") have also been reported following peripheral intravenous phenytoin injection. Soft tissue irritation may vary from slight tenderness to extensive necrosis, and sloughing. The syndrome may not develop for several days after injection. Although resolution of symptoms may be spontaneous, skin necrosis and limb ischemia have occurred and required such interventions as fasciotomies, skin grafting, and, in rare cases, amputation.

Because of the risk of local toxicity, intravenous DILANTIN should be administered directly into a large peripheral or central vein through a large-gauge catheter. Prior to the administration, the patency of the IV catheter should be tested with a flush of sterile saline. Each injection of parenteral DILANTIN should then be followed by a flush of sterile saline through the same catheter to avoid local venous irritation caused by the alkalinity of the solution.

Intramuscular DILANTIN administration may cause pain, necrosis, and abscess formation at the injection site [see Dosage and Administration (2.3)].

5.9 Renal or Hepatic Impairment or Hypoalbuminemia

Because the fraction of unbound phenytoin is increased in patients with renal or hepatic disease, or in those with hypoalbuminemia, the monitoring of phenytoin serum levels should be based on the unbound fraction in those patients.

5.10 Exacerbation of Porphyria

In view of isolated reports associating phenytoin with exacerbation of porphyria, caution should be exercised in using this medication in patients suffering from this disease.

5.11 Teratogenicity and Other Harm to the Newborn

DILANTIN may cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. Prenatal exposure to phenytoin may increase the risks for congenital malformations and other adverse development outcomes [see Use in Specific Populations (8.1)].

Increased frequencies of major malformations (such as orofacial clefts and cardiac defects), and abnormalities characteristic of fetal hydantoin syndrome, including dysmorphic skull and facial features, nail and digit hypoplasia, growth abnormalities (including microcephaly), and cognitive deficits, have been reported among children born to epileptic women who took phenytoin alone or in combination with other antiepileptic drugs during pregnancy. There have been several reported cases of malignancies, including neuroblastoma.

The overall incidence of malformations for children of epileptic women treated with antiepileptic drugs, including phenytoin, during pregnancy is about 10%, or two- to three-fold that in the general population.

A potentially life-threatening bleeding disorder related to decreased levels of vitamin K-dependent clotting factors may occur in newborns exposed to phenytoin in utero. This drug-induced condition can be prevented with vitamin K administration to the mother before delivery and to the neonate after birth.

5.12 Slow Metabolizers of Phenytoin

A small percentage of individuals who have been treated with phenytoin have been shown to metabolize the drug slowly. Slow metabolism may be caused by limited enzyme availability and lack of induction; it appears to be genetically determined. If early signs of dose-related CNS toxicity develop, serum levels should be checked immediately.

5.13 Hyperglycemia

Hyperglycemia, resulting from the drug's inhibitory effect on insulin release, has been reported. Phenytoin may also raise the serum glucose level in diabetic patients.

5.14 Serum Phenytoin Levels above Therapeutic Range

Serum levels of phenytoin sustained above the therapeutic range may produce confusional states referred to as "delirium", "psychosis", or "encephalopathy", or rarely irreversible cerebellar dysfunction and/or cerebellar atrophy. Accordingly, at the first sign of acute toxicity, serum levels should be immediately checked. Dose reduction of phenytoin therapy is indicated if serum levels are excessive; if symptoms persist, termination is recommended.

6 ADVERSE REACTIONS

The following serious adverse reactions are described elsewhere in the labeling:

The following adverse reactions associated with the use of DILANTIN were identified in clinical studies or postmarketing reports. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.

The most notable signs of toxicity associated with the intravenous use of this drug are cardiovascular collapse and/or central nervous system depression. Hypotension does occur when the drug is administered rapidly by the intravenous route. The rate of administration is very important; it should not exceed 50 mg per minute in adults, and 1–3 mg/kg/min (or 50 mg per minute, whichever is slower) in pediatric patients [See Boxed Warning, Dosage and Administration (2.1), and Warnings and Precautions (5.1)].

Body As a Whole: Allergic reactions in the form of rash and rarely more serious forms (see Skin and Appendages paragraph below) and DRESS [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4)] have been observed. Anaphylaxis has also been reported.

There have also been reports of coarsening of facial features, systemic lupus erythematosus, periarteritis nodosa, and immunoglobulin abnormalities.

Cardiovascular: Severe cardiovascular events and fatalities have been reported with atrial and ventricular conduction depression and ventricular fibrillation. Severe complications are most commonly encountered in elderly or critically ill patients [see Boxed Warning and Warnings and Precautions (5.1)].

Digestive System: Acute hepatic failure [see Warnings and Precautions (5.6)], toxic hepatitis, liver damage, nausea, vomiting, constipation, enlargement of the lips, and gingival hyperplasia.

Hematologic and Lymphatic System: Hematopoietic complications, some fatal, have occasionally been reported in association with administration of phenytoin [see Warnings and Precautions (5.7)]. These have included thrombocytopenia, leukopenia, granulocytopenia, agranulocytosis, and pancytopenia with or without bone marrow suppression. While macrocytosis and megaloblastic anemia have occurred, these conditions usually respond to folic acid therapy. Lymphadenopathy, including benign lymph node hyperplasia, pseudolymphoma, lymphoma, and Hodgkin's Disease have been reported [see Warnings and Precautions (5.7)].

Laboratory Test Abnormality: Phenytoin may decrease serum concentrations of T4. It may also produce lower than normal values for dexamethasone or metyrapone tests. Phenytoin may also cause increased serum levels of glucose, alkaline phosphatase, and gamma glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT).

Nervous System: The most common adverse reactions encountered with phenytoin therapy are nervous system reactions and are usually dose-related. Reactions include nystagmus, ataxia, slurred speech, decreased coordination, somnolence, and mental confusion. Dizziness, vertigo, insomnia, transient nervousness, motor twitchings, paresthesia, and headaches have also been observed. There have also been rare reports of phenytoin induced dyskinesias, including chorea, dystonia, tremor and asterixis, similar to those induced by phenothiazine and other neuroleptic drugs. Cerebellar atrophy has been reported, and appears more likely in settings of elevated phenytoin levels and/or long-term phenytoin use [see Warnings and Precautions (5.14)].

A predominantly sensory peripheral polyneuropathy has been observed in patients receiving long-term phenytoin therapy.

Skin and Appendages: Dermatological manifestations sometimes accompanied by fever have included scarlatiniform or morbilliform rashes. A morbilliform rash (measles-like) is the most common; other types of dermatitis are seen more rarely. Other more serious forms which may be fatal have included bullous, exfoliative or purpuric dermatitis, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, and toxic epidermal necrolysis [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3)]. There have also been reports of hypertrichosis.

Local irritation, inflammation, tenderness, necrosis, and sloughing have been reported with or without extravasation of intravenous phenytoin [see Warnings and Precautions (5.8)].

Investigations: Thyroid function test abnormal.

Special Senses: Altered taste sensation including metallic taste.

Urogenital: Peyronie's disease

1 INDICATIONS AND USAGE

Parenteral DILANTIN is indicated for the treatment of generalized tonic-clonic status epilepticus, and prevention and treatment of seizures occurring during neurosurgery. Intravenous DILANTIN can also be substituted, as short-term use, for oral phenytoin. Parenteral DILANTIN should be used only when oral DILANTIN administration is not possible [see Dosage and Administration (2.1, 2.3) and Warnings and Precautions (5.1)].

EFFEXOR® XR (venlafaxine HCl)

These highlights do not include all the information needed to use EFFEXOR XR safety and effectively. See full prescribing information for EFFEXOR XR.

WARNING: SUICIDAL THOUGHTS AND BEHAVIORS

Antidepressants increased the risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior in children, adolescents, and young adults in short-term studies. These studies did not show an increase in the risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior with antidepressant use in patients over age 24; there was a reduction in risk with antidepressant use in patients aged 65 and older [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)].

In patients of all ages who are started on antidepressant therapy monitor closely for clinical worsening and emergence of suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Advise families and caregivers of the need for close observation and communication with the prescriber [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1) and Patient Counseling Information (17)].

4 CONTRAINDICATIONS

4.1 Hypersensitivity

Hypersensitivity to venlafaxine hydrochloride, desvenlafaxine succinate or to any excipients in the formulation

4.2 Concomitant Use with Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs)

The use of MAOIs (intended to treat psychiatric disorders) concomitantly with Effexor XR or within 7 days of discontinuing treatment with Effexor XR is contraindicated because of an increased risk of serotonin syndrome. The use of Effexor XR within 14 days of discontinuing treatment with an MAOI (intended to treat psychiatric disorders) is also contraindicated [see Dosage and Administration (2.9), Warnings and Precautions (5.2), and Drug Interactions (7.2)].

Starting Effexor XR in a patient who is being treated with an MAOI such as linezolid or intravenous methylene blue is also contraindicated, because of an increased risk of serotonin syndrome [see Dosage and Administration (2.9), Warnings and Precautions (5.2), and Drug Interactions (7.3)].

5 WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS

5.1 Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors in Children, Adolescents, and Young Adults

Patients with major depressive disorder (MDD), both adult and pediatric, may experience worsening of their depression and/or the emergence of suicidal ideation and behavior (suicidality) or unusual changes in behavior, whether or not they are taking antidepressant medications, and this risk may persist until significant remission occurs. Suicide is a known risk of depression and certain other psychiatric disorders, and these disorders themselves are the strongest predictors of suicide. There has been a long-standing concern, however, that antidepressants may have a role in inducing worsening of depression and the emergence of suicidality in certain patients during the early phases of treatment. Pooled analyses of short-term placebo-controlled studies of antidepressant drugs (SSRIs and others) showed that these drugs increase the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior (suicidality) in children, adolescents, and young adults (ages 18–24) with MDD and other psychiatric disorders. Short-term studies did not show an increase in the risk of suicidality with antidepressants compared to placebo in adults beyond age 24; there was a reduction with antidepressants compared to placebo in adults aged 65 and older.

The pooled analyses of placebo-controlled studies in children and adolescents with MDD, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), or other psychiatric disorders included a total of 24 short-term studies of 9 antidepressant drugs in over 4,400 patients. The pooled analyses of placebo-controlled studies in adults with MDD or other psychiatric disorders included a total of 295 short-term studies (median duration of 2 months) of 11 antidepressant drugs in over 77,000 patients. There was considerable variation in risk of suicidality among drugs, but a tendency toward an increase in the younger patients for almost all drugs studied. There were differences in absolute risk of suicidality across the different indications, with the highest incidence in MDD. The risk differences (drug versus placebo), however, were relatively stable within age strata and across indications. These risk differences (drug-placebo difference in the number of cases of suicidality per 1,000 patients treated) are provided in Table 1.

Table 1: Difference in the Number of Cases of Suicidality per 1,000 Patients Treated versus Placebo
Age Range Increases Compared to Placebo
< 18 14 additional cases
18–24 5 additional cases
Decreases Compared to Placebo
25–64 1 fewer case
≥ 65 6 fewer cases

No suicides occurred in any of the pediatric studies. There were suicides in the adult studies, but the number was not sufficient to reach any conclusion about drug effect on suicide.

It is unknown whether the suicidality risk extends to longer term use, i.e., beyond several months. However, there is substantial evidence from placebo-controlled maintenance studies in adults with depression that the use of antidepressants can delay the recurrence of depression.

All patients being treated with antidepressants for any indication should be monitored appropriately and observed closely for clinical worsening, suicidality, and unusual changes in behavior, especially during the initial few months of a course of drug therapy, or at times of dose changes, either increases or decreases.

The following symptoms, anxiety, agitation, panic attacks, insomnia, irritability, hostility, aggressiveness, impulsivity, akathisia (psychomotor restlessness), hypomania, and mania, have been reported in adult and pediatric patients being treated with antidepressants for MDD, as well as for other indications, both psychiatric and nonpsychiatric. Although a causal link between the emergence of such symptoms and either the worsening of depression and/or the emergence of suicidal impulses has not been established, there is concern that such symptoms may represent precursors to emerging suicidality.

Consideration should be given to changing the therapeutic regimen, including possibly discontinuing the medication, in patients whose depression is persistently worse, or who are experiencing emergent suicidality or symptoms that might be precursors to worsening depression or suicidality, especially if these symptoms are severe, abrupt in onset, or were not part of the patient's presenting symptoms.

If the decision has been made to discontinue treatment, medication should be tapered, as rapidly as is feasible, but with recognition that abrupt discontinuation can be associated with certain symptoms [see Warnings and Precautions (5.7) and Dosage and Administration (2.8)].

Families and caregivers of patients being treated with antidepressants for MDD or other indications, both psychiatric and nonpsychiatric, should be alerted about the need to monitor patients for the emergence of agitation, irritability, unusual changes in behavior, and the other symptoms described above, as well as the emergence of suicidality, and to report such symptoms immediately to healthcare providers. Such monitoring should include daily observation by families and caregivers. Prescriptions for Effexor XR should be written for the smallest quantity of capsules consistent with good patient management, in order to reduce the risk of overdose.

Screening Patients for Bipolar Disorder

A major depressive episode may be the initial presentation of bipolar disorder. It is generally believed (though not established in controlled studies) that treating such an episode with an antidepressant alone may increase the likelihood of precipitation of a mixed/manic episode in patients at risk for bipolar disorder. Whether any of the symptoms described above represent such a conversion is unknown. However, prior to initiating treatment with an antidepressant, patients with depressive symptoms should be adequately screened to determine if they are at risk for bipolar disorder; such screening should include a detailed psychiatric history, including a family history of suicide, bipolar disorder, and depression. It should be noted that Effexor XR is not approved for use in treating bipolar depression.

5.2 Serotonin Syndrome

The development of a potentially life-threatening serotonin syndrome has been reported with SNRIs and SSRIs, including Effexor XR alone, but particularly with concomitant use of other serotonergic drugs (including triptans, tricyclic antidepressants, fentanyl, lithium, tramadol, tryptophan, buspirone, amphetamines, and St. John's wort) and with drugs that impair metabolism of serotonin in particular, MAOIs, both those intended to treat psychiatric disorders and others, such as linezolid or intravenous methylene blue).

Serotonin syndrome symptoms may include mental status changes (e.g., agitation, hallucinations, delirium, coma) autonomic instability (e.g., tachycardia, labile blood pressure, hyperthermia, diaphoresis, flushing, and dizziness), neuromuscular symptoms (e.g., tremor, rigidity, myoclonus, hyperreflexia, incoordination); seizures and gastrointestinal symptoms (e.g., nausea, vomiting, diarrhea). Patients should be monitored for the emergence of serotonin syndrome.

The concomitant use of Effexor XR with MAOIs (intended to treat psychiatric disorders) is contraindicated. Effexor XR should also not be started in a patient who is being treated with MAOIs such as linezolid or intravenous methylene blue. All reports with methylene blue that provided information on the route of administration involved intravenous administration in the dose range of 1 mg/kg to 8 mg/kg. No reports involved the administration of methylene blue by other routes (such as oral tablets or local tissue injection) or at lower doses. There may be circumstances when it is necessary to initiate treatment with a MAOI such as linezolid or intravenous methylene blue in a patient taking Effexor XR. Effexor XR should be discontinued before initiating treatment with the MAOI [see Contraindications (4.2), Dosage and Administration (2.6), and Drug Interactions (7.3)].

If concomitant use of Effexor XR with other serotonergic drugs (e.g., triptans, tricyclic antidepressants, mirtazapine, fentanyl, lithium, tramadol, buspirone, amphetamines, tryptophan, or St. John's wort) is clinically warranted, careful observation of the patient is advised, particularly during treatment initiation and dose increases [see Drug Interactions (7.3)]. Patients should be made aware of the potential risk of serotonin syndrome. Treatment with Effexor XR and any concomitant serotonergic agents should be discontinued immediately if the above events occur, and supportive symptomatic treatment should be initiated.

5.3 Elevations in Blood Pressure

In controlled trials, there were dose-related increases in systolic and diastolic blood pressure, as well as cases of sustained hypertension [see Adverse Reactions (6.2)].

Monitor blood pressure before initiating treatment with Effexor XR and regularly during treatment. Control pre-existing hypertension before initiating treatment with Effexor XR. Use caution in treating patients with pre-existing hypertension or cardiovascular or cerebrovascular conditions that might be compromised by increases in blood pressure. Sustained blood pressure elevation can lead to adverse outcomes. Cases of elevated blood pressure requiring immediate treatment have been reported with Effexor XR. Consider dose reduction or discontinuation of treatment for patients who experience a sustained increase in blood pressure.

Across all clinical studies with Effexor, 1.4% of patients in the Effexor XR treated groups experienced a ≥15 mm Hg increase in supine diastolic blood pressure (SDBP ) ≥ 105 mm Hg, compared to 0.9% of patients in the placebo groups. Similarly, 1% of patients in the Effexor XR treated groups experienced a ≥ 20 mm Hg increase in supine systolic blood pressure (SSBP) with blood pressure ≥ 180 mm Hg, compared to 0.3% of patients in the placebo groups [see Table 10 in Adverse Reactions (6.2)]. Effexor XR treatment was associated with sustained hypertension (defined as treatment-emergent SDBP ≥ 90 mm Hg and ≥ 10 mm Hg above baseline for three consecutive on-therapy visits [see Table 11 in Adverse Reactions (6.2)]. An insufficient number of patients received mean doses of Effexor XR over 300 mg per day in clinical studies to fully evaluate the incidence of sustained increases in blood pressure at these higher doses.

5.4 Abnormal Bleeding

SSRIs and SNRIs, including Effexor XR, may increase the risk of bleeding events, ranging from ecchymoses, hematomas, epistaxis, petechiae, and gastrointestinal hemorrhage to life-threatening hemorrhage. Concomitant use of aspirin, Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs), warfarin, and other anti-coagulants or other drugs known to affect platelet function may add to this risk. Case reports and epidemiological studies (case-control and cohort design) have demonstrated an association between use of drugs that interfere with serotonin reuptake and the occurrence of gastrointestinal bleeding. Caution patients about the risk of bleeding associated with the concomitant use of Effexor XR and NSAIDs, aspirin, or other drugs that affect coagulation.

5.5 Angle-Closure Glaucoma

The pupillary dilation that occurs following use of many antidepressant drugs including Effexor XR may trigger an angle closure attack in a patient with anatomically narrow angles who does not have a patent iridectomy.

5.6 Activation of Mania/Hypomania

Mania or hypomania was reported in Effexor XR treated patients in the premarketing studies in MDD, SAD, and PD (see Table 2). Mania/hypomania has also been reported in a small proportion of patients with mood disorders who were treated with other marketed drugs to treat MDD. Effexor XR should be used cautiously in patients with a history of mania or hypomania.

Table 2: Incidence (%) of Mania or Hypomania Reported in Effexor XR Treated Patients in the Premarketing Studies
Indication Effexor XR Placebo
MDD 0.3 0.0
GAD 0.0 0.2
SAD 0.2 0.0
PD 0.1 0.0

5.7 Discontinuation Syndrome

Discontinuation symptoms have been systematically evaluated in patients taking venlafaxine, including prospective analyses of clinical studies in GAD and retrospective surveys of studies in MDD and SAD. Abrupt discontinuation or dose reduction of venlafaxine at various doses has been found to be associated with the appearance of new symptoms, the frequency of which increased with increased dose level and with longer duration of treatment. Reported symptoms include agitation, anorexia, anxiety, confusion, impaired coordination and balance, diarrhea, dizziness, dry mouth, dysphoric mood, fasciculation, fatigue, flu-like symptoms, headaches, hypomania, insomnia, nausea, nervousness, nightmares, sensory disturbances (including shock-like electrical sensations), somnolence, sweating, tremor, vertigo, and vomiting.

During marketing of Effexor XR, other SNRIs, and SSRIs, there have been spontaneous reports of adverse events occurring upon discontinuation of these drugs, particularly when abrupt, including the following: dysphoric mood, irritability, agitation, dizziness, sensory disturbances (e.g., paresthesia, such as electric shock sensations), anxiety, confusion, headache, lethargy, emotional lability, insomnia, hypomania, tinnitus, and seizures. While these events are generally self-limiting, there have been reports of serious discontinuation symptoms.

Patients should be monitored for these symptoms when discontinuing treatment with Effexor XR. A gradual reduction in the dose, rather than abrupt cessation, is recommended whenever possible. If intolerable symptoms occur following a decrease in the dose or upon discontinuation of treatment, then resuming the previously prescribed dose may be considered. Subsequently, the physician may continue decreasing the dose, but at a more gradual rate [see Dosage and Administration (2.8)].

5.8 Seizures

Seizures have occurred with venlafaxine therapy. Effexor XR, like many antidepressants, should be used cautiously in patients with a history of seizures and should be discontinued in any patient who develops seizures. [Must mitigate the risk: Risk factors, concomitant meds that lower the seizure threshold.]

5.9 Hyponatremia

Hyponatremia can occur as a result of treatment with SSRIs and SNRIs, including Effexor XR. In many cases, the hyponatremia appears to be the result of the Syndrome of Inappropriate Antidiuretic Hormone (SIADH) secretion. Cases with serum sodium lower than 110 mmol/L have been reported. Elderly patients may be at greater risk of developing hyponatremia with SSRIs and SNRIs [see Use in Specific Populations (8.5)]. Also, patients taking diuretics, or those who are otherwise volume-depleted, may be at greater risk. Consider discontinuation of Effexor XR in patients with symptomatic hyponatremia, and institute appropriate medical intervention.

Signs and symptoms of hyponatremia include headache, difficulty concentrating, memory impairment, confusion, weakness, and unsteadiness, which may lead to falls. Signs and symptoms associated with more severe and/or acute cases have included hallucination, syncope, seizure, coma, respiratory arrest, and death.

5.10 Weight and Height Changes in Pediatric Patients

Weight Changes

The average change in body weight and incidence of weight loss (percentage of patients who lost 3.5% or more) in the placebo-controlled pediatric studies in MDD, GAD, and SAD are shown in Tables 3 and 4.

Table 3: Average Change in Body Weight (kg) From Beginning of Treatment in Pediatric Patients in Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Studies of Effexor XR
Indication
  (Duration)
Effexor XR Placebo
MDD and GAD
  (4 pooled studies, 8 weeks)
-0.45 (n = 333) +0.77 (n = 333)
SAD
  (16 weeks)
-0.75 (n = 137) +0.76 (n = 148)
Table 4: Incidence (%) of Pediatric Patients Experiencing Weight Loss (3.5% or more) in Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Studies of Effexor XR
Indication
  (Duration)
Effexor XR Placebo
*
p < 0.001 versus placebo
MDD and GAD
  (4 pooled studies, 8 weeks)
18* (n = 333) 3.6 (n = 333)
SAD
  (16 weeks)
47* (n = 137) 14 (n = 148)

Weight loss was not limited to patients with treatment-emergent anorexia [see Warnings and Precautions (5.11)].

The risks associated with longer term Effexor XR use were assessed in an open-label MDD study of children and adolescents who received Effexor XR for up to six months. The children and adolescents in the study had increases in weight that were less than expected, based on data from age- and sex-matched peers. The difference between observed weight gain and expected weight gain was larger for children (< 12 years old) than for adolescents (≥ 12 years old).

Height Changes

Table 5 shows the average height increase in pediatric patients in the short-term, placebo-controlled MDD, GAD, and SAD studies. The differences in height increases in GAD and MDD studies were most notable in patients younger than twelve.

Table 5: Average Height Increases (cm) in Pediatric Patients in Placebo-controlled Studies of Effexor XR
Indication
  (Duration)
Effexor XR Placebo
*
p = 0.041
MDD
  (8 weeks)
0.8 (n = 146) 0.7 (n = 147)
GAD
  (8 weeks)
0.3* (n = 122) 1.0 (n = 132)
SAD
  (16 weeks)
1.0 (n = 109) 1.0 (n = 112)

In the six-month, open-label MDD study, children and adolescents had height increases that were less than expected, based on data from age- and sex-matched peers. The difference between observed and expected growth rates was larger for children (< 12 years old) than for adolescents (≥ 12 years old).

5.11 Appetite Changes in Pediatric Patients

Decreased appetite (reported as treatment-emergent anorexia) was more commonly observed in Effexor XR treated patients versus placebo-treated patients in the premarketing evaluation of Effexor XR for MDD, GAD, and SAD (see Table 6).

Table 6: Incidence (%) of Decreased Appetite and Associated Discontinuation Rates* (%) in Pediatric Patients in Placebo-controlled Studies of Effexor XR
Indication
  (Duration)
Effexor XR Incidence Discontinuation Placebo Incidence Discontinuation
*
The discontinuation rates for weight loss were 0.7% for patients receiving either Effexor XR or placebo.
MDD and GAD
  (pooled, 8 weeks)
10 0.0 3
SAD
  (16 weeks)
22 0.7 3 0.0

5.12 Interstitial Lung Disease and Eosinophilic Pneumonia

Interstitial lung disease and eosinophilic pneumonia associated with venlafaxine therapy have been rarely reported. The possibility of these adverse events should be considered in venlafaxine-treated patients who present with progressive dyspnea, cough or chest discomfort. Such patients should undergo a prompt medical evaluation, and discontinuation of venlafaxine therapy should be considered.

6 ADVERSE REACTIONS

The following adverse reactions are discussed in greater detail in other sections of the label:

6.1 Clinical Studies Experience

Because clinical studies are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical studies of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical studies of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice.

Most Common Adverse Reactions

The most commonly observed adverse reactions in the clinical study database in Effexor XR treated patients in MDD, GAD, SAD, and PD (incidence ≥ 5% and at least twice the rate of placebo) were: nausea (30.0%), somnolence (15.3%), dry mouth (14.8%), sweating (11.4%), abnormal ejaculation (9.9%), anorexia (9.8%), constipation (9.3%), impotence (5.3%) and decreased libido (5.1%).

Adverse Reactions Reported as Reasons for Discontinuation of Treatment

Combined across short-term, placebo-controlled premarketing studies for all indications, 12% of the 3,558 patients who received Effexor XR (37.5–225 mg) discontinued treatment due to an adverse experience, compared with 4% of the 2,197 placebo-treated patients in those studies.

The most common adverse reactions leading to discontinuation in ≥ 1% of the Effexor XR treated patients in the short-term studies (up to 12 weeks) across indications are shown in Table 7.

Table 7: Incidence (%) of Patients Reporting Adverse Reactions Leading to Discontinuation in Placebo-controlled Clinical Studies (up to 12 Weeks Duration)
Body System
Adverse Reaction
Effexor XR
n = 3,558
Placebo
n = 2,197
Body as a whole
  Asthenia 1.7 0.5
  Headache 1.5 0.8
Digestive system
  Nausea 4.3 0.4
Nervous system
  Dizziness 2.2 0.8
  Insomnia 2.1 0.6
  Somnolence 1.7 0.3
Skin and appendages 1.5 0.6
  Sweating 1.0 0.2

Common Adverse Reactions in Placebo-controlled Studies

The number of patients receiving multiple doses of Effexor XR during the premarketing assessment for each approved indication is shown in Table 8. The conditions and duration of exposure to venlafaxine in all development programs varied greatly, and included (in overlapping categories) open and double-blind studies, uncontrolled and controlled studies, inpatient (Effexor only) and outpatient studies, fixed-dose, and titration studies.

Table 8: Patients Receiving Effexor XR in Premarketing Clinical Studies
Indication Effexor XR
*
In addition, in the premarketing assessment of Effexor, multiple doses were administered to 2,897 patients in studies for MDD.
MDD 705*
GAD 1,381
SAD 819
PD 1,314

The incidences of common adverse reactions (those that occurred in ≥ 2% of Effexor XR treated patients [357 MDD patients, 1,381 GAD patients, 819 SAD patients, and 1,001 PD patients] and more frequently than placebo) in Effexor XR treated patients in short-term, placebo-controlled, fixed- and flexible-dose clinical studies (doses 37.5 to 225 mg per day) are shown in Table 9.

The adverse reaction profile did not differ substantially between the different patient populations.

Table 9: Common Adverse Reactions: Percentage of Patients Reporting Adverse Reactions (≥ 2% and > placebo) in Placebo-controlled Studies (up to 12 Weeks Duration) across All Indications
Body System
Adverse Reaction
Effexor XR
n = 3,558
Placebo
n = 2,197
*
Percentages based on the number of men (Effexor XR, n = 1,440; placebo, n = 923)
Percentages based on the number of women (Effexor XR, n = 2,118; placebo, n = 1,274)
Body as a whole
  Asthenia 12.6 7.8
Cardiovascular system
  Hypertension 3.4 2.6
  Palpitation 2.2 2.0
  Vasodilatation 3.7 1.9
Digestive system
  Anorexia 9.8 2.6
  Constipation 9.3 3.4
  Diarrhea 7.7 7.2
  Dry mouth 14.8 5.3
  Nausea 30.0 11.8
  Vomiting 4.3 2.7
Nervous system
  Abnormal dreams 2.9 1.4
  Dizziness 15.8 9.5
  Insomnia 17.8 9.5
  Libido decreased 5.1 1.6
  Nervousness 7.1 5.0
  Paresthesia 2.4 1.4
  Somnolence 15.3 7.5
  Tremor 4.7 1.6
Respiratory system
  Yawn 3.7 0.2
Skin and appendages
  Sweating (including night sweats) 11.4 2.9
Special senses
  Abnormal vision 4.2 1.6
Urogenital system
  Abnormal ejaculation/orgasm (men)* 9.9 0.5
  Anorgasmia (men)* 3.6 0.1
  Anorgasmia (women) 2.0 0.2
  Impotence (men)* 5.3 1.0

Other Adverse Reactions Observed in Clinical Studies

Body as a whole – Photosensitivity reaction, chills

Cardiovascular system – Postural hypotension, syncope, hypotension, tachycardia

Digestive system – Gastrointestinal hemorrhage [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4)], bruxism

Hemic/Lymphatic system – Ecchymosis [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4)]

Metabolic/Nutritional – Hypercholesterolemia, weight gain [see Warnings and Precautions (5.10)], weight loss [see Warnings and Precautions (5.10)]

Nervous system – Seizures [see Warnings and Precautions (5.8)], manic reaction [see Warnings and Precautions (5.6)], agitation, confusion, akathisia, hallucinations, hypertonia, myoclonus, depersonalization, apathy

Skin and appendages – Urticaria, pruritus, rash, alopecia

Special senses – Mydriasis, abnormality of accommodation, tinnitus, taste perversion

Urogenital system – Urinary retention, urination impaired, urinary incontinence, urinary frequency increased, menstrual disorders associated with increased bleeding or increased irregular bleeding (e.g., menorrhagia, metrorrhagia)

6.2 Vital Sign Changes

In placebo-controlled premarketing studies, there were increases in mean blood pressure (see Table 10). Across most indications, a dose-related increase in mean supine systolic and diastolic blood pressure was evident in patients treated with Effexor XRs. Across all clinical studies in MDD, GAD, SAD and PD, 1.4% of patients in the Effexor XR groups experienced an increase in SDBP of ≥15 mm Hg along with a blood pressure ≥ 105 mm Hg, compared to 0.9% of patients in the placebo groups. Similarly, 1% of patients in the Effexor XR groups experienced an increase in SSBP of ≥ 20 mm Hg with a blood pressure ≥ 180 mm Hg, compared to 0.3% of patients in the placebo groups.

Table 10: Final On-therapy Mean Changes From Baseline in Supine Systolic (SSBP) and Diastolic (SDBP) Blood Pressure (mm Hg) in Placebo-controlled Studies
Effexor XR Placebo
Indication ≤ 75 mg per day > 75 mg per day
  (Duration) SSBP SDBP SSBP SDBP SSBP SDBP
MDD
  (8–12 weeks) -0.28 0.37 2.93 3.56 -1.08 -0.10
GAD
  (8 weeks) -0.28 0.02 2.40 1.68 -1.26 -0.92
  (6 months) 1.27 -0.69 2.06 1.28 -1.29 -0.74
SAD
  (12 weeks) -0.29 -1.26 1.18 1.34 -1.96 -1.22
  (6 months) -0.98 -0.49 2.51 1.96 -1.84 -0.65
PD
  (10–12 weeks) -1.15 0.97 -0.36 0.16 -1.29 -0.99

Effexor XR treatment was associated with sustained hypertension (defined as treatment-emergent Supine Diastolic Blood Pressure [SDBP] ≥ 90 mm Hg and ≥ 10 mm Hg above baseline for three consecutive on-therapy visits (see Table 11). An insufficient number of patients received mean doses of Effexor XR over 300 mg per day in clinical studies to fully evaluate the incidence of sustained increases in blood pressure at these higher doses.

Table 11: Sustained Elevations in SDBP in Effexor XR Premarketing Studies
Indication Dose Range (mg per day) Incidence (%)
MDD 75–375 19/705 (3)
GAD 37.5–225 5/1011 (0.5)
SAD 75–225 5/771 (0.6)
PD 75–225 9/973 (0.9)

Effexor XR was associated with mean increases in pulse rate compared with placebo in premarketing placebo-controlled studies (see Table 12) [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3, 5.4)].

Table 12: Approximate Mean Final On-therapy Increase in Pulse Rate (beats/min) in Effexor XR Premarketing Placebo-controlled Studies (up to 12 Weeks Duration)
Indication
  (Duration)
Effexor XR Placebo
MDD
  (12 weeks)
2 1
GAD
  (8 weeks)
2 < 1
SAD
  (12 weeks)
3 1
PD
  (12 weeks)
1 < 1

6.3 Laboratory Changes

Serum Cholesterol

Effexor XR was associated with mean final increases in serum cholesterol concentrations compared with mean final decreases for placebo in premarketing MDD, GAD, SAD and PD clinical studies (Table 13).

Table 13: Mean Final On-therapy Changes in Cholesterol Concentrations (mg/dL) in Effexor XR Premarketing Studies
Indication
  (Duration)
Effexor XR Placebo
MDD
  (12 weeks) +1.5 -7.4
GAD
  (8 weeks) +1.0 -4.9
  (6 months) +2.3 -7.7
SAD
  (12 weeks) +7.9 -2.9
  (6 months) +5.6 -4.2
PD
  (12 weeks) 5.8 -3.7

Effexor XR (venlafaxine hydrochloride) extended-release capsules treatment for up to 12 weeks in premarketing placebo-controlled trials for major depressive disorder was associated with a mean final on-therapy increase in serum cholesterol concentration of approximately 1.5 mg/dL compared with a mean final decrease of 7.4 mg/dL for placebo. Effexor XR treatment for up to 8 weeks and up to 6 months in premarketing placebo-controlled GAD trials was associated with mean final on-therapy increases in serum cholesterol concentration of approximately 1.0 mg/dL and 2.3 mg/dL, respectively while placebo subjects experienced mean final decreases of 4.9 mg/dL and 7.7 mg/dL, respectively. Effexor XR treatment for up to 12 weeks and up to 6 months in premarketing placebo-controlled Social Anxiety Disorder trials was associated with mean final on-therapy increases in serum cholesterol concentration of approximately 7.9 mg/dL and 5.6 mg/dL, respectively, compared with mean final decreases of 2.9 and 4.2 mg/dL, respectively, for placebo. Effexor XR treatment for up to 12 weeks in premarketing placebo-controlled panic disorder trials was associated with mean final on-therapy increases in serum cholesterol concentration of approximately 5.8 mg/dL compared with a mean final decrease of 3.7 mg/dL for placebo.

Patients treated with Effexor (immediate release) for at least 3 months in placebo-controlled 12-month extension trials had a mean final on-therapy increase in total cholesterol of 9.1 mg/dL compared with a decrease of 7.1 mg/dL among placebo-treated patients. This increase was duration dependent over the study period and tended to be greater with higher doses. Clinically relevant increases in serum cholesterol, defined as 1) a final on-therapy increase in serum cholesterol ≥50 mg/dL from baseline and to a value ≥261 mg/dL, or 2) an average on-therapy increase in serum cholesterol ≥50 mg/dL from baseline and to a value ≥261 mg/dL, were recorded in 5.3% of venlafaxine-treated patients and 0.0% of placebo-treated patients.

Serum Triglycerides

Effexor XR was associated with mean final on-therapy increases in fasting serum triglycerides compared with placebo in premarketing clinical studies of SAD and PD up to 12 weeks (pooled data) and 6 months duration (Table 14).

Table 14: Mean Final On-therapy Increases in Triglyceride Concentrations (mg/dL) in Effexor XR Premarketing Studies
Indication
  (Duration)
Effexor XR Placebo
SAD
  (12 weeks)
8.2 0.4
SAD
  (6 months)
11.8 1.8
PD
  (12 weeks)
5.9 0.9
PD
  (6 months)
9.3 0.3

6.4 Pediatric Patients

In general, the adverse reaction profile of venlafaxine (in placebo-controlled clinical studies) in children and adolescents (ages 6 to 17) was similar to that seen for adults. As with adults, decreased appetite, weight loss, increased blood pressure, and increased serum cholesterol were observed [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3, 5.10, 5.11) and Use in Specific Populations (8.4)].

In pediatric clinical studies, the adverse reaction, suicidal ideation, was observed.

Particularly, the following adverse reactions were observed in pediatric patients: abdominal pain, agitation, dyspepsia, ecchymosis, epistaxis, and myalgia.

6.5 Adverse Reactions Identified During Postapproval Use

The following adverse reactions have been identified during postapproval use of Effexor XR. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure:

Body as a whole – Anaphylaxis, angioedema

Cardiovascular system – QT prolongation, ventricular fibrillation, ventricular tachycardia (including torsade de pointes)

Digestive system – Pancreatitis

Hemic/Lymphatic system – Mucous membrane bleeding [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4 )], blood dyscrasias (including agranulocytosis, aplastic anemia, neutropenia and pancytopenia), prolonged bleeding time, thrombocytopenia

Metabolic/Nutritional – Hyponatremia [see Warnings and Precautions (5.9)], Syndrome of Inappropriate Antidiuretic Hormone (SIADH) secretion [see Warnings and Precautions (5.9)], abnormal liver function tests, hepatitis, prolactin increased

Musculoskeletal – Rhabdomyolysis

Nervous system – Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS) [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)], serotonergic syndrome [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)], delirium, extrapyramidal reactions (including dystonia and dyskinesia), impaired coordination and balance, tardive dyskinesia

Respiratory system – Dyspnea, interstitial lung disease, pulmonary eosinophilia [see Warnings and Precautions (5.12)]

Skin and appendages – Stevens-Johnson syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis, erythema multiforme

Special senses – Angle-closure glaucoma [see Warnings and Precautions (5.5)]

1 INDICATIONS AND USAGE

1.1 Major Depressive Disorder

Effexor XR (venlafaxine hydrochloride) extended-release capsules are indicated for the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD). Efficacy was established in three short-term (4, 8, and 12 weeks) and two long-term, maintenance trials.

1.2 Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Effexor XR is indicated for the treatment of Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). Efficacy was established in two 8-week and two 26-week placebo-controlled trials.

1.3 Social Anxiety Disorder

Effexor XR is indicated for the treatment of Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD), also known as social phobia. Efficacy was established in four 12-week and one 26-week, placebo-controlled trials.

1.4 Panic Disorder

Effexor XR is indicated for the treatment of Panic Disorder (PD), with or without agoraphobia. Efficacy was established in two 12-week placebo-controlled trials.

EMBEDA® Extended Release CII (morphine sulfate and naltrexone hydrochloride)

These highlights do not include all the information needed to use EMBEDA Extended Release CII safety and effectively. See full prescribing information for EMBEDA Extended Release CII.

WARNING: ADDICTION, ABUSE, AND MISUSE; LIFE-THREATENING RESPIRATORY DEPRESSION; ACCIDENTAL INGESTION; NEONATAL OPIOID WITHDRAWAL SYNDROME; INTERACTION WITH ALCOHOL; and RISKS FROM CONCOMITANT USE WITH BENZODIAZEPINES OR OTHER CNS DEPRESSANTS

Addiction, Abuse, and Misuse

EMBEDA® exposes patients and other users to the risks of opioid addiction, abuse, and misuse, which can lead to overdose and death. Assess each patient's risk prior to prescribing EMBEDA, and monitor all patients regularly for the development of these behaviors and conditions [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)].

Life-threatening Respiratory Depression

Serious, life-threatening, or fatal respiratory depression may occur with use of EMBEDA. Monitor for respiratory depression, especially during initiation of EMBEDA or following a dose increase. Instruct patients to swallow EMBEDA capsules whole, or to sprinkle the contents of the capsule on applesauce and swallow immediately without chewing. Crushing, chewing, or dissolving the pellets in EMBEDA can cause rapid release and absorption of a potentially fatal dose of morphine [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)].

Accidental Ingestion

Accidental ingestion of even one dose of EMBEDA, especially by children, can result in a fatal overdose of morphine [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)].

Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome

Prolonged use of EMBEDA during pregnancy can result in neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome, which may be life-threatening if not recognized and treated, and requires management according to protocols developed by neonatology experts. If opioid use is required for a prolonged period in a pregnant woman, advise the patient of the risk of neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome and ensure that appropriate treatment will be available [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3)].

Interaction with Alcohol

Instruct patients not to consume alcoholic beverages or use prescription or non-prescription products that contain alcohol while taking EMBEDA. The co-ingestion of alcohol with EMBEDA may result in increased plasma level and a potentially fatal overdose of morphine [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4)].

Risks From Concomitant Use With Benzodiazepines Or Other CNS Depressants

Concomitant use of opioids with benzodiazepines or other central nervous system (CNS) depressants, including alcohol, may result in profound sedation, respiratory depression, coma, and death [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4), Drug Interactions (7)].

  • Reserve concomitant prescribing of EMBEDA and benzodiazepines or other CNS depressants for use in patients for whom alternative treatment options are inadequate.
  • Limit dosages and durations to the minimum required.
  • Follow patients for signs and symptoms of respiratory depression and sedation.

4 CONTRAINDICATIONS

EMBEDA is contraindicated in patients with:

5 WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS

5.1 Addiction, Abuse, and Misuse

EMBEDA contains morphine, a Schedule II controlled substance. As an opioid, EMBEDA exposes users to the risks of addiction, abuse, and misuse [see Drug Abuse and Dependence (9)]. Because extended-release products such as EMBEDA deliver the opioid over an extended period of time, there is a greater risk for overdose and death due to the larger amount of morphine present [see Drug Abuse and Dependence (9)].

Although the risk of addiction in any individual is unknown, it can occur in patients appropriately prescribed EMBEDA. Addiction can occur at recommended doses and if the drug is misused or abused.

Assess each patient's risk for opioid addiction, abuse, or misuse prior to prescribing EMBEDA, and monitor all patients receiving EMBEDA for the development of these behaviors and conditions. Risks are increased in patients with a personal or family history of substance abuse (including drug or alcohol abuse or addiction) or mental illness (e.g., major depression). The potential for these risks should not, however, prevent the proper management of pain in any given patient. Patients at increased risk may be prescribed opioids such as EMBEDA, but use in such patients necessitates intensive counseling about the risks and proper use of EMBEDA along with intensive monitoring for signs of addiction, abuse, and misuse.

Abuse or misuse of EMBEDA by crushing, chewing, snorting, or injecting the dissolved product will result in the uncontrolled delivery of the morphine and can result in overdose and death [see Overdosage (10)]. Misuse or abuse of EMBEDA by these methods may also release sufficient naltrexone to precipitate withdrawal in opioid-dependent individuals [see Warnings and Precautions (5.12)].

Opioids are sought by drug abusers and people with addiction disorders and are subject to criminal diversion. Consider these risks when prescribing or dispensing EMBEDA. Strategies to reduce these risks include prescribing the drug in the smallest appropriate quantity and advising the patient on the proper disposal of unused drug [see Patient Counseling Information (17)]. Contact local state professional licensing board or state controlled substances authority for information on how to prevent and detect abuse or diversion of this product.

5.2 Life-Threatening Respiratory Depression

Serious, life-threatening, or fatal respiratory depression has been reported with the use of opioids, even when used as recommended. Respiratory depression, if not immediately recognized and treated, may lead to respiratory arrest and death. Management of respiratory depression may include close observation, supportive measures, and use of opioid antagonists, depending on the patient's clinical status [see Overdosage (10)]. Carbon dioxide (CO2) retention from opioid-induced respiratory depression can exacerbate the sedating effects of opioids.

While serious, life-threatening, or fatal respiratory depression can occur at any time during the use of EMBEDA, the risk is greatest during the initiation of therapy or following a dosage increase. Monitor patients closely for respiratory depression especially during the first 24–72 hours of initiating therapy with and following dosage increases of EMBEDA.

To reduce the risk of respiratory depression, proper dosing and titration of EMBEDA are essential [see Dosage and Administration (2)]. Overestimating the EMBEDA dosage when converting patients from another opioid product can result in fatal overdose with the first dose.

Accidental ingestion of even one dose of EMBEDA, especially by children, can result in respiratory depression and death due to an overdose of morphine.

5.3 Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome

Prolonged use of EMBEDA during pregnancy can result in withdrawal in the neonate. Neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome, unlike opioid withdrawal syndrome in adults, may be life-threatening if not recognized and treated, and requires management according to protocols developed by neonatology experts. Observe newborns for signs of neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome and manage accordingly. Advise pregnant women using opioids for a prolonged period of the risk of neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome and ensure that appropriate treatment will be available [see Use in Specific Populations (8.1), Patient Counseling Information (17)].

5.4 Risks from Concomitant Use with Benzodiazepines or Other CNS Depressants

Profound sedation, respiratory depression, coma, and death may result from the concomitant use of EMBEDA with benzodiazepines or other CNS depressants (e.g., non-benzodiazepine sedatives/hypnotics, anxiolytics, tranquilizers, muscle relaxants, general anesthetics, antipsychotics, other opioids, alcohol). Because of these risks, reserve concomitant prescribing of these drugs for use in patients for whom alternative treatment options are inadequate.

Observational studies have demonstrated that concomitant use of opioid analgesics and benzodiazepines increases the risk of drug-related mortality compared to use of opioid analgesics alone. Because of similar pharmacological properties, it is reasonable to expect similar risk with the concomitant use of other CNS depressant drugs with opioid analgesics [see Drug Interactions (7)].

If the decision is made to prescribe a benzodiazepine or other CNS depressant concomitantly with an opioid analgesic, prescribe the lowest effective dosages and minimum durations of concomitant use. In patients already receiving an opioid analgesic, prescribe a lower initial dose of the benzodiazepine or other CNS depressant than indicated in the absence of an opioid, and titrate based on clinical response. If an opioid analgesic is initiated in a patient already taking a benzodiazepine or other CNS depressant, prescribe a lower initial dose of the opioid analgesic, and titrate based on clinical response. Follow patients closely for signs and symptoms of respiratory depression and sedation.

