Clozapine

CLOZAPINE- clozapine tablet
Accord Healthcare Inc.

WARNING: SEVERE NEUTROPENIA; ORTHOSTATIC HYPOTENSION, BRADYCARDIA, AND SYNCOPE; SEIZURE; MYOCARDITIS AND CARDIOMYOPATHY; INCREASED MORTALITY IN ELDERLY PATIENTS WITH DEMENTIA-RELATED PSYCHOSIS

Severe Neutropenia

Clozapine treatment has caused severe neutropenia, defined as an absolute neutrophil count (ANC) less than 500/µL. Severe neutropenia can lead to serious infection and death. Prior to initiating treatment with clozapine a baseline ANC must be at least 1500/ µL for the general population; and must be at least 1000/µL for patients with documented Benign Ethnic Neutropenia (BEN). During treatment, patients must have regular ANC monitoring. Advise patients to immediately report symptoms consistent with severe neutropenia or infection (e.g., fever, weakness, lethargy, or sore throat) [see Dosage and Administration (2.1) and Warnings and Precautions (5.1)] .

Because of the risk of severe neutropenia, Clozapine is available only through a restricted program under a Risk Evaluation Mitigation Strategy (REMS) called the Clozapine REMS Program. [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)] .

Orthostatic Hypotension, Bradycardia, Syncope

Orthostatic hypotension, bradycardia, syncope, and cardiac arrest have occurred with clozapine treatment. The risk is highest during the initial titration period, particularly with rapid dose escalation. These reactions can occur with the first dose, with doses as low as 12.5 mg per day. Initiate treatment at 12.5 mg once or twice daily; titrate slowly; and use divided dosages. Use clozapine cautiously in patients with cardiovascular or cerebrovascular disease or conditions predisposing to hypotension (e.g., dehydration, use of antihypertensive medications) [see Dosage and Administration (2.2, 2.5), Warnings and Precautions (5.3)] .

Seizures

Seizures have occurred with clozapine treatment. The risk is dose-related. Initiate treatment at 12.5 mg, titrate gradually, and use divided dosing. Use caution when administering clozapine to patients with a history of seizures or other predisposing risk factors for seizure (CNS pathology, medications that lower the seizure threshold, alcohol abuse). Caution patients about engaging in any activity where sudden loss of consciousness could cause serious risk to themselves or others [see Dosage and Administration(2.2), Warnings and Precautions (5.5)] .

Myocarditis, Cardiomyopathy and Mitral Valve Incompetence

Fatal myocarditis and cardiomyopathy have occurred with clozapine treatment. Discontinue clozapine and obtain a cardiac evaluation upon suspicion of these reactions. Generally, patients with clozapine-related myocarditis or cardiomyopathy should not be rechallenged with clozapine. Consider the possibility of myocarditis or cardiomyopathy if chest pain, tachycardia, palpitations, dyspnea, fever, flu-like symptoms, hypotension, or ECG changes occur [see Warnings and Precautions (5.6)] .

Increased Mortality in Elderly Patients with Dementia-Related Psychosis

Elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis treated with antipsychotic drugs are at an increased risk of death. Clozapine is not approved for use in patients with dementia-related psychosis [see Warnings and Precautions (5.7)] .

1 INDICATIONS AND USAGE

1.1 Treatment-Resistant Schizophrenia

Clozapine is indicated for the treatment of severely ill patients with schizophrenia who fail to respond adequately to standard antipsychotic treatment. Because of the risks of severe neutropenia and of seizure associated with its use, clozapine should be used only in patients who have failed to respond adequately to standard antipsychotic treatment [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1, 5.5)] .

The effectiveness of clozapine in treatment-resistant schizophrenia was demonstrated in a 6-week, randomized, double-blind, active-controlled study comparing clozapine and chlorpromazine in patients who had failed other antipsychotics [see Clinical Studies (14.1)] .

1.2 Reduction in the Risk of Recurrent Suicidal Behavior in Schizophrenia or Schizoaffective Disorder

Clozapine is indicated for reducing the risk of recurrent suicidal behavior in patients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder who are judged to be at chronic risk for re-experiencing suicidal behavior, based on history and recent clinical state. Suicidal behavior refers to actions by a patient that put him/herself at risk for death.

The effectiveness of clozapine in reducing the risk of recurrent suicidal behavior was demonstrated over a two-year treatment period in the InterSePT TM trial [see Clinical Studies (14.2)] .

2 DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION

2.1 Required Laboratory Testing Prior to Initiation and During Therapy

Prior to initiating treatment with clozapine, a baseline ANC must be obtained. The baseline ANC must be at least 1500/µL for the general population, and at least 1000/µL for patients with documented Benign Ethnic Neutropenia (BEN). To continue treatment, the ANC must be monitored regularly [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)] .

2.2 Dosing Information

The starting dose is 12.5 mg once daily or twice daily. The total daily dose can be increased in increments of 25 mg to 50 mg per day, if well-tolerated, to achieve a target dose of 300 mg to 450 mg per day (administered in divided doses) by the end of 2 weeks. Subsequently, the dose can be increased once weekly or twice weekly, in increments of up to 100 mg. The maximum dose is 900 mg per day. To minimize the risk of orthostatic hypotension, bradycardia, and syncope, it is necessary to use this low starting dose, gradual titration schedule, and divided dosages [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3)] .

Clozapine can be taken with or without food [see Pharmacokinetics (12.3) ] .

2.3 Maintenance Treatment

Generally, patients responding to clozapine should continue maintenance treatment on their effective dose beyond the acute episode.

2.4 Discontinuation of Treatment

Method of treatment discontinuation will vary depending on the patient’s last ANC:

  • See Tables 2 or 3 for appropriate ANC monitoring based on the level of neutropenia if abrupt treatment discontinuation is necessary because of moderate to severe neutropenia.
  • Reduce the dose gradually over a period of 1 to 2 weeks if termination of clozapine therapy is planned and there is no evidence of moderate to severe neutropenia.
  • For abrupt clozapine discontinuation for a reason unrelated to neutropenia, continuation of the existing ANC monitoring is recommended for general population patients until their ANC is ≥ 1500/μL and for BEN patients until their ANC is ≥ 1000/μL or above their baseline.
  • Additional ANC monitoring is required for any patient reporting onset of fever (temperature of 38.5°C or 101.3°F, or greater) during the 2 weeks after discontinuation [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)] .
  • Monitor all patients carefully for the recurrence of psychotic symptoms and symptoms related to cholinergic rebound such as profuse sweating, headache, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

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