ASENAPINE (Page 4 of 8)

5.14 Body Temperature Regulation

Atypical antipsychotics may disrupt the body’s ability to reduce core body temperature. In the pre-marketing short-term placebo-controlled trials for acute bipolar I disorder and another indication, the incidence of adverse reactions suggestive of body temperature increases was low (≤1%) and comparable to placebo (0%). During pre-marketing clinical trials with asenapine, including long-term trials without comparison to placebo, the incidence of adverse reactions suggestive of body temperature increases (pyrexia and feeling hot) was ≤1%.

Strenuous exercise, exposure to extreme heat, dehydration, and anticholinergic medications may contribute to an elevation in core body temperature; use asenapine with caution in patient who may experience these conditions.

5.15 Dysphagia

Esophageal dysmotility and aspiration have been associated with antipsychotic drug use. Dysphagia has been reported with asenapine. Asenapine and other antipsychotic drugs should be used cautiously in patients at risk for aspiration.


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

  • Use in Elderly Patients with Dementia-Related Psychosis [see Boxed Warning and Warnings and Precautions ( 5.1 and 5.2)]
  • Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome [see Warnings and Precautions ( 5.3)]
  • Tardive Dyskinesia [see Warnings and Precautions ( 5.4)]
  • Metabolic Changes [see Warnings and Precautions ( 5.5)]
  • Hypersensitivity Reactions [see Contraindications, Warnings and Precautions ( 5.6)]
  • Orthostatic Hypotension, Syncope, and other Hemodynamic Effects [see Warnings and Precautions ( 5.7)]
  • Falls [see Warnings and Precautions ( 5.8)]
  • Leukopenia, Neutropenia, and Agranulocytosis [see Warnings and Precautions ( 5.9)]
  • QT Interval Prolongation [see Warnings and Precautions ( 5.10)]
  • Hyperprolactinemia [see Warnings and Precautions ( 5.11)]
  • Seizures [see Warnings and Precautions ( 5.12)]
  • Potential for Cognitive and Motor Impairment [see Warnings and Precautions ( 5.13)]
  • Body Temperature Regulation [see Warnings and Precautions ( 5.14)]
  • Dysphagia [see Warnings and Precautions ( 5.15)]

The most common adverse reactions (≥5% and at least twice the rate of placebo) reported during the adjunctive therapy trial in bipolar I disorder in adults were somnolence and oral hypoesthesia. The rates were lower at the 5 mg twice daily dose than the 10 mg twice daily dose for all of these most common adverse reactions.

The adult information below is derived from a clinical trial database for asenapine consisting of over 5355 patients and/or healthy subjects exposed to one or more sublingual doses of asenapine. A total of 1427 asenapine-treated patients were treated for at least 24 weeks and 785 asenapine-treated patients had at least 52 weeks of exposure at therapeutic doses.

The stated frequencies of adverse reactions represent the proportion of individuals who experienced a treatment-emergent adverse event 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.

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.

Adjunctive Therapy in Adult Patients with Bipolar Mania: The following findings are based on a 12 week placebo-controlled trial (with a 3 week efficacy endpoint) in adult patients with bipolar mania in which sublingual asenapine was administered in doses of 5 mg or 10 mg twice daily as adjunctive therapy with lithium or valproate.

Adverse Reactions Associated with Discontinuation of Treatment: Approximately 16% (25/158) of asenapine-treated patients discontinued treatment due to an adverse reaction, compared with about 11% (18/166) on placebo. The most common adverse reactions associated with discontinuation in subjects treated with asenapine (rates at least 1% and at least twice the placebo rate) were depression (2.5%), suicidal ideation (2.5%), bipolar I disorder (1.9%), insomnia (1.9%) and depressive symptoms (1.3%).

Adverse Reactions Occurring at an Incidence of 2% or More Among Asenapine-Treated (Adjunctive) Bipolar I Patients: Adverse reactions associated with the use of asenapine (incidence of 2% or greater, rounded to the nearest percent, and asenapine incidence greater than placebo) that occurred during acute adjunctive therapy at 3 weeks, a time when most of the patients were still participating in the trial, are shown in Table 11.

Table 11: Adverse Reactions Reported in 2% or More of Adult Patients In Any Asenapine-Dose Group and Which Occurred at Greater Incidence Than in the Placebo Group at 3 Weeks in Adjunctive Bipolar Mania Trials
System Organ Class/Preferred Term





5 mg or 10 mg twice daily*



Gastrointestinal disorders
Dyspepsia 2 3
Oral hypoesthesia 0 5
General disorders
Fatigue 2 4
Edema peripheral <1 3
Increased weight 0 3
Nervous system disorders
Dizziness 2 4
Other extrapyramidal symptoms (excluding akathisia) 5 6
Somnolence 10 22
Psychiatric disorders
Insomnia 8 10
Vascular disorders
Hypertension <1 3

* Asenapine 5 mg to 10 mg twice daily with flexible dosing.
Extrapyramidal symptoms included: dystonia, parkinsonism, oculogyration, and tremor (excluding akathisia).
Somnolence includes the following events: somnolence and sedation.