Advise both patients and caregivers about the risks of respiratory depression and sedation when EMBEDA is used with benzodiazepines or other CNS depressants (including alcohol and illicit drugs). Advise patients not to drive or operate heavy machinery until the effects of concomitant use of the benzodiazepine or other CNS depressant have been determined. Screen patients for risk of substance use disorders, including opioid abuse and misuse, and warn them of the risk for overdose and death associated with the use of additional CNS depressants including alcohol and illicit drugs [see Drug Interactions (7), Patient Counseling Information (17)].

Patients must not consume alcoholic beverages or prescription or non-prescription products containing alcohol while on EMBEDA therapy. The co-ingestion of alcohol with EMBEDA may result in increased plasma levels and a potentially fatal overdose of morphine [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].

5.5 Life-Threatening Respiratory Depression in Patients with Chronic Pulmonary Disease or in Elderly, Cachectic, or Debilitated Patients

The use of EMBEDA in patients with acute or severe bronchial asthma in an unmonitored setting or in the absence of resuscitative equipment is contraindicated.

Patients with chronic pulmonary disease: EMBEDA-treated patients with significant chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or cor pulmonale, and those with a substantially decreased respiratory reserve, hypoxia, hypercapnia, or pre-existing respiratory depression are at increased risk of decreased respiratory drive including apnea, even at recommended dosages of EMBEDA [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)].

Elderly, cachectic, or debilitated patients: Life-threatening respiratory depression is more likely to occur in elderly, cachectic, or debilitated patients because they may have altered pharmacokinetics or altered clearance compared to younger, healthier patients [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)].

Monitor such patients closely, particularly when initiating and titrating EMBEDA and when EMBEDA is given concomitantly with other drugs that depress respiration [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2, 5.4)]. Alternatively, consider the use of non-opioid analgesics in these patients.

5.6 Interaction with Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors

Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) may potentiate the effects of morphine, including respiratory depression, coma, and confusion. EMBEDA should not be used in patients taking MAOIs or within 14 days of stopping such treatment.

5.7 Adrenal Insufficiency

Cases of adrenal insufficiency have been reported with opioid use, more often following greater than one month of use. Presentation of adrenal insufficiency may include non-specific symptoms and signs including nausea, vomiting, anorexia, fatigue, weakness, dizziness, and low blood pressure. If adrenal insufficiency is suspected, confirm the diagnosis with diagnostic testing as soon as possible. If adrenal insufficiency is diagnosed, treat with physiologic replacement doses of corticosteroids. Wean the patient off of the opioid to allow adrenal function to recover and continue corticosteroid treatment until adrenal function recovers. Other opioids may be tried as some cases reported use of a different opioid without recurrence of adrenal insufficiency. The information available does not identify any particular opioids as being more likely to be associated with adrenal insufficiency.

5.8 Severe Hypotension

EMBEDA may cause severe hypotension including orthostatic hypotension and syncope in ambulatory patients. There is increased risk in patients whose ability to maintain blood pressure has already been compromised by a reduced blood volume or concurrent administration of certain CNS depressant drugs (e.g., phenothiazines or general anesthetics) [see Drug Interactions (7)]. Monitor these patients for signs of hypotension after initiating or titrating the dosage of EMBEDA. In patients with circulatory shock, EMBEDA may cause vasodilation that can further reduce cardiac output and blood pressure. Avoid the use of EMBEDA in patients with circulatory shock.

5.9 Use in Patients with Increased Intracranial Pressure, Brain Tumors, Head Injury, or Impaired Consciousness

In patients susceptible to the intracranial effects of CO2 retention (e.g., those with evidence of increased intracranial pressure or brain tumors), EMBEDA may reduce respiratory drive, and the resultant CO2 retention can further increase intracranial pressure. Monitor such patients for signs of sedation and respiratory depression, particularly when initiating therapy with EMBEDA.

Opioids may also obscure the clinical course in a patient with a head injury. Avoid the use of EMBEDA in patients with impaired consciousness or coma.

5.10 Risks of Use in Patients with Gastrointestinal Conditions

EMBEDA is contraindicated in patients with known or suspected gastrointestinal obstruction, including paralytic ileus. The morphine in EMBEDA may cause spasm of the sphincter of Oddi. Opioids may cause increases in serum amylase. Monitor patients with biliary tract disease, including acute pancreatitis, for worsening symptoms.

5.11 Increased Risk of Seizures in Patients with Seizure Disorders

The morphine in EMBEDA may increase the frequency of seizures in patients with seizure disorders, and may increase the risk of seizures in other clinical settings associated with seizures. Monitor patients with a history of seizure disorders for worsened seizure control during EMBEDA therapy.

5.12 Withdrawal

Avoid the use of mixed agonist/antagonist (e.g., pentazocine, nalbuphine, and butorphanol) or partial agonist (e.g., buprenorphine) analgesics in patients who have received or are receiving a full opioid agonist analgesic, including EMBEDA. In these patients, mixed agonists/antagonist and partial agonist analgesics may reduce the analgesic effect and/or may precipitate withdrawal symptoms.

Consuming EMBEDA capsules that have been altered by crushing, chewing, or dissolving the pellets can release sufficient naltrexone to precipitate withdrawal in opioid-dependent individuals. Symptoms of withdrawal usually appear within five minutes of ingestion of naltrexone, can last for up to 48 hours, and can include mental status changes, restlessness, lacrimation, rhinorrhea, yawning, perspiration, chills, myalgia, and mydriasis. Significant fluid losses from vomiting and diarrhea can require intravenous (IV) fluid administration.

When discontinuing EMBEDA, gradually taper the dosage [see Dosage and Administration (2.5)]. Do not abruptly discontinue EMBEDA [see Drug Abuse and Dependence (9.3)].

5.13 Risks of Driving and Operating Machinery

EMBEDA may impair the mental or physical abilities needed to perform potentially hazardous activities such as driving a car or operating machinery. Warn patients not to drive or operate dangerous machinery unless they are tolerant to the effects of EMBEDA and know how they will react to the medication [see Patient Counseling Information (17)].

5.14 Interference with Laboratory Tests

Naltrexone does not interfere with thin-layer, gas-liquid, and high performance liquid chromatographic methods which may be used for the separation and detection of morphine, methadone, or quinine in the urine. Naltrexone may or may not interfere with enzymatic methods for the detection of opioids depending on the specificity of the test. Consult the test manufacturer for specific details.

6 ADVERSE REACTIONS

The following serious adverse reactions described, or described in greater detail, in other sections:

6.1 Clinical Trials Experience

Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared with rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice.

In the randomized study, the most common adverse reactions with EMBEDA therapy were constipation, nausea, and somnolence. The most common adverse reactions leading to study discontinuation were nausea, constipation (sometimes severe), vomiting, fatigue, dizziness, pruritus, and somnolence.

Short-Term Randomized Study

This study utilized an enriched enrollment with a randomized withdrawal design in which subjects were titrated to effect on open-label EMBEDA for up to 45 days. Once their pain was controlled, 344 of 547 subjects were randomized to either an active treatment with EMBEDA or were tapered off EMBEDA using a double-dummy design and placed on placebo. The maintenance Period was 12 weeks. Adverse reactions, reported in ≥2% of subjects in either the titration or maintenance phase of the 12-week study are presented in Table 1.

Table 1: Adverse Reactions Reported in ≥2% of Subjects in the Randomized Study
Titration Maintenance
Adverse Reaction EMBEDA
(N=547)
n (%)
EMBEDA
(N=171)
n (%)
Placebo
(N=173)
n (%)
Constipation 165 (30%) 12 (7%) 7 (4%)
Nausea 106 (19%) 19 (11%) 11 (6%)
Somnolence 76 (14%) 2 (1%) 5 (3%)
Vomiting 46 (8%) 7 (4%) 2 (1%)
Dizziness 42 (8%) 2 (1%) 2 (1%)
Pruritus 34 (6%) 0 1 (1%)
Dry mouth 31 (6%) 3 (2%) 2 (1%)
Headache 22 (4%) 4 (2%) 2 (1%)
Fatigue 16 (3%) 1 (1%) 2 (1%)
Insomnia 7 (1%) 5 (3%) 4 (2%)
Diarrhea 6 (1%) 12 (7%) 12 (7%)
Abdominal pain upper 6 (1%) 4 (2%) 3 (2%)
Flushing 0 4 (2%) 1 (1%)

Long-Term Open-Label Safety Study

In the long-term open-label safety study, 465 patients with chronic non-malignant pain were enrolled and 124 patients were treated for up to 1 year. The distributions of adverse events were similar to that of the randomized, controlled studies, and were consistent with the most common opioid-related adverse reactions. Adverse reactions reported in ≥2.0% of subjects are presented in Table 2.

Table 2: Adverse Reactions Reported by ≥2.0% of Subjects in Long-Term Safety Study
Adverse Reaction EMBEDA
(N=465)
n (%)
Constipation 145 (31%)
Nausea 103 (22%)
Vomiting 37 (8%)
Somnolence 34 (7%)
Headache 32 (7%)
Pruritus 26 (6%)
Fatigue 19 (4%)
Dizziness 19 (4%)
Dry mouth 17 (4%)
Hyperhidrosis 16 (3%)
Insomnia 13 (3%)
Diarrhea 10 (2%)
Anxiety 10 (2%)

Adverse Reactions Observed in the Phase 2/3 Studies

Most common (≥10%): constipation, nausea, somnolence

Common (≥1% to <10%): vomiting, headache, dizziness, pruritus, dry mouth, diarrhea, fatigue, insomnia, hyperhidrosis, anxiety, chills, abdominal pain, lethargy, edema peripheral, dyspepsia, anorexia, muscle spasms, depression, flatulence, restlessness, decreased appetite, irritability, stomach discomfort, tremor, arthralgia, hot flush, sedation

Less common (<1%):
Eye disorders: vision blurred, orthostatic hypotension
Gastrointestinal disorders: abdominal distension, pancreatitis, abdominal discomfort, fecaloma, abdominal pain lower, abdominal tenderness
General disorders and administration site conditions: malaise, asthenia, feeling jittery, drug withdrawal syndrome
Hepatobiliary disorders: cholecystitis
Investigations: alanine aminotransferase increased, aspartate aminotransferase increased
Musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders: myalgia, muscular weakness
Nervous system disorders: depressed level of consciousness, mental impairment, memory impairment, disturbance in attention, stupor, paresthesia, coordination abnormal
Psychiatric disorders: disorientation, thinking abnormal, mental status changes, confusional state, euphoric mood, hallucination, abnormal dreams, mood swings, nervousness
Renal and urinary disorders: urinary retention, dysuria
Reproductive system and breast disorders: erectile dysfunction
Respiratory, thoracic and mediastinal disorders: dyspnea, rhinorrhea
Skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders: rash, piloerection, cold sweat, night sweats
Vascular disorders: hypotension, flushing

6.2 Postmarketing Experience

The following adverse reactions have been identified during post-approval use of morphine. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.

Serotonin syndrome: Cases of serotonin syndrome, a potentially life-threatening condition, have been reported during concomitant use of opioids with serotonergic drugs.

Adrenal insufficiency: Cases of adrenal insufficiency have been reported with opioid use, more often following greater than one month of use.

Anaphylaxis: Anaphylaxis has been reported with ingredients contained in EMBEDA.

Androgen deficiency: Cases of androgen deficiency have occurred with chronic use of opioids [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.2)].

1 INDICATIONS AND USAGE

EMBEDA is indicated for the management of pain severe enough to require daily, around-the-clock, long-term opioid treatment and for which alternative treatment options are inadequate.

Limitations of Use

  • Because of the risks of addiction, abuse, and misuse with opioids, even at recommended doses, and because of the greater risks of overdose and death with extended-release opioid formulations [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)], reserve EMBEDA for use in patients for whom alternative treatment options (e.g., non-opioid analgesics or immediate-release opioids) are ineffective, not tolerated, or would be otherwise inadequate to provide sufficient management of pain.
  • EMBEDA is not indicated as an as-needed (prn) analgesic.

GEODON® (ziprasidone HCl)

These highlights do not include all the information needed to use GEODON safety and effectively. See full prescribing information for GEODON.

WARNING: INCREASED MORTALITY IN ELDERLY PATIENTS WITH DEMENTIA-RELATED PSYCHOSIS

Elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis treated with antipsychotic drugs are at an increased risk of death. Analyses of seventeen placebo-controlled trials (modal duration of 10 weeks), largely in patients taking atypical antipsychotic drugs, revealed a risk of death in drug-treated patients of between 1.6 to 1.7 times the risk of death in placebo-treated patients. Over the course of a typical 10-week controlled trial, the rate of death in drug-treated patients was about 4.5%, compared to a rate of about 2.6% in the placebo group. Although the causes of death were varied, most of the deaths appeared to be either cardiovascular (e.g., heart failure, sudden death) or infectious (e.g., pneumonia) in nature. Observational studies suggest that, similar to atypical antipsychotic drugs, treatment with conventional antipsychotic drugs may increase mortality. The extent to which the findings of increased mortality in observational studies may be attributed to the antipsychotic drug as opposed to some characteristic(s) of the patients is not clear. GEODON (ziprasidone) is not approved for the treatment of patients with Dementia-Related Psychosis [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)]).

4 CONTRAINDICATIONS

4.1 QT Prolongation

Because of ziprasidone's dose-related prolongation of the QT interval and the known association of fatal arrhythmias with QT prolongation by some other drugs, ziprasidone is contraindicated:

  • in patients with a known history of QT prolongation (including congenital long QT syndrome)
  • in patients with recent acute myocardial infarction
  • in patients with uncompensated heart failure

Pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic studies between ziprasidone and other drugs that prolong the QT interval have not been performed. An additive effect of ziprasidone and other drugs that prolong the QT interval cannot be excluded. Therefore, ziprasidone should not be given with:

  • dofetilide, sotalol, quinidine, other Class Ia and III anti-arrhythmics, mesoridazine, thioridazine, chlorpromazine, droperidol, pimozide, sparfloxacin, gatifloxacin, moxifloxacin, halofantrine, mefloquine, pentamidine, arsenic trioxide, levomethadyl acetate, dolasetron mesylate, probucol or tacrolimus.
  • other drugs that have demonstrated QT prolongation as one of their pharmacodynamic effects and have this effect described in the full prescribing information as a contraindication or a boxed or bolded warning [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)].

4.2 Hypersensitivity

Ziprasidone is contraindicated in individuals with a known hypersensitivity to the product.

5 WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS

5.1 Increased Mortality in Elderly Patients with Dementia-Related Psychosis

Elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis treated with antipsychotic drugs are at an increased risk of death. GEODON is not approved for the treatment of dementia-related psychosis. [see Boxed Warning]

5.2 QT Prolongation and Risk of Sudden Death

Ziprasidone use should be avoided in combination with other drugs that are known to prolong the QTc interval [see Contraindications (4.1), Drug Interactions (7.4)]. Additionally, clinicians should be alert to the identification of other drugs that have been consistently observed to prolong the QTc interval. Such drugs should not be prescribed with ziprasidone. Ziprasidone should also be avoided in patients with congenital long QT syndrome and in patients with a history of cardiac arrhythmias [see Contraindications (4)].

A study directly comparing the QT/QTc prolonging effect of oral ziprasidone with several other drugs effective in the treatment of schizophrenia was conducted in patient volunteers. In the first phase of the trial, ECGs were obtained at the time of maximum plasma concentration when the drug was administered alone. In the second phase of the trial, ECGs were obtained at the time of maximum plasma concentration while the drug was co-administered with an inhibitor of the CYP4503A4 metabolism of the drug.

In the first phase of the study, the mean change in QTc from baseline was calculated for each drug, using a sample-based correction that removes the effect of heart rate on the QT interval. The mean increase in QTc from baseline for ziprasidone ranged from approximately 9 to 14 msec greater than for four of the comparator drugs (risperidone, olanzapine, quetiapine, and haloperidol), but was approximately 14 msec less than the prolongation observed for thioridazine.

In the second phase of the study, the effect of ziprasidone on QTc length was not augmented by the presence of a metabolic inhibitor (ketoconazole 200 mg twice daily).

In placebo-controlled trials, oral ziprasidone increased the QTc interval compared to placebo by approximately 10 msec at the highest recommended daily dose of 160 mg. In clinical trials with oral ziprasidone, the electrocardiograms of 2/2988 (0.06%) patients who received GEODON and 1/440 (0.23%) patients who received placebo revealed QTc intervals exceeding the potentially clinically relevant threshold of 500 msec. In the ziprasidone-treated patients, neither case suggested a role of ziprasidone. One patient had a history of prolonged QTc and a screening measurement of 489 msec; QTc was 503 msec during ziprasidone treatment. The other patient had a QTc of 391 msec at the end of treatment with ziprasidone and upon switching to thioridazine experienced QTc measurements of 518 and 593 msec.

Some drugs that prolong the QT/QTc interval have been associated with the occurrence of torsade de pointes and with sudden unexplained death. The relationship of QT prolongation to torsade de pointes is clearest for larger increases (20 msec and greater) but it is possible that smaller QT/QTc prolongations may also increase risk, or increase it in susceptible individuals. Although torsade de pointes has not been observed in association with the use of ziprasidone in premarketing studies and experience is too limited to rule out an increased risk, there have been rare post-marketing reports (in the presence of multiple confounding factors) [see Adverse Reactions (6.2)].

A study evaluating the QT/QTc prolonging effect of intramuscular ziprasidone, with intramuscular haloperidol as a control, was conducted in patient volunteers. In the trial, ECGs were obtained at the time of maximum plasma concentration following two injections of ziprasidone (20 mg then 30 mg) or haloperidol (7.5 mg then 10 mg) given four hours apart. Note that a 30 mg dose of intramuscular ziprasidone is 50% higher than the recommended therapeutic dose. The mean change in QTc from baseline was calculated for each drug, using a sample-based correction that removes the effect of heart rate on the QT interval. The mean increase in QTc from baseline for ziprasidone was 4.6 msec following the first injection and 12.8 msec following the second injection. The mean increase in QTc from baseline for haloperidol was 6.0 msec following the first injection and 14.7 msec following the second injection. In this study, no patients had a QTc interval exceeding 500 msec.

As with other antipsychotic drugs and placebo, sudden unexplained deaths have been reported in patients taking ziprasidone at recommended doses. The premarketing experience for ziprasidone did not reveal an excess risk of mortality for ziprasidone compared to other antipsychotic drugs or placebo, but the extent of exposure was limited, especially for the drugs used as active controls and placebo. Nevertheless, ziprasidone's larger prolongation of QTc length compared to several other antipsychotic drugs raises the possibility that the risk of sudden death may be greater for ziprasidone than for other available drugs for treating schizophrenia. This possibility needs to be considered in deciding among alternative drug products [see Indications and Usage (1)].

Certain circumstances may increase the risk of the occurrence of torsade de pointes and/or sudden death in association with the use of drugs that prolong the QTc interval, including (1) bradycardia; (2) hypokalemia or hypomagnesemia; (3) concomitant use of other drugs that prolong the QTc interval; and (4) presence of congenital prolongation of the QT interval.

It is recommended that patients being considered for ziprasidone treatment who are at risk for significant electrolyte disturbances, hypokalemia in particular, have baseline serum potassium and magnesium measurements. Hypokalemia (and/or hypomagnesemia) may increase the risk of QT prolongation and arrhythmia. Hypokalemia may result from diuretic therapy, diarrhea, and other causes. Patients with low serum potassium and/or magnesium should be repleted with those electrolytes before proceeding with treatment. It is essential to periodically monitor serum electrolytes in patients for whom diuretic therapy is introduced during ziprasidone treatment. Persistently prolonged QTc intervals may also increase the risk of further prolongation and arrhythmia, but it is not clear that routine screening ECG measures are effective in detecting such patients. Rather, ziprasidone should be avoided in patients with histories of significant cardiovascular illness, e.g., QT prolongation, recent acute myocardial infarction, uncompensated heart failure, or cardiac arrhythmia. Ziprasidone should be discontinued in patients who are found to have persistent QTc measurements >500 msec.

For patients taking ziprasidone who experience symptoms that could indicate the occurrence of torsade de pointes, e.g., dizziness, palpitations, or syncope, the prescriber should initiate further evaluation, e.g., Holter monitoring may be useful.

5.3 Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS)

A potentially fatal symptom complex sometimes referred to as Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS) has been reported in association with administration of antipsychotic drugs. Clinical manifestations of NMS are hyperpyrexia, muscle rigidity, altered mental status, and evidence of autonomic instability (irregular pulse or blood pressure, tachycardia, diaphoresis, and cardiac dysrhythmia). Additional signs may include elevated creatinine phosphokinase, myoglobinuria (rhabdomyolysis), and acute renal failure.

The diagnostic evaluation of patients with this syndrome is complicated. In arriving at a diagnosis, it is important to exclude cases where the clinical presentation includes both serious medical illness (e.g., pneumonia, systemic infection, etc.) and untreated or inadequately treated extrapyramidal signs and symptoms (EPS). Other important considerations in the differential diagnosis include central anticholinergic toxicity, heat stroke, drug fever, and primary central nervous system (CNS) pathology.

The management of NMS should include: (1) immediate discontinuation of antipsychotic drugs and other drugs not essential to concurrent therapy; (2) intensive symptomatic treatment and medical monitoring; and (3) treatment of any concomitant serious medical problems for which specific treatments are available. There is no general agreement about specific pharmacological treatment regimens for NMS.

If a patient requires antipsychotic drug treatment after recovery from NMS, the potential reintroduction of drug therapy should be carefully considered. The patient should be carefully monitored, since recurrences of NMS have been reported.

5.4 Severe Cutaneous Adverse Reactions

Drug Reaction with Eosinophilia and Systemic Symptoms (DRESS)

Drug Reaction with Eosinophilia and Systemic Symptoms (DRESS) has been reported with Ziprasidone exposure. DRESS consists of a combination of three or more of the following: cutaneous reaction (such as rash or exfoliative dermatitis), eosinophilia, fever, lymphadenopathy and one or more systemic complications such as hepatitis, nephritis, pneumonitis, myocarditis, and pericarditis. DRESS is sometimes fatal. Discontinue ziprasidone if DRESS is suspected.

Other severe cutaneous adverse reactions

Other severe cutaneous adverse reactions, such as Stevens-Johnson syndrome, have been reported with ziprasidone exposure. Severe cutaneous adverse reactions are sometimes fatal. Discontinue ziprasidone if severe cutaneous adverse reactions are suspected.

5.5 Tardive Dyskinesia

A syndrome of potentially irreversible, involuntary, dyskinetic movements may develop in patients undergoing treatment with antipsychotic drugs. Although the prevalence of the syndrome appears to be highest among the elderly, especially elderly women, it is impossible to rely upon prevalence estimates to predict, at the inception of antipsychotic treatment, which patients are likely to develop the syndrome. Whether antipsychotic drug products differ in their potential to cause tardive dyskinesia is unknown.

The risk of developing tardive dyskinesia and the likelihood that it will become irreversible are believed to increase as the duration of treatment and the total cumulative dose of antipsychotic drugs administered to the patient increase. However, the syndrome can develop, although much less commonly, after relatively brief treatment periods at low doses.

There is no known treatment for established cases of tardive dyskinesia, although the syndrome may remit, partially or completely, if antipsychotic treatment is withdrawn. Antipsychotic treatment itself, however, may suppress (or partially suppress) the signs and symptoms of the syndrome, and thereby may possibly mask the underlying process. The effect that symptomatic suppression has upon the long-term course of the syndrome is unknown.

Given these considerations, ziprasidone should be prescribed in a manner that is most likely to minimize the occurrence of tardive dyskinesia. Chronic antipsychotic treatment should generally be reserved for patients who suffer from a chronic illness that (1) is known to respond to antipsychotic drugs, and (2) for whom alternative, equally effective, but potentially less harmful treatments are not available or appropriate. In patients who do require chronic treatment, the smallest dose and the shortest duration of treatment producing a satisfactory clinical response should be sought. The need for continued treatment should be reassessed periodically.

If signs and symptoms of tardive dyskinesia appear in a patient on ziprasidone, drug discontinuation should be considered. However, some patients may require treatment with ziprasidone despite the presence of the syndrome.

5.6 Metabolic Changes

Atypical antipsychotic drugs have been associated with metabolic changes that may increase cardiovascular/cerebrovascular risk. These metabolic changes include hyperglycemia, dyslipidemia, and body weight gain. While all of the drugs in the class have been shown to produce some metabolic changes, each drug has its own specific risk profile.

Hyperglycemia and Diabetes Mellitus

Hyperglycemia and diabetes mellitus, in some cases extreme and associated with ketoacidosis or hyperosmolar coma or death, have been reported in patients treated with atypical antipsychotics. There have been few reports of hyperglycemia or diabetes in patients treated with GEODON. Although fewer patients have been treated with GEODON, it is not known if this more limited experience is the sole reason for the paucity of such reports. Assessment of the relationship between atypical antipsychotic use and glucose abnormalities is complicated by the possibility of an increased background risk of diabetes mellitus in patients with schizophrenia and the increasing incidence of diabetes mellitus in the general population. Given these confounders, the relationship between atypical antipsychotic use and hyperglycemia-related adverse reactions is not completely understood. Precise risk estimates for hyperglycemia-related adverse reactions in patients treated with atypical antipsychotics are not available.

Patients with an established diagnosis of diabetes mellitus who are started on atypical antipsychotics should be monitored regularly for worsening of glucose control. Patients with risk factors for diabetes mellitus (e.g., obesity, family history of diabetes) who are starting treatment with atypical antipsychotics should undergo fasting blood glucose testing at the beginning of treatment and periodically during treatment. Any patient treated with atypical antipsychotics should be monitored for symptoms of hyperglycemia including polydipsia, polyuria, polyphagia, and weakness. Patients who develop symptoms of hyperglycemia during treatment with atypical antipsychotics should undergo fasting blood glucose testing. In some cases, hyperglycemia has resolved when the atypical antipsychotic was discontinued; however, some patients required continuation of antidiabetic treatment despite discontinuation of the suspect drug.

Pooled data from short-term, placebo-controlled studies in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are presented in Tables 1–4. Note that for the flexible dose studies in both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, each subject is categorized as having received either low (20–40 mg BID) or high (60–80 mg BID) dose based on the subject's modal daily dose. In the tables showing categorical changes, the percentages (% column) are calculated as 100×(n/N).

Table 1: Glucose* Mean Change from Baseline in Short-Term (up to 6 weeks), Placebo-Controlled, Fixed-Dose, Oral Ziprasidone, Monotherapy Trials in Adult Patients with Schizophrenia
Mean Random Glucose Change from Baseline mg/dL (N)
Ziprasidone Placebo
5 mg BID 20 mg BID 40 mg BID 60 mg BID 80 mg BID 100 mg BID
*
"Random" glucose measurements—fasting/non-fasting status unknown
-1.1 (N=45) +2.4 (N=179) -0.2 (N=146) -0.5 (N=119) -1.7 (N=104) +4.1 (N=85) +1.4 (N=260)
Table 2: Glucose* Categorical Changes in Short-Term (up to 6 weeks), Placebo-Controlled, Fixed-Dose, Oral Ziprasidone, Monotherapy Trials in Adult Patients with Schizophrenia
Laboratory Analyte Category Change (at least once) from Baseline Treatment Arm N n (%)
*
"Random" glucose measurements – fasting/non-fasting status unknown
Random Glucose Normal to High (<100 mg/dL to ≥126 mg/dL) Ziprasidone 438 77 (17.6%)
Placebo 169 26 (15.4%)
Borderline to High (≥100 mg/dL and <126 mg/dL to ≥126 mg/dL) Ziprasidone 159 54 (34.0%)
Placebo 66 22 (33.3%)

In long-term (at least 1 year), placebo-controlled, flexible-dose studies in schizophrenia, the mean change from baseline in random glucose for ziprasidone 20–40 mg BID was -3.4 mg/dL (N=122); for ziprasidone 60–80 mg BID was +1.3 mg/dL (N=10); and for placebo was +0.3 mg/dL (N=71).

Table 3: Glucose* Mean Change from Baseline in Short-Term (up to 6 weeks), Placebo-Controlled, Flexible-Dose, Oral Ziprasidone, Monotherapy Trials in Adult Patients with Bipolar Disorder
Mean Fasting Glucose Change from Baseline mg/dL (N)
Ziprasidone Placebo
Low Dose: 20–40 mg BID High Dose: 60–80 mg BID
*
Fasting
+0.1 (N=206) +1.6 (N=166) +1.4 (N=287)
Table 4: Glucose* Categorical Changes in Short-Term (up to 6 weeks), Placebo-Controlled, Flexible-Dose, Oral Ziprasidone, Monotherapy Trials in Adult Patients with Bipolar Disorder
Laboratory Analyte Category Change (at least once) from Baseline Treatment Arm N n (%)
*
Fasting
Fasting Glucose Normal to High (<100 mg/dL to ≥126 mg/dL) Ziprasidone 272 5 (1.8%)
Placebo 210 2 (1.0%)
Borderline to High (≥100 mg/dL and <126 mg/dL to ≥126 mg/dL) Ziprasidone 79 12 (15.2%)
Placebo 71 7 (9.9%)

Dyslipidemia

Undesirable alterations in lipids have been observed in patients treated with atypical antipsychotics. Pooled data from short-term, placebo-controlled studies in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are presented in Tables 5–8.

Table 5: Lipid* Mean Change from Baseline in Short-Term (up to 6 weeks), Placebo-Controlled, Fixed-Dose, Oral Ziprasidone Monotherapy Trials in Adult Patients with Schizophrenia
Mean Lipid Change from Baseline mg/dL (N)
Laboratory Analyte Ziprasidone Placebo
5 mg BID 20 mg BID 40 mg BID 60 mg BID 80 mg BID 100 mg BID
*
"Random" lipid measurements, fasting/non-fasting status unknown
Triglycerides -12.9 (N=45) -9.6 (N=181) -17.3 (N=146) -0.05 (N=120) -16.0 (N=104) +0.8 (N=85) -18.6 (N=260)
Total Cholesterol -3.6 (N=45) -4.4 (N=181) -8.2 (N=147) -3.6 (N=120) -10.0 (N=104) -3.6 (N=85) -4.7 (N=261)
Table 6: Lipid* Categorical Changes in Short-Term (up to 6 weeks), Placebo-Controlled, Fixed-Dose, Oral Ziprasidone Monotherapy Trials in Adult Patients with Schizophrenia
Laboratory Analyte Category Change (at least once) from Baseline Treatment Arm N n (%)
*
"Random" lipid measurements, fasting/non-fasting status unknown
Triglycerides Increase by ≥50 mg/dL Ziprasidone 681 232 (34.1%)
Placebo 260 53 (20.4%)
Normal to High (<150 mg/dL to ≥200 mg/dL) Ziprasidone 429 63 (14.7%)
Placebo 152 12 (7.9%)
Borderline to High (≥150 mg/dL and <200 mg/dL to ≥200 mg/dL) Ziprasidone 92 43 (46.7%)
Placebo 41 12 (29.3%)
Total Cholesterol Increase by ≥40 mg/dL Ziprasidone 682 76 (11.1%)
Placebo 261 26 (10.0%)
Normal to High (<200 mg/dL to ≥240 mg/dL) Ziprasidone 380 15 (3.9%)
Placebo 145 0 (0.0%)
Borderline to High (≥200 mg/dL and <240 mg/dL to ≥240 mg/dL) Ziprasidone 207 56 (27.1%)
Placebo 82 22 (26.8%)

In long-term (at least 1 year), placebo-controlled, flexible-dose studies in schizophrenia, the mean change from baseline in random triglycerides for ziprasidone 20–40 mg BID was +26.3 mg/dL (N=15); for ziprasidone 60–80 mg BID was -39.3 mg/dL (N=10); and for placebo was +12.9 mg/dL (N=9). In long-term (at least 1 year), placebo-controlled, flexible-dose studies in schizophrenia, the mean change from baseline in random total cholesterol for ziprasidone 20–40 mg BID was +2.5 mg/dL (N=14); for ziprasidone 60–80 mg BID was -19.7 mg/dL (N=10); and for placebo was -28.0 mg/dL (N=9).

Table 7: Lipid* Mean Change from Baseline in Short-Term (up to 6 weeks), Placebo-Controlled, Flexible-Dose, Oral Ziprasidone Monotherapy Trials in Adult Patients with Bipolar Disorder
Laboratory Analyte Mean Change from Baseline mg/dL (N)
Ziprasidone Placebo
Low Dose: 20–40 mg BID High Dose: 60–80 mg BID
*
Fasting
Fasting Triglycerides +0.95 (N=206) -3.5 (N=165) +8.6 (N=286)
Fasting Total Cholesterol -2.8 (N=206) -3.4 (N=165) -1.6 (N=286)
Fasting LDL Cholesterol -3.0 (N=201) -3.1 (N=158) -1.97 (N=270)
Fasting HDL cholesterol -0.09 (N=206) +0.3 (N=165) -0.9 (N=286)
Table 8: Lipid* Categorical Changes in Short-Term (up to 6 weeks), Placebo-Controlled, Flexible-Dose, Oral Ziprasidone Monotherapy Trials in Adult Patients with Bipolar Disorder
Laboratory Analyte Category Change (at least once) from Baseline Treatment Arm N n (%)
*
Fasting
Fasting Triglycerides Increase by ≥50 mg/dL Ziprasidone 371 66 (17.8%)
Placebo 286 62 (21.7%)
Normal to High (<150 mg/dL to ≥200 mg/dL) Ziprasidone 225 15 (6.7%)
Placebo 179 13 (7.3%)
Borderline to High (≥150 mg/dL and <200 mg/dL to ≥200 mg/dL) Ziprasidone 58 16 (27.6%)
Placebo 47 14 (29.8%)
Fasting Total Cholesterol Increase by ≥40 mg/dL Ziprasidone 371 30 (8.1%)
Placebo 286 13 (4.5%)
Normal to High (<200 mg/dL to ≥240 mg/dL) Ziprasidone 204 5 (2.5%)
Placebo 151 2 (1.3%)
Borderline to High (≥200 mg/dL and <240 mg/dL to ≥240 mg/dL) Ziprasidone 106 10 (9.4%)
Placebo 87 15 (17.2%)
Fasting LDL Cholesterol Increase by ≥30 mg/dL Ziprasidone 359 39 (10.9%)
Placebo 270 17 (6.3%)
Normal to High (<100 mg/dL to ≥160 mg/dL) Ziprasidone 115 0 (0%)
Placebo 89 1 (1.1%)
Borderline to High (≥100 mg/dL and <160 mg/dL to ≥160 mg/dL) Ziprasidone 193 18 (9.3%)
Placebo 141 14 (9.9%)
Fasting HDL Normal (>=40 mg/dL) to Low (<40 mg/dL) Ziprasidone 283 22 (7.8%)
Placebo 220 24 (10.9%)

Weight Gain

Weight gain has been observed with atypical antipsychotic use. Monitoring of weight is recommended. Pooled data from short-term, placebo-controlled studies in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are presented in Tables 9–10.

Table 9: Weight Mean Changes in Short-Term (up to 6 weeks), Placebo-Controlled, Fixed-Dose, Oral Ziprasidone Monotherapy Trials in Adult Patients with Schizophrenia
Ziprasidone Placebo
5 mg BID 20 mg BID 40 mg BID 60 mg BID 80 mg BID 100 mg BID
Mean Weight (kg) Changes from Baseline (N)
+0.3 (N=40) +1.0 (N=167) +1.0 (N=135) +0.7 (N=109) +1.1 (N=97) +0.9 (N=74) -0.4 (227)
Proportion of Patients with ≥7% Increase in Weight from Baseline (N)
0.0% (N=40) 9.0% (N=167) 10.4% (N=135) 7.3% (N=109) 15.5% (N=97) 10.8% (N=74) 4.0% (N=227)

In long-term (at least 1 year), placebo-controlled, flexible-dose studies in schizophrenia, the mean change from baseline weight for ziprasidone 20–40 mg BID was -2.3 kg (N=124); for ziprasidone 60–80 mg BID was +2.5 kg (N=10); and for placebo was -2.9 kg (N=72). In the same long-term studies, the proportion of subjects with 7% increase in weight from baseline for ziprasidone 20–40 mg BID was 5.6% (N=124); for ziprasidone 60–80 mg BID was 20.0% (N=10), and for placebo was 5.6% (N=72). In a long-term (at least 1 year), placebo-controlled, fixed-dose study in schizophrenia, the mean change from baseline weight for ziprasidone 20 mg BID was -2.6 kg (N=72); for ziprasidone 40 mg BID was -3.3 kg (N=69); for ziprasidone 80 mg BID was -2.8 kg (N=70) and for placebo was -3.8 kg (N=70). In the same long-term fixed-dose schizophrenia study, the proportion of subjects with 7% increase in weight from baseline for ziprasidone 20 mg BID was 5.6% (N=72); for ziprasidone 40 mg BID was 2.9% (N=69); for ziprasidone 80 mg BID was 5.7% (N=70) and for placebo was 2.9% (N=70).

Table 10: Summary of Weight Change in Short-Term (up to 6 weeks), Placebo-Controlled, Flexible-Dose, Oral Ziprasidone Monotherapy Trials in Adult Patients with Bipolar Disorder:
Ziprasidone Placebo
Low Dose: 20–40 mg BID High Dose*: 60–80 mg BID
*
Note that in the High Dose group, there were 2 subjects with modal 200 mg total daily dose and 1 subject with modal 100 mg total daily dose.
Mean Weight (kg) Changes from Baseline (N)
+0.4 (N=295) +0.4 (N=388) +0.1 (N=451)
Proportion of Patients with ≥ 7% Increase in Weight from Baseline (N)
2.4% (N=295) 4.4% (N=388) 1.8% (N=451)

Schizophrenia - The proportions of patients meeting a weight gain criterion of ≥ 7% of body weight were compared in a pool of four 4- and 6-week placebo-controlled schizophrenia clinical trials, revealing a statistically significantly greater incidence of weight gain for ziprasidone (10%) compared to placebo (4%). A median weight gain of 0.5 kg was observed in ziprasidone patients compared to no median weight change in placebo patients. In this set of clinical trials, weight gain was reported as an adverse reaction in 0.4% and 0.4% of ziprasidone and placebo patients, respectively. During long-term therapy with ziprasidone, a categorization of patients at baseline on the basis of body mass index (BMI) revealed the greatest mean weight gain and highest incidence of clinically significant weight gain (> 7% of body weight) in patients with low BMI (<23) compared to normal (23–27) or overweight patients (>27). There was a mean weight gain of 1.4 kg for those patients with a "low" baseline BMI, no mean change for patients with a "normal" BMI, and a 1.3 kg mean weight loss for patients who entered the program with a "high" BMI.

Bipolar Disorder – During a 6-month placebo-controlled bipolar maintenance study in adults with ziprasidone as an adjunct to lithium or valproate, the incidence of clinically significant weight gain (≥ 7% of body weight) during the double-blind period was 5.6% for both ziprasidone and placebo treatment groups who completed the 6 months of observation for relapse. Interpretation of these findings should take into consideration that only patients who adequately tolerated ziprasidone entered the double-blind phase of the study, and there were substantial dropouts during the open label phase.

5.7 Rash

In premarketing trials with ziprasidone, about 5% of patients developed rash and/or urticaria, with discontinuation of treatment in about one-sixth of these cases. The occurrence of rash was related to dose of ziprasidone, although the finding might also be explained by the longer exposure time in the higher dose patients. Several patients with rash had signs and symptoms of associated systemic illness, e.g., elevated WBCs. Most patients improved promptly with adjunctive treatment with antihistamines or steroids and/or upon discontinuation of ziprasidone, and all patients experiencing these reactions were reported to recover completely. Upon appearance of rash for which an alternative etiology cannot be identified, ziprasidone should be discontinued.

5.8 Orthostatic Hypotension

Ziprasidone may induce orthostatic hypotension associated with dizziness, tachycardia, and, in some patients, syncope, especially during the initial dose-titration period, probably reflecting its α1-adrenergic antagonist properties. Syncope was reported in 0.6% of the patients treated with ziprasidone.

Ziprasidone should be used with particular caution in patients with known cardiovascular disease (history of myocardial infarction or ischemic heart disease, heart failure or conduction abnormalities), cerebrovascular disease, or conditions which would predispose patients to hypotension (dehydration, hypovolemia, and treatment with antihypertensive medications).

5.9 Falls

Antipsychotic drugs (which include GEODON) may cause somnolence, postural hypotension, and motor and sensory instability, which could lead to falls and, consequently, fractures or other injuries. For patients with diseases, conditions, or medications that could exacerbate these effects, complete fall risk assessments when initiating antipsychotic treatment and recurrently for patients on long-term antipsychotic therapy.

5.10 Leukopenia, Neutropenia, and Agranulocytosis

In clinical trial and postmarketing experience, events of leukopenia/neutropenia have been reported temporally related to antipsychotic agents. Agranulocytosis (including fatal cases) has also been reported.

Possible risk factors for leukopenia/neutropenia include pre-existing low white blood cell count (WBC) and history of drug induced leukopenia/neutropenia. Patients with a pre-existing low WBC or a history of drug induced leukopenia/neutropenia should have their complete blood count (CBC) monitored frequently during the first few months of therapy and should discontinue Geodon at the first sign of decline in WBC in the absence of other causative factors.

Patients with neutropenia should be carefully monitored for fever or other symptoms or signs of infection and treated promptly if such symptoms or signs occur. Patients with severe neutropenia (absolute neutrophil count <1000/mm3) should discontinue Geodon and have their WBC followed until recovery.

5.11 Seizures

During clinical trials, seizures occurred in 0.4% of patients treated with ziprasidone. There were confounding factors that may have contributed to the occurrence of seizures in many of these cases. As with other antipsychotic drugs, ziprasidone should be used cautiously in patients with a history of seizures or with conditions that potentially lower the seizure threshold, e.g., Alzheimer's dementia. Conditions that lower the seizure threshold may be more prevalent in a population of 65 years or older.

5.12 Dysphagia

Esophageal dysmotility and aspiration have been associated with antipsychotic drug use. Aspiration pneumonia is a common cause of morbidity and mortality in elderly patients, in particular those with advanced Alzheimer's dementia. Ziprasidone and other antipsychotic drugs should be used cautiously in patients at risk for aspiration pneumonia [see Boxed Warning].

5.13 Hyperprolactinemia

As with other drugs that antagonize dopamine D2 receptors, ziprasidone elevates prolactin levels in humans. Increased prolactin levels were also observed in animal studies with this compound, and were associated with an increase in mammary gland neoplasia in mice; a similar effect was not observed in rats [see Nonclinical Toxicology (13.1)]. Tissue culture experiments indicate that approximately one-third of human breast cancers are prolactin-dependent in vitro, a factor of potential importance if the prescription of these drugs is contemplated in a patient with previously detected breast cancer. Neither clinical studies nor epidemiologic studies conducted to date have shown an association between chronic administration of this class of drugs and tumorigenesis in humans; the available evidence is considered too limited to be conclusive at this time.

Although disturbances such as galactorrhea, amenorrhea, gynecomastia, and impotence have been reported with prolactin-elevating compounds, the clinical significance of elevated serum prolactin levels is unknown for most patients. Long-standing hyperprolactinemia when associated with hypogonadism may lead to decreased bone density.

5.14 Potential for Cognitive and Motor Impairment

Somnolence was a commonly reported adverse reaction in patients treated with ziprasidone. In the 4- and 6-week placebo-controlled trials, somnolence was reported in 14% of patients on ziprasidone compared to 7% of placebo patients. Somnolence led to discontinuation in 0.3% of patients in short-term clinical trials. Since ziprasidone has the potential to impair judgment, thinking, or motor skills, patients should be cautioned about performing activities requiring mental alertness, such as operating a motor vehicle (including automobiles) or operating hazardous machinery until they are reasonably certain that ziprasidone therapy does not affect them adversely.

5.15 Priapism

One case of priapism was reported in the premarketing database. While the relationship of the reaction to ziprasidone use has not been established, other drugs with alpha-adrenergic blocking effects have been reported to induce priapism, and it is possible that ziprasidone may share this capacity. Severe priapism may require surgical intervention.

5.16 Body Temperature Regulation

Although not reported with ziprasidone in premarketing trials, disruption of the body's ability to reduce core body temperature has been attributed to antipsychotic agents. Appropriate care is advised when prescribing ziprasidone for patients who will be experiencing conditions which may contribute to an elevation in core body temperature, e.g., exercising strenuously, exposure to extreme heat, receiving concomitant medication with anticholinergic activity, or being subject to dehydration.

5.17 Suicide

The possibility of a suicide attempt is inherent in psychotic illness or bipolar disorder, and close supervision of high-risk patients should accompany drug therapy. Prescriptions for ziprasidone should be written for the smallest quantity of capsules consistent with good patient management in order to reduce the risk of overdose.

5.18 Patients with concomitant illnesses

Clinical experience with ziprasidone in patients with certain concomitant systemic illnesses is limited [see Use in Specific Populations (8.6),( 8.7)].

Ziprasidone has not been evaluated or used to any appreciable extent in patients with a recent history of myocardial infarction or unstable heart disease. Patients with these diagnoses were excluded from premarketing clinical studies. Because of the risk of QTc prolongation and orthostatic hypotension with ziprasidone, caution should be observed in cardiac patients. [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2), (5.8)].

5.19 Laboratory Tests

Patients being considered for ziprasidone treatment that are at risk of significant electrolyte disturbances should have baseline serum potassium and magnesium measurements. Low serum potassium and magnesium should be replaced before proceeding with treatment. Patients who are started on diuretics during Ziprasidone therapy need periodic monitoring of serum potassium and magnesium. Ziprasidone should be discontinued in patients who are found to have persistent QTc measurements >500 msec [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)].

6 ADVERSE REACTIONS

6.1 Clinical Trials Experience

Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice.

Clinical trials for oral ziprasidone included approximately 5700 patients and/or normal subjects exposed to one or more doses of ziprasidone. Of these 5700, over 4800 were patients who participated in multiple-dose effectiveness trials, and their experience corresponded to approximately 1831 patient-years. These patients include: (1) 4331 patients who participated in multiple-dose trials, predominantly in schizophrenia, representing approximately 1698 patient-years of exposure as of February 5, 2000; and (2) 472 patients who participated in bipolar mania trials representing approximately 133 patient-years of exposure. An additional 127 patients with bipolar disorder participated in a long-term maintenance treatment study representing approximately 74.7 patient-years of exposure to ziprasidone. The conditions and duration of treatment with ziprasidone included open-label and double-blind studies, inpatient and outpatient studies, and short-term and longer-term exposure.

Clinical trials for intramuscular ziprasidone included 570 patients and/or normal subjects who received one or more injections of ziprasidone. Over 325 of these subjects participated in trials involving the administration of multiple doses.

