Atomoxetine (Page 3 of 9)

5.4 Effects on Blood Pressure and Heart Rate

  • Atomoxetine should be used with caution in patients whose underlying medical conditions could be worsened by increases in blood pressure or heart rate such as certain patients with hypertension, tachycardia, or cardiovascular or cerebrovascular disease. It should not be used in patients with severe cardiac or vascular disorders whose condition would be expected to deteriorate if they experienced clinically important increases in blood pressure or heart rate [see Contraindications ( 4.5)] . Pulse and blood pressure should be measured at baseline, following atomoxetine dose increases, and periodically while on therapy to detect possible clinically important increases.
  • The following table provides short-term, placebo-controlled clinical trial data for the proportions of patients having an increase in: diastolic blood pressure ≥15 mm Hg; systolic blood pressure ≥20 mm Hg; heart rate greater than or equal to 20 bpm, in both the pediatric and adult populations ( see Table 1).
Table 1 a
a Abbreviations: bpm=beats per minute; DBP=diastolic blood pressure; HR=heart rate; mm Hg=millimeters mercury; SBP=systolic blood pressure.
b Proportion of patients meeting threshold at any one time during clinical trial.

Pediatric Acute Placebo-Controlled

Adult Acute Placebo-Controlled

Maximum b

Endpoint

Maximum b

Endpoint

Atomoxetine

Placebo

Atomoxetine

Placebo

Atomoxetine

Placebo

Atomoxetine

Placebo

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

  • DBP (≥15 mm Hg)

21.5

14.1

9.3

4.8

12.6

8.7

4.8

3.5

SBP (≥20 mm Hg)

12.5

8.7

4.9

3.3

12.4

7.8

4.2

3.2

HR (≥20 bpm)

23.4

11.5

12.2

3.8

22.4

8.3

10.2

2.0

  • In placebo-controlled registration studies involving pediatric patients, tachycardia was identified as an adverse event for 0.3% (5/1597) of these atomoxetine patients compared with 0% (0/934) of placebo patients. The mean heart rate increase in extensive metabolizer (EM) patients was 5.0 beats/minute, and in poor metabolizer (PM) patients 9.4 beats/minute.
  • In adult clinical trials where EM/PM status was available, the mean heart rate increase in PM patients was significantly higher than in EM patients (11 beats/minute versus 7.5 beats/minute). The heart rate effects could be clinically important in some PM patients.
  • In placebo-controlled registration studies involving adult patients, tachycardia was identified as an adverse event for 1.5% (8/540) of atomoxetine patients compared with 0.5% (2/402) of placebo patients.
  • In adult clinical trials where EM/PM status was available, the mean change from baseline in diastolic blood pressure in PM patients was higher than in EM patients (4.21 versus 2.13 mm Hg) as was the mean change from baseline in systolic blood pressure (PM: 2.75 versus EM: 2.40 mm Hg). The blood pressure effects could be clinically important in some PM patients.
  • Orthostatic hypotension and syncope have been reported in patients taking atomoxetine. In child and adolescent registration studies, 0.2% (12/5596) of atomoxetine -treated patients experienced orthostatic hypotension and 0.8% (46/5596) experienced syncope. In short-term child and adolescent registration studies, 1.8% (6/340) of atomoxetine -treated patients experienced orthostatic hypotension compared with 0.5% (1/207) of placebo-treated patients. Syncope was not reported during short-term child and adolescent placebo-controlled ADHD registration studies. Atomoxetine should be used with caution in any condition that may predispose patients to hypotension, or conditions associated with abrupt heart rate or blood pressure changes.

5.5 Emergence of New Psychotic or Manic Symptoms

  • Treatment emergent psychotic or manic symptoms, e.g., hallucinations, delusional thinking, or mania in children and adolescents without a prior history of psychotic illness or mania can be caused by atomoxetine at usual doses. If such symptoms occur, consideration should be given to a possible causal role of atomoxetine, and discontinuation of treatment should be considered. In a pooled analysis of multiple short-term, placebo-controlled studies, such symptoms occurred in about 0.2% (4 patients with reactions out of 1939 exposed to atomoxetine for several weeks at usual doses) of atomoxetine-treated patients compared to 0 out of 1056 placebo-treated patients.

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