Dystonia: 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 [see Dosage and Administration ( 2.3), Use in Specific Populations ( 8.4), and Clinical Pharmacology ( 12.3)].

Extrapyramidal Symptoms: In the short-term, placebo-controlled bipolar mania adult trials, data was objectively collected on the Simpson Angus Rating Scale for extrapyramidal symptoms (EPS), the Barnes Akathisia Scale (for akathisia) and the Assessments of Involuntary Movement Scales (for dyskinesias). The mean change from baseline for the all-asenapine 5 mg or 10 mg twice daily treated group was comparable to placebo in each of the rating scale scores.

In short-term placebo-controlled bipolar mania adult trials, the incidence of EPS-related events, excluding events related to akathisia, for asenapine-treated patients was 8% versus 4% for placebo; and the incidence of akathisia-related events for asenapine-treated patients was 7% versus 3% for placebo. The incidence rates of all EPS events (including akathisia) were lower at the 5 mg twice daily dose (11% of N=122) than the 10 mg twice daily dose (25% of N=119) in another study.

Other Findings: Oral hypoesthesia and/or oral paresthesia may occur directly after administration of asenapine and usually resolves within 1 hour.

Laboratory Test Abnormalities:

Transaminases: Transient elevations in serum transaminases (primarily ALT) in the short-term bipolar mania adult trials were more common in treated patients. In short-term, placebo-controlled bipolar adult mania trials, the mean increase in transaminase levels for asenapine-treated patients was 6.1 units/L compared to a decrease of 3.9 units/L in placebo-treated patients. The proportion of patients with transaminase elevations ≥3 times upper limit of normal (ULN) (at Endpoint) was 2.1% for asenapine-treated patients versus 0.7% for placebo-treated patients. The incidence rate of transaminase elevations ≥3 times ULN is 3% of N=95 for 10 mg twice daily dose, and 0% of N=108 for the 5 mg twice daily dose and 0% of N=115 for placebo in another study.

In a 52-week, double-blind, comparator-controlled trial that included primarily adult patients, the mean increase from baseline of ALT was 1.7 units/L.

Prolactin: In short-term, placebo-controlled bipolar mania adult trials, the mean increase in prolactin levels was 6.7 ng/mL for asenapine-treated patients compared to a decrease of 1.0 ng/mL for placebo-treated patients. The proportion of patients with prolactin elevations ≥4 times ULN (at Endpoint) were 2.0% for asenapine-treated patients versus 0.8% for placebo-treated patients.

In a long-term (52-week), double-blind, comparator-controlled adult trial, the mean decrease in prolactin from baseline for asenapine-treated patients was 26.9 ng/mL.

Creatine Kinase (CK): The proportion of adult patients with CK elevations >3 times ULN at any time were 6.4% and 11.1% for patients treated with asenapine 5 mg twice daily and 10 mg twice daily, respectively, as compared to 6.7% for placebo-treated patients in pre-marketing short-term, fixed-dose trials in bipolar mania and another indication. The clinical relevance of this finding is unknown.

Other Adverse Reactions Observed During the Premarketing Evaluation of Asenapine: Following is a list of MedDRA terms that reflect adverse reactions reported by patients treated with sublingual asenapine at multiple doses of ≥5 mg twice daily during any phase of a trial within the database of adult patients. The reactions listed are those that could be of clinical importance, as well as reactions that are plausibly drug-related on pharmacologic or other grounds. Reactions already listed for adult patients in other parts of Adverse Reactions ( 6) , or those considered in Contraindications ( 4), Warnings and Precautions ( 5) or Overdosage ( 10) are not included. Reactions are further categorized by MedDRA system organ class and listed in order of decreasing frequency according to the following definitions: those occurring in at least 1/100 patients (frequent) (only those not already listed in the tabulated results from placebo-controlled trials appear in this listing); those occurring in 1/100 to 1/1000 patients (infrequent); and those occurring in fewer than 1/1000 patients (rare).

Blood and lymphatic disorders: infrequent: anemia; rare: thrombocytopenia
Cardiac disorders: infrequent: temporary bundle branch block
Eye disorders: infrequent: accommodation disorder
Gastrointestinal disorders: infrequent: swollen tongue
General disorders: rare: idiosyncratic drug reaction
Investigations: infrequent: hyponatremia Nervous system disorders: infrequent: dysarthria

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