ABILIFY — aripiprazole tablet
H.J. Harkins Company, Inc.
WARNINGS: INCREASED MORTALITY IN ELDERLY PATIENTS WITH DEMENTIA-RELATED PSYCHOSIS and SUICIDALITY AND ANTIDEPRESSANT DRUGS
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 (eg, heart failure, sudden death) or infectious (eg, 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. ABILIFY (aripiprazole) is not approved for the treatment of patients with dementia-related psychosis [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS (5.1)].
Antidepressants increased the risk compared to placebo of suicidal thinking and behavior (suicidality) in children, adolescents, and young adults in short-term studies of major depressive disorder (MDD) and other psychiatric disorders. Anyone considering the use of adjunctive ABILIFY or any other antidepressant in a child, adolescent, or young adult must balance this risk with the clinical need. 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 in risk with antidepressants compared to placebo in adults aged 65 and older. Depression and certain other psychiatric disorders are themselves associated with increases in the risk of suicide. Patients of all ages who are started on antidepressant therapy should be monitored appropriately and observed closely for clinical worsening, suicidality, or unusual changes in behavior. Families and caregivers should be advised of the need for close observation and communication with the prescriber. ABILIFY is not approved for use in pediatric patients with depression [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS (5.2)].
ABILIFY is indicated for the treatment of schizophrenia. The efficacy of ABILIFY was established in four 4-6 week trials in adults and one 6-week trial in adolescents (13 to 17 years). Maintenance efficacy was demonstrated in one trial in adults and can be extrapolated to adolescents [see CLINICAL STUDIES (14.1)].
Acute Treatment of Manic and Mixed Episodes
ABILIFY is indicated for the acute treatment of manic and mixed episodes associated with bipolar I disorder, both as monotherapy and as an adjunct to lithium or valproate. Efficacy as monotherapy was established in four 3-week monotherapy trials in adults and one 4-week monotherapy trial in pediatric patients (10 to 17 years). Efficacy as adjunctive therapy was established in one 6-week adjunctive trial in adults [see CLINICAL STUDIES (14.2)].
Maintenance Treatment of Bipolar I Disorder
ABILIFY is indicated for the maintenance treatment of bipolar I disorder, both as monotherapy and as an adjunct to either lithium or valproate. Maintenance efficacy was demonstrated in one monotherapy maintenance trial and in one adjunctive maintenance trial in adults [see CLINICAL STUDIES (14.2)].
ABILIFY is indicated for use as an adjunctive therapy to antidepressants for the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD). Efficacy was established in two 6-week trials in adults with MDD who had an inadequate response to antidepressant therapy during the current episode [see CLINICAL STUDIES (14.3)].
ABILIFY is indicated for the treatment of irritability associated with autistic disorder. Efficacy was established in two 8-week trials in pediatric patients (aged 6 to 17 years) with irritability associated with autistic disorder (including symptoms of aggression towards others, deliberate self-injuriousness, temper tantrums, and quickly changing moods) [see CLINICAL STUDIES (14.4)].
ABILIFY Injection is indicated for the acute treatment of agitation associated with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, manic or mixed. “Psychomotor agitation” is defined in DSM-IV as “excessive motor activity associated with a feeling of inner tension”. Patients experiencing agitation often manifest behaviors that interfere with their diagnosis and care (eg, 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. Efficacy was established in three short-term (24-hour) trials in adults [see CLINICAL STUDIES (14.5)].
1.6 Special Considerations in Treating Pediatric Schizophrenia, Bipolar I Disorder, and Irritability Associated with Autistic Disorder
Psychiatric disorders in children and adolescents are often serious mental disorders with variable symptom profiles that are not always congruent with adult diagnostic criteria. It is recommended that psychotropic medication therapy for pediatric patients only be initiated after a thorough diagnostic evaluation has been conducted and careful consideration given to the risks associated with medication treatment. Medication treatment for pediatric patients with schizophrenia, bipolar I disorder, and irritability associated with autistic disorder is indicated as part of a total treatment program that often includes psychological, educational, and social interventions.
Dose Selection: The recommended starting and target dose for ABILIFY is 10 mg/day or 15 mg/day administered on a once-a-day schedule without regard to meals. ABILIFY has been systematically evaluated and shown to be effective in a dose range of 10 mg/day to 30 mg/day, when administered as the tablet formulation; however, doses higher than 10 mg/day or 15 mg/day were not more effective than 10 mg/day or 15 mg/day. Dosage increases should generally not be made before 2 weeks, the time needed to achieve steady-state [see CLINICAL STUDIES (14.1)].
Maintenance Treatment: Maintenance of efficacy in schizophrenia was demonstrated in a trial involving patients with schizophrenia who had been symptomatically stable on other antipsychotic medications for periods of 3 months or longer. These patients were discontinued from those medications and randomized to either ABILIFY 15 mg/day or placebo, and observed for relapse [see CLINICAL STUDIES (14.1)]. Patients should be periodically reassessed to determine the continued need for maintenance treatment.
Dose Selection: The recommended target dose of ABILIFY is 10 mg/day. Aripiprazole was studied in adolescent patients 13 to 17 years of age with schizophrenia at daily doses of 10 mg and 30 mg. The starting daily dose of the tablet formulation in these patients was 2 mg, which was titrated to 5 mg after 2 days and to the target dose of 10 mg after 2 additional days. Subsequent dose increases should be administered in 5 mg increments. The 30 mg/day dose was not shown to be more efficacious than the 10 mg/day dose. ABILIFY can be administered without regard to meals [see CLINICAL STUDIES (14.1)].
Maintenance Treatment: The efficacy of ABILIFY for the maintenance treatment of schizophrenia in the adolescent population has not been evaluated. While there is no body of evidence available to answer the question of how long the adolescent patient treated with ABILIFY should be maintained on the drug, maintenance efficacy can be extrapolated from adult data along with comparisons of aripiprazole pharmacokinetic parameters in adult and pediatric patients. Thus, it is generally recommended that responding patients be continued beyond the acute response, but at the lowest dose needed to maintain remission. Patients should be periodically reassessed to determine the need for maintenance treatment.
Switching from Other Antipsychotics
There are no systematically collected data to specifically address switching patients with schizophrenia from other antipsychotics to ABILIFY or concerning concomitant administration with other antipsychotics. While immediate discontinuation of the previous antipsychotic treatment may be acceptable for some patients with schizophrenia, more gradual discontinuation may be most appropriate for others. In all cases, the period of overlapping antipsychotic administration should be minimized.
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