During its premarketing assessment, buspirone hydrochloride tablets were evaluated in over 3500 subjects. This section reports event frequencies for adverse events occurring in approximately 3000 subjects from this group who took multiple doses of buspirone hydrochloride tablets in the dose range for which buspirone is being recommended (i.e., the modal daily dose of buspirone hydrochloride tablets fell between 10 mg and 30 mg for 70% of the patients studied) and for whom safety data were systematically collected. The conditions and duration of exposure to buspirone hydrochloride tablets varied greatly, involving well-controlled studies as well as experience in open and uncontrolled clinical settings. As part of the total experience gained in clinical studies, various adverse events were reported. In the absence of appropriate controls in some of the studies, a causal relationship to buspirone hydrochloride treatment cannot be determined. The list includes all undesirable events reasonably associated with the use of the drug.
The following enumeration by organ system describes events in terms of their relative frequency of reporting in this data base. Events of major clinical importance are also described in the PRECAUTIONS section.
The following definitions of frequency are used: Frequent adverse events are defined as those occurring in at least 1/100 patients. Infrequent adverse events are those occurring in 1/100 to 1/1000 patients, while rare events are those occurring in less than 1/1000 patients.
Frequent was nonspecific chest pain; infrequent were syncope, hypotension, and hypertension; rare were cerebrovascular accident, congestive heart failure, myocardial infarction, cardiomyopathy, and bradycardia.
Central Nervous System
Frequent were dream disturbances; infrequent were depersonalization, dysphoria, noise intolerance, euphoria, akathisia, fearfulness, loss of interest, dissociative reaction, hallucinations, involuntary movements, slowed reaction time, suicidal ideation, and seizures; rare were feelings of claustrophobia, cold intolerance, stupor, and slurred speech and psychosis.
Frequent were tinnitus, sore throat, and nasal congestion; infrequent were redness and itching of the eyes, altered taste, altered smell, and conjunctivitis; rare were inner ear abnormality, eye pain, photophobia, and pressure on eyes.
Rare were galactorrhea and thyroid abnormality.
Infrequent were flatulence, anorexia, increased appetite, salivation, irritable colon, and rectal bleeding; rare was burning of the tongue.
Infrequent were urinary frequency, urinary hesitancy, menstrual irregularity and spotting, and dysuria; rare were amenorrhea, pelvic inflammatory disease, enuresis, and nocturia.
Infrequent were muscle cramps, muscle spasms, rigid/stiff muscles, and arthralgias; rare was muscle weakness.
Infrequent were hyperventilation, shortness of breath, and chest congestion; rare was epistaxis.
Infrequent were decreased or increased libido; rare were delayed ejaculation and impotence.
Infrequent were edema, pruritus, flushing, easy bruising, hair loss, dry skin, facial edema, and blisters; rare were acne and thinning of nails.
Infrequent were increases in hepatic aminotransferases (SGOT, SGPT); rare were eosinophilia, leukopenia, and thrombocytopenia.
Infrequent were weight gain, fever, roaring sensation in the head, weight loss, and malaise; rare were alcohol abuse, bleeding disturbance, loss of voice, and hiccoughs.
Postmarketing experience has shown an adverse experience profile similar to that given above. Voluntary reports since introduction have included rare occurrences of allergic reactions (including urticaria), angioedema, cogwheel rigidity, dizziness (rarely reported as vertigo), dystonic reactions (including dystonia), ataxias, extrapyramidal symptoms, dyskinesias (acute and tardive), ecchymosis, emotional lability, serotonin syndrome, transient difficulty with recall, urinary retention, visual changes (including tunnel vision), parkinsonism, akathisia, restless leg syndrome, and restlessness. Because of the uncontrolled nature of these spontaneous reports, a causal relationship to buspirone hydrochloride tablets treatment has not been determined.
Buspirone hydrochloride is not a controlled substance.
In human and animal studies, buspirone has shown no potential for abuse or diversion and there is no evidence that it causes tolerance, or either physical or psychological dependence. Human volunteers with a history of recreational drug or alcohol usage were studied in two double-blind clinical investigations. None of the subjects were able to distinguish between buspirone hydrochloride tablets and placebo. By contrast, subjects showed a statistically significant preference for methaqualone and diazepam. Studies in monkeys, mice, and rats have indicated that buspirone lacks potential for abuse.
