ALPRAZOLAM- alprazolam tablet, orally disintegrating
Par Pharmaceutical, Inc.
WARNING: RISKS FROM CONCOMITANT USE WITH OPIOIDS; ABUSE, MISUSE, AND ADDICTION; and DEPENDENCE AND WITHDRAWAL REACTIONS
- Concomitant use of benzodiazepines and opioids may result in profound sedation, respiratory depression, coma, and death. Reserve concomitant prescribing of these drugs 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 [ see Warnings and Precautions (5.1), Drug Interactions (7.1)].
- The use of benzodiazepines, including Alprazolam orally disintegrating tablets, exposes users torisks of abuse, misuse, and addiction, which can lead to overdose or death. Abuse and misuse of benzodiazepines commonly involve concomitant use of other medications, alcohol, and/or illicit substances, which is associated with an increased frequency of serious adverse outcomes. Before prescribing Alprazolam orally disintegrating tablets and throughout treatment, assess each patient’s risk for abuse, misuse, and addiction [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)].
- The continued use of benzodiazepines, including Alprazolam orally disintegrating tablets, may lead to clinically significant physical dependence. The risks of dependence and withdrawal increase with longer treatment duration and higher daily dose. Abrupt discontinuation or rapid dosage reduction of Alprazolam orally disintegrating tablets after continued use may precipitate acute withdrawal reactions, which can be life-threatening. To reduce the risk of withdrawal reactions, use a gradual taper to discontinue Alprazolam orally disintegrating tablets or reduce the dosage [see Dosage and Administration (2.3) and Warnings and Precautions (5.3)].
Alprazolam Orally Disintegrating Tablets is indicated for the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder.
The efficacy of alprazolam in the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder was demonstrated in 5 short-term, placebo-controlled trials. [see Clinical Studies (14.1)]
Alprazolam orally disintegrating tablets is also indicated for the treatment of panic disorder, with or without agoraphobia.
The efficacy of alprazolam in the treatment of panic disorder was established in 2 short-term, placebo-controlled trials. [see Clinical Studies (14.2)].
Demonstrations of the effectiveness of Alprazolam by systematic clinical study are limited to 4 months in duration for generalized 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.
Dosage should be individualized for maximum beneficial effect. While the usual daily dosages given below will meet the needs of most patients, there will be some who require doses greater than 4 mg per day. In such cases, the dosage should be increased cautiously to avoid adverse reactions. In general, benzodiazepines should be prescribed for short periods. Reevaluate the need for continued therapy before extending the treatment period.
Initiate treatment with a dose of 0.25 mg to 0.5 mg three times daily. The dose may be increased to achieve a maximum therapeutic effect, at intervals of 3 to 4 days, to a maximum daily dose of 4 mg, given in divided doses. Use the lowest possible effective dose, and periodically reassess the need for continued treatment. The risk of dependence can increase with dose and duration of treatment.
The successful treatment of many panic disorder patients has required the use of alprazolam at doses greater than 4 mg daily. In controlled trials conducted to establish the efficacy of alprazolam in panic disorder, doses in the range of 1 mg to 10 mg daily were used. The mean dosage employed was approximately 5 mg to 6 mg daily. Among the approximately 1700 patients participating in the panic disorder development program, about 300 received alprazolam in dosages of greater than 7 mg per day, including approximately 100 patients who received maximum dosages of greater than 9 mg per day. Occasional patients required as much as 10 mg a day to achieve a successful response.
Initiate treatment with a dose of 0.5 mg three times daily. Depending on the response, the dose may be increased at intervals of 3 to 4 days in increments of no more than 1 mg per day. Slower titration to the dose levels greater than 4 mg per day may be advisable to allow full expression of the pharmacodynamic effect of alprazolam. To lessen the possibility of interdose symptoms, the times of administration should be distributed as evenly as possible throughout the waking hours, (i.e., administered three or four times daily).
Generally, therapy should be initiated at a low dose to minimize the risk of adverse responses in patients especially sensitive to the drug. The dose should be advanced until an acceptable therapeutic response (i.e., a substantial reduction in or total elimination of panic attacks) is achieved, intolerance occurs, or the maximum recommended dose is attained.
For patients receiving doses greater than 4 mg per day, periodically reassess treatment and consider a reduction of dosage. In a controlled postmarketing dose-response study, patients treated with doses of alprazolam greater than 4 mg per day for 3 months were able to taper to 50% of their total daily maintenance dose without apparent loss of clinical benefit. Because of the danger of withdrawal, avoid abrupt discontinuation of treatment. [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS (5.3), Drug Abuse and Dependence (9.3)].
The necessary duration of treatment for panic disorder patients responding to alprazolam is unknown. After a period of extended freedom from attacks, a carefully supervised tapered discontinuation may be attempted, but there is evidence that this may often be difficult to accomplish without recurrence of symptoms and/or the manifestation of withdrawal phenomena.
To reduce the risk of withdrawal reactions, use a gradual taper to discontinue Alprazolam orally disintegrating tablets or reduce the dosage. If a patient develops withdrawal reactions, consider pausing the taper or increasing the dosage to the previous tapered dosage level. Subsequently decrease the dosage more slowly [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3) and Drug Abuse and Dependence (9.3)].
In a controlled postmarketing discontinuation study of panic disorder patients which compared this recommended taper schedule with a slower taper schedule, there was no difference between the groups in the proportion of patients who tapered and completely discontinued treatment with alprazolam; however, the slower schedule was associated with a reduction in symptoms associated with a withdrawal syndrome. Reduce the dose by no more than 0.5 mg every 3 days. Some patients may benefit from an even more gradual discontinuation. Some patients may prove resistant to all discontinuation regimens
In elderly patients, in patients with advanced liver disease, or in patients with debilitating disease (e.g., severe pulmonary disease), the usual starting dose is 0.25 mg, given two or three times daily. This may be gradually increased if needed and tolerated. The elderly may be especially sensitive to the effects of benzodiazepines. If adverse reactions occur at the recommended starting dose, the dose may be lowered.
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