ALPRAZOLAM (Page 4 of 7)

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 Other CNS Depressants

If Alprazolam 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

Drugs that inhibit alprazolam metabolism via cytochrome P450 3A

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 alprazolam tablets in doses up to 4 mg/day. The clinical significance of these changes is unknown.

Use with Imipramine and Desipramine

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 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 to30 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

Side effects to alprazolam 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, e.g., 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 (i.e., four weeks) placebo-controlled clinical studies with dosages up to 4 mg/day of alprazolam (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 Alprazolam 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 (e.g., 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
ALPRAZOLAM PLACEBO ALPRAZOLAM
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 *

* None reported

† Events reported by 1% or more of alprazolam patients are included

In addition to the relatively common (i.e., 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*
ALPRAZOLAM PLACEBO
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

* Events reported by 1% or more Alprazolam patients are included.

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 Alprazolam: 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).

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