Following chronic administration in the rat, abrupt withdrawal of buspirone did not result in the loss of body weight commonly observed with substances that cause physical dependency.
Although there is no direct evidence that buspirone hydrochloride tablets cause physical dependence or drug-seeking behavior, it is difficult to predict from experiments the extent to which a CNS-active drug will be misused, diverted, and/or abused once marketed. Consequently, physicians should carefully evaluate patients for a history of drug abuse and follow such patients closely, observing them for signs of buspirone hydrochloride tablets misuse or abuse (e.g., development of tolerance, incrementation of dose, drug-seeking behavior).
In clinical pharmacology trials, doses as high as 375 mg/day were administered to healthy male volunteers. As this dose was approached, the following symptoms were observed: nausea, vomiting, dizziness, drowsiness, miosis, and gastric distress. A few cases of overdosage have been reported, with complete recovery as the usual outcome. No deaths have been reported following overdosage with buspirone hydrochloride tablets alone. Rare cases of intentional overdosage with a fatal outcome were invariably associated with ingestion of multiple drugs and/or alcohol, and a causal relationship to buspirone could not be determined. Toxicology studies of buspirone yielded the following LD50 values: mice, 655 mg/kg; rats, 196 mg/kg; dogs, 586 mg/kg; and monkeys, 356 mg/kg. These dosages are 160 to 550 times the recommended human daily dose.
General symptomatic and supportive measures should be used along with immediate gastric lavage. Respiration, pulse, and blood pressure should be monitored as in all cases of drug overdosage. No specific antidote is known to buspirone, and dialyzability of buspirone has not been determined.
The recommended initial dose is 15 mg daily (7.5 mg b.i.d.). To achieve an optimal therapeutic response, at intervals of 2 to 3 days the dosage may be increased 5 mg per day, as needed. The maximum daily dosage should not exceed 60 mg per day. In clinical trials allowing dose titration, divided doses of 20 mg to 30 mg per day were commonly employed.
The bioavailability of buspirone is increased when given with food as compared to the fasted state (see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY). Consequently, patients should take buspirone in a consistent manner with regard to the timing of dosing; either always with or always without food.
When buspirone is to be given with a potent inhibitor of CYP3A4, the dosage recommendations described in the PRECAUTIONS, Drug Interactions section should be followed.
Switching a Patient To or From a Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitor (MAOI) Antidepressant
At least 14 days should elapse between discontinuation of an MAOI intended to treat depression and initiation of therapy with buspirone hydrochloride tablets. Conversely, at least 14 days should be allowed after stopping buspirone hydrochloride tablets before starting an MAOI antidepressant CONTRAINDICATIONS and DRUG INTERACTIONS).
Use of buspirone hydrochloride tablets with (Reversible) MAOIs, Such as Linezolid or Methylene Blue
Do not start buspirone hydrochloride tablets in a patient who is being treated with a reversible MAOI such as linezolid or intravenous methylene blue because there is an increased risk of serotonin syndrome. In a patient who requires more urgent treatment of a psychiatric condition, non-pharmacological interventions, including hospitalization, should be considered (see CONTRAINDICATIONS and DRUG INTERACTIONS).
In some cases, a patient already receiving therapy with buspirone hydrochloride tablets may require urgent treatment with linezolid or intravenous methylene blue. If acceptable alternatives to linezolid or intravenous methylene blue treatment are not available and the potential benefits of linezolid or intravenous methylene blue treatment are judged to outweigh the risks of serotonin syndrome in a particular patient, buspirone hydrochloride tablets should be stopped promptly, and linezolid or intravenous methylene blue can be administered. The patient should be monitored for symptoms of serotonin syndrome for 2 weeks or until 24 hours after the last dose of linezolid or intravenous methylene blue, whichever comes first. Therapy with buspirone hydrochloride tablets may be resumed 24 hours after the last dose of linezolid or intravenous methylene blue (see WARNINGS).
The risk of administering methylene blue by non-intravenous routes (such as oral tablets or by local injection) or in intravenous doses much lower than 1 mg per kg with buspirone hydrochloride tablets is unclear. The clinician should, nevertheless, be aware of the possibility of emergent symptoms of serotonin syndrome with such use (see CONTRAINDICATIONS, WARNINGS and DRUG INTERACTIONS).
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