Adverse reactions during exposure were obtained by collecting voluntarily reported adverse experiences, as well as results of physical examinations, vital signs, weights, laboratory analyses, ECGs, and results of ophthalmologic examinations.

The stated frequencies of adverse reactions represent the proportion of individuals who experienced, at least once, a treatment-emergent adverse reaction of the type listed. A reaction was considered treatment emergent if it occurred for the first time or worsened while receiving therapy following baseline evaluation.

Adverse Findings Observed in Short-Term, Placebo-Controlled Trials with Oral Ziprasidone

The following findings are based on the short-term placebo-controlled premarketing trials for schizophrenia (a pool of two 6-week, and two 4-week fixed-dose trials) and bipolar mania (a pool of two 3-week flexible-dose trials) in which ziprasidone was administered in doses ranging from 10 to 200 mg/day.

Commonly Observed Adverse Reactions in Short Term-Placebo-Controlled Trials

The following adverse reactions were the most commonly observed adverse reactions associated with the use of ziprasidone (incidence of 5% or greater) and not observed at an equivalent incidence among placebo-treated patients (ziprasidone incidence at least twice that for placebo):

Schizophrenia trials (see Table 11)

  • Somnolence
  • Respiratory Tract Infection

Bipolar trials (see Table 12)

  • Somnolence
  • Extrapyramidal Symptoms which includes the following adverse reaction terms: extrapyramidal syndrome, hypertonia, dystonia, dyskinesia, hypokinesia, tremor, paralysis and twitching. None of these adverse reactions occurred individually at an incidence greater than 10% in bipolar mania trials.
  • Dizziness which includes the adverse reaction terms dizziness and lightheadedness.
  • Akathisia
  • Abnormal Vision
  • Asthenia
  • Vomiting

SCHIZOPHRENIA

Adverse Reactions Associated with Discontinuation of Treatment in Short-Term, Placebo-Controlled Trials of Oral Ziprasidone

Approximately 4.1% (29/702) of ziprasidone-treated patients in short-term, placebo-controlled studies discontinued treatment due to an adverse reaction, compared with about 2.2% (6/273) on placebo. The most common reaction associated with dropout was rash, including 7 dropouts for rash among ziprasidone patients (1%) compared to no placebo patients [see Warnings and Precautions (5.7)].

Adverse Reactions Occurring at an Incidence of 2% or More Among Ziprasidone-Treated Patients in Short-Term, Oral, Placebo-Controlled Trials

Table 11 enumerates the incidence, rounded to the nearest percent, of treatment-emergent adverse reactions that occurred during acute therapy (up to 6 weeks) in predominantly patients with schizophrenia, including only those reactions that occurred in 2% or more of patients treated with ziprasidone and for which the incidence in patients treated with ziprasidone was greater than the incidence in placebo-treated patients.

Table 11: Treatment-Emergent Adverse Reaction Incidence In Short-Term Oral Placebo-Controlled Trials – Schizophrenia
Percentage of Patients
Reporting Reaction
Body System/Adverse Reaction Ziprasidone
(N=702)
Placebo
(N=273)
*
Extrapyramidal Symptoms includes the following adverse reaction terms: extrapyramidal syndrome, hypertonia, dystonia, dyskinesia, hypokinesia, tremor, paralysis and twitching. None of these adverse reactions occurred individually at an incidence greater than 5% in schizophrenia trials.
Dizziness includes the adverse reaction terms dizziness and lightheadedness.
Body as a Whole
  Asthenia 5 3
  Accidental Injury 4 2
  Chest Pain 3 2
Cardiovascular
  Tachycardia 2 1
Digestive
  Nausea 10 7
  Constipation 9 8
  Dyspepsia 8 7
  Diarrhea 5 4
  Dry Mouth 4 2
  Anorexia 2 1
Nervous
  Extrapyramidal Symptoms* 14 8
  Somnolence 14 7
  Akathisia 8 7
  Dizziness 8 6
Respiratory
  Respiratory Tract Infection 8 3
  Rhinitis 4 2
  Cough Increased 3 1
Skin and Appendages
  Rash 4 3
  Fungal Dermatitis 2 1
Special Senses
  Abnormal Vision 3 2

Dose Dependency of Adverse Reactions in Short-Term, Fixed-Dose, Placebo-Controlled Trials

An analysis for dose response in the schizophrenia 4-study pool revealed an apparent relation of adverse reaction to dose for the following reactions: asthenia, postural hypotension, anorexia, dry mouth, increased salivation, arthralgia, anxiety, dizziness, dystonia, hypertonia, somnolence, tremor, rhinitis, rash, and abnormal vision.

Extrapyramidal Symptoms (EPS) - The incidence of reported EPS (which included the adverse reaction terms extrapyramidal syndrome, hypertonia, dystonia, dyskinesia, hypokinesia, tremor, paralysis and twitching) for ziprasidone-treated patients in the short-term, placebo-controlled schizophrenia trials was 14% vs. 8% for placebo. Objectively collected data from those trials on the Simpson-Angus Rating Scale (for EPS) and the Barnes Akathisia Scale (for akathisia) did not generally show a difference between ziprasidone and placebo.

Dystonia - Class Effect: Symptoms of dystonia, prolonged abnormal contractions of muscle groups, may occur in susceptible individuals during the first few days of treatment. Dystonic symptoms include: spasm of the neck muscles, sometimes progressing to tightness of the throat, swallowing difficulty, difficulty breathing, and/or protrusion of the tongue. While these symptoms can occur at low doses, they occur more frequently and with greater severity with high potency and at higher doses of first generation antipsychotic drugs. An elevated risk of acute dystonia is observed in males and younger age groups.

Vital Sign Changes - Ziprasidone is associated with orthostatic hypotension [see Warnings and Precautions (5.8)]

ECG Changes - Ziprasidone is associated with an increase in the QTc interval [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)]. In the schizophrenia trials, ziprasidone was associated with a mean increase in heart rate of 1.4 beats per minute compared to a 0.2 beats per minute decrease among placebo patients.

Other Adverse Reactions Observed During the Premarketing Evaluation of Oral Ziprasidone

Following is a list of COSTART terms that reflect treatment-emergent adverse reactions as defined in the introduction to the ADVERSE REACTIONS section reported by patients treated with ziprasidone in schizophrenia trials at multiple doses >4 mg/day within the database of 3834 patients. All reported reactions are included except those already listed in Table 11 or elsewhere in labeling, those reaction terms that were so general as to be uninformative, reactions reported only once and that did not have a substantial probability of being acutely life-threatening, reactions that are part of the illness being treated or are otherwise common as background reactions, and reactions considered unlikely to be drug-related. It is important to emphasize that, although the reactions reported occurred during treatment with ziprasidone, they were not necessarily caused by it.

Adverse reactions are further categorized by body system and listed in order of decreasing frequency according to the following definitions:

Frequent - adverse reactions occurring in at least 1/100 patients (≥1.0% of patients) (only those not already listed in the tabulated results from placebo-controlled trials appear in this listing);

Infrequent - adverse reactions occurring in 1/100 to 1/1000 patients (in 0.1–1.0% of patients)

Rare – adverse reactions occurring in fewer than 1/1000 patients (<0.1% of patients).

Body as a Whole
Frequent abdominal pain, flu syndrome, fever, accidental fall, face edema, chills, photosensitivity reaction, flank pain, hypothermia, motor vehicle accident
Cardiovascular System
Frequent tachycardia, hypertension, postural hypotension
Infrequent bradycardia, angina pectoris, atrial fibrillation
Rare first degree AV block, bundle branch block, phlebitis, pulmonary embolus, cardiomegaly, cerebral infarct, cerebrovascular accident, deep thrombophlebitis, myocarditis, thrombophlebitis
Digestive System
Frequent anorexia, vomiting
Infrequent rectal hemorrhage, dysphagia, tongue edema
Rare gum hemorrhage, jaundice, fecal impaction, gamma glutamyl transpeptidase increased, hematemesis, cholestatic jaundice, hepatitis, hepatomegaly, leukoplakia of mouth, fatty liver deposit, melena
Endocrine
Rare hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, thyroiditis
Hemic and Lymphatic System
Infrequent anemia, ecchymosis, leukocytosis, leukopenia, eosinophilia, lymphadenopathy
Rare thrombocytopenia, hypochromic anemia, lymphocytosis, monocytosis, basophilia, lymphedema, polycythemia, thrombocythemia
Metabolic and Nutritional Disorders
Infrequent thirst, transaminase increased, peripheral edema, hyperglycemia, creatine phosphokinase increased, alkaline phosphatase increased, hypercholesteremia, dehydration, lactic dehydrogenase increased, albuminuria, hypokalemia
Rare BUN increased, creatinine increased, hyperlipemia, hypocholesteremia, hyperkalemia, hypochloremia, hypoglycemia, hyponatremia, hypoproteinemia, glucose tolerance decreased, gout, hyperchloremia, hyperuricemia, hypocalcemia, hypoglycemicreaction, hypomagnesemia, ketosis, respiratory alkalosis
Musculoskeletal System
Frequent myalgia
Infrequent tenosynovitis
Rare myopathy
Nervous System
Frequent agitation, extrapyramidal syndrome, tremor, dystonia, hypertonia, dyskinesia, hostility, twitching, paresthesia, confusion, vertigo, hypokinesia, hyperkinesia, abnormal gait, oculogyric crisis, hypesthesia, ataxia, amnesia, cogwheel rigidity, delirium, hypotonia, akinesia, dysarthria, withdrawal syndrome, buccoglossal syndrome, choreoathetosis, diplopia, incoordination, neuropathy
Infrequent paralysis
Rare myoclonus, nystagmus, torticollis, circumoral paresthesia, opisthotonos, reflexes increased, trismus
Respiratory System
Frequent dyspnea
Infrequent pneumonia, epistaxis
Rare hemoptysis, laryngismus
Skin and Appendages
Infrequent maculopapular rash, urticaria, alopecia, eczema, exfoliative dermatitis, contact dermatitis, vesiculobullous rash
Special Senses
Frequent fungal dermatitis
Infrequent conjunctivitis, dry eyes, tinnitus, blepharitis, cataract, photophobia
Rare eye hemorrhage, visual field defect, keratitis, keratoconjunctivitis
Urogenital System
Infrequent impotence, abnormal ejaculation, amenorrhea, hematuria, menorrhagia, female lactation, polyuria, urinary retention metrorrhagia, male sexual dysfunction, anorgasmia, glycosuria
Rare gynecomastia, vaginal hemorrhage, nocturia, oliguria, female sexual dysfunction, uterine hemorrhage

BIPOLAR DISORDER

Acute Treatment of Manic or Mixed Episodes

Adverse Reactions Associated with Discontinuation of Treatment in Short Term, Placebo-Controlled Trials

Approximately 6.5% (18/279) of ziprasidone-treated patients in short-term, placebo-controlled studies discontinued treatment due to an adverse reaction, compared with about 3.7% (5/136) on placebo. The most common reactions associated with dropout in the ziprasidone-treated patients were akathisia, anxiety, depression, dizziness, dystonia, rash and vomiting, with 2 dropouts for each of these reactions among ziprasidone patients (1%) compared to one placebo patient each for dystonia and rash (1%) and no placebo patients for the remaining adverse reactions.

Adverse Reactions Occurring at an Incidence of 2% or More Among Ziprasidone-Treated Patients in Short-Term, Oral, Placebo-Controlled Trials

Table 12 enumerates the incidence, rounded to the nearest percent, of treatment-emergent adverse reactions that occurred during acute therapy (up to 3 weeks) in patients with bipolar mania, including only those reactions that occurred in 2% or more of patients treated with ziprasidone and for which the incidence in patients treated with ziprasidone was greater than the incidence in placebo-treated patients.

Table 12: Treatment-Emergent Adverse Reactions Incidence In Short-Term Oral Placebo-Controlled Trials – Manic and Mixed Episodes Associated with Bipolar Disorder
Percentage of Patients
Reporting Reaction
Body System/Adverse Reaction Ziprasidone
(N=279)
Placebo
(N=136)
*
Extrapyramidal Symptoms includes the following adverse reaction terms: extrapyramidal syndrome, hypertonia, dystonia, dyskinesia, hypokinesia, tremor, paralysis and twitching. None of these adverse reactions occurred individually at an incidence greater than 10% in bipolar mania trials.
Dizziness includes the adverse reaction terms dizziness and lightheadedness.
Body as a Whole
  Headache 18 17
  Asthenia 6 2
  Accidental Injury 4 1
Cardiovascular
  Hypertension 3 2
Digestive
  Nausea 10 7
  Diarrhea 5 4
  Dry Mouth 5 4
  Vomiting 5 2
  Increased Salivation 4 0
  Tongue Edema 3 1
  Dysphagia 2 0
Musculoskeletal
  Myalgia 2 0
Nervous
  Somnolence 31 12
  Extrapyramidal Symptoms* 31 12
  Dizziness 16 7
  Akathisia 10 5
  Anxiety 5 4
  Hypesthesia 2 1
  Speech Disorder 2 0
Respiratory
  Pharyngitis 3 1
  Dyspnea 2 1
Skin and Appendages
  Fungal Dermatitis 2 1
Special Senses
  Abnormal Vision 6 3

Explorations for interactions on the basis of gender did not reveal any clinically meaningful differences in the adverse reaction occurrence on the basis of this demographic factor.

INTRAMUSCULAR ZIPRASIDONE

Adverse Reactions Occurring at an Incidence of 1% or More Among Ziprasidone-Treated Patients in Short-Term Trials of Intramuscular Ziprasidone

Table 13 enumerates the incidence, rounded to the nearest percent, of treatment-emergent adverse reactions that occurred during acute therapy with intramuscular ziprasidone in 1% or more of patients.

In these studies, the most commonly observed adverse reactions associated with the use of intramuscular ziprasidone (incidence of 5% or greater) and observed at a rate on intramuscular ziprasidone (in the higher dose groups) at least twice that of the lowest intramuscular ziprasidone group were headache (13%), nausea (12%), and somnolence (20%).

Table 13: Treatment-Emergent Adverse Reaction Incidence In Short-Term Fixed-Dose Intramuscular Trials
Percentage of Patients Reporting Reaction
Body System/Adverse Reaction Ziprasidone 2 mg (N=92) Ziprasidone 10 mg (N=63) Ziprasidone 20 mg (N=41)
Body as a Whole
  Headache 3 13 5
  Injection Site Pain 9 8 7
  Asthenia 2 0 0
  Abdominal Pain 0 2 0
  Flu Syndrome 1 0 0
  Back Pain 1 0 0
Cardiovascular
  Postural Hypotension 0 0 5
  Hypertension 2 0 0
  Bradycardia 0 0 2
  Vasodilation 1 0 0
Digestive
  Nausea 4 8 12
  Rectal Hemorrhage 0 0 2
  Diarrhea 3 3 0
  Vomiting 0 3 0
  Dyspepsia 1 3 2
  Anorexia 0 2 0
  Constipation 0 0 2
  Tooth Disorder 1 0 0
  Dry Mouth 1 0 0
Nervous
  Dizziness 3 3 10
  Anxiety 2 0 0
  Insomnia 3 0 0
  Somnolence 8 8 20
  Akathisia 0 2 0
  Agitation 2 2 0
  Extrapyramidal Syndrome 2 0 0
  Hypertonia 1 0 0
  Cogwheel Rigidity 1 0 0
  Paresthesia 0 2 0
  Personality Disorder 0 2 0
  Psychosis 1 0 0
  Speech Disorder 0 2 0
Respiratory
  Rhinitis 1 0 0
Skin and Appendages
  Furunculosis 0 2 0
  Sweating 0 0 2
Urogenital
  Dysmenorrhea 0 2 0
  Priapism 1 0 0

6.2 Postmarketing Experience

The following adverse reactions have been identified during post approval use of GEODON. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.

Adverse reaction reports not listed above that have been received since market introduction include rare occurrences of the following : Cardiac Disorders: Tachycardia, torsade de pointes (in the presence of multiple confounding factors), [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)]; Digestive System Disorders: Swollen Tongue; Reproductive System and Breast Disorders: Galactorrhea, priapism; Nervous System Disorders: Facial Droop, neuroleptic malignant syndrome, serotonin syndrome (alone or in combination with serotonergic medicinal products), tardive dyskinesia; Psychiatric Disorders: Insomnia, mania/hypomania; Skin and subcutaneous Tissue Disorders: Allergic reaction (such as allergic dermatitis, angioedema, orofacial edema, urticaria), rash, Drug Reaction with Eosinophilia and Systemic Symptoms (DRESS); Urogenital System Disorders: Enuresis, urinary incontinence; Vascular Disorders: Postural hypotension, syncope.

1 INDICATIONS AND USAGE

GEODON is indicated for the treatment of schizophrenia, as monotherapy for the acute treatment of bipolar manic or mixed episodes, and as an adjunct to lithium or valproate for the maintenance treatment of bipolar disorder. GEODON intramuscular is indicated for acute agitation in schizophrenic patients. When deciding among the alternative treatments available for the condition needing treatment, the prescriber should consider the finding of ziprasidone's greater capacity to prolong the QT/QTc interval compared to several other antipsychotic drugs [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)]. Prolongation of the QTc interval is associated in some other drugs with the ability to cause torsade de pointes-type arrhythmia, a potentially fatal polymorphic ventricular tachycardia, and sudden death. In many cases this would lead to the conclusion that other drugs should be tried first. Whether ziprasidone will cause torsade de pointes or increase the rate of sudden death is not yet known [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)]

1.1 Schizophrenia

Geodon is indicated for the treatment of schizophrenia. The efficacy of oral ziprasidone was established in four short-term (4- and 6-week) controlled trials of adult schizophrenic inpatients and in one maintenance trial of stable adult schizophrenic inpatients [see Clinical Studies (14.1)].

1.2 Bipolar I Disorder (Acute Mixed or Manic Episodes and Maintenance Treatment as an Adjunct to Lithium or Valproate)

Geodon is indicated as monotherapy for the acute treatment of manic or mixed episodes associated with bipolar I disorder. Efficacy was established in two 3-week monotherapy studies in adult patients [see Clinical Studies (14.2)].

Geodon is indicated as an adjunct to lithium or valproate for the maintenance treatment of bipolar I disorder. Efficacy was established in a maintenance trial in adult patients. The efficacy of Geodon as monotherapy for the maintenance treatment of bipolar I disorder has not been systematically evaluated in controlled clinical trials [see Clinical Studies (14.2)].

1.3 Acute Treatment of Agitation in Schizophrenia

GEODON intramuscular is indicated for the treatment of acute agitation in schizophrenic patients for whom treatment with ziprasidone is appropriate and who need intramuscular antipsychotic medication for rapid control of agitation. The efficacy of intramuscular ziprasidone for acute agitation in schizophrenia was established in single day controlled trials of agitated schizophrenic inpatients [see Clinical Trials (14.1)]

"Psychomotor agitation" is defined in DSM-IV as "excessive motor activity associated with a feeling of inner tension". Schizophrenic patients experiencing agitation often manifest behaviors that interfere with their diagnosis and care, e.g., threatening behaviors, escalating or urgently distressing behavior, or self-exhausting behavior, leading clinicians to the use of intramuscular antipsychotic medications to achieve immediate control of the agitation.

Since there is no experience regarding the safety of administering ziprasidone intramuscular to schizophrenic patients already taking oral ziprasidone, the practice of co-administration is not recommended.

Ziprasidone intramuscular is intended for intramuscular use only and should not be administered intravenously.

HALCION® (triazolam)

These highlights do not include all the information needed to use HALCION safety and effectively. See full prescribing information for HALCION.

WARNING: RISKS FROM CONCOMITANT USE WITH OPIOIDS

Concomitant use of benzodiazepines and opioids may result in profound sedation, respiratory depression, coma, and death [see Warnings, Drug Interactions].

  • Reserve concomitant prescribing of these drugs for use in patients for whom alternative treatment options are inadequate.
  • Limit dosages and durations to the minimum required.
    Follow patients for signs and symptoms of respiratory depression and sedation.

CONTRAINDICATIONS

HALCION Tablets are contraindicated in patients with known hypersensitivity to this drug or other benzodiazepines.

Benzodiazepines may cause fetal damage when administered during pregnancy. An increased risk of congenital malformations associated with the use of diazepam and chlordiazepoxide during the first trimester of pregnancy has been suggested in several studies. Transplacental distribution has resulted in neonatal CNS depression following the ingestion of therapeutic doses of a benzodiazepine hypnotic during the last weeks of pregnancy.

HALCION is contraindicated in pregnant women. If there is a likelihood of the patient becoming pregnant while receiving HALCION, she should be warned of the potential risk to the fetus. Patients should be instructed to discontinue the drug prior to becoming pregnant. The possibility that a woman of childbearing potential may be pregnant at the time of institution of therapy should be considered.

HALCION is contraindicated with medications that significantly impair the oxidative metabolism mediated by cytochrome P450 3A (CYP 3A) including ketoconazole, itraconazole, nefazodone, and several HIV protease inhibitors, (see WARNINGS and PRECAUTIONS–Drug Interactions).

WARNINGS

Risks from Concomitant Use with Opioids

Concomitant use of benzodiazepines, including HALCION, and opioids may result in profound sedation, respiratory depression, coma, and death. Because of these risks, reserve concomitant prescribing of these drugs for use in patients for whom alternative treatment options are inadequate.

Observational studies have demonstrated that concomitant use of opioid analgesics and benzodiazepines increases the risk of drug-related mortality compared to use of opioids alone. If a decision is made to prescribe HALCION concomitantly with opioids, prescribe the lowest effective dosages and minimum durations of concomitant use, and follow patients closely for signs and symptoms of respiratory depression and sedation. In patients already receiving an opioid analgesic, prescribe a lower initial dose of HALCION than indicated in the absence of an opioid and titrate based on clinical response. If an opioid is initiated in a patient already taking HALCION, prescribe a lower initial dose of the opioid and titrate based upon clinical response.

Advise both patients and caregivers about the risks of respiratory depression and sedation when HALCION is used with opioids. Advise patients not to drive or operate heavy machinery until the effects of concomitant use with the opioid have been determined [see Drug Interactions].

Persistent or Worsening Insomnia

Because sleep disturbances may be the presenting manifestation of a physical and/or psychiatric disorder, symptomatic treatment of insomnia should be initiated only after a careful evaluation of the patient. The failure of insomnia to remit after 7 to 10 days of treatment may indicate the presence of a primary psychiatric and/or medical illness that should be evaluated. Worsening of insomnia or the emergence of new thinking or behavior abnormalities may be the consequence of an unrecognized psychiatric or physical disorder. Such findings have emerged during the course of treatment with sedative-hypnotic drugs. Because some of the important adverse effects of sedative-hypnotics appear to be dose related (see Precautions and Dosage and Administration), it is important to use the smallest possible effective dose, especially in the elderly.

"Sleep-driving" and Other Complex Behaviors

Complex behaviors such as "sleep-driving" (i.e., driving while not fully awake after ingestion of a sedative-hypnotic, with amnesia for the event) have been reported. These events can occur in sedative-hypnotic-naïve as well as in sedative-hypnotic-experienced persons. Although behaviors such as sleep-driving may occur with sedative-hypnotics alone at therapeutic doses, the use of alcohol and other CNS depressants with sedative-hypnotics appears to increase the risk of such behaviors, as does the use of sedative-hypnotics at doses exceeding the maximum recommended dose. Due to the risk to the patient and the community, discontinuation of sedative-hypnotics should be strongly considered for patients who report a "sleep-driving" episode.

Other complex behaviors (e.g., preparing and eating food, making phone calls, or having sex) have been reported in patients who are not fully awake after taking a sedative-hypnotic. As with sleep-driving, patients usually do not remember these events.

Severe anaphylactic and anaphylactoid reactions

Rare cases of angioedema involving the tongue, glottis or larynx have been reported in patients after taking the first or subsequent doses of sedative-hypnotics, including HALCION. Some patients have had additional symptoms such as dyspnea, throat closing, or nausea and vomiting that suggest anaphylaxis. Some patients have required medical therapy in the emergency department. If angioedema involves the tongue, glottis or larynx, airway obstruction may occur and be fatal. Patients who develop angioedema after treatment with HALCION should not be rechallenged with the drug.

Central nervous system manifestations

An increase in daytime anxiety has been reported for HALCION after as few as 10 days of continuous use. In some patients this may be a manifestation of interdose withdrawal (see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY). If increased daytime anxiety is observed during treatment, discontinuation of treatment may be advisable.

A variety of abnormal thinking and behavior changes have been reported to occur in association with the use of benzodiazepine hypnotics including HALCION. Some of these changes may be characterized by decreased inhibition, eg, aggressiveness and extroversion that seem excessive, similar to that seen with alcohol and other CNS depressants (eg, sedative/hypnotics). Other kinds of behavioral changes have also been reported, for example, bizarre behavior, agitation, hallucinations, depersonalization. In primarily depressed patients, the worsening of depression, including suicidal thinking, has been reported in association with the use of benzodiazepines.

It can rarely be determined with certainty whether a particular instance of the abnormal behaviors listed above is drug induced, spontaneous in origin, or a result of an underlying psychiatric or physical disorder. Nonetheless, the emergence of any new behavioral sign or symptom of concern requires careful and immediate evaluation.

Because of its depressant CNS effects, patients receiving triazolam should be cautioned against engaging in hazardous occupations requiring complete mental alertness such as operating machinery or driving a motor vehicle. For the same reason, patients should be cautioned about the concomitant ingestion of alcohol and other CNS depressant drugs during treatment with HALCION Tablets.

As with some, but not all benzodiazepines, anterograde amnesia of varying severity and paradoxical reactions have been reported following therapeutic doses of HALCION. Data from several sources suggest that anterograde amnesia may occur at a higher rate with HALCION than with other benzodiazepine hypnotics.

Triazolam interaction with drugs that inhibit metabolism via cytochrome P450 3A

The initial step in triazolam metabolism is hydroxylation catalyzed by cytochrome P450 3A (CYP 3A). Drugs that inhibit this metabolic pathway may have a profound effect on the clearance of triazolam. Consequently, triazolam should be avoided in patients receiving very potent inhibitors of CYP 3A. With drugs inhibiting CYP 3A to a lesser but still significant degree, triazolam should be used only with caution and consideration of appropriate dosage reduction. For some drugs, an interaction with triazolam has been quantified with clinical data; for other drugs, interactions are predicted from in vitro data and/or experience with similar drugs in the same pharmacologic class.

The following are examples of drugs known to inhibit the metabolism of triazolam and/or related benzodiazepines, presumably through inhibition of CYP 3A.

Potent CYP 3A inhibitors

Potent inhibitors of CYP 3A that should not be used concomitantly with triazolam include ketoconazole, itraconazole, nefazodone and several HIV protease inhibitors including ritonavir, indinavir, nelfinavir, saquinavir and lopinavir. Although data concerning the effects of azole-type antifungal agents other than ketoconazole and itraconazole on triazolam metabolism are not available, they should be considered potent CYP 3A inhibitors, and their coadministration with triazolam is not recommended (see CONTRAINDICATIONS).

Drugs demonstrated to be CYP 3A inhibitors on the basis of clinical studies involving triazolam (caution and consideration of dose reduction are recommended during coadministration with triazolam)

Macrolide Antibiotics

Coadministration of erythromycin increased the maximum plasma concentration of triazolam by 46%, decreased clearance by 53%, and increased half-life by 35%; caution and consideration of appropriate triazolam dose reduction are recommended. Similar caution should be observed during coadministration with clarithromycin and other macrolide antibiotics.

Cimetidine

Coadministration of cimetidine increased the maximum plasma concentration of triazolam by 51%, decreased clearance by 55%, and increased half-life by 68%; caution and consideration of appropriate triazolam dose reduction are recommended.

Other drugs possibly affecting triazolam metabolism

Other drugs possibly affecting triazolam metabolism by inhibition of CYP 3A are discussed in the PRECAUTIONS section (see PRECAUTIONS–Drug Interactions).


PRECAUTIONS

General

In elderly and/or debilitated patients it is recommended that treatment with HALCION Tablets be initiated at 0.125 mg to decrease the possibility of development of oversedation, dizziness, or impaired coordination.

Some side effects reported in association with the use of HALCION appear to be dose related. These include drowsiness, dizziness, light-headedness, and amnesia.

The relationship between dose and what may be more serious behavioral phenomena is less certain. Specifically, some evidence, based on spontaneous marketing reports, suggests that confusion, bizarre or abnormal behavior, agitation, and hallucinations may also be dose related, but this evidence is inconclusive. In accordance with good medical practice it is recommended that therapy be initiated at the lowest effective dose (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION).

Cases of "traveler's amnesia" have been reported by individuals who have taken HALCION to induce sleep while traveling, such as during an airplane flight. In some of these cases, insufficient time was allowed for the sleep period prior to awakening and before beginning activity. Also, the concomitant use of alcohol may have been a factor in some cases.

Caution should be exercised if HALCION is prescribed to patients with signs or symptoms of depression that could be intensified by hypnotic drugs. Suicidal tendencies may be present in such patients and protective measures may be required. Intentional over-dosage is more common in these patients, and the least amount of drug that is feasible should be available to the patient at any one time.

The usual precautions should be observed in patients with impaired renal or hepatic function, chronic pulmonary insufficiency, and sleep apnea. In patients with compromised respiratory function, respiratory depression and apnea have been reported infrequently.

Information for patients

The text of a Medication Guide for patients is included at the end of this insert. To assure safe and effective use of HALCION, the information and instructions provided in this Medication Guide should be discussed with patients.

Risks from Concomitant Use with Opioids

Advise both patients and caregivers about the risks of potentially fatal respiratory depression and sedation when HALCION is used with opioids and not to use such drugs concomitantly unless supervised by a healthcare provider. Advise patients not to drive or operate heavy machinery until the effects of concomitant use with the opioid have been determined [see Drug Interactions].

"Sleep-driving" and other complex behaviors

There have been reports of people getting out of bed after taking a sedative-hypnotic and driving their cars while not fully awake, often with no memory of the event. If a patient experiences such an episode, it should be reported to his or her doctor immediately, since "sleep-driving" can be dangerous. This behavior is more likely to occur when sedative-hypnotics are taken with alcohol or other central nervous system depressants (see WARNINGS). Other complex behaviors (e.g., preparing and eating food, making phone calls, or having sex) have been reported in patients who are not fully awake after taking a sedative hypnotic. As with sleep-driving, patients usually do not remember these events.

Laboratory tests

Laboratory tests are not ordinarily required in otherwise healthy patients.

Drug interactions

The concomitant use of benzodiazepines and opioids increases the risk of respiratory depression because of actions at different receptor sites in the CNS that control respiration. Benzodiazepines interact at GABAA sites and opioids interact primarily at mu receptors. When benzodiazepines and opioids are combined, the potential for benzodiazepines to significantly worsen opioid-related respiratory depression exists. Limit dosage and duration of concomitant use of benzodiazepines and opioids, and monitor patients closely for respiratory depression and sedation.

Both pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic interactions have been reported with benzodiazepines. In particular, triazolam produces additive CNS depressant effects when coadministered with other psychotropic medications, anticonvulsants, antihistamines, ethanol, and other drugs which themselves produce CNS depression.

Drugs that inhibit triazolam metabolism via cytochrome P450 3A

The initial step in triazolam metabolism is hydroxylation catalyzed by cytochrome P450 3A (CYP 3A). Drugs which inhibit this metabolic pathway may have a profound effect on the clearance of triazolam (see CONTRAINDICATIONS and WARNINGS for additional drugs of this type). HALCION is contraindicated with ketoconzaole, itraconazole, nefazodone, and several HIV protease inhibitors.

Drugs and other substances demonstrated to be CYP 3A inhibitors of possible clinical significance on the basis of clinical studies involving triazolam (caution is recommended during coadministration with triazolam)

Isoniazid

Coadministration of isoniazid increased the maximum plasma concentration of triazolam by 20%, decreased clearance by 42%, and increased half-life by 31%.

Oral contraceptives

Coadministration of oral contraceptives increased maximum plasma concentration by 6%, decreased clearance by 32%, and increased half-life by 16%.

Grapefruit juice

Coadministration of grapefruit juice increased the maximum plasma concentration of triazolam by 25%, increased the area under the concentration curve by 48%, and increased half-life by 18%.

Drugs demonstrated to be CYP 3A inhibitors on the basis of clinical studies involving benzodiazepines metabolized similarly to triazolam or on the basis of in vitro studies with triazolam or other benzodiazepines (caution is recommended during coadministration with triazolam)

Available data from clinical studies of benzodiazepines other than triazolam suggest a possible drug interaction with triazolam for the following: fluvoxamine, diltiazem, and verapamil. Data from in vitro studies of triazolam suggest a possible drug interaction with triazolam for the following: sertraline and paroxetine. Data from in vitro studies of benzodiazepines other than triazolam suggest a possible drug interaction with triazolam for the following: ergotamine, cyclosporine, amiodarone, nicardipine, and nifedipine. Caution is recommended during coadministration of any of these drugs with triazolam (see WARNINGS).

Drugs that affect triazolam pharmacokinetics by other mechanisms

Ranitidine

Coadministration of ranitidine increased the maximum plasma concentration of triazolam by 30%, increased the area under the concentration curve by 27%, and increased half-life by 3.3%. Caution is recommended during coadministration with triazolam.

Carcinogenesis, mutagenesis, impairment of fertility

No evidence of carcinogenic potential was observed in mice during a 24-month study with HALCION in doses up to 4,000 times the human dose.

Pregnancy

1. Teratogenic effects

Pregnancy category X

(see CONTRAINDICATIONS).

2. Non-teratogenic effects

It is to be considered that the child born of a mother who is on benzodiazepines may be at some risk for withdrawal symptoms from the drug, during the postnatal period. Also, neonatal flaccidity has been reported in an infant born of a mother who had been receiving benzodiazepines.

Nursing mothers

Human studies have not been performed; however, studies in rats have indicated that HALCION and its metabolites are secreted in milk. Therefore, administration of HALCION to nursing mothers is not recommended.

Pediatric use

Safety and effectiveness of HALCION in individuals below 18 years of age have not been established.

Geriatric use

The elderly are especially susceptible to the dose related adverse effects of HALCION. They exhibit higher plasma triazolam concentrations due to reduced clearance of the drug as compared with younger subjects at the same dose. To minimize the possibility of development of oversedation, the smallest effective dose should be used (see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY, WARNINGS, PRECAUTIONS, and DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION).

Tolerance/Withdrawal Phenomena

Some loss of effectiveness or adaptation to the sleep inducing effects of these medications may develop after nightly use for more than a few weeks and there may be a degree of dependence that develops. For the benzodiazepine sleeping pills that are eliminated quickly from the body, a relative deficiency of the drug may occur at some point in the interval between each night's use. This can lead to (1) increased wakefulness during the last third of the night, and (2) the appearance of increased signs of daytime anxiety or nervousness. These two events have been reported in particular for HALCION.

There can be more severe 'withdrawal' effects when a benzodiazepine sleeping pill is stopped. Such effects can occur after discontinuing these drugs following use for only a week or two, but may be more common and more severe after longer periods of continuous use. One type of withdrawal phenomenon is the occurrence of what is known as 'rebound insomnia'. That is, on the first few nights after the drug is stopped, insomnia is actually worse than before the sleeping pill was given. Other withdrawal phenomena following abrupt stopping of benzodiazepine sleeping pills range from mild unpleasant feelings to a major withdrawal syndrome which may include abdominal and muscle cramps, vomiting, sweating, tremor, and rarely, convulsions.

ADVERSE REACTIONS

During placebo-controlled clinical studies in which 1,003 patients received HALCION Tablets, the most troublesome side effects were extensions of the pharmacologic activity of triazolam, eg, drowsiness, dizziness, or light-headedness.

The figures cited below are estimates of untoward clinical event incidence among subjects who participated in the relatively short duration (i.e., 1 to 42 days) placebo-controlled clinical trials of HALCION. The figures cannot be used to predict precisely the incidence of untoward events in the course of usual medical practice where patient characteristics and other factors often differ from those in clinical trials. These figures cannot be compared with those obtained from other clinical studies involving related drug products and placebo, as each group of drug trials is conducted under a different set of conditions.

Comparison of the cited figures, however, can provide the prescriber with some basis for estimating the relative contributions of drug and nondrug factors to the untoward event incidence rate in the population studied. Even this use must be approached cautiously, as a drug may relieve a symptom in one patient while inducing it in others. (For example, an anticholinergic, anxiolytic drug may relieve dry mouth [a sign of anxiety] in some subjects but induce it [an untoward event] in others.)

HALCION PLACEBO
Number of Patients 1003 997
% Patients Reporting:
Central Nervous System
Drowsiness 14.0 6.4
Headache 9.7 8.4
Dizziness 7.8 3.1
Nervousness 5.2 4.5
Light-headedness 4.9 0.9
Coordination disorders/ataxia 4.6 0.8
Gastrointestinal
Nausea/vomiting 4.6 3.7

In addition to the relatively common (i.e., 1% or greater) untoward events enumerated above, the following adverse events have been reported less frequently (i.e., 0.9% to0.5%): euphoria, tachycardia, tiredness, confusional states/memory impairment, cramps/pain, depression, visual disturbances.

Rare (i.e., less than 0.5%) adverse reactions included constipation, taste alterations, diarrhea, dry mouth, dermatitis/allergy, dreaming/nightmares, insomnia, paresthesia, tinnitus, dysesthesia, weakness, congestion, death from hepatic failure in a patient also receiving diuretic drugs.

In addition to these untoward events for which estimates of incidence are available, the following adverse events have been reported in association with the use of HALCION and other benzodiazepines: amnestic symptoms (anterograde amnesia with appropriate or inappropriate behavior), confusional states (disorientation, derealization, depersonalization, and/or clouding of consciousness), dystonia, anorexia, fatigue, sedation, slurred speech, jaundice, pruritus, dysarthria, changes in libido, menstrual irregularities, incontinence, and urinary retention. Other factors may contribute to some of these reactions, eg, concomitant intake of alcohol or other drugs, sleep deprivation, an abnormal premorbid state, etc.

Other events reported include: paradoxical reactions such as stimulation, mania, an agitational state (restlessness, irritability, and excitation), increased muscle spasticity, sleep disturbances, hallucinations, delusions, aggressiveness, falling, somnambulism, syncope, inappropriate behavior and other adverse behavioral effects. Should these occur, use of the drug should be discontinued.

The following events have also been reported: chest pain, burning tongue/glossitis/stomatitis.

Laboratory analyses were performed on all patients participating in the clinical program for HALCION. The following incidences of abnormalities were observed in patients receiving HALCION and the corresponding placebo group. None of these changes were considered to be of physiological significance.

HALCION PLACEBO
Number of Patients 380 361
% of Patients Reporting: Low High Low High
*
Less than 1%
Hematology
Hematocrit * * * *
Hemoglobin * * * *
Total WBC count 1.7 2.1 * 1.3
Neutrophil count 1.5 1.5 3.3 1.0
Lymphocyte count 2.3 4.0 3.1 3.8
Monocyte count 3.6 * 4.4 1.5
Eosinophil count 10.2 3.2 9.8 3.4
Basophil count 1.7 2.1 * 1.8
Urinalysis
Albumi 1.1 *
Sugar * *
RBC/HPF 2.9 2.9
WBC/HPF 11.7 7.9
Blood chemistry
Creatinine 2.4 1.9 3.6 1.5
Bilirubin * 1.5 1.0 *
SGOT * 5.3 * 4.5
Alkaline phosphatase * 2.2 * 2.6

When treatment with HALCION is protracted, periodic blood counts, urinalysis, and blood chemistry analyses are advisable.

Minor changes in EEG patterns, usually low-voltage fast activity, have been observed in patients during therapy with HALCION and are of no known significance.

INDICATIONS AND USAGE

HALCION is indicated for the short-term treatment of insomnia (generally 7–10 days). Use for more than 2–3 weeks requires complete reevaluation of the patient (see WARNINGS).

Prescriptions for HALCION should be written for short-term use (7–10 days) and it should not be prescribed in quantities exceeding a 1-month supply.

LYRICA® (pregabalin)

These highlights do not include all the information needed to use LYRICA safety and effectively. See full prescribing information for LYRICA.

4 CONTRAINDICATIONS

LYRICA is contraindicated in patients with known hypersensitivity to pregabalin or any of its components. Angioedema and hypersensitivity reactions have occurred in patients receiving pregabalin therapy.

5 WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS

5.1 Angioedema

There have been postmarketing reports of angioedema in patients during initial and chronic treatment with LYRICA. Specific symptoms included swelling of the face, mouth (tongue, lips, and gums), and neck (throat and larynx). There were reports of life-threatening angioedema with respiratory compromise requiring emergency treatment. Discontinue LYRICA immediately in patients with these symptoms.

Exercise caution when prescribing LYRICA to patients who have had a previous episode of angioedema. In addition, patients who are taking other drugs associated with angioedema (e.g., angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors [ACE-inhibitors]) may be at increased risk of developing angioedema.

5.2 Hypersensitivity

There have been postmarketing reports of hypersensitivity in patients shortly after initiation of treatment with LYRICA. Adverse reactions included skin redness, blisters, hives, rash, dyspnea, and wheezing. Discontinue LYRICA immediately in patients with these symptoms.

5.3 Withdrawal of Antiepileptic Drugs (AEDs)

As with all AEDs, withdraw LYRICA gradually to minimize the potential of increased seizure frequency in patients with seizure disorders. If LYRICA is discontinued, taper the drug gradually over a minimum of 1 week.

5.4 Suicidal Behavior and Ideation

Antiepileptic drugs (AEDs), including LYRICA, increase the risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior in patients taking these drugs for any indication. Monitor patients treated with any AED for any indication for the emergence or worsening of depression, suicidal thoughts or behavior, and/or any unusual changes in mood or behavior.

Pooled analyses of 199 placebo-controlled clinical trials (mono- and adjunctive therapy) of 11 different AEDs showed that patients randomized to one of the AEDs had approximately twice the risk (adjusted Relative Risk 1.8, 95% CI:1.2, 2.7) of suicidal thinking or behavior compared to patients randomized to placebo. In these trials, which had a median treatment duration of 12 weeks, the estimated incidence rate of suicidal behavior or ideation among 27,863 AED-treated patients was 0.43%, compared to 0.24% among 16,029 placebo-treated patients, representing an increase of approximately one case of suicidal thinking or behavior for every 530 patients treated. There were four suicides in drug-treated patients in the trials and none in placebo-treated patients, but the number is too small to allow any conclusion about drug effect on suicide.

The increased risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior with AEDs was observed as early as one week after starting drug treatment with AEDs and persisted for the duration of treatment assessed. Because most trials included in the analysis did not extend beyond 24 weeks, the risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior beyond 24 weeks could not be assessed.

The risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior was generally consistent among drugs in the data analyzed. The finding of increased risk with AEDs of varying mechanisms of action and across a range of indications suggests that the risk applies to all AEDs used for any indication. The risk did not vary substantially by age (5–100 years) in the clinical trials analyzed.

Table 2 shows absolute and relative risk by indication for all evaluated AEDs.

Table 2. Risk by indication for antiepileptic drugs in the pooled analysis
Indication Placebo Patients with Events Per 1000 Patients Drug Patients with Events Per 1000 Patients Relative Risk: Incidence of Events in Drug Patients/Incidence in Placebo Patients Risk Difference: Additional Drug Patients with Events Per 1000 Patients
Epilepsy 1.0 3.4 3.5 2.4
Psychiatric 5.7 8.5 1.5 2.9
Other 1.0 1.8 1.9 0.9
Total 2.4 4.3 1.8 1.9

The relative risk for suicidal thoughts or behavior was higher in clinical trials for epilepsy than in clinical trials for psychiatric or other conditions, but the absolute risk differences were similar for the epilepsy and psychiatric indications.

Anyone considering prescribing LYRICA or any other AED must balance the risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior with the risk of untreated illness. Epilepsy and many other illnesses for which AEDs are prescribed are themselves associated with morbidity and mortality and an increased risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior. Should suicidal thoughts and behavior emerge during treatment, the prescriber needs to consider whether the emergence of these symptoms in any given patient may be related to the illness being treated.

Inform patients, their caregivers, and families that LYRICA and other AEDs increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior and advise them of the need to be alert for the emergence or worsening of the signs and symptoms of depression, any unusual changes in mood or behavior, or the emergence of suicidal thoughts, behavior, or thoughts about self-harm. Report behaviors of concern immediately to healthcare providers.

5.5 Peripheral Edema

LYRICA treatment may cause peripheral edema. In short-term trials of patients without clinically significant heart or peripheral vascular disease, there was no apparent association between peripheral edema and cardiovascular complications such as hypertension or congestive heart failure. Peripheral edema was not associated with laboratory changes suggestive of deterioration in renal or hepatic function.

In controlled clinical trials the incidence of peripheral edema was 6% in the LYRICA group compared with 2% in the placebo group. In controlled clinical trials, 0.5% of LYRICA patients and 0.2% placebo patients withdrew due to peripheral edema.

Higher frequencies of weight gain and peripheral edema were observed in patients taking both LYRICA and a thiazolidinedione antidiabetic agent compared to patients taking either drug alone. The majority of patients using thiazolidinedione antidiabetic agents in the overall safety database were participants in studies of pain associated with diabetic peripheral neuropathy. In this population, peripheral edema was reported in 3% (2/60) of patients who were using thiazolidinedione antidiabetic agents only, 8% (69/859) of patients who were treated with LYRICA only, and 19% (23/120) of patients who were on both LYRICA and thiazolidinedione antidiabetic agents. Similarly, weight gain was reported in 0% (0/60) of patients on thiazolidinediones only; 4% (35/859) of patients on LYRICA only; and 7.5% (9/120) of patients on both drugs.

As the thiazolidinedione class of antidiabetic drugs can cause weight gain and/or fluid retention, possibly exacerbating or leading to heart failure, exercise caution when co-administering LYRICA and these agents.

Because there are limited data on congestive heart failure patients with New York Heart Association (NYHA) Class III or IV cardiac status, exercise caution when using LYRICA in these patients.

5.6 Dizziness and Somnolence

LYRICA may cause dizziness and somnolence. Inform patients that LYRICA-related dizziness and somnolence may impair their ability to perform tasks such as driving or operating machinery [see Patient Counseling Information (17.5)].

In the LYRICA controlled trials, dizziness was experienced by 30% of LYRICA-treated patients compared to 8% of placebo-treated patients; somnolence was experienced by 23% of LYRICA-treated patients compared to 8% of placebo-treated patients. Dizziness and somnolence generally began shortly after the initiation of LYRICA therapy and occurred more frequently at higher doses. Dizziness and somnolence were the adverse reactions most frequently leading to withdrawal (4% each) from controlled studies. In LYRICA-treated patients reporting these adverse reactions in short-term, controlled studies, dizziness persisted until the last dose in 30% and somnolence persisted until the last dose in 42% of patients [see Drug Interactions (7)].

