ABILIFY (Page 4 of 24)

5.4 Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS)

A potentially fatal symptom complex sometimes referred to as Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS) may occur with administration of antipsychotic drugs, including ABILIFY. Rare cases of NMS occurred during ABILIFY treatment in the worldwide clinical database. 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 creatine 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) 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 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 uncomplicated 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.

5.5 Tardive Dyskinesia

A syndrome of potentially irreversible, involuntary, dyskinetic movements may develop in patients treated 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, ABILIFY 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 ABILIFY, drug discontinuation should be considered. However, some patients may require treatment with ABILIFY despite the presence of the syndrome.

5.6 Metabolic Changes

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

Hyperglycemia/Diabetes Mellitus

Hyperglycemia, in some cases extreme and associated with ketoacidosis or hyperosmolar coma or death, has been reported in patients treated with atypical antipsychotics. There have been reports of hyperglycemia in patients treated with ABILIFY [see ADVERSE REACTIONS (6.1, 6.2)]. 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 events is not completely understood. However, epidemiological studies suggest an increased risk of hyperglycemia-related adverse reactions in patients treated with the atypical antipsychotics. Because ABILIFY was not marketed at the time these studies were performed, it is not known if ABILIFY is associated with this increased risk. 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 anti-diabetic treatment despite discontinuation of the suspect drug.

Adults

In an analysis of 13 placebo-controlled monotherapy trials in adults, primarily with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, the mean change in fasting glucose in ABILIFY-treated patients (+4.4 mg/dL; median exposure 25 days; N=1057) was not significantly different than in placebo-treated patients (+2.5 mg/dL; median exposure 22 days; N=799). Table 6 shows the proportion of ABILIFY-treated patients with normal and borderline fasting glucose at baseline (median exposure 25 days) that had treatment-emergent high fasting glucose measurements compared to placebo-treated patients (median exposure 22 days).

Table 6: Changes in Fasting Glucose From Placebo-Controlled Monotherapy Trials in Adult Patients

Fasting Glucose

Category Change (at least once) from Baseline
Treatment Arm
n/N
%
Normal to High
(<100 mg/dL to ≥126 mg/dL)
ABILIFY
31/822
3.8
Placebo
22/605
3.6
Borderline to High
(≥100 mg/dL and <126 mg/dL to ≥126 mg/dL)
ABILIFY
31/176
17.6
Placebo
13/142
9.2

At 24 weeks, the mean change in fasting glucose in ABILIFY-treated patients was not significantly different than in placebo-treated patients [+2.2 mg/dL (n=42) and +9.6 mg/dL (n=28), respectively].

The mean change in fasting glucose in adjunctive ABILIFY-treated patients with major depressive disorder (+0.7 mg/dL; median exposure 42 days; N=241) was not significantly different than in placebo-treated patients (+0.8 mg/dL; median exposure 42 days; N=246). Table 7 shows the proportion of adult patients with changes in fasting glucose levels from two placebo-controlled, adjunctive trials (median exposure 42 days) in patients with major depressive disorder.

Table 7: Changes in Fasting Glucose From Placebo-Controlled Adjunctive Trials in Adult Patients with Major Depressive Disorder

Fasting Glucose

Category Change (at least once) from Baseline
Treatment Arm
n/N
%
Normal to High
(<100 mg/dL to ≥126 mg/dL)
ABILIFY
2/201
1.0
Placebo
2/204
1.0
Borderline to High
(≥100 mg/dL and <126 mg/dL to ≥126 mg/dL)
ABILIFY
4/34
11.8
Placebo
3/37
8.1

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