5.7 Weight Gain

LYRICA treatment may cause weight gain. In LYRICA controlled clinical trials of up to 14 weeks, a gain of 7% or more over baseline weight was observed in 9% of LYRICA-treated patients and 2% of placebo-treated patients. Few patients treated with LYRICA (0.3%) withdrew from controlled trials due to weight gain. LYRICA associated weight gain was related to dose and duration of exposure, but did not appear to be associated with baseline BMI, gender, or age. Weight gain was not limited to patients with edema [see Warnings and Precautions (5.5)].

Although weight gain was not associated with clinically important changes in blood pressure in short-term controlled studies, the long-term cardiovascular effects of LYRICA-associated weight gain are unknown.

Among diabetic patients, LYRICA-treated patients gained an average of 1.6 kg (range: -16 to 16 kg), compared to an average 0.3 kg (range: -10 to 9 kg) weight gain in placebo patients. In a cohort of 333 diabetic patients who received LYRICA for at least 2 years, the average weight gain was 5.2 kg.

While the effects of LYRICA-associated weight gain on glycemic control have not been systematically assessed, in controlled and longer-term open label clinical trials with diabetic patients, LYRICA treatment did not appear to be associated with loss of glycemic control (as measured by HbA1C).

5.8 Abrupt or Rapid Discontinuation

Following abrupt or rapid discontinuation of LYRICA, some patients reported symptoms including insomnia, nausea, headache, anxiety, hyperhidrosis, and diarrhea. Taper LYRICA gradually over a minimum of 1 week rather than discontinuing the drug abruptly.

5.9 Tumorigenic Potential

In standard preclinical in vivo lifetime carcinogenicity studies of LYRICA, an unexpectedly high incidence of hemangiosarcoma was identified in two different strains of mice [see Nonclinical Toxicology (13.1)]. The clinical significance of this finding is unknown. Clinical experience during LYRICA's premarketing development provides no direct means to assess its potential for inducing tumors in humans.

In clinical studies across various patient populations, comprising 6396 patient-years of exposure in patients greater than 12 years of age, new or worsening-preexisting tumors were reported in 57 patients. Without knowledge of the background incidence and recurrence in similar populations not treated with LYRICA, it is impossible to know whether the incidence seen in these cohorts is or is not affected by treatment.

5.10 Ophthalmological Effects

In controlled studies, a higher proportion of patients treated with LYRICA reported blurred vision (7%) than did patients treated with placebo (2%), which resolved in a majority of cases with continued dosing. Less than 1% of patients discontinued LYRICA treatment due to vision-related events (primarily blurred vision).

Prospectively planned ophthalmologic testing, including visual acuity testing, formal visual field testing and dilated funduscopic examination, was performed in over 3600 patients. In these patients, visual acuity was reduced in 7% of patients treated with LYRICA, and 5% of placebo-treated patients. Visual field changes were detected in 13% of LYRICA-treated, and 12% of placebo-treated patients. Funduscopic changes were observed in 2% of LYRICA-treated and 2% of placebo-treated patients.

Although the clinical significance of the ophthalmologic findings is unknown, inform patients to notify their physician if changes in vision occur. If visual disturbance persists, consider further assessment. Consider more frequent assessment for patients who are already routinely monitored for ocular conditions [see Patient Counseling Information (17.8)].

5.11 Creatine Kinase Elevations

LYRICA treatment was associated with creatine kinase elevations. Mean changes in creatine kinase from baseline to the maximum value were 60 U/L for LYRICA-treated patients and 28 U/L for the placebo patients. In all controlled trials across multiple patient populations, 1.5% of patients on LYRICA and 0.7% of placebo patients had a value of creatine kinase at least three times the upper limit of normal. Three LYRICA treated subjects had events reported as rhabdomyolysis in premarketing clinical trials. The relationship between these myopathy events and LYRICA is not completely understood because the cases had documented factors that may have caused or contributed to these events. Instruct patients to promptly report unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness, particularly if these muscle symptoms are accompanied by malaise or fever. Discontinue treatment with LYRICA if myopathy is diagnosed or suspected or if markedly elevated creatine kinase levels occur.

5.12 Decreased Platelet Count

LYRICA treatment was associated with a decrease in platelet count. LYRICA-treated subjects experienced a mean maximal decrease in platelet count of 20 × 103/µL, compared to 11 × 103/µL in placebo patients. In the overall database of controlled trials, 2% of placebo patients and 3% of LYRICA patients experienced a potentially clinically significant decrease in platelets, defined as 20% below baseline value and less than 150 × 103/µL. A single LYRICA treated subject developed severe thrombocytopenia with a platelet count less than 20 × 103/ µL. In randomized controlled trials, LYRICA was not associated with an increase in bleeding-related adverse reactions.

5.13 PR Interval Prolongation

LYRICA treatment was associated with PR interval prolongation. In analyses of clinical trial ECG data, the mean PR interval increase was 3–6 msec at LYRICA doses greater than or equal to 300 mg/day. This mean change difference was not associated with an increased risk of PR increase greater than or equal to 25% from baseline, an increased percentage of subjects with on-treatment PR greater than 200 msec, or an increased risk of adverse reactions of second or third degree AV block.

Subgroup analyses did not identify an increased risk of PR prolongation in patients with baseline PR prolongation or in patients taking other PR prolonging medications. However, these analyses cannot be considered definitive because of the limited number of patients in these categories.

6 ADVERSE REACTIONS

6.1 Clinical Trials Experience

Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice.

In all controlled and uncontrolled trials across various patient populations during the premarketing development of LYRICA, more than 10,000 patients have received LYRICA. Approximately 5000 patients were treated for 6 months or more, over 3100 patients were treated for 1 year or longer, and over 1400 patients were treated for at least 2 years.

Adverse Reactions Most Commonly Leading to Discontinuation in All Premarketing Controlled Clinical Studies

In premarketing controlled trials of all populations combined, 14% of patients treated with LYRICA and 7% of patients treated with placebo discontinued prematurely due to adverse reactions. In the LYRICA treatment group, the adverse reactions most frequently leading to discontinuation were dizziness (4%) and somnolence (4%). In the placebo group, 1% of patients withdrew due to dizziness and less than 1% withdrew due to somnolence. Other adverse reactions that led to discontinuation from controlled trials more frequently in the LYRICA group compared to the placebo group were ataxia, confusion, asthenia, thinking abnormal, blurred vision, incoordination, and peripheral edema (1% each).

Most Common Adverse Reactions in All Premarketing Controlled Clinical Studies

In premarketing controlled trials of all patient populations combined, dizziness, somnolence, dry mouth, edema, blurred vision, weight gain, and "thinking abnormal" (primarily difficulty with concentration/attention) were more commonly reported by subjects treated with LYRICA than by subjects treated with placebo (greater than or equal to 5% and twice the rate of that seen in placebo).

Controlled Studies with Neuropathic Pain Associated with Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy

Adverse Reactions Leading to Discontinuation

In clinical trials in patients with neuropathic pain associated with diabetic peripheral neuropathy, 9% of patients treated with LYRICA and 4% of patients treated with placebo discontinued prematurely due to adverse reactions. In the LYRICA treatment group, the most common reasons for discontinuation due to adverse reactions were dizziness (3%) and somnolence (2%). In comparison, less than 1% of placebo patients withdrew due to dizziness and somnolence. Other reasons for discontinuation from the trials, occurring with greater frequency in the LYRICA group than in the placebo group, were asthenia, confusion, and peripheral edema. Each of these events led to withdrawal in approximately 1% of patients.

Most Common Adverse Reactions

Table 3 lists all adverse reactions, regardless of causality, occurring in greater than or equal to 1% of patients with neuropathic pain associated with diabetic neuropathy in the combined LYRICA group for which the incidence was greater in this combined LYRICA group than in the placebo group. A majority of pregabalin-treated patients in clinical studies had adverse reactions with a maximum intensity of "mild" or "moderate".

Table 3. Treatment-emergent adverse reaction incidence in controlled trials in neuropathic pain associated with diabetic peripheral neuropathy (events in at least 1% of all LYRICA-treated patients and at least numerically more in all LYRICA than in the placebo group)
Body system
Preferred term
75 mg/day
[N=77]
%
150 mg/day
[N=212]
%
300 mg/day
[N=321]
%
600 mg/day
[N=369]
%
All PGB* Placebo
[N=979]
%
[N=459]
%
*
PGB: pregabalin
Thinking abnormal primarily consists of events related to difficulty with concentration/attention but also includes events related to cognition and language problems and slowed thinking.
Investigator term; summary level term is amblyopia
Body as a whole
Asthenia 4 2 4 7 5 2
Accidental injury 5 2 2 6 4 3
Back pain 0 2 1 2 2 0
Chest pain 4 1 1 2 2 1
Face edema 0 1 1 2 1 0
Digestive system
Dry mouth 3 2 5 7 5 1
Constipation 0 2 4 6 4 2
Flatulence 3 0 2 3 2 1
Metabolic and nutritional disorders
Peripheral edema 4 6 9 12 9 2
Weight gain 0 4 4 6 4 0
Edema 0 2 4 2 2 0
Hypoglycemia 1 3 2 1 2 1
Nervous system
Dizziness 8 9 23 29 21 5
Somnolence 4 6 13 16 12 3
Neuropathy 9 2 2 5 4 3
Ataxia 6 1 2 4 3 1
Vertigo 1 2 2 4 3 1
Confusion 0 1 2 3 2 1
Euphoria 0 0 3 2 2 0
Incoordination 1 0 2 2 2 0
Thinking abnormal 1 0 1 3 2 0
Tremor 1 1 1 2 1 0
Abnormal gait 1 0 1 3 1 0
Amnesia 3 1 0 2 1 0
Nervousness 0 1 1 1 1 0
Respiratory system
Dyspnea 3 0 2 2 2 1
Special senses
Blurry vision 3 1 3 6 4 2
Abnormal vision 1 0 1 1 1 0

Controlled Studies in Postherpetic Neuralgia

Adverse Reactions Leading to Discontinuation

In clinical trials in patients with postherpetic neuralgia, 14% of patients treated with LYRICA and 7% of patients treated with placebo discontinued prematurely due to adverse reactions. In the LYRICA treatment group, the most common reasons for discontinuation due to adverse reactions were dizziness (4%) and somnolence (3%). In comparison, less than 1% of placebo patients withdrew due to dizziness and somnolence. Other reasons for discontinuation from the trials, occurring in greater frequency in the LYRICA group than in the placebo group, were confusion (2%), as well as peripheral edema, asthenia, ataxia, and abnormal gait (1% each).

Most Common Adverse Reactions

Table 4 lists all adverse reactions, regardless of causality, occurring in greater than or equal to 1% of patients with neuropathic pain associated with postherpetic neuralgia in the combined LYRICA group for which the incidence was greater in this combined LYRICA group than in the placebo group. In addition, an event is included, even if the incidence in the all LYRICA group is not greater than in the placebo group, if the incidence of the event in the 600 mg/day group is more than twice that in the placebo group. A majority of pregabalin-treated patients in clinical studies had adverse reactions with a maximum intensity of "mild" or "moderate". Overall, 12.4% of all pregabalin-treated patients and 9.0% of all placebo-treated patients had at least one severe event while 8% of pregabalin-treated patients and 4.3% of placebo-treated patients had at least one severe treatment-related adverse event.

Table 4. Treatment-emergent adverse reaction incidence in controlled trials in neuropathic pain associated with postherpetic neuralgia (events in at least 1% of all LYRICA-treated patients and at least numerically more in all LYRICA than in the placebo group)
Body system
Preferred term
75 mg/d
[N=84]
%
150 mg/d
[N=302]
%
300 mg/d
[N=312]
%
600 mg/d
[N=154]
%
All PGB*
[N=852]
%
Placebo
[N=398]
%
*
PGB: pregabalin
Thinking abnormal primarily consists of events related to difficulty with concentration/attention but also includes events related to cognition and language problems and slowed thinking.
Investigator term; summary level term is amblyopia
Body as a whole
Infection 14 8 6 3 7 4
Headache 5 9 5 8 7 5
Pain 5 4 5 5 5 4
Accidental injury 4 3 3 5 3 2
Flu syndrome 1 2 2 1 2 1
Face edema 0 2 1 3 2 1
Digestive system
Dry mouth 7 7 6 15 8 3
Constipation 4 5 5 5 5 2
Flatulence 2 1 2 3 2 1
Vomiting 1 1 3 3 2 1
Metabolic and nutritional disorders
Peripheral edema 0 8 16 16 12 4
Weight gain 1 2 5 7 4 0
Edema 0 1 2 6 2 1
Musculoskeletal system
Myasthenia 1 1 1 1 1 0
Nervous system
Dizziness 11 18 31 37 26 9
Somnolence 8 12 18 25 16 5
Ataxia 1 2 5 9 5 1
Abnormal gait 0 2 4 8 4 1
Confusion 1 2 3 7 3 0
Thinking abnormal 0 2 1 6 2 2
Incoordination 2 2 1 3 2 0
Amnesia 0 1 1 4 2 0
Speech disorder 0 0 1 3 1 0
Respiratory system
Bronchitis 0 1 1 3 1 1
Special senses
Blurry vision 1 5 5 9 5 3
Diplopia 0 2 2 4 2 0
Abnormal vision 0 1 2 5 2 0
Eye Disorder 0 1 1 2 1 0
Urogenital System
Urinary Incontinence 0 1 1 2 1 0

Controlled Add-On Studies in Adjunctive Therapy for Adult Patients with Partial Onset Seizures

Adverse Reactions Leading to Discontinuation

Approximately 15% of patients receiving LYRICA and 6% of patients receiving placebo in add-on epilepsy trials discontinued prematurely due to adverse reactions. In the LYRICA treatment group, the adverse reactions most frequently leading to discontinuation were dizziness (6%), ataxia (4%), and somnolence (3%). In comparison, less than 1% of patients in the placebo group withdrew due to each of these events. Other adverse reactions that led to discontinuation of at least 1% of patients in the LYRICA group and at least twice as frequently compared to the placebo group were asthenia, diplopia, blurred vision, thinking abnormal, nausea, tremor, vertigo, headache, and confusion (which each led to withdrawal in 2% or less of patients).

Most Common Adverse Reactions

Table 5 lists all dose-related adverse reactions occurring in at least 2% of all LYRICA-treated patients. Dose-relatedness was defined as the incidence of the adverse event in the 600 mg/day group was at least 2% greater than the rate in both the placebo and 150 mg/day groups. In these studies, 758 patients received LYRICA and 294 patients received placebo for up to 12 weeks. Because patients were also treated with 1 to 3 other AEDs, it is not possible to determine whether the following adverse reactions can be ascribed to LYRICA alone, or the combination of LYRICA and other AEDs. A majority of pregabalin-treated patients in clinical studies had adverse reactions with a maximum intensity of "mild" or "moderate".

Table 5. Dose-related treatment-emergent adverse reaction incidence in controlled trials in adjunctive therapy for adult patients with partial onset seizures (events in at least 2% of all LYRICA-treated patients and the adverse reaction in the 600 mg/day group was greater than or equal to 2% the rate in both the placebo and 150 mg/day groups)
150 mg/d 300 mg/d 600 mg/d All PGB* Placebo
Body System
Preferred Term
[N = 185] [N = 90] [N = 395] [N = 670] [N = 294]
% % % % %
*
PGB: pregabalin
Excludes patients who received the 50 mg dose in Study E1.
Thinking abnormal primarily consists of events related to difficulty with concentration/attention but also includes events related to cognition and language problems and slowed thinking.
§
Investigator term; summary level term is amblyopia.
Body as a Whole
Accidental Injury 7 11 10 9 5
Pain 3 2 5 4 3
Digestive System
Increased Appetite 2 3 6 5 1
Dry Mouth 1 2 6 4 1
Constipation 1 1 7 4 2
Metabolic and Nutritional Disorders
Weight Gain 5 7 16 12 1
Peripheral Edema 3 3 6 5 2
Nervous System
Dizziness 18 31 38 32 11
Somnolence 11 18 28 22 11
Ataxia 6 10 20 15 4
Tremor 3 7 11 8 4
Thinking Abnormal 4 8 9 8 2
Amnesia 3 2 6 5 2
Speech Disorder 1 2 7 5 1
Incoordination 1 3 6 4 1
Abnormal Gait 1 3 5 4 0
Twitching 0 4 5 4 1
Confusion 1 2 5 4 2
Myoclonus 1 0 4 2 0
Special Senses
Blurred Vision§ 5 8 12 10 4
Diplopia 5 7 12 9 4
Abnormal Vision 3 1 5 4 1

Controlled Studies with Fibromyalgia

Adverse Reactions Leading to Discontinuation

In clinical trials of patients with fibromyalgia, 19% of patients treated with pregabalin (150–600 mg/day) and 10% of patients treated with placebo discontinued prematurely due to adverse reactions. In the pregabalin treatment group, the most common reasons for discontinuation due to adverse reactions were dizziness (6%) and somnolence (3%). In comparison, less than 1% of placebo-treated patients withdrew due to dizziness and somnolence. Other reasons for discontinuation from the trials, occurring with greater frequency in the pregabalin treatment group than in the placebo treatment group, were fatigue, headache, balance disorder, and weight increased. Each of these adverse reactions led to withdrawal in approximately 1% of patients.

Most Common Adverse Reactions

Table 6 lists all adverse reactions, regardless of causality, occurring in greater than or equal to 2% of patients with fibromyalgia in the 'all pregabalin' treatment group for which the incidence was greater than in the placebo treatment group. A majority of pregabalin-treated patients in clinical studies experienced adverse reactions with a maximum intensity of "mild" or "moderate".

Table 6. Treatment-emergent adverse reaction incidence in controlled trials in fibromyalgia (events) in at least 2% of all LYRICA-treated patients and occurring more frequently in the all pregabalin-group than in the placebo treatment group)
System Organ Class
Preferred term
150 mg/d 300 mg/d 450 mg/d 600 mg/d All PGB* Placebo
[N=132]
%
[N=502]
%
[N=505]
%
[N=378]
%
[N=1517]
%
[N=505]
%
*
PGB: pregabalin
Ear and Labyrinth Disorders
Vertigo 2 2 2 1 2 0
Eye Disorders
Vision blurred 8 7 7 12 8 1
Gastrointestinal Disorders
Dry mouth 7 6 9 9 8 2
Constipation 4 4 7 10 7 2
Vomiting 2 3 3 2 3 2
Flatulence 1 1 2 2 2 1
Abdominal distension 2 2 2 2 2 1
General Disorders and Administrative Site Conditions
Fatigue 5 7 6 8 7 4
Edema peripheral 5 5 6 9 6 2
Chest pain 2 1 1 2 2 1
Feeling abnormal 1 3 2 2 2 0
Edema 1 2 1 2 2 1
Feeling drunk 1 2 1 2 2 0
Infections and Infestations
Sinusitis 4 5 7 5 5 4
Investigations
Weight increased 8 10 10 14 11 2
Metabolism and Nutrition Disorders
Increased appetite 4 3 5 7 5 1
Fluid retention 2 3 3 2 2 1
Musculoskeletal and Connective Tissue Disorders
Arthralgia 4 3 3 6 4 2
Muscle spasms 2 4 4 4 4 2
Back pain 2 3 4 3 3 3
Nervous System Disorders
Dizziness 23 31 43 45 38 9
Somnolence 13 18 22 22 20 4
Headache 11 12 14 10 12 12
Disturbance in attention 4 4 6 6 5 1
Balance disorder 2 3 6 9 5 0
Memory impairment 1 3 4 4 3 0
Coordination abnormal 2 1 2 2 2 1
Hypoesthesia 2 2 3 2 2 1
Lethargy 2 2 1 2 2 0
Tremor 0 1 3 2 2 0
Psychiatric Disorders
Euphoric Mood 2 5 6 7 6 1
Confusional state 0 2 3 4 3 0
Anxiety 2 2 2 2 2 1
Disorientation 1 0 2 1 2 0
Depression 2 2 2 2 2 2
Respiratory, Thoracic and Mediastinal Disorders
Pharyngolaryngeal pain 2 1 3 3 2 2

Controlled Studies in Neuropathic Pain Associated with Spinal Cord Injury

Adverse Reactions Leading to Discontinuation

In clinical trials of patients with neuropathic pain associated with spinal cord injury, 13% of patients treated with pregabalin and 10% of patients treated with placebo discontinued prematurely due to adverse reactions. In the pregabalin treatment group, the most common reasons for discontinuation due to adverse reactions were somnolence (3%) and edema (2%). In comparison, none of the placebo-treated patients withdrew due to somnolence and edema. Other reasons for discontinuation from the trials, occurring with greater frequency in the pregabalin treatment group than in the placebo treatment group, were fatigue and balance disorder. Each of these adverse reactions led to withdrawal in less than 2% of patients.

Most Common Adverse Reactions

Table 7 lists all adverse reactions, regardless of causality, occurring in greater than or equal to 2% of patients with neuropathic pain associated with spinal cord injury in the controlled trials. A majority of pregabalin-treated patients in clinical studies experienced adverse reactions with a maximum intensity of "mild" or "moderate".

Table 7. Treatment-emergent adverse reaction incidence in controlled trials in neuropathic pain associated with spinal cord injury (events in at least 2% of all LYRICA-treated patients and occurring more frequently in the all pregabalin-group than in the placebo treatment group)
System Organ Class
Preferred term
PGB* (N=182) Placebo (N=174)
% %
*
PGB: Pregabalin
Ear and labryrinth disorders
Vertigo 2.7 1.1
Eye disorders
Vision blurred 6.6 1.1
Gastrointestinal disorders
Dry mouth 11.0 2.9
Constipation 8.2 5.7
Nausea 4.9 4.0
Vomiting 2.7 1.1
General disorders and administration site conditions
Fatigue 11.0 4.0
Edema peripheral 10.4 5.2
Edema 8.2 1.1
Pain 3.3 1.1
Infections and infestations
Nasopharyngitis 8.2 4.6
Investigations
Weight increased 3.3 1.1
Blood creatine phosphokinase increased 2.7 0
Musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders
Muscular weakness 4.9 1.7
Pain in extremity 3.3 2.3
Neck pain 2.7 1.1
Back pain 2.2 1.7
Joint swelling 2.2 0
Nervous system disorders
Somnolence 35.7 11.5
Dizziness 20.9 6.9
Disturbance in attention 3.8 0
Memory impairment 3.3 1.1
Paresthesia 2.2 0.6
Psychiatric disorders
Insomnia 3.8 2.9
Euphoric mood 2.2 0.6
Renal and urinary disorders
Urinary incontinence 2.7 1.1
Skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders
Decubitus ulcer 2.7 1.1
Vascular disorders
Hypertension 2.2 1.1
Hypotension 2.2 0

Other Adverse Reactions Observed During the Clinical Studies of LYRICA

Following is a list of treatment-emergent adverse reactions reported by patients treated with LYRICA during all clinical trials. The listing does not include those events already listed in the previous tables or elsewhere in labeling, those events for which a drug cause was remote, those events which were so general as to be uninformative, and those events reported only once which did not have a substantial probability of being acutely life-threatening.

Events are categorized by body system and listed in order of decreasing frequency according to the following definitions: frequent adverse reactions are those occurring on one or more occasions in at least 1/100 patients; infrequent adverse reactions are those occurring in 1/100 to 1/1000 patients; rare reactions are those occurring in fewer than 1/1000 patients. Events of major clinical importance are described in the Warnings and Precautions section (5).

Body as a Whole – Frequent: Abdominal pain, Allergic reaction, Fever, Infrequent: Abscess, Cellulitis, Chills, Malaise, Neck rigidity, Overdose, Pelvic pain, Photosensitivity reaction, Rare: Anaphylactoid reaction, Ascites, Granuloma, Hangover effect, Intentional Injury, Retroperitoneal Fibrosis, Shock

Cardiovascular System – Infrequent: Deep thrombophlebitis, Heart failure, Hypotension, Postural hypotension, Retinal vascular disorder, Syncope; Rare: ST Depressed, Ventricular Fibrillation

Digestive System – Frequent: Gastroenteritis, Increased appetite; Infrequent: Cholecystitis, Cholelithiasis, Colitis, Dysphagia, Esophagitis, Gastritis, Gastrointestinal hemorrhage, Melena, Mouth ulceration, Pancreatitis, Rectal hemorrhage, Tongue edema; Rare: Aphthous stomatitis, Esophageal Ulcer, Periodontal abscess

Hemic and Lymphatic System – Frequent: Ecchymosis; Infrequent: Anemia, Eosinophilia, Hypochromic anemia, Leukocytosis, Leukopenia, Lymphadenopathy, Thrombocytopenia; Rare: Myelofibrosis, Polycythemia, Prothrombin decreased, Purpura, Thrombocythemia

Metabolic and Nutritional Disorders – Rare: Glucose Tolerance Decreased, Urate Crystalluria

Musculoskeletal System – Frequent: Arthralgia, Leg cramps, Myalgia, Myasthenia; Infrequent: Arthrosis; Rare: Chondrodystrophy, Generalized Spasm

Nervous System – Frequent: Anxiety, Depersonalization, Hypertonia, Hypoesthesia, Libido decreased, Nystagmus, Paresthesia, Sedation, Stupor, Twitching; Infrequent: Abnormal dreams, Agitation, Apathy, Aphasia, Circumoral paresthesia, Dysarthria, Hallucinations, Hostility, Hyperalgesia, Hyperesthesia, Hyperkinesia, Hypokinesia, Hypotonia, Libido increased, Myoclonus, Neuralgia, Rare: Addiction, Cerebellar syndrome, Cogwheel rigidity, Coma, Delirium, Delusions, Dysautonomia, Dyskinesia, Dystonia, Encephalopathy, Extrapyramidal syndrome, Guillain-Barré syndrome, Hypalgesia, Intracranial hypertension, Manic reaction, Paranoid reaction, Peripheral neuritis, Personality disorder, Psychotic depression, Schizophrenic reaction, Sleep disorder, Torticollis, Trismus

Respiratory System – Rare: Apnea, Atelectasis, Bronchiolitis, Hiccup, Laryngismus, Lung edema, Lung fibrosis, Yawn

Skin and Appendages – Frequent: Pruritus, Infrequent: Alopecia, Dry skin, Eczema, Hirsutism, Skin ulcer, Urticaria, Vesiculobullous rash; Rare: Angioedema, Exfoliative dermatitis, Lichenoid dermatitis, Melanosis, Nail Disorder, Petechial rash, Purpuric rash, Pustular rash, Skin atrophy, Skin necrosis, Skin nodule, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, Subcutaneous nodule

Special senses – Frequent: Conjunctivitis, Diplopia, Otitis media, Tinnitus; Infrequent: Abnormality of accommodation, Blepharitis, Dry eyes, Eye hemorrhage, Hyperacusis, Photophobia, Retinal edema, Taste loss, Taste perversion; Rare: Anisocoria, Blindness, Corneal ulcer, Exophthalmos, Extraocular palsy, Iritis, Keratitis, Keratoconjunctivitis, Miosis, Mydriasis, Night blindness, Ophthalmoplegia, Optic atrophy, Papilledema, Parosmia, Ptosis, Uveitis

Urogenital System – Frequent: Anorgasmia, Impotence, Urinary frequency, Urinary incontinence; Infrequent: Abnormal ejaculation, Albuminuria, Amenorrhea, Dysmenorrhea, Dysuria, Hematuria, Kidney calculus, Leukorrhea, Menorrhagia, Metrorrhagia, Nephritis, Oliguria, Urinary retention, Urine abnormality; Rare: Acute kidney failure, Balanitis, Bladder Neoplasm, Cervicitis, Dyspareunia, Epididymitis, Female lactation, Glomerulitis, Ovarian disorder, Pyelonephritis

Comparison of Gender and Race

The overall adverse event profile of pregabalin was similar between women and men. There are insufficient data to support a statement regarding the distribution of adverse experience reports by race.

6.2 Postmarketing Experience

The following adverse reactions have been identified during postapproval use of LYRICA. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.

Nervous System Disorders – Headache

Gastrointestinal Disorders – Nausea, Diarrhea

Reproductive System and Breast Disorders – Gynecomastia, Breast Enlargement

In addition, there are postmarketing reports of events related to reduced lower gastrointestinal tract function (e.g., intestinal obstruction, paralytic ileus, constipation) when LYRICA was co-administered with medications that have the potential to produce constipation, such as opioid analgesics. There are also postmarketing reports of respiratory failure and coma in patients taking pregabalin and other CNS depressant medications.

1 INDICATIONS AND USAGE

LYRICA is indicated for:

  • Management of neuropathic pain associated with diabetic peripheral neuropathy
  • Management of postherpetic neuralgia
  • Adjunctive therapy for adult patients with partial onset seizures
  • Management of fibromyalgia
  • Management of neuropathic pain associated with spinal cord injury

NEURONTIN® (gabapentin)

These highlights do not include all the information needed to use NEURONTIN safety and effectively. See full prescribing information for NEURONTIN.

4 CONTRAINDICATIONS

NEURONTIN is contraindicated in patients who have demonstrated hypersensitivity to the drug or its ingredients.

5 WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS

5.1 Drug Reaction with Eosinophilia and Systemic Symptoms (DRESS)/Multiorgan Hypersensitivity

Drug Reaction with Eosinophilia and Systemic Symptoms (DRESS), also known as multiorgan hypersensitivity, has occurred with NEURONTIN. Some of these reactions have been fatal or life-threatening. DRESS typically, although not exclusively, presents with fever, rash, and/or lymphadenopathy, in association with other organ system involvement, such as hepatitis, nephritis, hematological abnormalities, myocarditis, or myositis sometimes resembling an acute viral infection. Eosinophilia is often present. This disorder is variable in its expression, and other organ systems not noted here may be involved.

It is important to note that early manifestations of hypersensitivity, such as fever or lymphadenopathy, may be present even though rash is not evident. If such signs or symptoms are present, the patient should be evaluated immediately. NEURONTIN should be discontinued if an alternative etiology for the signs or symptoms cannot be established.

5.2 Anaphylaxis and Angioedema

NEURONTIN can cause anaphylaxis and angioedema after the first dose or at any time during treatment. Signs and symptoms in reported cases have included difficulty breathing, swelling of the lips, throat, and tongue, and hypotension requiring emergency treatment. Patients should be instructed to discontinue NEURONTIN and seek immediate medical care should they experience signs or symptoms of anaphylaxis or angioedema.

5.3 Effects on Driving and Operating Heavy Machinery

Patients taking NEURONTIN should not drive until they have gained sufficient experience to assess whether NEURONTIN impairs their ability to drive. Driving performance studies conducted with a prodrug of gabapentin (gabapentin enacarbil tablet, extended release) indicate that gabapentin may cause significant driving impairment. Prescribers and patients should be aware that patients' ability to assess their own driving competence, as well as their ability to assess the degree of somnolence caused by NEURONTIN, can be imperfect. The duration of driving impairment after starting therapy with NEURONTIN is unknown. Whether the impairment is related to somnolence [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4)] or other effects of NEURONTIN is unknown.

Moreover, because NEURONTIN causes somnolence and dizziness [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4)], patients should be advised not to operate complex machinery until they have gained sufficient experience on NEURONTIN to assess whether NEURONTIN impairs their ability to perform such tasks.

5.4 Somnolence/Sedation and Dizziness

During the controlled epilepsy trials in patients older than 12 years of age receiving doses of NEURONTIN up to 1800 mg daily, somnolence, dizziness, and ataxia were reported at a greater rate in patients receiving NEURONTIN compared to placebo: i.e., 19% in drug versus 9% in placebo for somnolence, 17% in drug versus 7% in placebo for dizziness, and 13% in drug versus 6% in placebo for ataxia. In these trials somnolence, ataxia and fatigue were common adverse reactions leading to discontinuation of NEURONTIN in patients older than 12 years of age, with 1.2%, 0.8% and 0.6% discontinuing for these events, respectively.

During the controlled trials in patients with post-herpetic neuralgia, somnolence and dizziness were reported at a greater rate compared to placebo in patients receiving NEURONTIN, in dosages up to 3600 mg per day: i.e., 21% in NEURONTIN-treated patients versus 5% in placebo-treated patients for somnolence and 28% in NEURONTIN-treated patients versus 8% in placebo-treated patients for dizziness. Dizziness and somnolence were among the most common adverse reactions leading to discontinuation of NEURONTIN.

Patients should be carefully observed for signs of central nervous system (CNS) depression, such as somnolence and sedation, when NEURONTIN is used with other drugs with sedative properties because of potential synergy. In addition, patients who require concomitant treatment with morphine may experience increases in gabapentin concentrations and may require dose adjustment [see Drug Interactions (7.2)].

5.5 Withdrawal Precipitated Seizure, Status Epilepticus

Antiepileptic drugs should not be abruptly discontinued because of the possibility of increasing seizure frequency.

In the placebo-controlled epilepsy studies in patients >12 years of age, the incidence of status epilepticus in patients receiving NEURONTIN was 0.6% (3 of 543) vs. 0.5% in patients receiving placebo (2 of 378). Among the 2074 patients >12 years of age treated with NEURONTIN across all epilepsy studies (controlled and uncontrolled), 31 (1.5%) had status epilepticus. Of these, 14 patients had no prior history of status epilepticus either before treatment or while on other medications. Because adequate historical data are not available, it is impossible to say whether or not treatment with NEURONTIN is associated with a higher or lower rate of status epilepticus than would be expected to occur in a similar population not treated with NEURONTIN.

5.6 Suicidal Behavior and Ideation

Antiepileptic drugs (AEDs), including NEURONTIN, increase the risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior in patients taking these drugs for any indication. Patients treated with any AED for any indication should be monitored for the emergence or worsening of depression, suicidal thoughts or behavior, and/or any unusual changes in mood or behavior.

Pooled analyses of 199 placebo-controlled clinical trials (mono- and adjunctive therapy) of 11 different AEDs showed that patients randomized to one of the AEDs had approximately twice the risk (adjusted Relative Risk 1.8, 95% CI:1.2, 2.7) of suicidal thinking or behavior compared to patients randomized to placebo. In these trials, which had a median treatment duration of 12 weeks, the estimated incidence rate of suicidal behavior or ideation among 27,863 AED-treated patients was 0.43%, compared to 0.24% among 16,029 placebo-treated patients, representing an increase of approximately one case of suicidal thinking or behavior for every 530 patients treated. There were four suicides in drug-treated patients in the trials and none in placebo-treated patients, but the number is too small to allow any conclusion about drug effect on suicide.

The increased risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior with AEDs was observed as early as one week after starting drug treatment with AEDs and persisted for the duration of treatment assessed. Because most trials included in the analysis did not extend beyond 24 weeks, the risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior beyond 24 weeks could not be assessed.

The risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior was generally consistent among drugs in the data analyzed. The finding of increased risk with AEDs of varying mechanisms of action and across a range of indications suggests that the risk applies to all AEDs used for any indication. The risk did not vary substantially by age (5–100 years) in the clinical trials analyzed. Table 2 shows absolute and relative risk by indication for all evaluated AEDs.

TABLE 2 Risk by Indication for Antiepileptic Drugs in the Pooled Analysis
Indication Placebo Patients with Events Per 1000 Patients Drug Patients with Events Per 1000 Patients Relative Risk: Incidence of Events in Drug Patients/Incidence in Placebo Patients Risk Difference: Additional Drug Patients with Events Per 1000 Patients
Epilepsy 1.0 3.4 3.5 2.4
Psychiatric 5.7 8.5 1.5 2.9
Other 1.0 1.8 1.9 0.9
Total 2.4 4.3 1.8 1.9

The relative risk for suicidal thoughts or behavior was higher in clinical trials for epilepsy than in clinical trials for psychiatric or other conditions, but the absolute risk differences were similar for the epilepsy and psychiatric indications.

Anyone considering prescribing NEURONTIN or any other AED must balance the risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior with the risk of untreated illness. Epilepsy and many other illnesses for which AEDs are prescribed are themselves associated with morbidity and mortality and an increased risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior. Should suicidal thoughts and behavior emerge during treatment, the prescriber needs to consider whether the emergence of these symptoms in any given patient may be related to the illness being treated.

Patients, their caregivers, and families should be informed that AEDs increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior and should be advised of the need to be alert for the emergence or worsening of the signs and symptoms of depression, any unusual changes in mood or behavior, or the emergence of suicidal thoughts, behavior, or thoughts about self-harm. Behaviors of concern should be reported immediately to healthcare providers.

5.7 Neuropsychiatric Adverse Reactions (Pediatric Patients 3–12 Years of Age)

Gabapentin use in pediatric patients with epilepsy 3–12 years of age is associated with the occurrence of central nervous system related adverse reactions. The most significant of these can be classified into the following categories: 1) emotional lability (primarily behavioral problems), 2) hostility, including aggressive behaviors, 3) thought disorder, including concentration problems and change in school performance, and 4) hyperkinesia (primarily restlessness and hyperactivity). Among the gabapentin-treated patients, most of the reactions were mild to moderate in intensity.

In controlled clinical epilepsy trials in pediatric patients 3–12 years of age, the incidence of these adverse reactions was: emotional lability 6% (gabapentin-treated patients) vs. 1.3% (placebo-treated patients); hostility 5.2% vs. 1.3%; hyperkinesia 4.7% vs. 2.9%; and thought disorder 1.7% vs. 0%. One of these reactions, a report of hostility, was considered serious. Discontinuation of gabapentin treatment occurred in 1.3% of patients reporting emotional lability and hyperkinesia and 0.9% of gabapentin-treated patients reporting hostility and thought disorder. One placebo-treated patient (0.4%) withdrew due to emotional lability.

5.8 Tumorigenic Potential

In an oral carcinogenicity study, gabapentin increased the incidence of pancreatic acinar cell tumors in rats [see Nonclinical Toxicology (13.1)]. The clinical significance of this finding is unknown. Clinical experience during gabapentin's premarketing development provides no direct means to assess its potential for inducing tumors in humans.

In clinical studies in adjunctive therapy in epilepsy comprising 2085 patient-years of exposure in patients >12 years of age, new tumors were reported in 10 patients (2 breast, 3 brain, 2 lung, 1 adrenal, 1 non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, 1 endometrial carcinoma in situ), and preexisting tumors worsened in 11 patients (9 brain, 1 breast, 1 prostate) during or up to 2 years following discontinuation of NEURONTIN. Without knowledge of the background incidence and recurrence in a similar population not treated with NEURONTIN, it is impossible to know whether the incidence seen in this cohort is or is not affected by treatment.

5.9 Sudden and Unexplained Death in Patients with Epilepsy

During the course of premarketing development of NEURONTIN, 8 sudden and unexplained deaths were recorded among a cohort of 2203 epilepsy patients treated (2103 patient-years of exposure) with NEURONTIN.

Some of these could represent seizure-related deaths in which the seizure was not observed, e.g., at night. This represents an incidence of 0.0038 deaths per patient-year. Although this rate exceeds that expected in a healthy population matched for age and sex, it is within the range of estimates for the incidence of sudden unexplained deaths in patients with epilepsy not receiving NEURONTIN (ranging from 0.0005 for the general population of epileptics to 0.003 for a clinical trial population similar to that in the NEURONTIN program, to 0.005 for patients with refractory epilepsy). Consequently, whether these figures are reassuring or raise further concern depends on comparability of the populations reported upon to the NEURONTIN cohort and the accuracy of the estimates provided.

6 ADVERSE REACTIONS

The following serious adverse reactions are discussed in greater detail in other sections:

6.1 Clinical Trials Experience

Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice.

Postherpetic Neuralgia

The most common adverse reactions associated with the use of NEURONTIN in adults, not seen at an equivalent frequency among placebo-treated patients, were dizziness, somnolence, and peripheral edema.

In the 2 controlled trials in postherpetic neuralgia, 16% of the 336 patients who received NEURONTIN and 9% of the 227 patients who received placebo discontinued treatment because of an adverse reaction. The adverse reactions that most frequently led to withdrawal in NEURONTIN-treated patients were dizziness, somnolence, and nausea.

Table 3 lists adverse reactions that occurred in at least 1% of NEURONTIN-treated patients with postherpetic neuralgia participating in placebo-controlled trials and that were numerically more frequent in the NEURONTIN group than in the placebo group.

TABLE 3. Adverse Reactions in Pooled Placebo-Controlled Trials in Postherpetic Neuralgia
NEURONTIN
N=336
%
Placebo
N=227
%
*
Reported as blurred vision
Body as a Whole
  Asthenia 6 5
  Infection 5 4
  Accidental injury 3 1
Digestive System
  Diarrhea 6 3
  Dry mouth 5 1
  Constipation 4 2
  Nausea 4 3
  Vomiting 3 2
Metabolic and Nutritional Disorders
  Peripheral edema 8 2
  Weight gain 2 0
  Hyperglycemia 1 0
Nervous System
  Dizziness 28 8
  Somnolence 21 5
  Ataxia 3 0
  Abnormal thinking 3 0
  Abnormal gait 2 0
  Incoordination 2 0
Respiratory System
  Pharyngitis 1 0
Special Senses
  Amblyopia* 3 1
  Conjunctivitis 1 0
  Diplopia 1 0
  Otitis media 1 0

Other reactions in more than 1% of patients but equally or more frequent in the placebo group included pain, tremor, neuralgia, back pain, dyspepsia, dyspnea, and flu syndrome.

There were no clinically important differences between men and women in the types and incidence of adverse reactions. Because there were few patients whose race was reported as other than white, there are insufficient data to support a statement regarding the distribution of adverse reactions by race.

Epilepsy with Partial Onset Seizures (Adjunctive Therapy)

The most common adverse reactions with NEURONTIN in combination with other antiepileptic drugs in patients >12 years of age, not seen at an equivalent frequency among placebo-treated patients, were somnolence, dizziness, ataxia, fatigue, and nystagmus.

The most common adverse reactions with NEURONTIN in combination with other antiepileptic drugs in pediatric patients 3 to 12 years of age, not seen at an equal frequency among placebo-treated patients, were viral infection, fever, nausea and/or vomiting, somnolence, and hostility [see Warnings and Precautions (5.5)].

Approximately 7% of the 2074 patients >12 years of age and approximately 7% of the 449 pediatric patients 3 to 12 years of age who received NEURONTIN in premarketing clinical trials discontinued treatment because of an adverse reaction. The adverse reactions most commonly associated with withdrawal in patients >12 years of age were somnolence (1.2%), ataxia (0.8%), fatigue (0.6%), nausea and/or vomiting (0.6%), and dizziness (0.6%). The adverse reactions most commonly associated with withdrawal in pediatric patients were emotional lability (1.6%), hostility (1.3%), and hyperkinesia (1.1%).

Table 4 lists adverse reactions that occurred in at least 1% of NEURONTIN-treated patients >12 years of age with epilepsy participating in placebo-controlled trials and were numerically more common in the NEURONTIN group. In these studies, either NEURONTIN or placebo was added to the patient's current antiepileptic drug therapy.

TABLE 4. Adverse Reactions in Pooled Placebo-Controlled Add-On Trials In Epilepsy Patients >12 years of age
NEURONTIN*
N=543
%
Placebo*
N=378
%
*
Plus background antiepileptic drug therapy
Amblyopia was often described as blurred vision.
Body As A Whole
  Fatigue 11 5
  Increased Weight 3 2
  Back Pain 2 1
  Peripheral Edema 2 1
Cardiovascular
  Vasodilatation 1 0
Digestive System
  Dyspepsia 2 1
  Dry Mouth or Throat 2 1
  Constipation 2 1
  Dental Abnormalities 2 0
Nervous System
  Somnolence 19 9
  Dizziness 17 7
  Ataxia 13 6
  Nystagmus 8 4
  Tremor 7 3
  Dysarthria 2 1
  Amnesia 2 0
  Depression 2 1
  Abnormal thinking 2 1
  Abnormal coordination 1 0
Respiratory System
  Pharyngitis 3 2
  Coughing 2 1
Skin and Appendages
  Abrasion 1 0
Urogenital System
  Impotence 2 1
Special Senses
  Diplopia 6 2
  Amblyopia 4 1

Among the adverse reactions occurring at an incidence of at least 10% in NEURONTIN-treated patients, somnolence and ataxia appeared to exhibit a positive dose-response relationship.

The overall incidence of adverse reactions and the types of adverse reactions seen were similar among men and women treated with NEURONTIN. The incidence of adverse reactions increased slightly with increasing age in patients treated with either NEURONTIN or placebo. Because only 3% of patients (28/921) in placebo-controlled studies were identified as nonwhite (black or other), there are insufficient data to support a statement regarding the distribution of adverse reactions by race.

Table 5 lists adverse reactions that occurred in at least 2% of NEURONTIN-treated patients, age 3 to 12 years of age with epilepsy participating in placebo-controlled trials, and which were numerically more common in the NEURONTIN group.

TABLE 5. Adverse Reactions in a Placebo-Controlled Add-On Trial in Pediatric Epilepsy Patients Age 3 to 12 Years
NEURONTIN*
N=119
%
Placebo*
N=128
%
*
Plus background antiepileptic drug therapy
Body As A Whole
  Viral Infection 11 3
  Fever 10 3
  Increased Weight 3 1
  Fatigue 3 2
Digestive System
  Nausea and/or Vomiting 8 7
Nervous System
  Somnolence 8 5
  Hostility 8 2
  Emotional Lability 4 2
  Dizziness 3 2
  Hyperkinesia 3 1
Respiratory System
  Bronchitis 3 1
  Respiratory Infection 3 1

Other reactions in more than 2% of pediatric patients 3 to 12 years of age but equally or more frequent in the placebo group included: pharyngitis, upper respiratory infection, headache, rhinitis, convulsions, diarrhea, anorexia, coughing, and otitis media.

6.2 Postmarketing Experience

The following adverse reactions have been identified during postmarketing use of NEURONTIN. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.

Hepatobiliary disorders: jaundice

Investigations: elevated creatine kinase, elevated liver function tests

Metabolism and nutrition disorders: hyponatremia

Musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorder: rhabdomyolysis

Nervous system disorders: movement disorder

Psychiatric disorders: agitation

Reproductive system and breast disorders: breast enlargement, changes in libido, ejaculation disorders and anorgasmia

Skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders: angioedema [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)], erythema multiforme, Stevens-Johnson syndrome.

Adverse reactions following the abrupt discontinuation of gabapentin have also been reported. The most frequently reported reactions were anxiety, insomnia, nausea, pain, and sweating.

1 INDICATIONS AND USAGE

NEURONTIN® is indicated for:

  • Management of postherpetic neuralgia in adults
  • Adjunctive therapy in the treatment of partial onset seizures, with and without secondary generalization, in adults and pediatric patients 3 years and older with epilepsy

PRISTIQ® (desvenlafaxine)

These highlights do not include all the information needed to use PRISTIQ safety and effectively. See full prescribing information for PRISTIQ.

WARNING: SUICIDAL THOUGHTS AND BEHAVIORS

Antidepressants increased the risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior in children, adolescents, and young adults in short-term studies. These studies did not show an increase in the risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior with antidepressant use in patients over age 24; there was a reduction in risk with antidepressant use in patients aged 65 and older [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)].

In patients of all ages who are started on antidepressant therapy, monitor closely for worsening, and for emergence of suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Advise families and caregivers of the need for close observation and communication with the prescriber [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)].

PRISTIQ is not approved for use in pediatric patients [see Use in Specific Populations (8.4)].

4 CONTRAINDICATIONS

  • Hypersensitivity to desvenlafaxine succinate, venlafaxine hydrochloride or to any excipients in the PRISTIQ formulation. Angioedema has been reported in patients treated with PRISTIQ [see Adverse Reactions (6.1)].
  • The use of MAOIs intended to treat psychiatric disorders with PRISTIQ or within 7 days of stopping treatment with PRISTIQ is contraindicated because of an increased risk of serotonin syndrome. The use of PRISTIQ within 14 days of stopping an MAOI intended to treat psychiatric disorders is also contraindicated [see Dosage and Administration (2.6) and Warnings and Precautions (5.2)].
  • Starting PRISTIQ in a patient who is being treated with MAOIs such as linezolid or intravenous methylene blue is also contraindicated because of an increased risk of serotonin syndrome [see Dosage and Administration (2.6) and Warnings and Precautions (5.2)].

5 WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS

5.1 Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors in Children, Adolescents and Young Adults

Patients with major depressive disorder (MDD), both adult and pediatric, may experience worsening of their depression and/or the emergence of suicidal ideation and behavior (suicidality) or unusual changes in behavior, whether or not they are taking antidepressant medications, and this risk may persist until significant remission occurs. Suicide is a known risk of depression and certain other psychiatric disorders, and these disorders themselves are the strongest predictors of suicide. There has been a long-standing concern, however, that antidepressants may have a role in inducing worsening of depression and the emergence of suicidality in certain patients during the early phases of treatment. Pooled analyses of short-term placebo-controlled studies of antidepressant drugs (SSRIs and others) showed that these drugs increase the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior (suicidality) in children, adolescents, and young adults (ages 18 to 24) with major depressive disorder (MDD) and other psychiatric disorders. Short-term studies did not show an increase in the risk of suicidality with antidepressants compared to placebo in adults beyond age 24; there was a reduction with antidepressants compared to placebo in adults aged 65 and older.

The pooled analyses of placebo-controlled studies in children and adolescents with MDD, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), or other psychiatric disorders included a total of 24 short-term studies of 9 antidepressant drugs in over 4,400 patients. The pooled analyses of placebo-controlled studies in adults with MDD or other psychiatric disorders included a total of 295 short-term studies (median duration of 2 months) of 11 antidepressant drugs in over 77,000 patients. There was considerable variation in risk of suicidality among drugs, but a tendency toward an increase in the younger patients for almost all drugs studied. There were differences in absolute risk of suicidality across the different indications, with the highest incidence in MDD. The risk differences (drug vs. placebo), however, were relatively stable within age strata and across indications. These risk differences (drug-placebo difference in the number of cases of suicidality per 1,000 patients treated) are provided in Table 1.

Table 1
Age Range Drug-Placebo Difference in Number of Cases of Suicidality per 1,000 Patients Treated
Increases Compared to Placebo
<18 14 additional cases
18 to 24 5 additional cases
Decreases Compared to Placebo
25 to 64 1 fewer case
≥65 6 fewer cases

No suicides occurred in any of the pediatric studies. There were suicides in the adult studies, but the number was not sufficient to reach any conclusion about drug effect on suicide.

It is unknown whether the suicidality risk extends to longer-term use, i.e., beyond several months. However, there is substantial evidence from placebo-controlled maintenance studies in adults with depression that the use of antidepressants can delay the recurrence of depression.

All patients being treated with antidepressants for any indication should be monitored appropriately and observed closely for clinical worsening, suicidality, and unusual changes in behavior, especially during the initial few months of a course of drug therapy, or at times of dose changes, either increases or decreases.

The following symptoms, anxiety, agitation, panic attacks, insomnia, irritability, hostility, aggressiveness, impulsivity, akathisia (psychomotor restlessness), hypomania, and mania, have been reported in adult and pediatric patients being treated with antidepressants for major depressive disorder as well as for other indications, both psychiatric and nonpsychiatric. Although a causal link between the emergence of such symptoms and either the worsening of depression and/or the emergence of suicidal impulses has not been established, there is concern that such symptoms may represent precursors to emerging suicidality.

Consideration should be given to changing the therapeutic regimen, including possibly discontinuing the medication, in patients whose depression is persistently worse, or who are experiencing emergent suicidality or symptoms that might be precursors to worsening depression or suicidality, especially if these symptoms are severe, abrupt in onset, or were not part of the patient's presenting symptoms.

If the decision has been made to discontinue treatment, medication should be tapered, as rapidly as is feasible, but with recognition that abrupt discontinuation can be associated with certain symptoms [see Dosage and Administration (2.4) and Warnings and Precautions (5.7) for a description of the risks of discontinuation of PRISTIQ].

Families and caregivers of patients being treated with antidepressants for major depressive disorder or other indications, both psychiatric and nonpsychiatric, should be alerted about the need to monitor patients for the emergence of agitation, irritability, unusual changes in behavior, and the other symptoms described above, as well as the emergence of suicidality, and to report such symptoms immediately to healthcare providers. Such monitoring should include daily observation by families and caregivers.

Prescriptions for PRISTIQ should be written for the smallest quantity of tablets consistent with good patient management, in order to reduce the risk of overdose.

Screening patients for bipolar disorder

A major depressive episode may be the initial presentation of bipolar disorder. It is generally believed (though not established in controlled studies) that treating such an episode with an antidepressant alone may increase the likelihood of precipitation of a mixed/manic episode in patients at risk for bipolar disorder. Whether any of the symptoms described above represent such a conversion is unknown. However, prior to initiating treatment with an antidepressant, patients with depressive symptoms should be adequately screened to determine if they are at risk for bipolar disorder; such screening should include a detailed psychiatric history, including a family history of suicide, bipolar disorder, and depression. It should be noted that PRISTIQ is not approved for use in treating bipolar depression.

5.2 Serotonin Syndrome

The development of a potentially life-threatening serotonin syndrome has been reported with SNRIs and SSRIs, including PRISTIQ, alone but particularly with concomitant use of other serotonergic drugs (including triptans, tricyclic antidepressants, fentanyl, lithium, tramadol, tryptophan, buspirone, amphetamines, and St. John's Wort), and with drugs that impair metabolism of serotonin (in particular, MAOIs, both those intended to treat psychiatric disorders and also others, such as linezolid and intravenous methylene blue).

Serotonin syndrome symptoms may include mental status changes (e.g., agitation, hallucinations, delirium, and coma), autonomic instability (e.g., tachycardia, labile blood pressure, dizziness, diaphoresis, flushing, hyperthermia), neuromuscular symptoms (e.g., tremor, rigidity, myoclonus, hyperreflexia, incoordination), seizures, and/or gastrointestinal symptoms (e.g., nausea, vomiting, diarrhea). Patients should be monitored for the emergence of serotonin syndrome.

The concomitant use of PRISTIQ with MAOIs intended to treat psychiatric disorders is contraindicated. PRISTIQ should also not be started in a patient who is being treated with MAOIs such as linezolid or intravenous methylene blue. All reports with methylene blue that provided information on the route of administration involved intravenous administration in the dose range of 1 mg/kg to 8 mg/kg. No reports involved the administration of methylene blue by other routes (such as oral tablets or local tissue injection) or at lower doses. There may be circumstances when it is necessary to initiate treatment with a MAOI such as linezolid or intravenous methylene blue in a patient taking PRISTIQ. PRISTIQ should be discontinued before initiating treatment with the MAOI [see Contraindications (4.2) and Dosage and Administration (2.6)].

If concomitant use of PRISTIQ with other serotonergic drugs, including triptans, tricyclic antidepressants, fentanyl, lithium, tramadol, buspirone, amphetamines, tryptophan, and St. John's Wort is clinically warranted, patients should be made aware of a potential increased risk for serotonin syndrome, particularly during treatment initiation and dose increases.

Treatment with PRISTIQ and any concomitant serotonergic agents should be discontinued immediately if the above events occur and supportive symptomatic treatment should be initiated.

5.3 Elevated Blood Pressure

Patients receiving PRISTIQ should have regular monitoring of blood pressure since increases in blood pressure were observed in clinical studies [see Adverse Reactions (6.1)]. Pre-existing hypertension should be controlled before initiating treatment with PRISTIQ. Caution should be exercised in treating patients with pre-existing hypertension, cardiovascular, or cerebrovascular conditions that might be compromised by increases in blood pressure. Cases of elevated blood pressure requiring immediate treatment have been reported with PRISTIQ.

Sustained blood pressure increases could have adverse consequences. For patients who experience a sustained increase in blood pressure while receiving PRISTIQ, either dose reduction or discontinuation should be considered [see Adverse Reactions (6.1)].

5.4 Abnormal Bleeding

SSRIs and SNRIs, including PRISTIQ, may increase the risk of bleeding events. Concomitant use of aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, warfarin, and other anticoagulants may add to this risk. Case reports and epidemiological studies (case-control and cohort design) have demonstrated an association between use of drugs that interfere with serotonin reuptake and the occurrence of gastrointestinal bleeding. Bleeding events related to SSRIs and SNRIs have ranged from ecchymosis, hematoma, epistaxis, and petechiae to life-threatening hemorrhages. Patients should be cautioned about the risk of bleeding associated with the concomitant use of PRISTIQ and NSAIDs, aspirin, or other drugs that affect coagulation or bleeding.

5.5 Angle Closure Glaucoma

Angle-Closure Glaucoma: The pupillary dilation that occurs following use of many antidepressant drugs including Pristiq may trigger an angle closure attack in a patient with anatomically narrow angles who does not have a patent iridectomy.

5.6 Activation of Mania/Hypomania

During all MDD phase 2 and phase 3 studies, mania was reported for approximately 0.02% of patients treated with PRISTIQ. Activation of mania/hypomania has also been reported in a small proportion of patients with major affective disorder who were treated with other marketed antidepressants. As with all antidepressants, PRISTIQ should be used cautiously in patients with a history or family history of mania or hypomania.

5.7 Discontinuation Syndrome

Discontinuation symptoms have been systematically and prospectively evaluated in patients treated with PRISTIQ during clinical studies in Major Depressive Disorder. Abrupt discontinuation or dose reduction has been associated with the appearance of new symptoms that include dizziness, nausea, headache, irritability, insomnia, diarrhea, anxiety, fatigue, abnormal dreams, and hyperhidrosis. In general, discontinuation events occurred more frequently with longer duration of therapy.

During marketing of SNRIs (Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors), and SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors), there have been spontaneous reports of adverse events occurring upon discontinuation of these drugs, particularly when abrupt, including the following: dysphoric mood, irritability, agitation, dizziness, sensory disturbances (e.g., paresthesia, such as electric shock sensations), anxiety, confusion, headache, lethargy, emotional lability, insomnia, hypomania, tinnitus, and seizures. While these events are generally self-limiting, there have been reports of serious discontinuation symptoms.

Patients should be monitored for these symptoms when discontinuing treatment with PRISTIQ. A gradual reduction in the dose rather than abrupt cessation is recommended whenever possible. If intolerable symptoms occur following a decrease in the dose or upon discontinuation of treatment, then resuming the previously prescribed dose may be considered. Subsequently, the physician may continue decreasing the dose, but at a more gradual rate [see Dosage and Administration (2.4) and Adverse Reactions (6.1)].

5.8 Seizure

Cases of seizure have been reported in pre-marketing clinical studies with PRISTIQ. PRISTIQ has not been systematically evaluated in patients with a seizure disorder. Patients with a history of seizures were excluded from pre-marketing clinical studies. PRISTIQ should be prescribed with caution in patients with a seizure disorder.

5.9 Hyponatremia

Hyponatremia may occur as a result of treatment with SSRIs and SNRIs, including PRISTIQ. In many cases, this hyponatremia appears to be the result of the syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion (SIADH). Cases with serum sodium lower than 110 mmol/L have been reported. Elderly patients may be at greater risk of developing hyponatremia with SSRIs and SNRIs. Also, patients taking diuretics or who are otherwise volume depleted can be at greater risk [see Use in Specific Populations (8.5) and Clinical Pharmacology (12.6)]. Discontinuation of PRISTIQ should be considered in patients with symptomatic hyponatremia and appropriate medical intervention should be instituted.

Signs and symptoms of hyponatremia include headache, difficulty concentrating, memory impairment, confusion, weakness, and unsteadiness, which can lead to falls. Signs and symptoms associated with more severe and/or acute cases have included hallucination, syncope, seizure, coma, respiratory arrest, and death.

5.10 Interstitial Lung Disease and Eosinophilic Pneumonia

Interstitial lung disease and eosinophilic pneumonia associated with venlafaxine (the parent drug of PRISTIQ) therapy have been rarely reported. The possibility of these adverse events should be considered in patients treated with PRISTIQ who present with progressive dyspnea, cough, or chest discomfort. Such patients should undergo a prompt medical evaluation, and discontinuation of PRISTIQ should be considered.

6 ADVERSE REACTIONS

The following adverse reactions are discussed in greater detail in other sections of the label.

6.1 Clinical Studies Experience

Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical studies of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in clinical practice.

Patient exposure

PRISTIQ was evaluated for safety in 8,394 patients diagnosed with major depressive disorder who participated in multiple-dose pre-marketing studies, representing 2,784 patient-years of exposure. Of the total 8,394 patients exposed to at least one dose of PRISTIQ; 2,116 were exposed to PRISTIQ for 6 months, representing 1,658 patient-years of exposure, and 421 were exposed for one year, representing 416 patient-years of exposure.

Adverse reactions reported as reasons for discontinuation of treatment

In the pre-marketing pooled 8-week placebo-controlled studies in patients with MDD, 1,834 patients were exposed to PRISTIQ (50 to 400 mg). Of the 1,834 patients, 12% discontinued treatment due to an adverse reaction, compared with 3% of the 1,116 placebo-treated patients. At the recommended dose of 50 mg, the discontinuation rate due to an adverse reaction for PRISTIQ (4.1%) was similar to the rate for placebo (3.8%). For the 100 mg dose of PRISTIQ the discontinuation rate due to an adverse reaction was 8.7%.

The most common adverse reactions leading to discontinuation in at least 2% and at a rate greater than placebo of the PRISTIQ treated patients in the short-term studies, up to 8 weeks, were: nausea (4%); dizziness, headache and vomiting (2% each). In a longer-term study, up to 9 months, the most common was vomiting (2%).

Common adverse reactions in placebo-controlled MDD studies

The most commonly observed adverse reactions in PRISTIQ treated MDD patients in pre-marketing pooled 8-week, placebo-controlled, fixed-dose studies (incidence ≥ 5% and at least twice the rate of placebo in the 50 or 100 mg dose groups) were: nausea, dizziness, insomnia, hyperhidrosis, constipation, somnolence, decreased appetite, anxiety, and specific male sexual function disorders.

Table 2 shows the incidence of common adverse reactions that occurred in ≥ 2% of PRISTIQ treated MDD patients and twice the rate of placebo at any dose in the pre-marketing pooled 8-week, placebo-controlled, fixed dose clinical studies

Table 2: Common Adverse Reactions (≥ 2% in any Fixed-Dose Group and Twice the Rate of Placebo) in Pre-marketing Pooled MDD 8-Week Placebo-Controlled Studies
Percentage of Patients Reporting Reaction
PRISTIQ
System Organ Class
Preferred Term
Placebo
(n=636)
50 mg
(n=317)
100 mg
(n=424)
200 mg
(n=307)
400 mg
(n=317)
Cardiac disorders
  Blood pressure increased 1 1 1 2 2
Gastrointestinal disorders
  Nausea 10 22 26 36 41
  Dry mouth 9 11 17 21 25
  Constipation 4 9 9 10 14
  Vomiting 3 3 4 6 9
General disorders and administration site conditions
  Fatigue 4 7 7 10 11
  Chills 1 1 <1 3 4
  Feeling jittery 1 1 2 3 3
Metabolism and nutrition disorders
  Decreased appetite 2 5 8 10 10
Nervous system disorders
  Dizziness 5 13 10 15 16
  Somnolence 4 4 9 12 12
  Tremor 2 2 3 9 9
  Disturbance in attention <1 <1 1 2 1
Psychiatric disorders
  Insomnia 6 9 12 14 15
  Anxiety 2 3 5 4 4
  Nervousness 1 <1 1 2 2
  Abnormal dreams 1 2 3 2 4
Renal and urinary disorders
  Urinary hesitation 0 <1 1 2 2
Respiratory, thoracic and mediastinal disorders
  Yawning <1 1 1 4 3
Skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders
  Hyperhidrosis 4 10 11 18 21
Special Senses
  Vision blurred 1 3 4 4 4
  Mydriasis <1 2 2 6 6
  Vertigo 1 2 1 5 3
  Tinnitus 1 2 1 1 2
  Dysgeusia 1 1 1 1 2
Vascular disorders
  Hot flush <1 1 1 2 2

Sexual function adverse reactions

Table 3 shows the incidence of sexual function adverse reactions that occurred in ≥ 2% of PRISTIQ treated MDD patients in any fixed-dose group (pre-marketing pooled 8-week, placebo-controlled, fixed -dose, clinical studies).

Table 3: Sexual Function Adverse Reactions (≥ 2% in Men or Women in any PRISTIQ Group) During the On-Therapy Period
PRISTIQ
Placebo
(n=239)
50 mg
(n=108)
100 mg
(n=157)
200 mg
(n=131)
400 mg
(n=154)
Men only
  Anorgasmia 0 0 3 5 8
  Libido decreased 1 4 5 6 3
  Orgasm abnormal 0 0 1 2 3
  Ejaculation delayed <1 1 5 7 6
  Erectile dysfunction 1 3 6 8 11
  Ejaculation disorder 0 0 1 2 5
  Ejaculation failure 0 1 0 2 2
  Sexual dysfunction 0 1 0 0 2
PRISTIQ
Placebo
(n=397)
50 mg
(n=209)
100 mg
(n=267)
200 mg
(n=176)
400 mg
(n=163)
  Women only
  Anorgasmia 0 1 1 0 3

Other adverse reactions observed in premarketing and postmarketing clinical studies

Other infrequent adverse reactions, not described elsewhere in the label, occurring at an incidence of < 2% in MDD patients treated with PRISTIQ were:

Cardiac disorders – Tachycardia.

General disorders and administration site conditions – Asthenia.

Investigations – Weight increased, liver function test abnormal, blood prolactin increased.

Musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders – Musculoskeletal stiffness.

Nervous system disorders –Syncope, convulsion, dystonia.

Psychiatric disorders – Depersonalization, bruxism.

Renal and urinary disorders – Urinary retention.

Skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders Rash, alopecia, photosensitivity reaction, angioedema.

In clinical studies, there were uncommon reports of ischemic cardiac adverse reactions, including myocardial ischemia, myocardial infarction, and coronary occlusion requiring revascularization; these patients had multiple underlying cardiac risk factors. More patients experienced these events during PRISTIQ treatment as compared to placebo.

Laboratory, ECG and vital sign changes observed in MDD clinical studies

The following changes were observed in pre-marketing placebo-controlled, short-term MDD studies with PRISTIQ.

Lipids

Elevations in fasting serum total cholesterol, LDL (low density lipoproteins) cholesterol, and triglycerides occurred in the controlled studies. Some of these abnormalities were considered potentially clinically significant.

The percentage of patients who exceeded a predetermined threshold value is shown in Table 4.

Table 4: Incidence (%) of Patients With Lipid Abnormalities of Potential Clinical Significance*
PRISTIQ
Placebo 50 mg 100 mg 200 mg 400 mg
Total Cholesterol
*(Increase of ≥ 50 mg/dl and an absolute value of ≥ 261 mg/dl)
2 3 4 4 10
LDL Cholesterol
*(Increase ≥ 50 mg/dl and an absolute value of ≥ 190 mg/dl)
0 1 0 1 2
Triglycerides, fasting
*(Fasting: ≥ 327 mg/dl)
3 2 1 4 6

Proteinuria

Proteinuria, greater than or equal to trace, was observed in the pre-marketing fixed-dose controlled studies (see Table 5). This proteinuria was not associated with increases in BUN or creatinine and was generally transient.

Table 5: Incidence (%) of Patients with Proteinuria in the Fixed-dose Clinical Studies
PRISTIQ
Placebo 50 mg 100 mg 200 mg 400 mg
Proteinuria 4 6 8 5 7

Vital sign changes

Table 6 summarizes the changes that were observed in placebo-controlled, short-term, pre-marketing studies with PRISTIQ in patients with MDD (doses 50 to 400 mg).

Table 6: Mean Changes in Vital Signs at Final on Therapy for All Short-term, Fixed-dose Controlled Studies
PRISTIQ
Placebo 50 mg 100 mg 200 mg 400 mg
Blood pressure
Supine systolic bp (mm Hg) -1.4 1.2 2.0 2.5 2.1
Supine diastolic bp (mm Hg) -0.6 0.7 0.8 1.8 2.3
Pulse rate
Supine pulse (bpm) -0.3 1.3 1.3 0.9 4.1
Weight (kg) 0.0 -0.4 -0.6 -0.9 -1.1

Treatment with PRISTIQ at all doses from 50 mg per day to 400 mg per day in controlled studies was associated with sustained hypertension, defined as treatment-emergent supine diastolic blood pressure (SDBP) ≥90 mm Hg and ≥10 mm Hg above baseline for 3 consecutive on-therapy visits (see Table 7). Analyses of patients in PRISTIQ pre-marketing short-term controlled studies who met criteria for sustained hypertension revealed a consistent increase in the proportion of patients who developed sustained hypertension. This was seen at all doses with a suggestion of a higher rate at 400 mg per day.

Table 7: Proportion of Patients with Sustained Elevation of Supine Diastolic Blood Pressure
Treatment Group Proportion of Patients with Sustained Hypertension
Placebo 0.5%
PRISTIQ 50 mg per day 1.3%
PRISTIQ 100 mg per day 0.7%
PRISTIQ 200 mg per day 1.1%
PRISTIQ 400 mg per day 2.3%

Orthostatic hypotension

In the pre-marketing short-term, placebo-controlled clinical studies with doses of 50 to 400 mg, systolic orthostatic hypotension (decrease ≥30 mm Hg from supine to standing position) occurred more frequently in patients ≥65 years of age receiving PRISTIQ (8%, 7/87) versus placebo (2.5%, 1/40), compared to patients <65 years of age receiving PRISTIQ (0.9%, 18/1,937) versus placebo (0.7%, 8/1,218).

6.2 Postmarketing Experience

The following adverse reaction has been identified during post-approval use of PRISTIQ. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure:

Skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders – Stevens-Johnson syndrome.

Gastrointestinal disorders – Pancreatitis acute.

1 INDICATIONS AND USAGE

PRISTIQ, a serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI), is indicated for the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD) [see Clinical Studies (14) and Dosage and Administration (2.1)]. The efficacy of PRISTIQ has been established in four short-term (8-week, placebo-controlled studies) and two maintenance studies in adult outpatients who met DSM-IV criteria for major depressive disorder.

QUILLICHEW ER™ (Methylphenidate HCl extended-release chewable tablets CII)

These highlights do not include all the information needed to use QUILLICHEW ER safety and effectively. See full prescribing information for QUILLICHEW ER.

WARNING: ABUSE AND DEPENDENCE

CNS stimulants, including QuilliChew ER, other methylphenidate-containing products, and amphetamines, have a high potential for abuse and dependence. Assess the risk of abuse prior to prescribing, and monitor for signs of abuse and dependence while on therapy [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1), Drug Abuse and Dependence (9.2, 9.3)].

4 CONTRAINDICATIONS

4.1 Hypersensitivity to Methylphenidate or other Components of QuilliChew ER

QuilliChew ER is contraindicated in patients known to be hypersensitive to methylphenidate, or other components of QuilliChew ER. Hypersensitivity reactions such as angioedema and anaphylactic reactions have been reported in patients treated with other methylphenidate products [see Adverse Reactions (6.2)].

4.2 Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors

QuilliChew ER is contraindicated during concomitant treatment with monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), and also within 14 days following discontinuation of treatment with a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI), because of the risk of hypertensive crisis [see Drug Interactions (7.1)].

5 WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS

5.1 Potential for Abuse and Dependence

CNS stimulants, including QuilliChew ER, other methylphenidate-containing products, and amphetamines, have a high potential for abuse and dependence. Assess the risk of abuse prior to prescribing, and monitor for signs of abuse and dependence while on therapy [see Drug Abuse and Dependence (9.2, 9.3)].

5.2 Serious Cardiovascular Reactions

Stroke and myocardial infarction have occurred in adults treated with CNS stimulants at recommended doses. Sudden death has occurred in children and adolescents with structural cardiac abnormalities and other serious cardiac problems, and in adults taking CNS stimulants at recommended doses for ADHD. Avoid use in patients with known structural cardiac abnormalities, cardiomyopathy, serious cardiac arrhythmias, coronary artery disease, or other serious cardiac problems. Further evaluate patients who develop exertional chest pain, unexplained syncope, or arrhythmias during treatment with QuilliChew ER.

5.3 Blood Pressure and Heart Rate Increases

CNS stimulants cause an increase in blood pressure (mean increase approximately 2 to 4 mmHg) and heart rate (mean increase approximately 3 to 6 bpm). Individuals may have larger increases. Monitor all patients for hypertension and tachycardia.

5.4 Psychiatric Adverse Reactions

Exacerbation of Pre-Existing Psychosis

CNS stimulants may exacerbate symptoms of behavior disturbance and thought disorder in patients with a pre-existing psychotic disorder.

Induction of a Manic Episode in Patients with Bipolar Disorder

CNS stimulants may induce a manic or mixed episode in patients. Prior to initiating treatment, screen patients for risk factors for developing a manic episode (e.g., comorbid or history of depressive symptoms or a family history of suicide, bipolar disorder, or depression).

New Psychotic or Manic Symptoms

CNS stimulants, at recommended doses, may cause psychotic or manic symptoms (e.g., hallucinations, delusional thinking, or mania) in patients without a prior history of psychotic illness or mania. If such symptoms occur, consider discontinuing QuilliChew ER. In a pooled analysis of multiple short-term, placebo-controlled studies of CNS stimulants, psychotic or manic symptoms occurred in approximately 0.1% of CNS stimulant-treated patients, compared to 0 in placebo-treated patients.

5.5 Priapism

Prolonged and painful erections, sometimes requiring surgical intervention, have been reported with methylphenidate products in both pediatric and adult patients. Priapism was not reported with drug initiation but developed after some time on the drug, often subsequent to an increase in dose. Priapism has also appeared during a period of drug withdrawal (drug holidays or during discontinuation). Patients who develop abnormally sustained or frequent and painful erections should seek immediate medical attention.

5.6 Peripheral Vasculopathy, including Raynaud's Phenomenon

CNS stimulants, including QuilliChew ER, used to treat ADHD are associated with peripheral vasculopathy, including Raynaud's phenomenon. Signs and symptoms are usually intermittent and mild; however, very rare sequelae include digital ulceration and/or soft tissue breakdown. Effects of peripheral vasculopathy, including Raynaud's phenomenon, were observed in postmarketing reports at different times and at therapeutic doses in all age groups throughout the course of treatment. Signs and symptoms generally improve after reduction in dose or discontinuation of drug. Careful observation of digital changes is necessary during treatment with ADHD stimulants. Further clinical evaluation (e.g., rheumatology referral) may be appropriate for certain patients.

5.7 Long-Term Suppression of Growth

CNS stimulants have been associated with weight loss and slowing of growth rate in pediatric patients. Careful follow-up of weight and height in pediatric patients ages 7 to 10 years who were randomized to either methylphenidate or nonmedication treatment groups over 14 months, as well as in naturalistic subgroups of newly methylphenidate-treated and nonmedication-treated pediatric patients over 36 months (to the ages of 10 to 13 years), suggests that consistently medicated pediatric patients (i.e., treatment for 7 days per week throughout the year) have a temporary slowing in growth rate (on average, a total of about 2 cm less growth in height and 2.7 kg less growth in weight over 3 years), without evidence of growth rebound during this period of development.

Closely monitor growth (weight and height) in pediatric patients treated with CNS stimulants, including QuilliChew ER. Patients who are not growing or gaining height or weight as expected may need to have their treatment interrupted.

5.8 Risks in Patients with Phenylketonuria

Phenylalanine can be harmful to patients with phenylketonuria (PKU). QuilliChew ER extended-release chewable tablets contain phenylalanine, a component of aspartame. Each 20 mg, 30 mg, and 40 mg extended-release chewable tablet contains 3 mg, 4.5 mg, and 6 mg phenylalanine, respectively. Before prescribing QuilliChew ER in patients with PKU, consider the combined daily amount of phenylalanine from all sources, including QuilliChew ER.

6 ADVERSE REACTIONS

The following are discussed in more detail in other sections of the labeling:

6.1 Clinical Trials Experience

Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in clinical practice.

Clinical Trials Experience with Other Methylphenidate Products in Children, Adolescents, and Adults with ADHD

Commonly reported (≥2% of the methylphenidate group and at least twice the rate of the placebo group) adverse reactions from placebo-controlled trials of methylphenidate products include: appetite decreased, weight decreased, nausea, abdominal pain, dyspepsia, dry mouth, vomiting, insomnia, anxiety, nervousness, restlessness, affect lability, agitation, irritability, dizziness, vertigo, tremor, blurred vision, blood pressure increased, heart rate increased, tachycardia, palpitations, hyperhidrosis, and pyrexia.

Clinical Trials Experience with QuilliChew ER in Children with ADHD

There is limited experience with QuilliChew ER in controlled trials. The safety data in this section is based on data from a laboratory classroom study conducted in 90 pediatric subjects (ages 6 to 12 years) with ADHD. The study consisted of a 6-week dose optimization period, followed by a randomized, double-blind, parallel group treatment period with the individually optimized dose of QuilliChew ER or placebo.

The most common (≥2% in the QuilliChew ER group and greater than placebo) adverse reactions reported in the double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled phase in patient optimized to doses of QuilliChew ER 20 to 60 mg/day are described in Table 1.

Table 1. Common Adverse Reactions Occurring in ≥2% of Subjects on QuilliChew ER and Greater than Placebo During the Double-Blind Period of the ADHD Laboratory Classroom Study
Adverse reaction QuilliChew ER
N= 42
n (%)
Placebo
N= 44
n (%)
Decreased appetite 1 (2.4) 0 (0)
Aggression 1 (2.4) 0 (0)
Emotional poverty 1 (2.4) 0 (0)
Nausea 1 (2.4) 0 (0)
Headache 1 (2.4) 0 (0)
Weight decreased 1 (2.4) 0 (0)

6.2 Postmarketing Experience

The following adverse reactions have been identified during post-approval use of methylphenidate products. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure. These adverse reactions are as follows:

Blood and Lymphatic System Disorders: Pancytopenia, Thrombocytopenia, Thrombocytopenic purpura

Cardiac Disorders: Angina pectoris, Bradycardia, Extrasystole, Supraventricular tachycardia, Ventricular extrasystole

Eye Disorders: Diplopia, Mydriasis, Visual impairment

General Disorders: Chest pain, Chest discomfort, Hyperpyrexia

Hepatobiliary Disorders: Severe hepatocellular injury

Immune System Disorders: Hypersensitivity reactions such as Angioedema, Anaphylactic reactions, Auricular swelling, Bullous conditions, Exfoliative conditions, Urticarias, Pruritus NEC, Rashes, Eruptions, and Exanthemas NEC

Investigations: Alkaline phosphatase increased, Bilirubin increased, Hepatic enzyme increased, Platelet count decreased, White blood cell count abnormal

Musculoskeletal, Connective Tissue and Bone Disorders: Arthralgia, Myalgia, Muscle twitching, Rhabdomyolysis

Nervous System Disorders: Convulsion, Grand mal convulsion, Dyskinesia, Serotonin syndrome in combination with serotonergic drugs

Psychiatric Disorders: Disorientation, Hallucination, Hallucination auditory, Hallucination visual, Libido changes, Mania

Urogenital System: Priapism

Skin and Subcutaneous Tissue Disorders: Alopecia, Erythema

Vascular Disorders: Raynaud's phenomenon

1 INDICATIONS AND USAGE

QuilliChew ER is indicated for the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) [see Clinical Studies (14)].

QUILLIVANT® XR (methylphenidate hydrochloride for extended-release oral suspension)

These highlights do not include all the information needed to use QUILLIVANT XR safety and effectively. See full prescribing information for QUILLIVANT XR.

WARNING: ABUSE AND DEPENDENCE

CNS stimulants, including QUILLIVANT XR, other methylphenidate-containing products, and amphetamines, have a high potential for abuse and dependence. Assess the risk of abuse prior to prescribing, and monitor for signs of abuse and dependence while on therapy [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1), Drug Abuse and Dependence (9.2, 9.3)].

4 CONTRAINDICATIONS

4.1 Hypersensitivity to Methylphenidate or other Components of QUILLIVANT XR

QUILLIVANT XR is contraindicated in patients known to be hypersensitive to methylphenidate, or other components of QUILLIVANT XR. Hypersensitivity reactions such as angioedema and anaphylactic reactions have been reported in patients treated with other methylphenidate products [see Adverse Reactions (6.2)].

4.2 Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors

QUILLIVANT XR is contraindicated during treatment with monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), and also within 14 days following discontinuation of treatment with a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI), because of the risk of hypertensive crisis [see Drug Interactions (7.1)].

5 WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS

5.1 Potential for Abuse and Dependence

CNS stimulants, including QUILLIVANT XR, other methylphenidate-containing products, and amphetamines, have a high potential for abuse and dependence. Assess the risk of abuse prior to prescribing, and monitor for signs of abuse and dependence while on therapy [see Drug Abuse and Dependence (9.2, 9.3)].

5.2 Serious Cardiovascular Reactions

Stroke and myocardial infarction have occurred in adults treated with CNS stimulants at recommended doses. Sudden death has occurred in children and adolescents with structural cardiac abnormalities and other serious cardiac problems, and in adults taking CNS stimulants at recommended doses for ADHD. Avoid use in patients with known structural cardiac abnormalities, cardiomyopathy, serious cardiac arrhythmias, coronary artery disease, or other serious cardiac problems. Further evaluate patients who develop exertional chest pain, unexplained syncope, or arrhythmias during treatment with QUILLIVANT XR.

5.3 Blood Pressure and Heart Rate Increases

CNS stimulants cause an increase in blood pressure (mean increase approximately 2 to 4 mmHg) and heart rate (mean increase approximately 3 to 6 bpm). Individuals may have larger increases. Monitor all patients for hypertension and tachycardia.

5.4 Psychiatric Adverse Reactions

Exacerbation of Pre-Existing Psychosis

CNS stimulants may exacerbate symptoms of behavior disturbance and thought disorder in patients with a pre-existing psychotic disorder.

Induction of a Manic Episode in Patients with Bipolar Disorder

CNS stimulants may induce a manic or mixed episode in patients. Prior to initiating treatment, screen patients for risk factors for developing a manic episode (e.g., comorbid or history of depressive symptoms or a family history of suicide, bipolar disorder, or depression).

New Psychotic or Manic Symptoms

CNS stimulants, at recommended doses, may cause psychotic or manic symptoms (e.g., hallucinations, delusional thinking, or mania) in patients without a prior history of psychotic illness or mania. If such symptoms occur, consider discontinuing QUILLIVANT XR. In a pooled analysis of multiple short-term, placebo-controlled studies of CNS stimulants, psychotic or manic symptoms occurred in approximately 0.1% of CNS stimulant-treated patients, compared to 0 in placebo-treated patients.

5.5 Priapism

Prolonged and painful erections, sometimes requiring surgical intervention, have been reported with methylphenidate products in both pediatric and adult patients. Priapism was not reported with drug initiation but developed after some time on the drug, often subsequent to an increase in dose. Priapism has also appeared during a period of drug withdrawal (drug holidays or during discontinuation). Patients who develop abnormally sustained or frequent and painful erections should seek immediate medical attention.

5.6 Peripheral Vasculopathy, including Raynaud's Phenomenon

CNS stimulants, including QUILLIVANT XR, used to treat ADHD are associated with peripheral vasculopathy, including Raynaud's phenomenon. Signs and symptoms are usually intermittent and mild; however, very rare sequelae include digital ulceration and/or soft tissue breakdown. Effects of peripheral vasculopathy, including Raynaud's phenomenon, were observed in post-marketing reports at different times and at therapeutic doses in all age groups throughout the course of treatment. Signs and symptoms generally improve after reduction in dose or discontinuation of drug. Careful observation of digital changes is necessary during treatment with ADHD stimulants. Further clinical evaluation (e.g., rheumatology referral) may be appropriate for certain patients.

5.7 Long-Term Suppression of Growth

CNS stimulants have been associated with weight loss and slowing of growth rate in pediatric patients. Careful follow-up of weight and height in pediatric patients ages 7 to 10 years who were randomized to either methylphenidate or nonmedication treatment groups over 14 months, as well as in naturalistic subgroups of newly methylphenidate-treated and nonmedication-treated pediatric patients over 36 months (to the ages of 10 to 13 years), suggests that consistently medicated pediatric patients (i.e., treatment for 7 days per week throughout the year) have a temporary slowing in growth rate (on average, a total of about 2 cm less growth in height and 2.7 kg less growth in weight over 3 years), without evidence of growth rebound during this period of development.

Closely monitor growth (weight and height) in pediatric patients treated with CNS stimulants, including QUILLIVANT XR. Patients who are not growing or gaining height or weight as expected may need to have their treatment interrupted.

6 ADVERSE REACTIONS

The following are discussed in more detail in other sections of the labeling:

6.1 Clinical Trials Experience

Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in clinical practice.

Clinical Trials Experience with Other Methylphenidate Products in Children, Adolescents, and Adults with ADHD

Commonly reported (≥2% of the methylphenidate group and at least twice the rate of the placebo group) adverse reactions from placebo-controlled trials of methylphenidate products include: appetite decreased, weight decreased, nausea, abdominal pain, dyspepsia, dry mouth, vomiting, insomnia, anxiety, nervousness, restlessness, affect lability, agitation, irritability, dizziness, vertigo, tremor, blurred vision, blood pressure increased, heart rate increased, tachycardia, palpitations, hyperhidrosis, and pyrexia.

Clinical Trials Experience with QUILLIVANT XR in Children and Adolescents with ADHD

There is limited experience with QUILLIVANT XR in controlled trials. Based on this limited experience, the adverse reaction profile of QUILLIVANT XR appears similar to other methylphenidate extended-release products. The most common (≥2% in the QUILLIVANT XR group and greater than placebo) adverse reactions reported in the Phase 3 controlled study conducted in 45 ADHD patients (ages 6–12 years) were affect lability, excoriation, initial insomnia, tic, decreased appetite, vomiting, motion sickness, eye pain, and rash.

Table 2. Common Adverse Reactions occurring in ≥2% of subjects on QUILLIVANT XR and greater than placebo during the controlled cross-over phase
Adverse reaction QUILLIVANT XR
N= 45
Placebo
N= 45
Affect lability 9% 2%
Excoriation 4% 0
Initial Insomnia 2% 0
Tic 2% 0
Decreased appetite 2% 0
Vomiting 2% 0
Motion sickness 2% 0
Eye pain 2% 0
Rash 2% 0

6.2 Postmarketing Experience

The following adverse reactions have been identified during post approval use of methylphenidate products. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure. These adverse reactions are as follows:

Blood and Lymphatic System Disorders: Pancytopenia, Thrombocytopenia, Thrombocytopenic purpura

Cardiac Disorders: Angina pectoris, Bradycardia, Extrasystole, Supraventricular tachycardia, Ventricular extrasystole

Eye Disorders: Diplopia, Mydriasis, Visual impairment

General Disorders: Chest pain, Chest discomfort, Hyperpyrexia

Hepatobiliary Disorders: Severe hepatocellular injury

Immune System Disorders: Hypersensitivity reactions such as Angioedema, Anaphylactic reactions, Auricular swelling, Bullous conditions, Exfoliative conditions, Urticarias, Pruritus NEC, Rashes, Eruptions, and Exanthemas NEC

Investigations: Alkaline phosphatase increased, Bilirubin increased, Hepatic enzyme increased, Platelet count decreased, White blood cell count abnormal

Musculoskeletal, Connective Tissue and Bone Disorders: Arthralgia, Myalgia, Muscle twitching, Rhabdomyolysis

Nervous System Disorders: Convulsion, Grand mal convulsion, Dyskinesia, Serotonin syndrome in combination with serotonergic drugs

Psychiatric Disorders: Disorientation, Hallucination, Hallucination auditory, Hallucination visual, Libido changes, Mania

Urogenital System: Priapism

Skin and Subcutaneous Tissue Disorders: Alopecia, Erythema

Vascular Disorders: Raynaud's phenomenon

1 INDICATIONS AND USAGE

QUILLIVANT XR is indicated for the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) [see Clinical Studies (14)].

RELPAX® (eletriptan hydrobromide)

These highlights do not include all the information needed to use RELPAX safety and effectively. See full prescribing information for RELPAX.

4 CONTRAINDICATIONS

RELPAX is contraindicated in patients with:

5 WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS

RELPAX should only be used where a clear diagnosis of migraine has been established.

5.1 Myocardial Ischemia, Myocardial Infarction, and Prinzmetal's Angina

RELPAX is contraindicated in patients with ischemic or vasospastic CAD. There have been rare reports of serious cardiac adverse reactions, including acute myocardial infarction, occurring within a few hours following administration of RELPAX. Some of these reactions occurred in patients without known CAD. RELPAX may cause coronary artery vasospasm (Prinzmetal's angina), even in patients without a history of CAD.

Perform a cardiovascular evaluation in triptan-naïve patients who have multiple cardiovascular risk factors (e.g., increased age, diabetes, hypertension, smoking, obesity, strong family history of CAD) prior to receiving RELPAX. Do not use RELPAX if there is evidence of CAD or coronary artery vasospasm [see Contraindications (4)]. For patients with multiple cardiovascular risk factors who have a negative cardiovascular evaluation, consider administering the first RELPAX dose in a medically-supervised setting and performing an electrocardiogram (ECG) immediately following administration of RELPAX. For such patients, consider periodic cardiovascular evaluation in intermittent long-term users of RELPAX.

5.2 Arrhythmias

Life-threatening disturbances of cardiac rhythm including ventricular tachycardia and ventricular fibrillation leading to death have been reported within a few hours following the administration of 5-HT1 agonists. Discontinue RELPAX if these disturbances occur. RELPAX is contraindicated in patients with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome or arrhythmias associated with other cardiac accessory conduction pathway disorders [see Contraindications (4)].

5.3 Chest, Throat, Neck and/or Jaw Pain/Tightness/Pressure

Sensations of tightness, pain, and pressure in the chest, throat, neck, and jaw commonly occur after treatment with RELPAX and are usually non-cardiac in origin. However, perform a cardiac evaluation if these patients are at high cardiac risk. RELPAX is contraindicated in patients with CAD or Prinzmetal's variant angina [see Contraindications (4)].

5.4 Cerebrovascular Events

Cerebral hemorrhage, subarachnoid hemorrhage, and stroke have occurred in patients treated with 5-HT1 agonists, and some have resulted in fatalities. In a number of cases, it appears possible that the cerebrovascular events were primary, the 5-HT1 agonist having been administered in the incorrect belief that the symptoms experienced were a consequence of migraine, when they were not.

Before treating headaches in patients not previously diagnosed as migraineurs, and in migraineurs who present with symptoms atypical of migraine, other potentially serious neurological conditions need to be excluded. RELPAX is contraindicated in patients with a history of stroke or TIA [see Contraindications (4)].

5.5 Other Vasospasm Reactions

RELPAX may cause non-coronary vasospastic reactions, such as peripheral vascular ischemia, gastrointestinal vascular ischemia and infarction (presenting with abdominal pain and bloody diarrhea), and Raynaud's syndrome. In patients who experience symptoms or signs suggestive of a vasospastic reaction following the use of any 5-HT1 agonist, rule out a vasospastic reaction before receiving additional RELPAX doses [see Contraindications (4)].

5.6 Medication Overuse Headache

Overuse of acute migraine drugs (e.g. ergotamine, triptans, opioids, or combination of these drugs for 10 or more days per month) may lead to exacerbation of headache (medication overuse headache). Medication overuse headache may present as migraine-like daily headaches or as a marked increase in frequency of migraine attacks. Detoxification of patients, including withdrawal of the overused acute migraine drugs and treatment of withdrawal symptoms (which often includes a transient worsening of headache) may be necessary.

5.7 Serotonin Syndrome

Serotonin syndrome may occur with RELPAX, particularly during co-administration with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), and monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors [see Drug Interactions (7.3)]. Serotonin syndrome symptoms may include mental status changes (e.g., agitation, hallucinations, coma), autonomic instability (e.g., tachycardia, labile blood pressure, hyperthermia), neuromuscular aberrations (e.g., hyperreflexia, incoordination), and/or gastrointestinal symptoms (e.g., nausea, vomiting, diarrhea). The onset of symptoms usually occurs within minutes to hours of receiving a new or a greater dose of a serotonergic medication. Discontinue RELPAX if serotonin syndrome is suspected.

5.8 Increase in Blood Pressure

Significant elevation in blood pressure, including hypertensive crisis with acute impairment of organ systems, has been reported on rare occasions in patients treated with 5-HT1 agonists, including patients without a history of hypertension. Monitor blood pressure in patients treated with RELPAX. RELPAX is contraindicated in patients with uncontrolled hypertension [see Contraindications (4)].

5.9 Anaphylactic/Anaphylactoid Reactions

There have been reports of anaphylaxis, anaphylactoid, and hypersensitivity reactions including angioedema in patients receiving RELPAX. Such reactions can be life threatening or fatal. In general, anaphylactic reactions to drugs are more likely to occur in individuals with a history of sensitivity to multiple allergens. RELPAX is contraindicated in patients with a history of hypersensitivity reaction to RELPAX [see Contraindications (4)].

6 ADVERSE REACTIONS

The following adverse reactions are described elsewhere in other sections of the prescribing information:

6.1 Clinical Trials Experience

Because clinical studies are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical studies of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical studies of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice.

Among 4,597 patients who treated the first migraine headache with RELPAX in short-term placebo-controlled trials, the most common adverse reactions reported with treatment with RELPAX were asthenia, nausea, dizziness, and somnolence. These reactions appear to be dose-related.

In long-term open-label studies where patients were allowed to treat multiple migraine attacks for up to 1 year, 128 (8.3%) out of 1,544 patients discontinued treatment due to adverse reactions.

Table 1 lists adverse reactions that occurred in the subset of 5,125 migraineurs who received eletriptan doses of 20 mg, 40 mg and 80 mg or placebo in worldwide placebo-controlled clinical trials.

Only adverse reactions that were more frequent in a RELPAX treatment group compared to the placebo group with an incidence greater than or equal to 2% are included in Table 1.

Table 1: Adverse Reactions Incidence in Placebo-Controlled Migraine Clinical Trials: Reactions Reported by ≥ 2% Patients Treated with RELPAX and More Than Placebo
Adverse Reaction Type Placebo
(n=988)
RELPAX
20 mg
(n=431)
RELPAX
40 mg
(n=1774)
RELPAX
80 mg
(n=1932)
ATYPICAL SENSATIONS
Paresthesia 2% 3% 3% 4%
Flushing/feeling of warmth 2% 2% 2% 2%
PAIN AND PRESSURE SENSATIONS
Chest – tightness/pain/pressure 1% 1% 2% 4%
Abdominal –
pain/discomfort/stomach pain/ cramps/pressure
1% 1% 2% 2%
DIGESTIVE
Dry mouth 2% 2% 3% 4%
Dyspepsia 1% 1% 2% 2%
Dysphagia – throat tightness/difficulty swallowing 0.2% 1% 2% 2%
Nausea 5% 4% 5% 8%
NEUROLOGICAL
Dizziness 3% 3% 6% 7%
Somnolence 4% 3% 6% 7%
Headache 3% 4% 3% 4%
OTHER
Asthenia 3% 4% 5% 10%

The frequency of adverse reactions in clinical trials did not increase when up to 2 doses of RELPAX were taken within 24 hours. The incidence of adverse reactions in controlled clinical trials was not affected by gender, age, or race of the patients. Adverse reaction frequencies were also unchanged by concomitant use of drugs commonly taken for migraine prophylaxis (e.g., SSRIs, beta blockers, calcium channel blockers, tricyclic antidepressants), estrogen replacement therapy or oral contraceptives.

6.2 Postmarketing Experience

The following adverse reaction(s) have been identified during post approval use of RELPAX. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.

Neurological: seizure

Digestive: vomiting

1 INDICATIONS AND USAGE

RELPAX is indicated for the acute treatment of migraine with or without aura in adults.

Limitations of Use:

  • Use only if a clear diagnosis of migraine has been established. If a patient has no response to the first migraine attack treated with RELPAX, reconsider the diagnosis of migraine before RELPAX is administered to treat any subsequent attacks.
  • RELPAX is not intended for the prevention of migraine attacks.
  • Safety and effectiveness of RELPAX have not been established for cluster headache.

SKELAXIN® (metaxalone)

These highlights do not include all the information needed to use SKELAXIN safety and effectively. See full prescribing information for SKELAXIN.

CONTRAINDICATIONS

Known hypersensitivity to any components of this product.

Known tendency to drug induced, hemolytic, or other anemias.

Significantly impaired renal or hepatic function.

WARNINGS

Serotonin syndrome (SS), which is potentially life-threatening, has been reported with metaxalone use. These reports generally occurred when metaxalone was used concomitantly with serotonergic drugs (such as tramadol or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)) or when metaxalone was used at doses higher than the recommended dose (see Drug Interactions and OVERDOSAGE). Signs of SS may include clonus, agitation, diaphoresis, tremor, hyperreflexia, hypertonia, and temperature elevation.

SKELAXIN may enhance the effects of alcohol and other CNS depressants.


PRECAUTIONS

Metaxalone should be administered with great care to patients with pre-existing liver damage. Serial liver function studies should be performed in these patients.

False-positive Benedict's tests, due to an unknown reducing substance, have been noted. A glucose-specific test will differentiate findings.

Taking SKELAXIN with food may enhance general CNS depression; elderly patients may be especially susceptible to this CNS effect. (See CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY:Pharmacokinetics and PRECAUTIONS: Information for Patients ).

Information for Patients

SKELAXIN may impair mental and/or physical abilities required for performance of hazardous tasks, such as operating machinery or driving a motor vehicle, especially when used with alcohol or other CNS depressants.

Drug Interactions

The sedative effects of SKELAXIN and other CNS depressants (e.g., alcohol, benzodiazepines, opioids, tricyclic antidepressants) may be additive.  Therefore, caution should be exercised with patients who take more than one of these CNS depressants simultaneously.

Due to the potential for SS, caution is advised when metaxalone is co-administered with drugs that may affect the serotonergic neurotransmitter systems, such as tramadol or SSRIs (see WARNINGS).

Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility

The carcinogenic potential of metaxalone has not been determined.

Pregnancy

Reproduction studies in rats have not revealed evidence of impaired fertility or harm to the fetus due to metaxalone. Post marketing experience has not revealed evidence of fetal injury, but such experience cannot exclude the possibility of infrequent or subtle damage to the human fetus. Safe use of metaxalone has not been established with regard to possible adverse effects upon fetal development. Therefore, metaxalone tablets should not be used in women who are or may become pregnant and particularly during early pregnancy unless, in the judgement of the physician, the potential benefits outweigh the possible hazards.

Nursing Mothers

It is not known whether this drug is secreted in human milk. As a general rule, nursing should not be undertaken while a patient is on a drug since many drugs are excreted in human milk.

Pediatric Use

Safety and effectiveness in children 12 years of age and below have not been established.

ADVERSE REACTIONS

The most frequent reactions to metaxalone include:

CNS: drowsiness, dizziness, headache, and nervousness or "irritability";

Digestive: nausea, vomiting, gastrointestinal upset.

Other adverse reactions are:

Immune System: hypersensitivity reaction, rash with or without pruritus;

Hematologic: leukopenia; hemolytic anemia;

Hepatobiliary: jaundice.

Though rare, anaphylactoid reactions have been reported with metaxalone.

INDICATIONS AND USAGE

SKELAXIN (metaxalone) is indicated as an adjunct to rest, physical therapy, and other measures for the relief of discomforts associated with acute, painful musculoskeletal conditions. The mode of action of this drug has not been clearly identified, but may be related to its sedative properties. Metaxalone does not directly relax tense skeletal muscles in man.

SONATA® (zaleplon)

These highlights do not include all the information needed to use SONATA safety and effectively. See full prescribing information for SONATA.

CONTRAINDICATIONS

Hypersensitivity to zaleplon or any excipients in the formulation (see also PRECAUTIONS).

WARNINGS

Because sleep disturbances may be the presenting manifestation of a physical and/or psychiatric disorder, symptomatic treatment of insomnia should be initiated only after a careful evaluation of the patient. The failure of insomnia to remit after 7 to 10 days of treatment may indicate the presence of a primary psychiatric and/or medical illness that should be evaluated. Worsening of insomnia or the emergence of new thinking or behavior abnormalities may be the consequence of an unrecognized psychiatric or physical disorder. Such findings have emerged during the course of treatment with sedative/hypnotic drugs, including Sonata. Because some of the important adverse effects of Sonata appear to be dose-related, it is important to use the lowest possible effective dose, especially in the elderly (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION).

A variety of abnormal thinking and behavior changes have been reported to occur in association with the use of sedative/hypnotics. Some of these changes may be characterized by decreased inhibition (e.g., aggressiveness and extroversion that seem out of character), similar to effects produced by alcohol and other CNS depressants. Other reported behavioral changes have included bizarre behavior, agitation, hallucinations, and depersonalization.

Abnormal Thinking and Behavioral Changes

Complex behaviors such as "sleep-driving" (i.e., driving while not fully awake after ingestion of a sedative-hypnotic, with amnesia for the event) have been reported. These events can occur in sedative-hypnotic-naive as well as in sedative-hypnotic-experienced persons. Although behaviors such as sleep-driving may occur with Sonata alone at therapeutic doses, the use of alcohol and other CNS depressants with Sonata appears to increase the risk of such behaviors, as does the use of Sonata at doses exceeding the maximum recommended dose. Due to the risk to the patient and the community, discontinuation of Sonata should be strongly considered for patients who report a "sleep-driving" episode. Other complex behaviors (e.g., preparing and eating food, making phone calls, or having sex) have been reported in patients who are not fully awake after taking a sedative-hypnotic. As with sleep-driving, patients usually do not remember these events. Amnesia and other neuropsychiatric symptoms may occur unpredictably. In primarily depressed patients, worsening of depression, including suicidal thoughts and actions (including completed suicides), has been reported in association with the use of sedative/hypnotics.

It can rarely be determined with certainty whether a particular instance of the abnormal behaviors listed above is drug induced, spontaneous in origin, or a result of an underlying psychiatric or physical disorder. Nonetheless, the emergence of any new behavioral sign or symptom of concern requires careful and immediate evaluation.

Following rapid dose decrease or abrupt discontinuation of the use of sedative/hypnotics, there have been reports of signs and symptoms similar to those associated with withdrawal from other CNS-depressant drugs (see DRUG ABUSE AND DEPENDENCE).

Sonata, like other hypnotics, has CNS-depressant effects. Because of the rapid onset of action, Sonata should only be ingested immediately prior to going to bed or after the patient has gone to bed and has experienced difficulty falling asleep. Patients receiving Sonata should be cautioned against engaging in hazardous occupations requiring complete mental alertness or motor coordination (e.g., operating machinery or driving a motor vehicle) after ingesting the drug, including potential impairment of the performance of such activities that may occur the day following ingestion of Sonata. Sonata, as well as other hypnotics, may produce additive CNS-depressant effects when coadministered with other psychotropic medications, anticonvulsants, antihistamines, narcotic analgesics, anesthetics, ethanol, and other drugs that themselves produce CNS depression. Sonata should not be taken with alcohol. Dosage adjustment may be necessary when Sonata is administered with other CNS-depressant agents because of the potentially additive effects.

Severe anaphylactic and anaphylactoid reactions

Rare cases of angioedema involving the tongue, glottis or larynx have been reported in patients after taking the first or subsequent doses of sedative-hypnotics, including Sonata. Some patients have had additional symptoms such as dyspnea, throat closing, or nausea and vomiting that suggest anaphylaxis. Some patients have required medical therapy in the emergency department. If angioedema involves the tongue, glottis or larynx, airway obstruction may occur and be fatal. Patients who develop angioedema after treatment with Sonata should not be rechallenged with the drug.


PRECAUTIONS

General

Timing of Drug Administration

Sonata should be taken immediately before bedtime or after the patient has gone to bed and has experienced difficulty falling asleep. As with all sedative/hypnotics, taking Sonata while still up and about may result in short-term memory impairment, hallucinations, impaired coordination, dizziness, and lightheadedness.

Use in the elderly and/or debilitated patients

Impaired motor and/or cognitive performance after repeated exposure or unusual sensitivity to sedative/hypnotic drugs is a concern in the treatment of elderly and/or debilitated patients. A dose of 5 mg is recommended for elderly patients to decrease the possibility of side effects (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION). Elderly and/or debilitated patients should be monitored closely.

Use in patients with concomitant illness

Clinical experience with Sonata in patients with concomitant systemic illness is limited. Sonata should be used with caution in patients with diseases or conditions that could affect metabolism or hemodynamic responses.

Although preliminary studies did not reveal respiratory depressant effects at hypnotic doses of Sonata in normal subjects, caution should be observed if Sonata (zaleplon) is prescribed to patients with compromised respiratory function, because sedative/hypnotics have the capacity to depress respiratory drive. Controlled trials of acute administration of Sonata 10 mg in patients with mild to moderate chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or moderate obstructive sleep apnea showed no evidence of alterations in blood gases or apnea/hypopnea index, respectively. However, patients with compromised respiration due to preexisting illness should be monitored carefully.

The dose of Sonata should be reduced to 5 mg in patients with mild to moderate hepatic impairment (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION). It is not recommended for use in patients with severe hepatic impairment.

No dose adjustment is necessary in patients with mild to moderate renal impairment. Sonata has not been adequately studied in patients with severe renal impairment.

Use in patients with depression

As with other sedative/hypnotic drugs, Sonata should be administered with caution to patients exhibiting signs or symptoms of depression. Suicidal tendencies may be present in such patients and protective measures may be required. Intentional overdosage is more common in this group of patients (see OVERDOSAGE); therefore, the least amount of drug that is feasible should be prescribed for the patient at any one time.

This product contains FD&C Yellow No. 5 (tartrazine) which may cause allergic-type reactions (including bronchial asthma) in certain susceptible persons. Although the overall incidence of FD&C Yellow No. 5 (tartrazine) sensitivity in the general population is low, it is frequently seen in patients who also have aspirin hypersensitivity.

Information for Patients

A patient Medication Guide is also available for Sonata. The prescriber or health professional should instruct patients, their families, and their caregivers to read the Medication Guide and should assist them in understanding its contents. Patients should be given the opportunity to discuss the contents of the Medication Guide and to obtain answers to any questions that they may have.

SPECIAL CONCERNS   "Sleep-Driving" and other complex behaviors

There have been reports of people getting out of bed after taking a sedative hypnotic medicine and driving their cars while not fully awake, often with no memory of the event. If a patient experiences such an episode, it should be reported to his or her doctor immediately, since "sleep-driving" can be dangerous. This behavior is more likely to occur when Sonata is taken with alcohol or other central nervous system depressants (see WARNINGS). Other complex behaviors (e.g., preparing and eating food, making phone calls, or having sex) have been reported in patients who are not fully awake after taking a sleep medicine. As with sleep-driving, patients usually do not remember these events.

Laboratory Tests

There are no specific laboratory tests recommended.

Drug Interactions

As with all drugs, the potential exists for interaction with other drugs by a variety of mechanisms.

CNS-Active Drugs

Ethanol: Sonata 10 mg potentiated the CNS-impairing effects of ethanol 0.75 g/kg on balance testing and reaction time for 1 hour after ethanol administration and on the digit symbol substitution test (DSST), symbol copying test, and the variability component of the divided attention test for 2.5 hours after ethanol administration. The potentiation resulted from a CNS pharmacodynamic interaction; zaleplon did not affect the pharmacokinetics of ethanol.

Imipramine: Coadministration of single doses of Sonata 20 mg and imipramine 75 mg produced additive effects on decreased alertness and impaired psychomotor performance for 2 to 4 hours after administration. The interaction was pharmacodynamic with no alteration of the pharmacokinetics of either drug.

Paroxetine: Coadministration of a single dose of Sonata 20 mg and paroxetine 20 mg daily for 7 days did not produce any interaction on psychomotor performance. Additionally, paroxetine did not alter the pharmacokinetics of Sonata, reflecting the absence of a role of CYP2D6 in zaleplon's metabolism.

Thioridazine: Coadministration of single doses of Sonata 20 mg and thioridazine 50 mg produced additive effects on decreased alertness and impaired psychomotor performance for 2 to 4 hours after administration. The interaction was pharmacodynamic with no alteration of the pharmacokinetics of either drug.

Venlafaxine: Coadministration of a single dose of zaleplon 10 mg and multiple doses of venlafaxine ER (extended release) 150 mg did not result in any significant changes in the pharmacokinetics of either zaleplon or venlafaxine. In addition, there was no pharmacodynamic interaction as a result of coadministration of zaleplon and venlafaxine ER.

Promethazine: Coadministration of a single dose of zaleplon and promethazine (10 and 25 mg, respectively) resulted in a 15% decrease in maximal plasma concentrations of zaleplon, but no change in the area under the plasma concentration-time curve. However, the pharmacodynamics of coadministration of zaleplon and promethazine have not been evaluated. Caution should be exercised when these 2 agents are coadministered.

Drugs That Induce CYP3A4

Rifampin: CYP3A4 is ordinarily a minor metabolizing enzyme of zaleplon. Multiple-dose administration of the potent CYP3A4 inducer rifampin (600 mg every 24 hours, q24h, for 14 days), however, reduced zaleplon Cmax and AUC by approximately 80%. The coadministration of a potent CYP3A4 enzyme inducer, although not posing a safety concern, thus could lead to ineffectiveness of zaleplon. An alternative non-CYP3A4 substrate hypnotic agent may be considered in patients taking CYP3A4 inducers such as rifampin, phenytoin, carbamazepine, and phenobarbital.

Drugs That Inhibit CYP3A4

CYP3A4 is a minor metabolic pathway for the elimination of zaleplon because the sum of desethylzaleplon (formed via CYP3A4 in vitro) and its metabolites, 5-oxo-desethylzaleplon and 5-oxo-desethylzaleplon glucuronide, account for only 9% of the urinary recovery of a zaleplon dose. Coadministration of single, oral doses of zaleplon with erythromycin (10 mg and 800 mg respectively), a strong, selective CYP3A4 inhibitor, produced a 34% increase in zaleplon's maximal plasma concentrations and a 20% increase in the area under the plasma concentration-time curve. The magnitude of interaction with multiple doses of erythromycin is unknown. Other strong selective CYP3A4 inhibitors such as ketoconazole can also be expected to increase the exposure of zaleplon. A routine dosage adjustment of zaleplon is not considered necessary.

Drugs That Inhibit Aldehyde Oxidase

The aldehyde oxidase enzyme system is less well studied than the cytochrome P450 enzyme system.

Diphenhydramine: Diphenhydramine is reported to be a weak inhibitor of aldehyde oxidase in rat liver, but its inhibitory effects in human liver are not known. There is no pharmacokinetic interaction between zaleplon and diphenhydramine following the administration of a single dose (10 mg and 50 mg, respectively) of each drug. However, because both of these compounds have CNS effects, an additive pharmacodynamic effect is possible.

Drugs That Inhibit Both Aldehyde Oxidase and CYP3A4

Cimetidine: Cimetidine inhibits both aldehyde oxidase (in vitro) and CYP3A4 (in vitro and in vivo), the primary and secondary enzymes, respectively, responsible for zaleplon metabolism. Concomitant administration of Sonata (10 mg) and cimetidine (800 mg) produced an 85% increase in the mean Cmax and AUC of zaleplon. An initial dose of 5 mg should be given to patients who are concomitantly being treated with cimetidine (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION).

Drugs Highly Bound to Plasma Protein

Zaleplon is not highly bound to plasma proteins (fraction bound 60%±15%); therefore, the disposition of zaleplon is not expected to be sensitive to alterations in protein binding. In addition, administration of Sonata to a patient taking another drug that is highly protein bound should not cause transient increase in free concentrations of the other drug.

Drugs with a Narrow Therapeutic Index

Digoxin: Sonata (10 mg) did not affect the pharmacokinetic or pharmacodynamic profile of digoxin (0.375 mg q24h for 8 days).

Warfarin: Multiple oral doses of Sonata (20 mg q24h for 13 days) did not affect the pharmacokinetics of warfarin (R+)- or (S-)-enantiomers or the pharmacodynamics (prothrombin time) following a single 25-mg oral dose of warfarin.

Drugs That Alter Renal Excretion

Ibuprofen: Ibuprofen is known to affect renal function and, consequently, alter the renal excretion of other drugs. There was no apparent pharmacokinetic interaction between zaleplon and ibuprofen following single dose administration (10 mg and 600 mg, respectively) of each drug. This was expected because zaleplon is primarily metabolized and renal excretion of unchanged zaleplon accounts for less than 1% of the administered dose.

Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, and Impairment of Fertility

Carcinogenesis

Lifetime carcinogenicity studies of zaleplon were conducted in mice and rats. Mice received doses of 25 mg/kg/day, 50 mg/kg/day, 100 mg/kg/day, and 200 mg/kg/day in the diet for two years. These doses are equivalent to 6 to 49 times the maximum recommended human dose (MRHD) of 20 mg on a mg/m2 basis. There was a significant increase in the incidence of hepatocellular adenomas in female mice in the high dose group. Rats received doses of 1 mg/kg/day, 10 mg/kg/day, and 20 mg/kg/day in the diet for two years. These doses are equivalent to 0.5 to 10 times the maximum recommended human dose (MRHD) of 20 mg on a mg/m2 basis. Zaleplon was not carcinogenic in rats.

Mutagenesis

Zaleplon was clastogenic, both in the presence and absence of metabolic activation, causing structural and numerical aberrations (polyploidy and endoreduplication), when tested for chromosomal aberrations in the in vitro Chinese hamster ovary cell assay. In the in vitro human lymphocyte assay, zaleplon caused numerical, but not structural, aberrations only in the presence of metabolic activation at the highest concentrations tested. In other in vitro assays, zaleplon was not mutagenic in the Ames bacterial gene mutation assay or the Chinese hamster ovary HGPRT gene mutation assay. Zaleplon was not clastogenic in two in vivo assays, the mouse bone marrow micronucleus assay and the rat bone marrow chromosomal aberration assay, and did not cause DNA damage in the rat hepatocyte unscheduled DNA synthesis assay.

Impairment of Fertility

In a fertility and reproductive performance study in rats, mortality and decreased fertility were associated with administration of an oral dose of zaleplon of 100 mg/kg/day to males and females prior to and during mating. This dose is equivalent to 49 times the maximum recommended human dose (MRHD) of 20 mg on a mg/m2 basis. Follow-up studies indicated that impaired fertility was due to an effect on the female.

Pregnancy

In embryofetal development studies in rats and rabbits, oral administration of up to 100 mg/kg/day and 50 mg/kg/day, respectively, to pregnant animals throughout organogenesis produced no evidence of teratogenicity. These doses are equivalent to 49 (rat) and 48 (rabbit) times the maximum recommended human dose (MRHD) of 20 mg on a mg/m2 basis. In rats, pre- and postnatal growth was reduced in the offspring of dams receiving 100 mg/kg/day. This dose was also maternally toxic, as evidenced by clinical signs and decreased maternal body weight gain during gestation. The no-effect dose for rat offspring growth reduction was 10 mg/kg (a dose equivalent to 5 times the MRHD of 20 mg on a mg/m2 basis). No adverse effects on embryofetal development were observed in rabbits at the doses examined.

In a pre- and postnatal development study in rats, increased stillbirth and postnatal mortality, and decreased growth and physical development, were observed in the offspring of females treated with doses of 7 mg/kg/day or greater during the latter part of gestation and throughout lactation. There was no evidence of maternal toxicity at this dose. The no-effect dose for offspring development was 1 mg/kg/day (a dose equivalent to 0.5 times the MRHD of 20 mg on a mg/m2 basis). When the adverse effects on offspring viability and growth were examined in a cross-fostering study, they appeared to result from both in utero and lactational exposure to the drug.

There are no studies of zaleplon in pregnant women; therefore, Sonata® (zaleplon) is not recommended for use in women during pregnancy.

Labor and Delivery

Sonata has no established use in labor and delivery.

Nursing Mothers

A study in lactating mothers indicated that the clearance and half-life of zaleplon is similar to that in young normal subjects. A small amount of zaleplon is excreted in breast milk, with the highest excreted amount occurring during a feeding at approximately 1 hour after Sonata administration. Since the small amount of the drug from breast milk may result in potentially important concentrations in infants, and because the effects of zaleplon on a nursing infant are not known, it is recommended that nursing mothers not take Sonata.

Pediatric Use

The safety and effectiveness of Sonata in pediatric patients have not been established.

Geriatric Use

A total of 628 patients in double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group clinical trials who received Sonata were at least 65 years of age; of these, 311 received 5 mg and 317 received 10 mg. In both sleep laboratory and outpatient studies, elderly patients with insomnia responded to a 5 mg dose with a reduced sleep latency, and thus 5 mg is the recommended dose in this population. During short-term treatment (14 night studies) of elderly patients with Sonata, no adverse event with a frequency of at least 1% occurred at a significantly higher rate with either 5 mg or 10 mg Sonata than with placebo.

ADVERSE REACTIONS

The premarketing development program for Sonata included zaleplon exposures in patients and/or normal subjects from 2 different groups of studies: approximately 900 normal subjects in clinical pharmacology/pharmacokinetic studies; and approximately 2,900 exposures from patients in placebo-controlled clinical effectiveness studies, corresponding to approximately 450 patient exposure years. The conditions and duration of treatment with Sonata varied greatly and included (in overlapping categories) open-label and double-blind phases of studies, inpatients and outpatients, and short-term or longer-term exposure. Adverse reactions were assessed by collecting adverse events, results of physical examinations, vital signs, weights, laboratory analyses, and ECGs.

Adverse events during exposure were obtained primarily by general inquiry and recorded by clinical investigators using terminology of their own choosing. Consequently, it is not possible to provide a meaningful estimate of the proportion of individuals experiencing adverse events without first grouping similar types of events into a smaller number of standardized event categories. In the tables and tabulations that follow, COSTART terminology has been used to classify reported adverse events.

The stated frequencies of adverse events represent the proportion of individuals who experienced, at least once, a treatment-emergent adverse event of the type listed. An event was considered treatment-emergent if it occurred for the first time or worsened while receiving therapy following baseline evaluation.

Adverse Findings Observed in Short-Term, Placebo-Controlled Trials

Adverse Events Associated With Discontinuation of Treatment

In premarketing placebo-controlled, parallel-group phase 2 and phase 3 clinical trials, 3.1% of 744 patients who received placebo and 3.7% of 2,149 patients who received Sonata discontinued treatment because of an adverse clinical event. This difference was not statistically significant. No event that resulted in discontinuation occurred at a rate of ≥ 1%.

Adverse Events Occurring at an Incidence of 1% or More Among Sonata 20 mg-Treated Patients

Table 1 enumerates the incidence of treatment-emergent adverse events for a pool of three 28-night and one 35-night placebo-controlled studies of Sonata at doses of 5 mg or 10 mg and 20 mg. The table includes only those events that occurred in 1% or more of patients treated with Sonata 20 mg and that had a higher incidence in patients treated with Sonata 20 mg than in placebo-treated patients.

The prescriber should be aware that these figures cannot be used to predict the incidence of adverse events in the course of usual medical practice where patient characteristics and other factors differ from those which prevailed in the clinical trials. Similarly, the cited frequencies cannot be compared with figures obtained from other clinical investigations involving different treatments, uses, and investigators. The cited figures, however, do provide the prescribing physician with some basis for estimating the relative contribution of drug and non-drug factors to the adverse event incidence rate in the population studied.

Table 1 Incidence (%) of Treatment-Emergent Adverse Events in Long-Term (28 and 35 Nights) Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trials of Sonata*
*
Events for which the incidence for Sonata 20 mg-treated patients was at least 1% and greater than the incidence among placebo-treated patients. Incidence greater than 1% has been rounded to the nearest whole number.
Body System Placebo Sonata 5 mg or 10 mg Sonata 20 mg
   Preferred Term (n = 344) (n = 569) (n = 297)
Body as a whole
   Abdominal pain 3 6 6
   Asthenia 5 5 7
   Headache 35 30 42
   Malaise <1 <1 2
   Photosensitivity reaction <1 <1 1
Digestive system
   Anorexia <1 <1 2
   Colitis 0 0 1
   Nausea 7 6 8
Metabolic and nutritional
   Peripheral edema <1 <1 1
Nervous system
   Amnesia 1 2 4
   Confusion <1 <1 1
   Depersonalization <1 <1 2
   Dizziness 7 7 9
   Hallucinations <1 <1 1
   Hypertonia <1 1 1
   Hypesthesia <1 <1 2
   Paresthesia 1 3 3
   Somnolence 4 5 6
   Tremor 1 2 2
   Vertigo <1 <1 1
Respiratory system
   Epistaxis <1 <1 1
Special senses
   Abnormal vision <1 <1 2
   Ear pain 0 <1 1
   Eye pain 2 4 3
   Hyperacusis <1 1 2
   Parosmia <1 <1 2
Urogenital system
   Dysmenorrhea 2 3 4

Other Adverse Events Observed During the Premarketing Evaluation of Sonata

Listed below are COSTART terms that reflect treatment-emergent adverse events as defined in the introduction to the ADVERSE REACTIONS section. These events were reported by patients treated with Sonata (zaleplon) at doses in a range of 5 mg/day to 20 mg/day during premarketing phase 2 and phase 3 clinical trials throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe, including approximately 2,900 patients. All reported events are included except those already listed in Table 1 or elsewhere in labeling, those events for which a drug cause was remote, and those event terms that were so general as to be uninformative. It is important to emphasize that although the events reported occurred during treatment with Sonata, they were not necessarily caused by it.

Events are further categorized by body system and listed in order of decreasing frequency according to the following definitions: frequent adverse events are those occurring on one or more occasions in at least 1/100 patients; infrequent adverse events are those occurring in less than 1/100 patients but at least 1/1,000 patients; rare events are those occurring in fewer than 1/1,000 patients.

Body as a whole - Frequent: back pain, chest pain, fever; Infrequent: chest pain substernal, chills, face edema, generalized edema, hangover effect, neck rigidity.

Cardiovascular system - Frequent: migraine; Infrequent: angina pectoris, bundle branch block, hypertension, hypotension, palpitation, syncope, tachycardia, vasodilatation, ventricular extrasystoles; Rare: bigeminy, cerebral ischemia, cyanosis, pericardial effusion, postural hypotension, pulmonary embolus, sinus bradycardia, thrombophlebitis, ventricular tachycardia.

Digestive system - Frequent: constipation, dry mouth, dyspepsia; Infrequent: eructation, esophagitis, flatulence, gastritis, gastroenteritis, gingivitis, glossitis, increased appetite, melena, mouth ulceration, rectal hemorrhage, stomatitis; Rare: aphthous stomatitis, biliary pain, bruxism, cardiospasm, cheilitis, cholelithiasis, duodenal ulcer, dysphagia, enteritis, gum hemorrhage, increased salivation, intestinal obstruction, abnormal liver function tests, peptic ulcer, tongue discoloration, tongue edema, ulcerative stomatitis.

Endocrine system - Rare: diabetes mellitus, goiter, hypothyroidism.

Hemic and lymphatic system - Infrequent: anemia, ecchymosis, lymphadenopathy; Rare: eosinophilia, leukocytosis, lymphocytosis, purpura.

Metabolic and nutritional - Infrequent: edema, gout, hypercholesteremia, thirst, weight gain; Rare: bilirubinemia, hyperglycemia, hyperuricemia, hypoglycemia, hypoglycemic reaction, ketosis, lactose intolerance, AST (SGOT) increased, ALT (SGPT) increased, weight loss.

Musculoskeletal system - Frequent: arthralgia, arthritis, myalgia; Infrequent: arthrosis, bursitis, joint disorder (mainly swelling, stiffness, and pain), myasthenia, tenosynovitis; Rare: myositis, osteoporosis.

Nervous system - Frequent: anxiety, depression, nervousness, thinking abnormal (mainly difficulty concentrating); Infrequent: abnormal gait, agitation, apathy, ataxia, circumoral paresthesia, emotional lability, euphoria, hyperesthesia, hyperkinesia, hypotonia, incoordination, insomnia, libido decreased, neuralgia, nystagmus; Rare: CNS stimulation, delusions, dysarthria, dystonia, facial paralysis, hostility, hypokinesia, myoclonus, neuropathy, psychomotor retardation, ptosis, reflexes decreased, reflexes increased, sleep talking, sleep walking, slurred speech, stupor, trismus.

Respiratory system - Frequent: bronchitis; Infrequent: asthma, dyspnea, laryngitis, pneumonia, snoring, voice alteration; Rare: apnea, hiccup, hyperventilation, pleural effusion, sputum increased.

Skin and appendages - Frequent: pruritus, rash; Infrequent: acne, alopecia, contact dermatitis, dry skin, eczema, maculopapular rash, skin hypertrophy, sweating, urticaria, vesiculobullous rash; Rare: melanosis, psoriasis, pustular rash, skin discoloration.

Special senses - Frequent: conjunctivitis, taste perversion; Infrequent: diplopia, dry eyes, photophobia, tinnitus, watery eyes; Rare: abnormality of accommodation, blepharitis, cataract specified, corneal erosion, deafness, eye hemorrhage, glaucoma, labyrinthitis, retinal detachment, taste loss, visual field defect.

Urogenital system - Infrequent: bladder pain, breast pain, cystitis, decreased urine stream, dysuria, hematuria, impotence, kidney calculus, kidney pain, menorrhagia, metrorrhagia, urinary frequency, urinary incontinence, urinary urgency, vaginitis; Rare: albuminuria, delayed menstrual period, leukorrhea, menopause, urethritis, urinary retention, vaginal hemorrhage.

Postmarketing Reports

Anaphylactic/anaphylactoid reactions, including severe reactions and nightmares.

INDICATIONS AND USAGE

Sonata is indicated for the short-term treatment of insomnia. Sonata has been shown to decrease the time to sleep onset for up to 30 days in controlled clinical studies (see Clinical Trials under CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY). It has not been shown to increase total sleep time or decrease the number of awakenings.

The clinical trials performed in support of efficacy ranged from a single night to 5 weeks in duration. The final formal assessments of sleep latency were performed at the end of treatment.

VISTARIL® (hydroxyzine pamoate)

These highlights do not include all the information needed to use VISTARIL safety and effectively. See full prescribing information for VISTARIL.

CONTRAINDICATIONS

Hydroxyzine, when administered to the pregnant mouse, rat, and rabbit, induced fetal abnormalities in the rat and mouse at doses substantially above the human therapeutic range. Clinical data in human beings are inadequate to establish safety in early pregnancy. Until such data are available, hydroxyzine is contraindicated in early pregnancy.

Hydroxyzine is contraindicated in patients with a prolonged QT interval.

Hydroxyzine pamoate is contraindicated for patients who have shown a previous hypersensitivity to any component of this medication.

Hydroxyzine is contraindicated in patients with known hypersensitivity to hydroxyzine products, and in patients with known hypersensitivity to cetirizine hydrochloride or levocetirizine hydrochloride.

WARNINGS

Nursing Mothers

It is not known whether this drug is excreted in human milk. Since many drugs are so excreted, hydroxyzine should not be given to nursing mothers.


PRECAUTIONS

THE POTENTIATING ACTION OF HYDROXYZINE MUST BE CONSIDERED WHEN THE DRUG IS USED IN CONJUNCTION WITH CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM DEPRESSANTS SUCH AS NARCOTICS, NON-NARCOTIC ANALGESICS AND BARBITURATES. Therefore, when central nervous system depressants are administered concomitantly with hydroxyzine, their dosage should be reduced. Since drowsiness may occur with use of the drug, patients should be warned of this possibility and cautioned against driving a car or operating dangerous machinery while taking Vistaril (hydroxyzine pamoate). Patients should be advised against the simultaneous use of other CNS depressant drugs, and cautioned that the effect of alcohol may be increased.

QT Prolongation/Torsade de Pointes (TdP)

Cases of QT prolongation and Torsade de Pointes have been reported during post-marketing use of hydroxyzine. The majority of reports occurred in patients with other risk factors for QT prolongation/TdP (pre-existing heart disease, electrolyte imbalances or concomitant arrhythmogenic drug use). Therefore, hydroxyzine should be used with caution in patients with risk factors for QT prolongation, congenital long QT syndrome, a family history of long QT syndrome, other conditions that predispose to QT prolongation and ventricular arrhythmia, as well as recent myocardial infarction, uncompensated heart failure, and bradyarrhythmias.

Caution is recommended during the concomitant use of drugs known to prolong the QT interval. These include Class 1A (e.g., quinidine, procainamide) or Class III (e.g., amiodarone, sotalol) antiarrhythmics, certain antipsychotics (e.g., ziprasidone, iloperidone, clozapine, quetiapine, chlorpromazine), certain antidepressants (e.g., citalopram, fluoxetine), certain antibiotics (e.g., azithromycin, erythromycin, clarithromycin, gatifloxacin, moxifloxacin); and others (e.g., pentamidine, methadone, ondansetron, droperidol).

Acute Generalized Exanthematous Pustulosis (AGEP)

Hydroxyzine may rarely cause acute generalized exanthematous pustulosis (AGEP), a serious skin reaction characterized by fever and numerous small, superficial, non-follicular, sterile pustules, arising within large areas of edematous erythema. Inform patients about the signs of AGEP, and discontinue hydroxyzine at the first appearance of a skin rash, worsening of pre-existing skin reactions which hydroxyzine may be used to treat, or any other sign of hypersensitivity. If signs or symptoms suggest AGEP, use of hydroxyzine should not be resumed and alternative therapy should be considered. Avoid cetirizine or levocetirizine in patients who have experienced AGEP or other hypersensitivity reactions with hydroxyzine, due to the risk of cross-sensitivity.

Geriatric Use

A determination has not been made whether controlled clinical studies of VISTARIL included sufficient numbers of subjects aged 65 and over to define a difference in response from younger subjects. Other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger patients. In general, dose selection for an elderly patient should be cautious, usually starting at the low end of the dosing range, reflecting the greater frequency of decreased hepatic, renal or cardiac function and of concomitant disease or other drug therapy.

The extent of renal excretion of VISTARIL has not been determined. Because elderly patients are more likely to have decreased renal function, care should be taken in dose selections.

Sedating drugs may cause confusion and over sedation in the elderly; elderly patients generally should be started on low doses of VISTARIL and observed closely.

ADVERSE REACTIONS

Side effects reported with the administration of Vistaril are usually mild and transitory in nature.

Skin and Appendages: Oral hydroxyzine hydrochloride is associated with Acute Generalized Exanthematous Pustulosis (AGEP) and fixed drug eruptions in post-marketing reports.

Anticholinergic: Dry mouth.

Central Nervous System: Drowsiness is usually transitory and may disappear in a few days of continued therapy or upon reduction of the dose. Involuntary motor activity, including rare instances of tremor and convulsions, has been reported, usually with doses considerably higher than those recommended. Clinically significant respiratory depression has not been reported at recommended doses.

Cardiac System: QT prolongation, Torsade de Pointes.

In post-marketing experience, the following additional undesirable effects have been reported: Body as a Whole: allergic reaction, Nervous System: headache, Psychiatric: hallucination, Skin and Appendages: pruritus, rash, urticaria.

INDICATIONS

For symptomatic relief of anxiety and tension associated with psychoneurosis and as an adjunct in organic disease states in which anxiety is manifested.

Useful in the management of pruritus due to allergic conditions such as chronic urticaria and atopic and contact dermatoses, and in histamine-mediated pruritus.

As a sedative when used as premedication and following general anesthesia, Hydroxyzine may potentiate meperidine (Demerol®) and barbiturates, so their use in pre-anesthetic adjunctive therapy should be modified on an individual basis. Atropine and other belladonna alkaloids are not affected by the drug. Hydroxyzine is not known to interfere with the action of digitalis in any way and it may be used concurrently with this agent.

The effectiveness of hydroxyzine as an antianxiety agent for long-term use, that is, more than 4 months, has not been assessed by systematic clinical studies. The physician should reassess periodically the usefulness of the drug for the individual patient.

XANAX® (alprazolam)

These highlights do not include all the information needed to use XANAX safety and effectively. See full prescribing information for XANAX.

WARNING: RISKS FROM CONCOMITANT USE WITH OPIOIDS

Concomitant use of benzodiazepines and opioids may result in profound sedation, respiratory depression, coma, and death [see Warnings, Drug Interactions].

  • Reserve concomitant prescribing of these drugs for use in patients for whom alternative treatment options are inadequate.
  • Limit dosages and durations to the minimum required.
  • Follow patients for signs and symptoms of respiratory depression and sedation.

CONTRAINDICATIONS

XANAX Tablets are contraindicated in patients with known sensitivity to this drug or other benzodiazepines.

XANAX is contraindicated with ketoconazole and itraconazole, since these medications significantly impair the oxidative metabolism mediated by cytochrome P450 3A (CYP3A) (see WARNINGS and PRECAUTIONS–Drug Interactions).

WARNINGS

Risks from Concomitant Use with Opioids

Concomitant use of benzodiazepines, including XANAX, and opioids may result in profound sedation, respiratory depression, coma, and death. Because of these risks, reserve concomitant prescribing of these drugs for use in patients for whom alternative treatment options are inadequate.

Observational studies have demonstrated that concomitant use of opioid analgesics and benzodiazepines increases the risk of drug-related mortality compared to use of opioids alone. If a decision is made to prescribe XANAX concomitantly with opioids, prescribe the lowest effective dosages and minimum durations of concomitant use, and follow patients closely for signs and symptoms of respiratory depression and sedation. In patients already receiving an opioid analgesic, prescribe a lower initial dose of XANAX than indicated in the absence of an opioid and titrate based on clinical response. If an opioid is initiated in a patient already taking XANAX, prescribe a lower initial dose of the opioid and titrate based upon clinical response.

Advise both patients and caregivers about the risks of respiratory depression and sedation when XANAX is used with opioids. Advise patients not to drive or operate heavy machinery until the effects of concomitant use with the opioid have been determined [see Drug Interactions].

Dependence and Withdrawal Reactions, Including Seizures

Certain adverse clinical events, some life-threatening, are a direct consequence of physical dependence to XANAX. These include a spectrum of withdrawal symptoms; the most important is seizure (see DRUG ABUSE AND DEPENDENCE). Even after relatively short-term use at the doses recommended for the treatment of transient anxiety and anxiety disorder (ie, 0.75 to 4.0 mg per day), there is some risk of dependence. Spontaneous reporting system data suggest that the risk of dependence and its severity appear to be greater in patients treated with doses greater than 4 mg/day and for long periods (more than 12 weeks). However, in a controlled postmarketing discontinuation study of panic disorder patients, the duration of treatment (3 months compared to 6 months) had no effect on the ability of patients to taper to zero dose. In contrast, patients treated with doses of XANAX greater than 4 mg/day had more difficulty tapering to zero dose than those treated with less than 4 mg/day.

The importance of dose and the risks of XANAX as a treatment for panic disorder

Because the management of panic disorder often requires the use of average daily doses of XANAX above 4 mg, the risk of dependence among panic disorder patients may be higher than that among those treated for less severe anxiety. Experience in randomized placebo-controlled discontinuation studies of patients with panic disorder showed a high rate of rebound and withdrawal symptoms in patients treated with XANAX compared to placebo-treated patients.

Relapse or return of illness was defined as a return of symptoms characteristic of panic disorder (primarily panic attacks) to levels approximately equal to those seen at baseline before active treatment was initiated. Rebound refers to a return of symptoms of panic disorder to a level substantially greater in frequency, or more severe in intensity than seen at baseline. Withdrawal symptoms were identified as those which were generally not characteristic of panic disorder and which occurred for the first time more frequently during discontinuation than at baseline.

In a controlled clinical trial in which 63 patients were randomized to XANAX and where withdrawal symptoms were specifically sought, the following were identified as symptoms of withdrawal: heightened sensory perception, impaired concentration, dysosmia, clouded sensorium, paresthesias, muscle cramps, muscle twitch, diarrhea, blurred vision, appetite decrease, and weight loss. Other symptoms, such as anxiety and insomnia, were frequently seen during discontinuation, but it could not be determined if they were due to return of illness, rebound, or withdrawal.

In two controlled trials of 6 to 8 weeks duration where the ability of patients to discontinue medication was measured, 71%–93% of patients treated with XANAX tapered completely off therapy compared to 89%–96% of placebo-treated patients. In a controlled postmarketing discontinuation study of panic disorder patients, the duration of treatment (3 months compared to 6 months) had no effect on the ability of patients to taper to zero dose.

Seizures attributable to XANAX were seen after drug discontinuance or dose reduction in 8 of 1980 patients with panic disorder or in patients participating in clinical trials where doses of XANAX greater than 4 mg/day for over 3 months were permitted. Five of these cases clearly occurred during abrupt dose reduction, or discontinuation from daily doses of 2 to 10 mg. Three cases occurred in situations where there was not a clear relationship to abrupt dose reduction or discontinuation. In one instance, seizure occurred after discontinuation from a single dose of 1 mg after tapering at a rate of 1 mg every 3 days from 6 mg daily. In two other instances, the relationship to taper is indeterminate; in both of these cases the patients had been receiving doses of 3 mg daily prior to seizure. The duration of use in the above 8 cases ranged from 4 to 22 weeks. There have been occasional voluntary reports of patients developing seizures while apparently tapering gradually from XANAX. The risk of seizure seems to be greatest 24–72 hours after discontinuation (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION for recommended tapering and discontinuation schedule).

Status Epilepticus and its Treatment

The medical event voluntary reporting system shows that withdrawal seizures have been reported in association with the discontinuation of XANAX. In most cases, only a single seizure was reported; however, multiple seizures and status epilepticus were reported as well.

Interdose Symptoms

Early morning anxiety and emergence of anxiety symptoms between doses of XANAX have been reported in patients with panic disorder taking prescribed maintenance doses of XANAX. These symptoms may reflect the development of tolerance or a time interval between doses which is longer than the duration of clinical action of the administered dose. In either case, it is presumed that the prescribed dose is not sufficient to maintain plasma levels above those needed to prevent relapse, rebound or withdrawal symptoms over the entire course of the interdosing interval. In these situations, it is recommended that the same total daily dose be given divided as more frequent administrations (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION).

Risk of Dose Reduction

Withdrawal reactions may occur when dosage reduction occurs for any reason. This includes purposeful tapering, but also inadvertent reduction of dose (eg, the patient forgets, the patient is admitted to a hospital). Therefore, the dosage of XANAX should be reduced or discontinued gradually (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION).

CNS Depression and Impaired Performance

Because of its CNS depressant effects, patients receiving XANAX should be cautioned against engaging in hazardous occupations or activities requiring complete mental alertness such as operating machinery or driving a motor vehicle. For the same reason, patients should be cautioned about the simultaneous ingestion of alcohol and other CNS depressant drugs during treatment with XANAX.

Risk of Fetal Harm

Benzodiazepines can potentially cause fetal harm when administered to pregnant women. If XANAX is used during pregnancy, or if the patient becomes pregnant while taking this drug, the patient should be apprised of the potential hazard to the fetus. Because of experience with other members of the benzodiazepine class, XANAX is assumed to be capable of causing an increased risk of congenital abnormalities when administered to a pregnant woman during the first trimester. Because use of these drugs is rarely a matter of urgency, their use during the first trimester should almost always be avoided. The possibility that a woman of childbearing potential may be pregnant at the time of institution of therapy should be considered. Patients should be advised that if they become pregnant during therapy or intend to become pregnant they should communicate with their physicians about the desirability of discontinuing the drug.

Alprazolam Interaction with Drugs that Inhibit Metabolism via Cytochrome P4503A

The initial step in alprazolam metabolism is hydroxylation catalyzed by cytochrome P450 3A (CYP3A). Drugs that inhibit this metabolic pathway may have a profound effect on the clearance of alprazolam. Consequently, alprazolam should be avoided in patients receiving very potent inhibitors of CYP3A. With drugs inhibiting CYP3A to a lesser but still significant degree, alprazolam should be used only with caution and consideration of appropriate dosage reduction. For some drugs, an interaction with alprazolam has been quantified with clinical data; for other drugs, interactions are predicted from in vitro data and/or experience with similar drugs in the same pharmacologic class.

The following are examples of drugs known to inhibit the metabolism of alprazolam and/or related benzodiazepines, presumably through inhibition of CYP3A.

Potent CYP3A Inhibitors

Azole antifungal agents

Ketoconazole and itraconazole are potent CYP3A inhibitors and have been shown in vivo to increase plasma alprazolam concentrations 3.98 fold and 2.70 fold, respectively. The coadministration of alprazolam with these agents is not recommended. Other azole-type antifungal agents should also be considered potent CYP3A inhibitors and the coadministration of alprazolam with them is not recommended (see CONTRAINDICATIONS).

Drugs demonstrated to be CYP 3A inhibitors on the basis of clinical studies involving alprazolam (caution and consideration of appropriate alprazolam dose reduction are recommended during coadministration with the following drugs)

Nefazodone

Coadministration of nefazodone increased alprazolam concentration two-fold.

Fluvoxamine

Coadministration of fluvoxamine approximately doubled the maximum plasma concentration of alprazolam, decreased clearance by 49%, increased half-life by 71%, and decreased measured psychomotor performance.

Cimetidine

Coadministration of cimetidine increased the maximum plasma concentration of alprazolam by 86%, decreased clearance by 42%, and increased half-life by 16%.

HIV protease inhibitors

Interactions involving HIV protease inhibitors (eg, ritonavir) and alprazolam are complex and time dependent. Low doses of ritonavir resulted in a large impairment of alprazolam clearance, prolonged its elimination half-life and enhanced clinical effects. However, upon extended exposure to ritonavir, CYP3A induction offset this inhibition. This interaction will require a dose-adjustment or discontinuation of alprazolam.

Other drugs possibly affecting alprazolam metabolism

Other drugs possibly affecting alprazolam metabolism by inhibition of CYP3A are discussed in the PRECAUTIONS section (see PRECAUTIONS–Drug Interactions).


PRECAUTIONS

General

Suicide

As with other psychotropic medications, the usual precautions with respect to administration of the drug and size of the prescription are indicated for severely depressed patients or those in whom there is reason to expect concealed suicidal ideation or plans. Panic disorder has been associated with primary and secondary major depressive disorders and increased reports of suicide among untreated patients.

Mania

Episodes of hypomania and mania have been reported in association with the use of XANAX in patients with depression.

Uricosuric Effect

Alprazolam has a weak uricosuric effect. Although other medications with weak uricosuric effect have been reported to cause acute renal failure, there have been no reported instances of acute renal failure attributable to therapy with XANAX.

Use in Patients with Concomitant Illness

It is recommended that the dosage be limited to the smallest effective dose to preclude the development of ataxia or oversedation which may be a particular problem in elderly or debilitated patients. (See DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION.) The usual precautions in treating patients with impaired renal, hepatic or pulmonary function should be observed. There have been rare reports of death in patients with severe pulmonary disease shortly after the initiation of treatment with XANAX. A decreased systemic alprazolam elimination rate (eg, increased plasma half-life) has been observed in both alcoholic liver disease patients and obese patients receiving XANAX (see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY).

Information for Patients

For all users of XANAX

To assure safe and effective use of benzodiazepines, all patients prescribed XANAX should be provided with the following guidance.

  1. Advise both patients and caregivers about the risks of potentially fatal respiratory depression and sedation when XANAX is used with opioids and not to use such drugs concomitantly unless supervised by a health care provider.
  2. Advise patients not to drive or operate heavy machinery until the effects of concomitant use with the opioid have been determined [see Drug Interactions].
  3. Inform your physician about any alcohol consumption and medicine you are taking now, including medication you may buy without a prescription. Alcohol should generally not be used during treatment with benzodiazepines.
  4. Not recommended for use in pregnancy. Therefore, inform your physician if you are pregnant, if you are planning to have a child, or if you become pregnant while you are taking this medication.
  5. Inform your physician if you are nursing.
  6. Until you experience how this medication affects you, do not drive a car or operate potentially dangerous machinery, etc.
  7. Do not increase the dose even if you think the medication "does not work anymore" without consulting your physician. Benzodiazepines, even when used as recommended, may produce emotional and/or physical dependence.
  8. Do not stop taking this medication abruptly or decrease the dose without consulting your physician, since withdrawal symptoms can occur.

Additional advice for panic disorder patients

The use of XANAX at doses greater than 4 mg/day, often necessary to treat panic disorder, is accompanied by risks that you need to carefully consider. When used at doses greater than 4 mg/day, which may or may not be required for your treatment, XANAX has the potential to cause severe emotional and physical dependence in some patients and these patients may find it exceedingly difficult to terminate treatment. In two controlled trials of 6 to 8 weeks duration where the ability of patients to discontinue medication was measured, 7 to 29% of patients treated with XANAX did not completely taper off therapy. In a controlled postmarketing discontinuation study of panic disorder patients, the patients treated with doses of XANAX greater than 4 mg/day had more difficulty tapering to zero dose than patients treated with less than 4 mg/day. In all cases, it is important that your physician help you discontinue this medication in a careful and safe manner to avoid overly extended use of XANAX.

In addition, the extended use at doses greater than 4 mg/day appears to increase the incidence and severity of withdrawal reactions when XANAX is discontinued. These are generally minor but seizure can occur, especially if you reduce the dose too rapidly or discontinue the medication abruptly. Seizure can be life-threatening.

Laboratory Tests

Laboratory tests are not ordinarily required in otherwise healthy patients. However, when treatment is protracted, periodic blood counts, urinalysis, and blood chemistry analyses are advisable in keeping with good medical practice.

Drug Interactions

Use with Opioids

The concomitant use of benzodiazepines and opioids increases the risk of respiratory depression because of actions at different receptor sites in the CNS that control respiration. Benzodiazepines interact at GABAA sites and opioids interact primarily at mu receptors. When benzodiazepines and opioids are combined, the potential for benzodiazepines to significantly worsen opioid-related respiratory depression exists. Limit dosage and duration of concomitant use of benzodiazepines and opioids, and monitor patients closely for respiratory depression and sedation.

Use with Other CNS Depressants

If XANAX Tablets are to be combined with other psychotropic agents or anticonvulsant drugs, careful consideration should be given to the pharmacology of the agents to be employed, particularly with compounds which might potentiate the action of benzodiazepines. The benzodiazepines, including alprazolam, produce additive CNS depressant effects when co-administered with other psychotropic medications, anticonvulsants, antihistaminics, ethanol and other drugs which themselves produce CNS depression.

Use with Digoxin

Increased digoxin concentrations have been reported when alprazolam was given, especially in elderly (>65 years of age). Patients who receive alprazolam and digoxin should therefore be monitored for signs and symptoms related to digoxin toxicity.

Use with Imipramine and Desipramine

The steady state plasma concentrations of imipramine and desipramine have been reported to be increased an average of 31% and 20%, respectively, by the concomitant administration of XANAX Tablets in doses up to 4 mg/day. The clinical significance of these changes is unknown.

Drugs that inhibit alprazolam metabolism via cytochrome P450 3A

The initial step in alprazolam metabolism is hydroxylation catalyzed by cytochrome P450 3A (CYP3A). Drugs which inhibit this metabolic pathway may have a profound effect on the clearance of alprazolam (see CONTRAINDICATIONS and WARNINGS for additional drugs of this type).

Drugs demonstrated to be CYP3A inhibitors of possible clinical significance on the basis of clinical studies involving alprazolam (caution is recommended during coadministration with alprazolam)

Fluoxetine

Coadministration of fluoxetine with alprazolam increased the maximum plasma concentration of alprazolam by 46%, decreased clearance by 21%, increased half-life by 17%, and decreased measured psychomotor performance.

Propoxyphene

Coadministration of propoxyphene decreased the maximum plasma concentration of alprazolam by 6%, decreased clearance by 38%, and increased half-life by 58%.

Oral Contraceptives

Coadministration of oral contraceptives increased the maximum plasma concentration of alprazolam by 18%, decreased clearance by 22%, and increased half-life by 29%.

Drugs and other substances demonstrated to be CYP 3A inhibitors on the basis of clinical studies involving benzodiazepines metabolized similarly to alprazolam or on the basis of in vitro studies with alprazolam or other benzodiazepines (caution is recommended during coadministration with alprazolam)

Available data from clinical studies of benzodiazepines other than alprazolam suggest a possible drug interaction with alprazolam for the following: diltiazem, isoniazid, macrolide antibiotics such as erythromycin and clarithromycin, and grapefruit juice. Data from in vitro studies of alprazolam suggest a possible drug interaction with alprazolam for the following: sertraline and paroxetine. However, data from an in vivo drug interaction study involving a single dose of alprazolam 1 mg and steady state dose of sertraline (50 to 150 mg/day) did not reveal any clinically significant changes in the pharmacokinetics of alprazolam. Data from in vitro studies of benzodiazepines other than alprazolam suggest a possible drug interaction for the following: ergotamine, cyclosporine, amiodarone, nicardipine, and nifedipine. Caution is recommended during the coadministration of any of these with alprazolam (see WARNINGS).

Drugs demonstrated to be inducers of CYP3A

Carbamazepine can increase alprazolam metabolism and therefore can decrease plasma levels of alprazolam.

Drug/Laboratory Test Interactions

Although interactions between benzodiazepines and commonly employed clinical laboratory tests have occasionally been reported, there is no consistent pattern for a specific drug or specific test.

Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility

No evidence of carcinogenic potential was observed during 2-year bioassay studies of alprazolam in rats at doses up to 30 mg/kg/day (150 times the maximum recommended daily human dose of 10 mg/day) and in mice at doses up to 10 mg/kg/day (50 times the maximum recommended daily human dose).

Alprazolam was not mutagenic in the rat micronucleus test at doses up to 100 mg/kg, which is 500 times the maximum recommended daily human dose of 10 mg/day. Alprazolam also was not mutagenic in vitro in the DNA Damage/Alkaline Elution Assay or the Ames Assay.

Alprazolam produced no impairment of fertility in rats at doses up to 5 mg/kg/day, which is 25 times the maximum recommended daily human dose of 10 mg/day.

Pregnancy

Teratogenic Effects

See WARNINGS section.

Nonteratogenic Effects

It should be considered that the child born of a mother who is receiving benzodiazepines may be at some risk for withdrawal symptoms from the drug during the postnatal period. Also, neonatal flaccidity and respiratory problems have been reported in children born of mothers who have been receiving benzodiazepines.

Labor and Delivery

XANAX has no established use in labor or delivery.

Nursing Mothers

Benzodiazepines are known to be excreted in human milk. It should be assumed that alprazolam is as well. Chronic administration of diazepam to nursing mothers has been reported to cause their infants to become lethargic and to lose weight. As a general rule, nursing should not be undertaken by mothers who must use XANAX.

Pediatric Use

Safety and effectiveness of XANAX in individuals below 18 years of age have not been established.

Geriatric Use

The elderly may be more sensitive to the effects of benzodiazepines. They exhibit higher plasma alprazolam concentrations due to reduced clearance of the drug as compared with a younger population receiving the same doses. The smallest effective dose of XANAX should be used in the elderly to preclude the development of ataxia and oversedation (see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY and DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION).

ADVERSE REACTIONS

Side effects to XANAX Tablets, if they occur, are generally observed at the beginning of therapy and usually disappear upon continued medication. In the usual patient, the most frequent side effects are likely to be an extension of the pharmacological activity of alprazolam, eg, drowsiness or light-headedness.

The data cited in the two tables below are estimates of untoward clinical event incidence among patients who participated under the following clinical conditions: relatively short duration (ie, four weeks) placebo-controlled clinical studies with dosages up to 4 mg/day of XANAX (for the management of anxiety disorders or for the short-term relief of the symptoms of anxiety) and short-term (up to ten weeks) placebo-controlled clinical studies with dosages up to 10 mg/day of XANAX in patients with panic disorder, with or without agoraphobia.

These data cannot be used to predict precisely the incidence of untoward events in the course of usual medical practice where patient characteristics, and other factors often differ from those in clinical trials. These figures cannot be compared with those obtained from other clinical studies involving related drug products and placebo as each group of drug trials are conducted under a different set of conditions.

Comparison of the cited figures, however, can provide the prescriber with some basis for estimating the relative contributions of drug and non-drug factors to the untoward event incidence in the population studied. Even this use must be approached cautiously, as a drug may relieve a symptom in one patient but induce it in others. (For example, an anxiolytic drug may relieve dry mouth [a symptom of anxiety] in some subjects but induce it [an untoward event] in others.)

Additionally, for anxiety disorders the cited figures can provide the prescriber with an indication as to the frequency with which physician intervention (eg, increased surveillance, decreased dosage or discontinuation of drug therapy) may be necessary because of the untoward clinical event.

Treatment-Emergent Adverse Events Reported in Placebo-Controlled Trials of Anxiety Disorders

ANXIETY DISORDERS
Treatment-Emergent Symptom Incidence* Incidence of Intervention Because of Symptom
XANAX PLACEBO XANAX
*
Events reported by 1% or more of XANAX patients are included.
None reported
Number of Patients 565 505 565
% of Patients Reporting:
Central Nervous System
  Drowsiness 41.0 21.6 15.1
  Light-headedness 20.8 19.3 1.2
  Depression 13.9 18.1 2.4
  Headache 12.9 19.6 1.1
  Confusion 9.9 10.0 0.9
  Insomnia 8.9 18.4 1.3
  Nervousness 4.1 10.3 1.1
  Syncope 3.1 4.0
  Dizziness 1.8 0.8 2.5
  Akathisia 1.6 1.2
  Tiredness/Sleepiness 1.8
Gastrointestinal
  Dry Mouth 14.7 13.3 0.7
  Constipation 10.4 11.4 0.9
  Diarrhea 10.1 10.3 1.2
  Nausea/Vomiting 9.6 12.8 1.7
  Increased Salivation 4.2 2.4
Cardiovascular
  Tachycardia/Palpitations 7.7 15.6 0.4
  Hypotension 4.7 2.2
Sensory
  Blurred Vision 6.2 6.2 0.4
Musculoskeletal
  Rigidity 4.2 5.3
  Tremor 4.0 8.8 0.4
Cutaneous
  Dermatitis/Allergy 3.8 3.1 0.6
Other
  Nasal Congestion 7.3 9.3
  Weight Gain 2.7 2.7
  Weight Loss 2.3 3.0

In addition to the relatively common (ie, greater than 1%) untoward events enumerated in the table above, the following adverse events have been reported in association with the use of benzodiazepines: dystonia, irritability, concentration difficulties, anorexia, transient amnesia or memory impairment, loss of coordination, fatigue, seizures, sedation, slurred speech, jaundice, musculoskeletal weakness, pruritus, diplopia, dysarthria, changes in libido, menstrual irregularities, incontinence and urinary retention.

Treatment-Emergent Adverse Events Reported in Placebo-Controlled Trials of Panic Disorder

PANIC DISORDER
Treatment-Emergent Symptom Incidence*
XANAX PLACEBO
*
Events reported by 1% or more of XANAX patients are included.
Number of Patients 1388 1231
% of Patients Reporting:
Central Nervous System
  Drowsiness 76.8 42.7
  Fatigue and Tiredness 48.6 42.3
  Impaired Coordination 40.1 17.9
  Irritability 33.1 30.1
  Memory Impairment 33.1 22.1
  Light-headedness/Dizziness 29.8 36.9
  Insomnia 29.4 41.8
  Headache 29.2 35.6
  Cognitive Disorder 28.8 20.5
  Dysarthria 23.3 6.3
  Anxiety 16.6 24.9
  Abnormal Involuntary Movement 14.8 21.0
  Decreased Libido 14.4 8.0
  Depression 13.8 14.0
  Confusional State 10.4 8.2
  Muscular Twitching 7.9 11.8
  Increased Libido 7.7 4.1
  Change in Libido (Not Specified) 7.1 5.6
  Weakness 7.1 8.4
  Muscle Tone Disorders 6.3 7.5
  Syncope 3.8 4.8
  Akathisia 3.0 4.3
  Agitation 2.9 2.6
  Disinhibition 2.7 1.5
  Paresthesia 2.4 3.2
  Talkativeness 2.2 1.0
  Vasomotor Disturbances 2.0 2.6
  Derealization 1.9 1.2
  Dream Abnormalities 1.8 1.5
  Fear 1.4 1.0
  Feeling Warm 1.3 0.5
Gastrointestinal
  Decreased Salivation 32.8 34.2
  Constipation 26.2 15.4
  Nausea/Vomiting 22.0 31.8
  Diarrhea 20.6 22.8
  Abdominal Distress 18.3 21.5
  Increased Salivation 5.6 4.4
Cardio-Respiratory
  Nasal Congestion 17.4 16.5
  Tachycardia 15.4 26.8
  Chest Pain 10.6 18.1
  Hyperventilation 9.7 14.5
  Upper Respiratory Infection 4.3 3.7
Sensory
  Blurred Vision 21.0 21.4
  Tinnitus 6.6 10.4
Musculoskeletal
  Muscular Cramps 2.4 2.4
  Muscle Stiffness 2.2 3.3
Cutaneous
  Sweating 15.1 23.5
  Rash 10.8 8.1
Other
  Increased Appetite 32.7 22.8
  Decreased Appetite 27.8 24.1
  Weight Gain 27.2 17.9
  Weight Loss 22.6 16.5
  Micturition Difficulties 12.2 8.6
  Menstrual Disorders 10.4 8.7
  Sexual Dysfunction 7.4 3.7
  Edema 4.9 5.6
  Incontinence 1.5 0.6
  Infection 1.3 1.7

In addition to the relatively common (ie, greater than 1%) untoward events enumerated in the table above, the following adverse events have been reported in association with the use of XANAX: seizures, hallucinations, depersonalization, taste alterations, diplopia, elevated bilirubin, elevated hepatic enzymes, and jaundice.

Panic disorder has been associated with primary and secondary major depressive disorders and increased reports of suicide among untreated patients (see PRECAUTIONS, General).

Adverse Events Reported as Reasons for Discontinuation in Treatment of Panic Disorder in Placebo-Controlled Trials

In a larger database comprised of both controlled and uncontrolled studies in which 641 patients received XANAX, discontinuation-emergent symptoms which occurred at a rate of over 5% in patients treated with XANAX and at a greater rate than the placebo treated group were as follows:

DISCONTINUATION-EMERGENT SYMPTOM INCIDENCE
Percentage of 641 XANAX-Treated Panic Disorder Patients Reporting Events
Body System/Event
Neurologic   Gastrointestinal
Insomnia 29.5   Nausea/Vomiting 16.5
Light-headedness 19.3   Diarrhea 13.6
Abnormal involuntary movement 17.3   Decreased salivation 10.6
Headache 17.0   Metabolic-Nutritional
Muscular twitching 6.9   Weight loss 13.3
Impaired coordination 6.6   Decreased appetite 12.8
Muscle tone disorders 5.9
Weakness 5.8   Dermatological
Psychiatric   Sweating 14.4
Anxiety 19.2
Fatigue and Tiredness 18.4   Cardiovascular
Irritability 10.5   Tachycardia 12.2
Cognitive disorder 10.3
Memory impairment 5.5   Special Senses
Depression 5.1   Blurred vision 10.0
Confusional state 5.0

From the studies cited, it has not been determined whether these symptoms are clearly related to the dose and duration of therapy with XANAX in patients with panic disorder. There have also been reports of withdrawal seizures upon rapid decrease or abrupt discontinuation of XANAX Tablets (see WARNINGS).

To discontinue treatment in patients taking XANAX, the dosage should be reduced slowly in keeping with good medical practice. It is suggested that the daily dosage of XANAX be decreased by no more than 0.5 mg every three days (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION). Some patients may benefit from an even slower dosage reduction. In a controlled postmarketing discontinuation study of panic disorder patients which compared this recommended taper schedule with a slower taper schedule, no difference was observed between the groups in the proportion of patients who tapered to zero dose; however, the slower schedule was associated with a reduction in symptoms associated with a withdrawal syndrome.

As with all benzodiazepines, paradoxical reactions such as stimulation, increased muscle spasticity, sleep disturbances, hallucinations and other adverse behavioral effects such as agitation, rage, irritability, and aggressive or hostile behavior have been reported rarely. In many of the spontaneous case reports of adverse behavioral effects, patients were receiving other CNS drugs concomitantly and/or were described as having underlying psychiatric conditions. Should any of the above events occur, alprazolam should be discontinued. Isolated published reports involving small numbers of patients have suggested that patients who have borderline personality disorder, a prior history of violent or aggressive behavior, or alcohol or substance abuse may be at risk for such events. Instances of irritability, hostility, and intrusive thoughts have been reported during discontinuation of alprazolam in patients with posttraumatic stress disorder.

Post Introduction Reports

Various adverse drug reactions have been reported in association with the use of XANAX since market introduction. The majority of these reactions were reported through the medical event voluntary reporting system. Because of the spontaneous nature of the reporting of medical events and the lack of controls, a causal relationship to the use of XANAX cannot be readily determined. Reported events include: gastrointestinal disorder, hypomania, mania, liver enzyme elevations, hepatitis, hepatic failure, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, photosensitivity reaction, angioedema, peripheral edema, hyperprolactinemia, gynecomastia, and galactorrhea (see PRECAUTIONS).

INDICATIONS AND USAGE

Anxiety Disorders

XANAX Tablets (alprazolam) are indicated for the management of anxiety disorder (a condition corresponding most closely to the APA Diagnostic and Statistical Manual [DSM-III-R] diagnosis of generalized anxiety disorder) or the short-term relief of symptoms of anxiety. Anxiety or tension associated with the stress of everyday life usually does not require treatment with an anxiolytic.

Generalized anxiety disorder is characterized by unrealistic or excessive anxiety and worry (apprehensive expectation) about two or more life circumstances, for a period of 6 months or longer, during which the person has been bothered more days than not by these concerns. At least 6 of the following 18 symptoms are often present in these patients: Motor Tension (trembling, twitching, or feeling shaky; muscle tension, aches, or soreness; restlessness; easy fatigability); Autonomic Hyperactivity (shortness of breath or smothering sensations; palpitations or accelerated heart rate; sweating, or cold clammy hands; dry mouth; dizziness or light-headedness; nausea, diarrhea, or other abdominal distress; flushes or chills; frequent urination; trouble swallowing or 'lump in throat'); Vigilance and Scanning (feeling keyed up or on edge; exaggerated startle response; difficulty concentrating or 'mind going blank' because of anxiety; trouble falling or staying asleep; irritability). These symptoms must not be secondary to another psychiatric disorder or caused by some organic factor.

Anxiety associated with depression is responsive to XANAX.

Panic Disorder

XANAX is also indicated for the treatment of panic disorder, with or without agoraphobia.

Studies supporting this claim were conducted in patients whose diagnoses corresponded closely to the DSM-III-R/IV criteria for panic disorder (see CLINICAL STUDIES).

Panic disorder (DSM-IV) is characterized by recurrent unexpected panic attacks, ie, a discrete period of intense fear or discomfort in which four (or more) of the following symptoms develop abruptly and reach a peak within 10 minutes: (1) palpitations, pounding heart, or accelerated heart rate; (2) sweating; (3) trembling or shaking; (4) sensations of shortness of breath or smothering; (5) feeling of choking; (6) chest pain or discomfort; (7) nausea or abdominal distress; (8) feeling dizzy, unsteady, lightheaded, or faint; (9) derealization (feelings of unreality) or depersonalization (being detached from oneself); (10) fear of losing control; (11) fear of dying; (12) paresthesias (numbness or tingling sensations); (13) chills or hot flushes.

Demonstrations of the effectiveness of XANAX by systematic clinical study are limited to 4 months duration for anxiety disorder and 4 to 10 weeks duration for panic disorder; however, patients with panic disorder have been treated on an open basis for up to 8 months without apparent loss of benefit. The physician should periodically reassess the usefulness of the drug for the individual patient.

XANAX® XR (alprazolam)

These highlights do not include all the information needed to use XANAX XR safety and effectively. See full prescribing information for XANAX XR.

WARNING: RISKS FROM CONCOMITANT USE WITH OPIOIDS

Concomitant use of benzodiazepines and opioids may result in profound sedation, respiratory depression, coma, and death [see Warnings, Drug Interactions].

  • Reserve concomitant prescribing of these drugs for use in patients for whom alternative treatment options are inadequate.
  • Limit dosages and durations to the minimum required.
  • Follow patients for signs and symptoms of respiratory depression and sedation.

CONTRAINDICATIONS

XANAX XR Tablets are contraindicated in patients with known sensitivity to this drug or other benzodiazepines.

XANAX XR is contraindicated with ketoconazole and itraconazole, since these medications significantly impair the oxidative metabolism mediated by cytochrome P450 3A (CYP3A) (see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY, WARNINGS and PRECAUTIONS–Drug Interactions).

WARNINGS

Risks from Concomitant Use with Opioids

Concomitant use of benzodiazepines, including XANAX XR, and opioids may result in profound sedation, respiratory depression, coma, and death. Because of these risks, reserve concomitant prescribing of these drugs for use in patients for whom alternative treatment options are inadequate.

Observational studies have demonstrated that concomitant use of opioid analgesics and benzodiazepines increases the risk of drug-related mortality compared to use of opioids alone. If a decision is made to prescribe XANAX XR concomitantly with opioids, prescribe the lowest effective dosages and minimum durations of concomitant use, and follow patients closely for signs and symptoms of respiratory depression and sedation. In patients already receiving an opioid analgesic, prescribe a lower initial dose of XANAX XR than indicated in the absence of an opioid and titrate based on clinical response. If an opioid is initiated in a patient already taking XANAX XR, prescribe a lower initial dose of the opioid and titrate based upon clinical response.

Advise both patients and caregivers about the risks of respiratory depression and sedation when XANAX XR is used with opioids. Advise patients not to drive or operate heavy machinery until the effects of concomitant use with the opioid have been determined (see Drug Interactions).

Dependence and Withdrawal Reactions, Including Seizures

Certain adverse clinical events, some life-threatening, are a direct consequence of physical dependence to alprazolam. These include a spectrum of withdrawal symptoms; the most important is seizure (see DRUG ABUSE AND DEPENDENCE). Even after relatively short-term use at doses of ≤ 4 mg/day, there is some risk of dependence. Spontaneous reporting system data suggest that the risk of dependence and its severity appear to be greater in patients treated with doses greater than 4 mg/day and for long periods (more than 12 weeks). However, in a controlled postmarketing discontinuation study of panic disorder patients who received XANAX Tablets, the duration of treatment (3 months compared to 6 months) had no effect on the ability of patients to taper to zero dose. In contrast, patients treated with doses of XANAX Tablets greater than 4 mg/day had more difficulty tapering to zero dose than those treated with less than 4 mg/day.

Relapse or return of illness was defined as a return of symptoms characteristic of panic disorder (primarily panic attacks) to levels approximately equal to those seen at baseline before active treatment was initiated. Rebound refers to a return of symptoms of panic disorder to a level substantially greater in frequency, or more severe in intensity than seen at baseline. Withdrawal symptoms were identified as those which were generally not characteristic of panic disorder and which occurred for the first time more frequently during discontinuation than at baseline.

The rate of relapse, rebound, and withdrawal in patients with panic disorder who received XANAX XR Tablets has not been systematically studied. Experience in randomized placebo-controlled discontinuation studies of patients with panic disorder who received XANAX Tablets showed a high rate of rebound and withdrawal symptoms compared to placebo treated patients.

In a controlled clinical trial in which 63 patients were randomized to XANAX Tablets and where withdrawal symptoms were specifically sought, the following were identified as symptoms of withdrawal: heightened sensory perception, impaired concentration, dysosmia, clouded sensorium, paresthesias, muscle cramps, muscle twitch, diarrhea, blurred vision, appetite decrease, and weight loss. Other symptoms, such as anxiety and insomnia, were frequently seen during discontinuation, but it could not be determined if they were due to return of illness, rebound, or withdrawal.

In two controlled trials of 6 to 8 weeks duration where the ability of patients to discontinue medication was measured, 71%–93% of patients treated with XANAX Tablets tapered completely off therapy compared to 89%–96% of placebo treated patients. In a controlled postmarketing discontinuation study of panic disorder patients treated with XANAX Tablets, the duration of treatment (3 months compared to 6 months) had no effect on the ability of patients to taper to zero dose.

Seizures were reported for three patients in panic disorder clinical trials with XANAX XR. In two cases, the patients had completed 6 weeks of treatment with XANAX XR 6 mg/day before experiencing a single seizure. In one case, the patient abruptly discontinued XANAX XR, and in both cases, alcohol intake was implicated.The third case involved multiple seizures after the patient completed treatment with XANAX XR 4 mg/day and missed taking the medication on the first day of taper. All three patients recovered without sequelae.

Seizures have also been observed in association with dose reduction or discontinuation of XANAX Tablets, the immediate release form of alprazolam. Seizures attributable to XANAX were seen after drug discontinuance or dose reduction in 8 of 1980 patients with panic disorder or in patients participating in clinical trials where doses of XANAX greater than 4 mg/day for over 3 months were permitted. Five of these cases clearly occurred during abrupt dose reduction, or discontinuation from daily doses of 2 to 10 mg. Three cases occurred in situations where there was not a clear relationship to abrupt dose reduction or discontinuation. In one instance, seizure occurred after discontinuation from a single dose of 1 mg after tapering at a rate of 1 mg every three days from 6 mg daily. In two other instances, the relationship to taper is indeterminate; in both of these cases the patients had been receiving doses of 3 mg daily prior to seizure. The duration of use in the above 8 cases ranged from 4 to 22 weeks. There have been occasional voluntary reports of patients developing seizures while apparently tapering gradually from XANAX. The risk of seizure seems to be greatest 24–72 hours after discontinuation (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION for recommended tapering and discontinuation schedule).

Status Epilepticus

The medical event voluntary reporting system shows that withdrawal seizures have been reported in association with the discontinuation of XANAX Tablets. In most cases, only a single seizure was reported; however, multiple seizures and status epilepticus were reported as well.

Interdose Symptoms

Early morning anxiety and emergence of anxiety symptoms between doses of XANAX Tablets have been reported in patients with panic disorder taking prescribed maintenance doses. These symptoms may reflect the development of tolerance or a time interval between doses which is longer than the duration of clinical action of the administered dose. In either case, it is presumed that the prescribed dose is not sufficient to maintain plasma levels above those needed to prevent relapse, rebound, or withdrawal symptoms over the entire course of the interdosing interval.

Risk of Dose Reduction

Withdrawal reactions may occur when dosage reduction occurs for any reason. This includes purposeful tapering, but also inadvertent reduction of dose (eg, the patient forgets, the patient is admitted to a hospital). Therefore, the dosage of XANAX XR should be reduced or discontinued gradually (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION).

CNS Depression and Impaired Performance

Because of its CNS depressant effects, patients receiving XANAX XR should be cautioned against engaging in hazardous occupations or activities requiring complete mental alertness such as operating machinery or driving a motor vehicle. For the same reason, patients should be cautioned about the simultaneous ingestion of alcohol and other CNS depressant drugs during treatment with XANAX XR.

Risk of Fetal Harm

Benzodiazepines can potentially cause fetal harm when administered to pregnant women. If alprazolam is used during pregnancy, or if the patient becomes pregnant while taking this drug, the patient should be apprised of the potential hazard to the fetus. Because of experience with other members of the benzodiazepine class, alprazolam is assumed to be capable of causing an increased risk of congenital abnormalities when administered to a pregnant woman during the first trimester. Because use of these drugs is rarely a matter of urgency, their use during the first trimester should almost always be avoided. The possibility that a woman of childbearing potential may be pregnant at the time of institution of therapy should be considered. Patients should be advised that if they become pregnant during therapy or intend to become pregnant they should communicate with their physicians about the desirability of discontinuing the drug.

Alprazolam Interaction With Drugs That Inhibit Metabolism Via Cytochrome P450 3A

The initial step in alprazolam metabolism is hydroxylation catalyzed by cytochrome P450 3A (CYP3A). Drugs that inhibit this metabolic pathway may have a profound effect on the clearance of alprazolam. Consequently, alprazolam should be avoided in patients receiving very potent inhibitors of CYP3A. With drugs inhibiting CYP3A to a lesser but still significant degree, alprazolam should be used only with caution and consideration of appropriate dosage reduction. For some drugs, an interaction with alprazolam has been quantified with clinical data; for other drugs, interactions are predicted from in vitro data and/or experience with similar drugs in the same pharmacologic class.

The following are examples of drugs known to inhibit the metabolism of alprazolam and/or related benzodiazepines, presumably through inhibition of CYP3A.

Potent CYP3A Inhibitors

Azole antifungal agents

Ketoconazole and itraconazole are potent CYP3A inhibitors and have been shown in vivo to increase plasma alprazolam concentrations 3.98 fold and 2.70 fold, respectively. The coadministration of alprazolam with these agents is not recommended. Other azole-type antifungal agents should also be considered potent CYP3A inhibitors and the coadministration of alprazolam with them is not recommended (see CONTRAINDICATIONS).

Drugs demonstrated to be CYP3A inhibitors on the basis of clinical studies involving alprazolam (caution and consideration of appropriate alprazolam dose reduction are recommended during coadministration with the following drugs)

Nefazodone

Coadministration of nefazodone increased alprazolam concentration two-fold.

Fluvoxamine

Coadministration of fluvoxamine approximately doubled the maximum plasma concentration of alprazolam, decreased clearance by 49%, increased half-life by 71%, and decreased measured psychomotor performance.

Cimetidine

Coadministration of cimetidine increased the maximum plasma concentration of alprazolam by 86%, decreased clearance by 42%, and increased half-life by 16%.

HIV protease inhibitors

Interactions involving HIV protease inhibitors (eg, ritonavir) and alprazolam are complex and time dependent. Low doses of ritonavir resulted in a large impairment of alprazolam clearance, prolonged its elimination half-life and enhanced clinical effects. However, upon extended exposure to ritonavir, CYP3A induction offset this inhibition. This interaction will require a dose-adjustment or discontinuation of alprazolam.

Other Drugs Possibly Affecting Alprazolam Metabolism

Other drugs possibly affecting alprazolam metabolism by inhibition of CYP3A are discussed in the PRECAUTIONS section (see PRECAUTIONS–Drug Interactions).


PRECAUTIONS

General

Suicide

As with other psychotropic medications, the usual precautions with respect to administration of the drug and size of the prescription are indicated for severely depressed patients or those in whom there is reason to expect concealed suicidal ideation or plans. Panic disorder has been associated with primary and secondary major depressive disorders and increased reports of suicide among untreated patients.

Mania

Episodes of hypomania and mania have been reported in association with the use of XANAX Tablets in patients with depression.

Uricosuric Effect

Alprazolam has a weak uricosuric effect. Although other medications with weak uricosuric effect have been reported to cause acute renal failure, there have been no reported instances of acute renal failure attributable to therapy with alprazolam.

Use in Patients with Concomitant Illness

It is recommended that the dosage be limited to the smallest effective dose to preclude the development of ataxia or oversedation which may be a particular problem in elderly or debilitated patients (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION). The usual precautions in treating patients with impaired renal, hepatic, or pulmonary function should be observed. There have been rare reports of death in patients with severe pulmonary disease shortly after the initiation of treatment with XANAX Tablets. A decreased systemic alprazolam elimination rate (eg, increased plasma half-life) has been observed in both alcoholic liver disease patients and obese patients receiving XANAX Tablets (see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY).

Information for Patients

To assure safe and effective use of XANAX XR, the physician should provide the patient with the following guidance.

  1. Advise both patients and caregivers about the risks of potentially fatal respiratory depression and sedation when XANAX XR is used with opioids and not to use such drugs concomitantly unless supervised by a health care provider.
  2. Advise patients not to drive or operate heavy machinery until the effects of concomitant use with the opioid have been determined (see Drug Interactions).
  3. Inform your physician about any alcohol consumption and medicine you are taking now, including medication you may buy without a prescription. Alcohol should generally not be used during treatment with benzodiazepines.
  4. Not recommended for use in pregnancy. Therefore, inform your physician if you are pregnant, if you are planning to have a child, or if you become pregnant while you are taking this medication.
  5. Inform your physician if you are nursing.
  6. Until you experience how this medication affects you, do not drive a car or operate potentially dangerous machinery, etc.
  7. Do not increase the dose even if you think the medication "does not work anymore" without consulting your physician. Benzodiazepines, even when used as recommended, may produce emotional and/or physical dependence.
  8. Do not stop taking this medication abruptly or decrease the dose without consulting your physician, since withdrawal symptoms can occur.
  9. Some patients may find it very difficult to discontinue treatment with XANAX XR due to severe emotional and physical dependence. Discontinuation symptoms, including possible seizures, may occur following discontinuation from any dose, but the risk may be increased with extended use at doses greater than 4 mg/day, especially if discontinuation is too abrupt. It is important that you seek advice from your physician to discontinue treatment in a careful and safe manner. Proper discontinuation will help to decrease the possibility of withdrawal reactions that can range from mild reactions to severe reactions such as seizure.

Laboratory Tests

Laboratory tests are not ordinarily required in otherwise healthy patients. However, when treatment is protracted, periodic blood counts, urinalysis, and blood chemistry analyses are advisable in keeping with good medical practice.

Drug Interactions

Use with Opioids

The concomitant use of benzodiazepines and opioids increases the risk of respiratory depression because of actions at different receptor sites in the CNS that control respiration. Benzodiazepines interact at GABAA sites and opioids interact primarily at mu receptors. When benzodiazepines and opioids are combined, the potential for benzodiazepines to significantly worsen opioid-related respiratory depression exists. Limit dosage and duration of concomitant use of benzodiazepines and opioids, and monitor patients closely for respiratory depression and sedation.

Use with Other CNS Depressants

If XANAX XR Tablets are to be combined with other psychotropic agents or anticonvulsant drugs, careful consideration should be given to the pharmacology of the agents to be employed, particularly with compounds which might potentiate the action of benzodiazepines. The benzodiazepines, including alprazolam, produce additive CNS depressant effects when coadministered with other psychotropic medications, anticonvulsants, antihistaminics, ethanol and other drugs which themselves produce CNS depression.

Use with Digoxin

Increased digoxin concentrations have been reported when alprazolam was given, especially in elderly (>65 years of age). Patients who receive alprazolam and digoxin should therefore be monitored for signs and symptoms related to digoxin toxicity.

Use with Imipramine and Desipramine

The steady state plasma concentrations of imipramine and desipramine have been reported to be increased an average of 31% and 20%, respectively, by the concomitant administration of XANAX Tablets in doses up to 4 mg/day. The clinical significance of these changes is unknown.

Drugs that inhibit alprazolam metabolism via cytochrome P450 3A

The initial step in alprazolam metabolism is hydroxylation catalyzed by cytochrome P450 3A (CYP3A). Drugs which inhibit this metabolic pathway may have a profound effect on the clearance of alprazolam (see CONTRAINDICATIONS and WARNINGS for additional drugs of this type).

Drugs demonstrated to be CYP3A inhibitors of possible clinical significance on the basis of clinical studies involving alprazolam (caution is recommended during coadministration with alprazolam)

Fluoxetine

Coadministration of fluoxetine with alprazolam increased the maximum plasma concentration of alprazolam by 46%, decreased clearance by 21%, increased half-life by 17%, and decreased measured psychomotor performance.

Propoxyphene

Coadministration of propoxyphene decreased the maximum plasma concentration of alprazolam by 6%, decreased clearance by 38%, and increased half-life by 58%.

Oral Contraceptives

Coadministration of oral contraceptives increased the maximum plasma concentration of alprazolam by 18%, decreased clearance by 22%, and increased half-life by 29%.

Drugs and other substances demonstrated to be CYP3A inhibitors on the basis of clinical studies involving benzodiazepines metabolized similarly to alprazolam or on the basis of in vitro studies with alprazolam or other benzodiazepines (caution is recommended during coadministration with alprazolam)

Available data from clinical studies of benzodiazepines other than alprazolam suggest a possible drug interaction with alprazolam for the following: diltiazem, isoniazid, macrolide antibiotics such as erythromycin and clarithromycin, and grapefruit juice. Data from in vitro studies of alprazolam suggest a possible drug interaction with alprazolam for the following: sertraline and paroxetine. However, data from an in vivo drug interaction study involving a single dose of alprazolam 1 mg and steady state doses of sertraline (50 to 150 mg/day) did not reveal any clinically significant changes in the pharmacokinetics of alprazolam. Data from in vitro studies of benzodiazepines other than alprazolam suggest a possible drug interaction for the following: ergotamine, cyclosporine, amiodarone, nicardipine, and nifedipine. Caution is recommended during the coadministration of any of these with alprazolam (see WARNINGS).

Drugs demonstrated to be inducers of CYP3A

Carbamazepine can increase alprazolam metabolism and therefore can decrease plasma levels of alprazolam.

Drug/Laboratory Test Interactions

Although interactions between benzodiazepines and commonly employed clinical laboratory tests have occasionally been reported, there is no consistent pattern for a specific drug or specific test.

Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility

No evidence of carcinogenic potential was observed during 2-year bioassay studies of alprazolam in rats at doses up to 30 mg/kg/day (150 times the maximum recommended daily human dose of 10 mg/day) and in mice at doses up to 10 mg/kg/day (50 times the maximum recommended daily human dose).

Alprazolam was not mutagenic in the rat micronucleus test at doses up to 100 mg/kg, which is 500 times the maximum recommended daily human dose of 10 mg/day. Alprazolam also was not mutagenic in vitro in the DNA Damage/Alkaline Elution Assay or the Ames Assay.

Alprazolam produced no impairment of fertility in rats at doses up to 5 mg/kg/day, which is 25 times the maximum recommended daily human dose of 10 mg/day.

Pregnancy

Teratogenic Effects

Pregnancy Category D

(see WARNINGS section).

Nonteratogenic Effects

It should be considered that the child born of a mother who is receiving benzodiazepines may be at some risk for withdrawal symptoms from the drug during the postnatal period. Also, neonatal flaccidity and respiratory problems have been reported in children born of mothers who have been receiving benzodiazepines.

Labor and Delivery

Alprazolam has no established use in labor or delivery.

Nursing Mothers

Benzodiazepines are known to be excreted in human milk. It should be assumed that alprazolam is as well. Chronic administration of diazepam to nursing mothers has been reported to cause their infants to become lethargic and to lose weight. As a general rule, nursing should not be undertaken by mothers who must use alprazolam.

Pediatric Use

Safety and effectiveness of alprazolam in individuals below 18 years of age have not been established.

Geriatric Use

The elderly may be more sensitive to the effects of benzodiazepines. They exhibit higher plasma alprazolam concentrations due to reduced clearance of the drug as compared with a younger population receiving the same doses. The smallest effective dose of alprazolam should be used in the elderly to preclude the development of ataxia and oversedation (see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY and DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION).

ADVERSE REACTIONS

The information included in the subsection on Adverse Events Observed in Short-Term, Placebo-Controlled Trials with XANAX XR Tablets is based on pooled data of five 6- and 8-week placebo-controlled clinical studies in panic disorder.

Adverse event reports were elicited either by general inquiry or by checklist, and were recorded by clinical investigators using terminology of their own choosing. The stated frequencies of adverse events represent the proportion of individuals who experienced, at least once, a treatment-emergent adverse event of the type listed. An event was considered treatment emergent if it occurred for the first time or worsened during therapy following baseline evaluation. In the tables and tabulations that follow, standard MedDRA terminology (version 4.0) was used to classify reported adverse events.

Adverse Events Observed in Short-Term, Placebo-Controlled Trials of XANAX XR

Adverse Events Reported as Reasons for Discontinuation of Treatment in Placebo-Controlled Trials

Approximately 17% of the 531 patients who received XANAX XR in placebo-controlled clinical trials for panic disorder had at least one adverse event that led to discontinuation compared to 8% of 349 placebo-treated patients. The most common events leading to discontinuation and considered to be drug-related (ie, leading to discontinuation in at least 1% of the patients treated with XANAX XR at a rate at least twice that of placebo) are shown in the following table.

Common Adverse Events Leading to Discontinuation of Treatment in Placebo-Controlled Trials
System Organ Class/Adverse Event Percentage of Patients Discontinuing Due to Adverse Events
XANAX XR
(n=531)
Placebo
(n=349)
Nervous system disorders
  Sedation 7.5 0.6
  Somnolence 3.2 0.3
  Dysarthria 2.1 0
  Coordination abnormal 1.9 0.3
  Memory impairment 1.5 0.3
General disorders/administration site conditions
  Fatigue 1.7 0.6
Psychiatric disorders
  Depression 2.5 1.2

Adverse Events Occurring at an Incidence of 1% or More Among Patients Treated with XANAX XR

The prescriber should be aware that adverse event incidence cannot be used to predict the incidence of adverse events in the course of usual medical practice where patient characteristics and other factors differ from those which prevailed in the clinical trials. Similarly, the cited frequencies cannot be compared with event incidence obtained from other clinical investigations involving different treatments, uses, and investigators. The cited values, however, do provide the prescribing physician with some basis for estimating the relative contribution of drug and non-drug factors to the adverse event incidence rate in the population studied.

The following table shows the incidence of treatment-emergent adverse events that occurred during 6- to 8-week placebo-controlled trials in 1% or more of patients treated with XANAX XR where the incidence in patients treated with XANAX XR was greater than the incidence in placebo-treated patients. The most commonly observed adverse events in panic disorder patients treated with XANAX XR (incidence of 5% or greater and at least twice the incidence in placebo patients) were: sedation, somnolence, memory impairment, dysarthria, coordination abnormal, ataxia, libido decreased (see table).

Treatment-Emergent Adverse Events: Incidence in Short-Term, Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trials with XANAX XR
System Organ Class/Adverse Event Percentage of Patients Reporting Adverse Event
XANAX XR
(n=531)
Placebo
(n=349)
Nervous system disorders
  Sedation 45.2 22.6
  Somnolence 23.0 6.0
  Memory impairment 15.4 6.9
  Dysarthria 10.9 2.6
  Coordination abnormal 9.4 0.9
  Mental impairment 7.2 5.7
  Ataxia 7.2 3.2
  Disturbance in attention 3.2 0.6
  Balance impaired 3.2 0.6
  Paresthesia 2.4 1.7
  Dyskinesia 1.7 1.4
  Hypoesthesia 1.3 0.3
  Hypersomnia 1.3 0
General disorders/administration site conditions
  Fatigue 13.9 9.2
  Lethargy 1.7 0.6
Infections and infestations
  Influenza 2.4 2.3
  Upper respiratory tract infections 1.9 1.7
Psychiatric disorders
  Depression 12.1 9.2
  Libido decreased 6.0 2.3
  Disorientation 1.5 0
  Confusion 1.5 0.9
  Depressed mood 1.3 0.3
  Anxiety 1.1 0.6
Metabolism and nutrition disorders
  Appetite decreased 7.3 7.2
  Appetite increased 7.0 6.0
  Anorexia 1.5 0
Gastrointestinal disorders
  Dry mouth 10.2 9.7
  Constipation 8.1 4.3
  Nausea 6.0 3.2
  Pharyngolaryngeal pain 3.2 2.6
Investigations
  Weight increased 5.1 4.3
  Weight decreased 4.3 3.7
Injury, poisoning, and procedural complications
  Road traffic accident 1.5 0
Reproductive system and breast disorders
  Dysmenorrhea 3.6 2.9
  Sexual dysfunction 2.4 1.1
  Premenstrual syndrome 1.7 0.6
Musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders
  Arthralgia 2.4 0.6
  Myalgia 1.5 1.1
  Pain in limb 1.1 0.3
Vascular disorders
  Hot flushes 1.5 1.4
Respiratory, thoracic, and mediastinal disorders
  Dyspnea 1.5 0.3
  Rhinitis allergic 1.1 0.6
Skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders
  Pruritis 1.1 0.9

Other Adverse Events Observed During the Premarketing Evaluation of XANAX XR Tablets

Following is a list of MedDRA terms that reflect treatment-emergent adverse events reported by 531 patients with panic disorder treated with XANAX XR. All potentially important reported events are included except those already listed in the above table or elsewhere in labeling, those events for which a drug cause was remote, those event terms that were so general as to be uninformative, and those events that occurred at rates similar to background rates in the general population. It is important to emphasize that, although the events reported occurred during treatment with XANAX XR, they were not necessarily caused by the drug. Events are further categorized by body system and listed in order of decreasing frequency according to the following definitions: frequent adverse events are those occurring on 1 or more occasions in at least l/l00 patients; infrequent adverse events are those occurring in less than l/100 patients but at least l/1000 patients; rare events are those occurring in fewer than l/1000 patients.

Cardiac disorders: Frequent: palpitation; Infrequent: sinus tachycardia

Ear and Labyrinth disorders: Frequent: Vertigo; Infrequent: tinnitus, ear pain

Eye disorders: Frequent: blurred vision; Infrequent: mydriasis, photophobia

Gastrointestinal disorders: Frequent: diarrhea, vomiting, dyspepsia, abdominal pain; Infrequent: dysphagia, salivary hypersecretion

General disorders and administration site conditions: Frequent: malaise, weakness, chest pains; Infrequent: fall, pyrexia, thirst, feeling hot and cold, edema, feeling jittery, sluggishness, asthenia, feeling drunk, chest tightness, increased energy, feeling of relaxation, hangover, loss of control of legs, rigors

Musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders: Frequent: back pain, muscle cramps, muscle twitching

Nervous system disorders: Frequent: headache, dizziness, tremor; Infrequent: amnesia, clumsiness, syncope, hypotonia, seizures, depressed level of consciousness, sleep apnea syndrome, sleep talking, stupor

Psychiatric system disorders: Frequent: irritability, insomnia, nervousness, derealization, libido increased, restlessness, agitation, depersonalization, nightmare; Infrequent: abnormal dreams, apathy, aggression, anger, bradyphrenia, euphoric mood, logorrhea, mood swings, dysphonia, hallucination, homicidal ideation, mania, hypomania, impulse control, psychomotor retardation, suicidal ideation

Renal and urinary disorders: Frequent: difficulty in micturition; Infrequent: urinary frequency, urinary incontinence

Respiratory, thoracic, and mediastinal disorders: Frequent: nasal congestion, hyperventilation; Infrequent: choking sensation, epistaxis, rhinorrhea

Skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders: Frequent: sweating increased; Infrequent: clamminess, rash, urticaria

Vascular disorders: Infrequent: hypotension

The categories of adverse events reported in the clinical development program for XANAX Tablets in the treatment of panic disorder differ somewhat from those reported for XANAX XR Tablets because the clinical trials with XANAX Tablets and XANAX XR Tablets used different standard medical nomenclature for reporting the adverse events. Nevertheless, the types of adverse events reported in the clinical trials with XANAX Tablets were generally the same as those reported in the clinical trials with XANAX XR Tablets.

Discontinuation-Emergent Adverse Events Occurring at an Incidence of 5% or More Among Patients Treated with XANAX XR

The following table shows the incidence of discontinuation-emergent adverse events that occurred during short-term, placebo-controlled trials in 5% or more of patients treated with XANAX XR where the incidence in patients treated with XANAX XR was two times greater than the incidence in placebo-treated patients.

Discontinuation-Emergent Symptoms: Incidence in Short-Term, Placebo-Controlled Trials with XANAX XR
System Organ Class/AdverseEvent Percentage of Patients Reporting Adverse Event
XANAX XR
(n=422)
Placebo
(n=261)
Nervous system disorders
  Tremor 28.2 10.7
  Headache 26.5 12.6
  Hypoesthesia 7.8 2.3
  Paraesthesia 7.1 2.7
Psychiatric disorders
  Insomnia 24.2 9.6
  Nervousness 21.8 8.8
  Depression 10.9 5.0
  Derealization 8.0 3.8
  Anxiety 7.8 2.7
  Depersonalization 5.7 1.9
Gastrointestinal disorders
  Diarrhea 12.1 3.1
Respiratory, thoracic and mediastinal disorders
  Hyperventilation 8.5 2.7
Metabolism and nutrition disorders
  Appetite decreased 9.5 3.8
Musculosketal and connective tissue disorders
  Muscle twitching 7.4 2.7
Vascular disorders
  Hot flushes 5.9 2.7

There have also been reports of withdrawal seizures upon rapid decrease or abrupt discontinuation of alprazolam (see WARNINGS).

To discontinue treatment in patients taking XANAX XR Tablets, the dosage should be reduced slowly in keeping with good medical practice. It is suggested that the daily dosage of XANAX XR Tablets be decreased by no more than 0.5 mg every three days (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION). Some patients may benefit from an even slower dosage reduction. In a controlled postmarketing discontinuation study of panic disorder patients which compared this recommended taper schedule with a slower taper schedule, no difference was observed between the groups in the proportion of patients who tapered to zero dose; however, the slower schedule was associated with a reduction in symptoms associated with a withdrawal syndrome.

As with all benzodiazepines, paradoxical reactions such as stimulation, increased muscle spasticity, sleep disturbances, hallucinations, and other adverse behavioral effects such as agitation, rage, irritability, and aggressive or hostile behavior have been reported rarely. In many of the spontaneous case reports of adverse behavioral effects, patients were receiving other CNS drugs concomitantly and/or were described as having underlying psychiatric conditions. Should any of the above events occur, alprazolam should be discontinued. Isolated published reports involving small numbers of patients have suggested that patients who have borderline personality disorder, a prior history of violent or aggressive behavior, or alcohol or substance abuse may be at risk for such events. Instances of irritability, hostility, and intrusive thoughts have been reported during discontinuation of alprazolam in patients with posttraumatic stress disorder.

Post Introduction Reports

Various adverse drug reactions have been reported in association with the use of XANAX Tablets since market introduction. The majority of these reactions were reported through the medical event voluntary reporting system. Because of the spontaneous nature of the reporting of medical events and the lack of controls, a causal relationship to the use of XANAX Tablets cannot be readily determined. Reported events include: gastrointestinal disorder, hypomania, mania, liver enzyme elevations, hepatitis, jaundice, hepatic failure, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, photosensitivity reaction, angioedema, peripheral edema, menstruation irregular, hyperprolactinemia, gynecomastia, and galactorrhea (see PRECAUTIONS).

INDICATIONS AND USAGE

XANAX XR Tablets are indicated for the treatment of panic disorder, with or without agoraphobia.

This claim is supported on the basis of two positive studies with XANAX XR conducted in patients whose diagnoses corresponded closely to the DSM-III-R/IV criteria for panic disorder (see CLINICAL EFFICACY TRIALS).

Panic disorder (DSM-IV) is characterized by recurrent unexpected panic attacks, ie, a discrete period of intense fear or discomfort in which four (or more) of the following symptoms develop abruptly and reach a peak within 10 minutes: (1) palpitations, pounding heart, or accelerated heart rate; (2) sweating; (3) trembling or shaking; (4) sensations of shortness of breath or smothering; (5) feeling of choking; (6) chest pain or discomfort; (7) nausea or abdominal distress; (8) feeling dizzy, unsteady, lightheaded, or faint; (9) derealization (feelings of unreality) or depersonalization (being detached from oneself); (10) fear of losing control; (11) fear of dying; (12) paresthesias (numbness or tingling sensations); (13) chills or hot flushes.

The longer-term efficacy of XANAX XR has not been systematically evaluated. Thus, the physician who elects to use this drug for periods longer than 8 weeks should periodically reassess the usefulness of the drug for the individual patient.

ZARONTIN® Capsules (ethosuximide)

These highlights do not include all the information needed to use ZARONTIN Capsules safety and effectively. See full prescribing information for ZARONTIN Capsules.

CONTRAINDICATION

Ethosuximide should not be used in patients with a history of hypersensitivity to succinimides.

WARNINGS

Blood dyscrasias

Blood dyscrasias, including some with fatal outcome, have been reported to be associated with the use of ethosuximide; therefore, periodic blood counts should be performed. Should signs and/or symptoms of infection (e.g., sore throat, fever) develop, blood counts should be considered at that point.

Effects on Liver and Kidneys

Ethosuximide is capable of producing morphological and functional changes in the animal liver. In humans, abnormal liver and renal function studies have been reported. Ethosuximide should be administered with extreme caution to patients with known liver or renal disease. Periodic urinalysis and liver function studies are advised for all patients receiving the drug.

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

Cases of systemic lupus erythematosus have been reported with the use of ethosuximide. The physician should be alert to this possibility.

Suicidal Behavior and Ideation

Antiepileptic drugs (AEDs), including Zarontin, increase the risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior in patients taking these drugs for any indication. Patients treated with any AED for any indication should be monitored for the emergence or worsening of depression, suicidal thoughts or behavior, and/or any unusual changes in mood or behavior.

Pooled analyses of 199 placebo-controlled clinical trials (mono- and adjunctive therapy) of 11 different AEDs showed that patients randomized to one of the AEDs had approximately twice the risk (adjusted Relative Risk 1.8, 95% CI: 1.2, 2.7) of suicidal thinking or behavior compared to patients randomized to placebo. In these trials, which had a median treatment duration of 12 weeks, the estimated incidence rate of suicidal behavior or ideation among 27,863 AED-treated patients was 0.43%, compared to 0.24% among 16,029 placebo-treated patients, representing an increase of approximately one case of suicidal thinking or behavior for every 530 patients treated. There were four suicides in drug-treated patients in the trials and none in placebo-treated patients, but the number is too small to allow any conclusion about drug effect on suicide.

The increased risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior with AEDs was observed as early as one week after starting drug treatment with AEDs and persisted for the duration of treatment assessed. Because most trials included in the analysis did not extend beyond 24 weeks, the risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior beyond 24 weeks could not be assessed.

The risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior was generally consistent among drugs in the data analyzed. The finding of increased risk with AEDs of varying mechanisms of action and across a range of indications suggests that the risk applies to all AEDs used for any indication. The risk did not vary substantially by age (5–100 years) in the clinical trials analyzed.

Table 1 shows absolute and relative risk by indication for all evaluated AEDs.

Table 1 Risk by indication for antiepileptic drugs in the pooled analysis
Indication Placebo Patients with Events Per 1000 Patients Drug Patients with Events Per 1000 Patients Relative Risk: Incidence of Events in Drug Patients/Incidence in Placebo Patients Risk Difference: Additional Drug Patients with Events Per 1000 Patients
Epilepsy 1.0 3.4 3.5 2.4
Psychiatric 5.7 8.5 1.5 2.9
Other 1.0 1.8 1.9 0.9
Total 2.4 4.3 1.8 1.9

The relative risk for suicidal thoughts or behavior was higher in clinical trials for epilepsy than in clinical trials for psychiatric or other conditions, but the absolute risk differences were similar for the epilepsy and psychiatric indications.

Anyone considering prescribing Zarontin or any other AED must balance the risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior with the risk of untreated illness. Epilepsy and many other illnesses for which AEDs are prescribed are themselves associated with morbidity and mortality and an increased risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior. Should suicidal thoughts and behavior emerge during treatment, the prescriber needs to consider whether the emergence of these symptoms in any given patient may be related to the illness being treated.

Patients, their caregivers, and families should be informed that AEDs increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior and should be advised of the need to be alert for the emergence or worsening of the signs and symptoms of depression, any unusual changes in mood or behavior, or the emergence of suicidal thoughts, behavior, or thoughts about self-harm. Behaviors of concern should be reported immediately to healthcare providers.

Serious Dermatologic Reactions

Serious dermatologic reactions, including Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS), have been reported with ethosuximide treatment. SJS can be fatal. The onset of symptoms is usually within 28 days, but can occur later. Zarontin should be discontinued at the first sign of a rash, unless the rash is clearly not drug-related. If signs or symptoms suggest SJS, use of this drug should not be resumed and alternative therapy should be considered.

Drug Reaction with Eosinophilia and Systemic Symptoms (DRESS)

Drug Reaction with Eosinophilia and Systemic Symptoms (DRESS), also known as multi organ hypersensitivity, has occurred with ZARONTIN. Some of these events have been fatal or life-threatening. DRESS typically, although not exclusively, presents with fever, rash, lymphadenopathy and/or facial swelling, in association with other organ system involvement, such as hepatitis, nephritis, hematologic abnormalities, myocarditis, or myositis, sometimes resembling an acute viral infection. Eosinophilia is often present. This disorder is variable in its expression, and other organ systems not noted here may be involved. It is important to note that early manifestations of hypersensitivity (e.g. fever, lymphadenopathy) may be present even though rash is not evident. If such signs or symptoms are present, the patient should be evaluated immediately. ZARONTIN should be discontinued if an alternative etiology for the signs or symptoms cannot be established.

Usage in Pregnancy

Ethosuximide crosses the placenta.

Reports suggest an association between the use of anticonvulsant drugs by women with epilepsy and an elevated incidence of birth defects in children born to these women. Data are more extensive with respect to phenytoin and phenobarbital, but these are also the most commonly prescribed anticonvulsants; less systematic or anecdotal reports suggest a possible similar association with the use of all known anticonvulsant drugs.

Cases of birth defects have been reported with ethosuximide. The reports suggesting an elevated incidence of birth defects in children of drug-treated epileptic women cannot be regarded as adequate to prove a definite cause and effect relationship. There are intrinsic methodological problems in obtaining adequate data on drug teratogenicity in humans; the possibility also exists that other factors, e.g., genetic factors or the epileptic condition itself, may be more important than drug therapy in leading to birth defects. The great majority of mothers on anticonvulsant medication deliver normal infants. It is important to note that anticonvulsant drugs should not be discontinued in patients in whom the drug is administered to prevent major seizures because of the strong possibility of precipitating status epilepticus with attendant hypoxia and threat to life. In individual cases where the severity and frequency of the seizure disorder are such that the removal of medication does not pose a serious threat to the patient, discontinuation of the drug may be considered prior to and during pregnancy, although it cannot be said with any confidence that even minor seizures do not pose some hazard to the developing embryo or fetus.

The prescribing physician will wish to weigh these considerations in treating or counseling epileptic women of childbearing potential.

Ethosuximide is excreted in human breast milk. Because the effects of ethosuximide on the nursing infant are unknown, caution should be exercised when ethosuximide is administered to a nursing mother. Ethosuximide should be used in nursing mothers only if the benefits clearly outweigh the risks.


PRECAUTIONS

General

Ethosuximide, when used alone in mixed types of epilepsy, may increase the frequency of grand mal seizures in some patients.

As with other anticonvulsants, it is important to proceed slowly when increasing or decreasing dosage, as well as when adding or eliminating other medication. Abrupt withdrawal of anticonvulsant medication may precipitate absence (petit mal) status.

Information for Patients

Inform patients of the availability of a Medication Guide, and instruct them to read the Medication Guide prior to taking Zarontin. Instruct patients to take Zarontin only as prescribed.

Ethosuximide may impair the mental and/or physical abilities required for the performance of potentially hazardous tasks, such as driving a motor vehicle or other such activity requiring alertness; therefore, the patient should be cautioned accordingly.

Patients taking ethosuximide should be advised of the importance of adhering strictly to the prescribed dosage regimen.

Patients should be instructed to promptly contact their physician if they develop signs and/or symptoms (e.g., sore throat, fever), suggesting an infection.

Patients, their caregivers, and families should be counseled that AEDs, including Zarontin, may increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior and should be advised of the need to be alert for the emergence or worsening of symptoms of depression, any unusual changes in mood or behavior, or the emergence of suicidal thoughts, behavior, or thoughts about self-harm. Behaviors of concern should be reported immediately to healthcare providers.

Prior to initiation of treatment with Zarontin, the patient should be instructed that a rash may herald a serious medical event and that the patient should report any such occurrence to a physician immediately.

Patients should be encouraged to enroll in the North American Antiepileptic Drug (NAAED) Pregnancy Registry if they become pregnant. This registry is collecting information about the safety of antiepileptic drugs during pregnancy. To enroll, patients can call the toll free number 1-888-233-2334 (see PRECAUTIONS: Pregnancy section).

Drug Interactions

Since Zarontin (ethosuximide) may interact with concurrently administered antiepileptic drugs, periodic serum level determinations of these drugs may be necessary (e.g., ethosuximide may elevate phenytoin serum levels and valproic acid has been reported to both increase and decrease ethosuximide levels).

Pregnancy

To provide information regarding the effects of in utero exposure to Zarontin, physicians are advised to recommend that pregnant patients taking Zarontin enroll in the NAAED Pregnancy Registry. This can be done by calling the toll free number 1-888-233-2334, and must be done by patients themselves. Information on the registry can also be found at the website: http://www.aedpregnancyregistry.org/

See WARNINGS.

Pediatric Use

Safety and effectiveness in pediatric patients below the age of 3 years have not been established. (See DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION section.)

ADVERSE REACTIONS

Body As A Whole: Allergic reaction, Drug Reaction with Eosinophilia and Systemic Symptoms (DRESS).

Gastrointestinal System: Gastrointestinal symptoms occur frequently and include anorexia, vague gastric upset, nausea and vomiting, cramps, epigastric and abdominal pain, weight loss, and diarrhea. There have been reports of gum hypertrophy and swelling of the tongue.

Hemopoietic System: Hemopoietic complications associated with the administration of ethosuximide have included leukopenia, agranulocytosis, pancytopenia, with or without bone marrow suppression, and eosinophilia.

Nervous System: Neurologic and sensory reactions reported during therapy with ethosuximide have included drowsiness, headache, dizziness, euphoria, hiccups, irritability, hyperactivity, lethargy, fatigue, and ataxia. Psychiatric or psychological aberrations associated with ethosuximide administration have included disturbances of sleep, night terrors, inability to concentrate, and aggressiveness. These effects may be noted particularly in patients who have previously exhibited psychological abnormalities. There have been rare reports of paranoid psychosis, increased libido, and increased state of depression with overt suicidal intentions.

Integumentary System: Dermatologic manifestations which have occurred with the administration of ethosuximide have included urticaria, pruritic erythematous rashes, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, and hirsutism.

Special Senses: Myopia.

Genitourinary System: Vaginal bleeding, microscopic hematuria.

INDICATIONS AND USAGE

Zarontin is indicated for the control of absence (petit mal) epilepsy.

ZARONTIN® Oral Solution (ethosuximide)

These highlights do not include all the information needed to use ZARONTIN Oral Solution safety and effectively. See full prescribing information for ZARONTIN Oral Solution.

CONTRAINDICATIONS

Ethosuximide should not be used in patients with a history of hypersensitivity to succinimides.

WARNINGS

Blood dyscrasias

Blood dyscrasias, including some with fatal outcome, have been reported to be associated with the use of ethosuximide; therefore, periodic blood counts should be performed. Should signs and/or symptoms of infection (e.g., sore throat, fever) develop, blood counts should be considered at that point.

Effects on Liver and Kidneys

Ethosuximide is capable of producing morphological and functional changes in the animal liver. In humans, abnormal liver and renal function studies have been reported. Ethosuximide should be administered with extreme caution to patients with known liver or renal disease. Periodic urinalysis and liver function studies are advised for all patients receiving the drug.

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

Cases of systemic lupus erythematosus have been reported with the use of ethosuximide. The physician should be alert to this possibility.

Suicidal Behavior and Ideation

Antiepileptic drugs (AEDs), including Zarontin, increase the risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior in patients taking these drugs for any indication. Patients treated with any AED for any indication should be monitored for the emergence or worsening of depression, suicidal thoughts or behavior, and/or any unusual changes in mood or behavior.

Pooled analyses of 199 placebo-controlled clinical trials (mono- and adjunctive therapy) of 11 different AEDs showed that patients randomized to one of the AEDs had approximately twice the risk (adjusted Relative Risk 1.8, 95% CI:1.2, 2.7) of suicidal thinking or behavior compared to patients randomized to placebo. In these trials, which had a median treatment duration of 12 weeks, the estimated incidence rate of suicidal behavior or ideation among 27,863 AED-treated patients was 0.43%, compared to 0.24% among 16,029 placebo-treated patients, representing an increase of approximately one case of suicidal thinking or behavior for every 530 patients treated. There were four suicides in drug-treated patients in the trials and none in placebo-treated patients, but the number is too small to allow any conclusion about drug effect on suicide.

The increased risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior with AEDs was observed as early as one week after starting drug treatment with AEDs and persisted for the duration of treatment assessed. Because most trials included in the analysis did not extend beyond 24 weeks, the risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior beyond 24 weeks could not be assessed.

The risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior was generally consistent among drugs in the data analyzed. The finding of increased risk with AEDs of varying mechanisms of action and across a range of indications suggests that the risk applies to all AEDs used for any indication. The risk did not vary substantially by age (5–100 years) in the clinical trials analyzed.

Table 1 shows absolute and relative risk by indication for all evaluated AEDs.

Table 1 Risk by indication for antiepileptic drugs in the pooled analysis
Indication Placebo Patients with Events Per 1000 Patients Drug Patients with Events Per 1000 Patients Relative Risk: Incidence of Events in Drug Patients/Incidence in Placebo Patients Risk Difference: Additional Drug Patients with Events Per 1000 Patients
Epilepsy 1.0 3.4 3.5 2.4
Psychiatric 5.7 8.5 1.5 2.9
Other 1.0 1.8 1.9 0.9
Total 2.4 4.3 1.8 1.9

The relative risk for suicidal thoughts or behavior was higher in clinical trials for epilepsy than in clinical trials for psychiatric or other conditions, but the absolute risk differences were similar for the epilepsy and psychiatric indications.

Anyone considering prescribing Zarontin or any other AED must balance the risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior with the risk of untreated illness. Epilepsy and many other illnesses for which AEDs are prescribed are themselves associated with morbidity and mortality and an increased risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior. Should suicidal thoughts and behavior emerge during treatment, the prescriber needs to consider whether the emergence of these symptoms in any given patient may be related to the illness being treated.

Patients, their caregivers, and families should be informed that AEDs increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior and should be advised of the need to be alert for the emergence or worsening of the signs and symptoms of depression, any unusual changes in mood or behavior, or the emergence of suicidal thoughts, behavior, or thoughts about self-harm. Behaviors of concern should be reported immediately to healthcare providers.

Serious Dermatologic Reactions

Serious dermatologic reactions, including Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS), have been reported with ethosuximide treatment. SJS can be fatal. The onset of symptoms is usually within 28 days, but can occur later. Zarontin should be discontinued at the first sign of a rash, unless the rash is clearly not drug-related. If signs or symptoms suggest SJS, use of this drug should not be resumed and alternative therapy should be considered.

Drug Reaction with Eosinophilia and Systemic Symptoms (DRESS)

Drug Reaction with Eosinophilia and Systemic Symptoms (DRESS), also known as multi organ hypersensitivity, has occurred with ZARONTIN. Some of these events have been fatal or life-threatening. DRESS typically, although not exclusively, presents with fever, rash, lymphadenopathy and/or facial swelling, in association with other organ system involvement, such as hepatitis, nephritis, hematologic abnormalities, myocarditis, or myositis, sometimes resembling an acute viral infection. Eosinophilia is often present. This disorder is variable in its expression, and other organ systems not noted here may be involved. It is important to note that early manifestations of hypersensitivity (e.g. fever, lymphadenopathy) may be present even though rash is not evident. If such signs or symptoms are present, the patient should be evaluated immediately. ZARONTIN should be discontinued if an alternative etiology for the signs or symptoms cannot be established.

Usage in Pregnancy

Ethosuximide crosses the placenta.

Reports suggest an association between the use of anticonvulsant drugs by women with epilepsy and an elevated incidence of birth defects in children born to these women. Data are more extensive with respect to phenytoin and phenobarbital, but these are also the most commonly prescribed anticonvulsants; less systematic or anecdotal reports suggest a possible similar association with the use of all known anticonvulsant drugs.

Cases of birth defects have been reported with ethosuximide. The reports suggesting an elevated incidence of birth defects in children of drug-treated epileptic women cannot be regarded as adequate to prove a definite cause and effect relationship. There are intrinsic methodological problems in obtaining adequate data on drug teratogenicity in humans; the possibility also exists that other factors, e.g., genetic factors or the epileptic condition itself, may be more important than drug therapy in leading to birth defects. The great majority of mothers on anticonvulsant medication deliver normal infants. It is important to note that anticonvulsant drugs should not be discontinued in patients in whom the drug is administered to prevent major seizures because of the strong possibility of precipitating status epilepticus with attendant hypoxia and threat to life. In individual cases where the severity and frequency of the seizure disorder are such that the removal of medication does not pose a serious threat to the patient, discontinuation of the drug may be considered prior to and during pregnancy, although it cannot be said with any confidence that even minor seizures do not pose some hazard to the developing embryo or fetus.

The prescribing physician will wish to weigh these considerations in treating or counseling epileptic women of childbearing potential.

Ethosuximide is excreted in human breast milk. Because the effects of ethosuximide on the nursing infant are unknown, caution should be exercised when ethosuximide is administered to a nursing mother. Ethosuximide should be used in nursing mothers only if the benefits clearly outweigh the risks.


PRECAUTIONS

General

Ethosuximide, when used alone in mixed types of epilepsy, may increase the frequency of grand mal seizures in some patients.

As with other anticonvulsants, it is important to proceed slowly when increasing or decreasing dosage, as well as when adding or eliminating other medication. Abrupt withdrawal of anticonvulsant medication may precipitate absence (petit mal) status.

Information for Patients

Inform patients of the availability of a Medication Guide, and instruct them to read the Medication Guide prior to taking Zarontin. Instruct patients to take Zarontin only as prescribed.

Ethosuximide may impair the mental and/or physical abilities required for the performance of potentially hazardous tasks such as driving a motor vehicle or other such activity requiring alertness; therefore, the patient should be cautioned accordingly.

Patients taking ethosuximide should be advised of the importance of adhering strictly to the prescribed dosage regimen.

Patients should be instructed to promptly contact their physician when they develop signs and/or symptoms suggesting an infection (e.g., sore throat, fever).

Patients, their caregivers, and families should be counseled that AEDs, including Zarontin, may increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior and should be advised of the need to be alert for the emergence or worsening of symptoms of depression, any unusual changes in mood or behavior, or the emergence of suicidal thoughts, behavior, or thoughts about self-harm. Behaviors of concern should be reported immediately to healthcare providers.

Prior to initiation of treatment with Zarontin, the patient should be instructed that a rash may herald a serious medical event and that the patient should report any such occurrence to a physician immediately.

Patients should be encouraged to enroll in the North American Antiepileptic Drug (NAAED) Pregnancy Registry if they become pregnant. This Registry is collecting information about the safety of antiepileptic drugs during pregnancy. To enroll, patients can call the toll free number 1-888-233-2334 (see PRECAUTIONS: Pregnancy section).

Drug Interactions

Since Zarontin (ethosuximide) may interact with concurrently administered antiepileptic drugs, periodic serum level determinations of these drugs may be necessary (e.g., ethosuximide may elevate phenytoin serum levels and valproic acid has been reported to both increase and decrease ethosuximide levels).

Pregnancy

To provide information regarding the effects of in utero exposure to Zarontin, physicians are advised to recommend that pregnant patients taking Zarontin enroll in the (NAAED) Pregnancy Registry. This can be done by calling the toll free number 1-888- 233-2334, and must be done by patients themselves. Information on the registry can also be found at the website: http://www.aedpregnancyregistry.org/.

See WARNINGS.

Pediatric Use

Safety and effectiveness in pediatric patients below the age of 3 years have not been established. (See DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION section.)

ADVERSE REACTIONS

Body As A Whole: Allergic reaction, Drug Reaction with Eosinophilia and Systemic Symptoms (DRESS).

Gastrointestinal System: Gastrointestinal symptoms occur frequently and include anorexia, vague gastric upset, nausea and vomiting, cramps, epigastric and abdominal pain, weight loss, and diarrhea. There have been reports of gum hypertrophy and swelling of the tongue.

Hemopoietic System: Hemopoietic complications associated with the administration of ethosuximide have included leukopenia, agranulocytosis, pancytopenia, with or without bone marrow suppression, and eosinophilia.

Nervous System: Neurologic and sensory reactions reported during therapy with ethosuximide have included drowsiness, headache, dizziness, euphoria, hiccups, irritability, hyperactivity, lethargy, fatigue, and ataxia.

Psychiatric or psychological aberrations associated with ethosuximide administration have included disturbances of sleep, night terrors, inability to concentrate, and aggressiveness.

These effects may be noted particularly in patients who have previously exhibited psychological abnormalities. There have been rare reports of paranoid psychosis, increased libido, and increased state of depression with overt suicidal intentions.

Integumentary System: Dermatologic manifestations which have occurred with the administration of ethosuximide have included urticaria, pruritic erythematous rashes, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, and hirsutism.

Special Senses: Myopia.

Genitourinary System: Vaginal bleeding, microscopic hematuria.

INDICATIONS AND USAGE

Zarontin is indicated for the control of absence (petit mal) epilepsy.

ZOLOFT® (sertraline HCl)

These highlights do not include all the information needed to use ZOLOFT safety and effectively. See full prescribing information for ZOLOFT.

WARNING: SUICIDAL THOUGHTS AND BEHAVIORS

Antidepressants increased the risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior in pediatric and young adult patients in short-term studies. Closely monitor all antidepressant-treated patients for clinical worsening, and for emergence of suicidal thoughts and behaviors [See Warnings and Precautions (5.1)].

4 CONTRAINDICATIONS

ZOLOFT is contraindicated in patients:

In addition to the contraindications for all ZOLOFT formulations listed above, ZOLOFT oral concentrate and oral solution are contraindicated in patients:

  • Taking disulfiram. ZOLOFT oral concentrate and oral solution contain alcohol, and concomitant use of ZOLOFT and disulfiram may result in a disulfiram-alcohol reaction.

5 WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS

5.1 Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors in Pediatric and Young Adult Patients

In pooled analyses of placebo-controlled trials of antidepressant drugs (SSRIs and other antidepressant classes) that included approximately 77,000 adult patients and over 4,400 pediatric patients, the incidence of suicidal thoughts and behaviors in pediatric and young adult patients was greater in antidepressant-treated patients than in placebo-treated patients. The drug-placebo differences in the number of cases of suicidal thoughts and behaviors per 1000 patients treated are provided in Table 2.

No suicides occurred in any of the pediatric studies. There were suicides in the adult studies, but the number was not sufficient to reach any conclusion about antidepressant drug effect on suicide.

Table 2: Risk Differences of the Number of Cases of Suicidal Thoughts or Behaviors in the Pooled Placebo-Controlled Trials of Antidepressants in Pediatric and Adult Patients
Age Range
(years)
Drug-Placebo Difference in Number of Patients of Suicidal Thoughts or Behaviors per 1000 Patients Treated
Increases Compared to Placebo
<18 14 additional patients
18–24 5 additional patients
Decreases Compared to Placebo
25–64 1 fewer patient
≥65 6 fewer patients

It is unknown whether the risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors in pediatric and young adult patients extends to longer-term use, i.e., beyond four months. However, there is substantial evidence from placebo-controlled maintenance trials in adults with MDD that antidepressants delay the recurrence of depression.

Monitor all antidepressant-treated patients for clinical worsening and emergence of suicidal thoughts and behaviors, especially during the initial few months of drug therapy and at times of dosage changes. Counsel family members or caregivers of patients to monitor for changes in behavior and to alert the healthcare provider. Consider changing the therapeutic regimen, including possibly discontinuing ZOLOFT, in patients whose depression is persistently worse, or who are experiencing emergent suicidal thoughts or behaviors.

5.2 Serotonin Syndrome

Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) and SSRIs, including ZOLOFT, can precipitate serotonin syndrome, a potentially life-threatening condition. The risk is increased with concomitant use of other serotonergic drugs (including triptans, tricyclic antidepressants, fentanyl, lithium, tramadol, tryptophan, buspirone, amphetamines, and St. John's Wort) and with drugs that impair metabolism of serotonin, i.e., MAOIs [See Contraindications (4), Drug Interactions (7.1)]. Serotonin syndrome can also occur when these drugs are used alone.

Serotonin syndrome signs and symptoms may include mental status changes (e.g., agitation, hallucinations, delirium, and coma), autonomic instability (e.g., tachycardia, labile blood pressure, dizziness, diaphoresis, flushing, hyperthermia), neuromuscular symptoms (e.g., tremor, rigidity, myoclonus, hyperreflexia, incoordination), seizures, and gastrointestinal symptoms (e.g., nausea, vomiting, diarrhea).

The concomitant use of ZOLOFT with MAOIs is contraindicated. In addition, do not initiate ZOLOFT in a patient being treated with MAOIs such as linezolid or intravenous methylene blue. No reports involved the administration of methylene blue by other routes (such as oral tablets or local tissue injection). If it is necessary to initiate treatment with an MAOI such as linezolid or intravenous methylene blue in a patient taking ZOLOFT, discontinue ZOLOFT before initiating treatment with the MAOI [See Contraindications (4), Drug Interactions (7.1)].

Monitor all patients taking ZOLOFT for the emergence of serotonin syndrome. Discontinue treatment with ZOLOFT and any concomitant serotonergic agents immediately if the above symptoms occur, and initiate supportive symptomatic treatment. If concomitant use of ZOLOFT with other serotonergic drugs is clinically warranted, inform patients of the increased risk for serotonin syndrome and monitor for symptoms.

5.3 Increased Risk of Bleeding

Drugs that interfere with serotonin reuptake inhibition, including ZOLOFT, increase the risk of bleeding events. Concomitant use of aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), other antiplatelet drugs, warfarin, and other anticoagulants may add to this risk. Case reports and epidemiological studies (case-control and cohort design) have demonstrated an association between use of drugs that interfere with serotonin reuptake and the occurrence of gastrointestinal bleeding. Bleeding events related to drugs that interfere with serotonin reuptake have ranged from ecchymosis, hematoma, epistaxis, and petechiae to life-threatening hemorrhages.

Inform patients of the increased risk of bleeding associated with the concomitant use of ZOLOFT and antiplatelet agents or anticoagulants. For patients taking warfarin, carefully monitor the international normalized ratio.

5.4 Activation of Mania or Hypomania

In patients with bipolar disorder, treating a depressive episode with ZOLOFT or another antidepressant may precipitate a mixed/manic episode. In controlled clinical trials, patients with bipolar disorder were generally excluded; however, symptoms of mania or hypomania were reported in 0.4% of patients treated with ZOLOFT. Prior to initiating treatment with ZOLOFT, screen patients for any personal or family history of bipolar disorder, mania, or hypomania.

5.5 Discontinuation Syndrome

Adverse reactions after discontinuation of serotonergic antidepressants, particularly after abrupt discontinuation, include: nausea, sweating, dysphoric mood, irritability, agitation, dizziness, sensory disturbances (e.g., paresthesia, such as electric shock sensations), tremor, anxiety, confusion, headache, lethargy, emotional lability, insomnia, hypomania, tinnitus, and seizures. A gradual reduction in dosage rather than abrupt cessation is recommended whenever possible [See Dosage and Administration (2.6)].

5.6 Seizures

ZOLOFT has not been systematically evaluated in patients with seizure disorders. Patients with a history of seizures were excluded from clinical studies. ZOLOFT should be prescribed with caution in patients with a seizure disorder.

5.7 Angle-Closure Glaucoma

The pupillary dilation that occurs following use of many antidepressant drugs including ZOLOFT may trigger an angle closure attack in a patient with anatomically narrow angles who does not have a patent iridectomy. Avoid use of antidepressants, including ZOLOFT, in patients with untreated anatomically narrow angles.

5.8 Hyponatremia

Hyponatremia may occur as a result of treatment with SNRIs and SSRIs, including ZOLOFT. Cases with serum sodium lower than 110 mmol/L have been reported. Signs and symptoms of hyponatremia include headache, difficulty concentrating, memory impairment, confusion, weakness, and unsteadiness, which may lead to falls. Signs and symptoms associated with more severe or acute cases have included hallucination, syncope, seizure, coma, respiratory arrest, and death. In many cases, this hyponatremia appears to be the result of the syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion (SIADH).

In patients with symptomatic hyponatremia, discontinue ZOLOFT and institute appropriate medical intervention. Elderly patients, patients taking diuretics, and those who are volume-depleted may be at greater risk of developing hyponatremia with SSRIs and SNRIs [See Use in Specific Populations (8.5)].

5.9 False-Positive Effects on Screening Tests for Benzodiazepines

False-positive urine immunoassay screening tests for benzodiazepines have been reported in patients taking ZOLOFT. This finding is due to lack of specificity of the screening tests. False-positive test results may be expected for several days following discontinuation of ZOLOFT. Confirmatory tests, such as gas chromatography/mass spectrometry, will help distinguish ZOLOFT from benzodiazepines [See Drug Interactions (7.3)].

6 ADVERSE REACTIONS

The following adverse reactions are described in more detail in other sections of the prescribing information:

6.1 Clinical Trials Experience

Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice.

The data described below are from randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials of ZOLOFT (mostly 50 mg to 200 mg per day) in 3066 adults diagnosed with MDD, OCD, PD, PTSD, SAD, and PMDD. These 3066 patients exposed to ZOLOFT for 8 to12 weeks represent 568 patient-years of exposure. The mean age was 40 years; 57% were females and 43% were males.

The most common adverse reactions (≥5% and twice placebo) in all pooled placebo-controlled clinical trials of all ZOLOFT-treated patients with MDD, OCD, PD, PTSD, SAD and PMDD were nausea, diarrhea/loose stool, tremor, dyspepsia, decreased appetite, hyperhidrosis, ejaculation failure, and decreased libido (see Table 3). The following are the most common adverse reactions in trials of ZOLOFT (≥5% and twice placebo) by indication that were not mentioned previously.

  • MDD: somnolence;
  • OCD: insomnia, agitation;
  • PD: constipation, agitation;
  • PTSD: fatigue;
  • PMDD: somnolence, dry mouth, dizziness, fatigue, and abdominal pain;
  • SAD: insomnia, dizziness, fatigue, dry mouth, malaise.
Table 3: Common Adverse Reactions in Pooled Placebo-Controlled Trials in Adults with MDD, OCD, PD, PTSD, SAD, and PMDD*
ZOLOFT
(N=3066)
Placebo
(N=2293)
*
Adverse reactions that occurred greater than 2% in ZOLOFT-treated patients and at least 2% greater in ZOLOFT-treated patients than placebo-treated patients.
Denominator used was for male patients only (n=1316 ZOLOFT; n=973 placebo).
Cardiac disorders
  Palpitations 4% 2%
Eye disorders
  Visual impairment 4% 2%
Gastrointestinal Disorders
  Nausea 26% 12%
  Diarrhea/Loose Stools 20% 10%
  Dry mouth 14% 9%
  Dyspepsia 8% 4%
  Constipation 6% 4%
  Vomiting 4% 1%
General disorders and administration site conditions
  Fatigue 12% 8%
Metabolism and nutrition disorders
  Decreased appetite 7% 2%
Nervous system disorders
  Dizziness 12% 8%
  Somnolence 11% 6%
  Tremor 9% 2%
Psychiatric Disorders
  Insomnia 20% 13%
  Agitation 8% 5%
  Libido Decreased 6% 2%
Reproductive system and breast disorders
  Ejaculation failure 8% 1%
  Erectile dysfunction 4% 1%
  Ejaculation disorder 3% 0%
  Male sexual dysfunction 2% 0%
Skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders
  Hyperhidrosis 7% 3%

Adverse Reactions Leading to Discontinuation in Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trials

In all placebo-controlled studies in patients with MDD, OCD, PD, PTSD, SAD and PMDD, 368 (12%) of the 3066 patients who received ZOLOFT discontinued treatment due to an adverse reaction, compared with 93 (4%) of the 2293 placebo-treated patients. In placebo-controlled studies, the following were the common adverse reactions leading to discontinuation in ZOLOFT-treated patients:

  • MDD, OCD, PD, PTSD, SAD and PMDD: nausea (3%), diarrhea (2%), agitation (2%), and insomnia (2%).
  • MDD (>2% and twice placebo): decreased appetite, dizziness, fatigue, headache, somnolence, tremor, and vomiting.
  • OCD: somnolence.
  • PD: nervousness and somnolence.

Male and Female Sexual Dysfunction

Although changes in sexual desire, sexual performance and sexual satisfaction often occur as manifestations of a psychiatric disorder, they may also be a consequence of SSRI treatment. However, reliable estimates of the incidence and severity of untoward experiences involving sexual desire, performance and satisfaction are difficult to obtain, in part because patients and healthcare providers may be reluctant to discuss them. Accordingly, estimates of the incidence of untoward sexual experience and performance cited in labeling may underestimate their actual incidence.

Table 4 below displays the incidence of sexual adverse reactions reported by at least 2% of ZOLOFT-treated patients and twice placebo from pooled placebo-controlled trials. For men and all indications, the most common adverse reactions (>2% and twice placebo) included: ejaculation failure, decreased libido, erectile dysfunction, ejaculation disorder, and male sexual dysfunction. For women, the most common adverse reaction (≥2% and twice placebo) was decreased libido.

Table 4: Most Common Sexual Adverse Reactions (≥2% and twice placebo) in Men or Women from ZOLOFT Pooled Controlled Trials in Adults with MDD, OCD, PD, PTSD, SAD, and PMDD
ZOLOFT Placebo
Men only (N=1316) (N=973)
  Ejaculation failure 8% 1%
  Libido decreased 7% 2%
  Erectile dysfunction 4% 1%
  Ejaculation disorder 3% 0%
  Male sexual dysfunction 2% 0%
Women only (N=1750) (N=1320)
  Libido decreased 4% 2%

Adverse Reactions in Pediatric Patients

In 281 pediatric patients treated with ZOLOFT in placebo-controlled studies, the overall profile of adverse reactions was generally similar to that seen in adult studies. Adverse reactions that do not appear in Table 3 (most common adverse reactions in adults) yet were reported in at least 2% of pediatric patients and at a rate of at least twice the placebo rate include fever, hyperkinesia, urinary incontinence, aggression, epistaxis, purpura, arthralgia, decreased weight, muscle twitching, and anxiety.

Other Adverse Reactions Observed During the Premarketing Evaluation of ZOLOFT

Other infrequent adverse reactions, not described elsewhere in the prescribing information, occurring at an incidence of < 2% in patients treated with ZOLOFT were:

 
Cardiac disorders – tachycardia
 
Ear and labyrinth disorders – tinnitus
 
Endocrine disorders - hypothyroidism
 
Eye disorders - mydriasis, blurred vision
 
Gastrointestinal disorders - hematochezia, melena, rectal hemorrhage
 
General disorders and administration site conditions - edema, gait disturbance, irritability, pyrexia
 
Hepatobiliary disorders - elevated liver enzymes
 
Immune system disorders - anaphylaxis
 
Metabolism and nutrition disorders - diabetes mellitus, hypercholesterolemia, hypoglycemia, increased appetite
 
Musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders - arthralgia, muscle spasms, tightness, or twitching
 
Nervous system disorders - ataxia, coma, convulsion, decreased alertness, hypoesthesia, lethargy, psychomotor hyperactivity, syncope
 
Psychiatric disorders - aggression, bruxism, confusional state, euphoric mood, hallucination
 
Renal and urinary disorders - hematuria
 
Reproductive system and breast disorders - galactorrhea, priapism, vaginal hemorrhage
 
Respiratory, thoracic and mediastinal disorders - bronchospasm, epistaxis, yawning
 
Skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders - alopecia; cold sweat; dermatitis; dermatitis bullous; pruritus; purpura; erythematous, follicular, or maculopapular rash; urticaria
 
Vascular disorders - hemorrhage, hypertension, vasodilation

6.2 Postmarketing Experience

The following adverse reactions have been identified during postapproval use of ZOLOFT. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.

 
Bleeding or clotting disorders - increased coagulation times (altered platelet function)
 
Cardiac disorders - AV block, bradycardia, atrial arrhythmias, QT-interval prolongation, ventricular tachycardia (including Torsade de Pointes)
 
Endocrine disorders - gynecomastia, hyperprolactinemia, menstrual irregularities, SIADH
 
Eye disorders - blindness, optic neuritis, cataract
 
Hepatobiliary disorders - severe liver events (including hepatitis, jaundice, liver failure with some fatal outcomes), pancreatitis
 
Hemic and Lymphatic - agranulocytosis, aplastic anemia and pancytopenia, leukopenia, thrombocytopenia, lupus-like syndrome, serum sickness
 
Immune system disorders - angioedema
 
Metabolism and nutrition disorders - hyponatremia, hyperglycemia
 
Musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders - trismus
 
Nervous system disorders - serotonin syndrome, extrapyramidal symptoms (including akathisia and dystonia), oculogyric crisis
 
Psychiatric disorders - psychosis, enuresis, paroniria
 
Renal and urinary disorders - acute renal failure
 
Respiratory, thoracic and mediastinal disorders - pulmonary hypertension
 
Skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders - photosensitivity skin reaction and other severe cutaneous reactions, which potentially can be fatal, such as Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS) and toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN)
 
Vascular disorders - cerebrovascular spasm (including reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome and Call-Fleming syndrome), vasculitis

1 INDICATIONS AND USAGE

ZOLOFT is indicated for the treatment of the following [See Clinical Studies (14)]:

  • Major depressive disorder (MDD)
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Panic disorder (PD)
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Social anxiety disorder (SAD)
  • Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)