DORAL

DORAL- quazepam tablet
Galt Pharmaceuticals, LLC

WARNING: RISKS FROM CONCOMITANT USE WITH OPIOIDS

Concomitant use of benzodiazepines and opioids may result in profound sedation, respiratory depression, coma, and death [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1), Drug Interactions (7).]

  • Reserve concomitant prescribing of these drugs for use in patients for whom alternative treatment options are inadequate.
  • Limit dosages and durations to the minimum required.
  • Follow patients for signs and symptoms of respiratory depression and sedation.

1 INDICATIONS AND USAGE

DORAL is indicated for the treatment of insomnia characterized by difficulty in falling asleep, frequent nocturnal awakenings, and/or early morning awakenings. The effectiveness of DORAL has been established in placebo-controlled clinical studies of 5 nights duration in acute and chronic insomnia. The sustained effectiveness of DORAL has been established in chronic insomnia in a sleep lab (polysomnographic) study of 28 nights duration. Because insomnia is often transient and intermittent, the prolonged administration of DORAL Tablets is generally not necessary or recommended. Since insomnia may be a symptom of several other disorders, the possibility that the complaint may be related to a condition for which there is a more specific treatment should be considered.

2 DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION

Use the lowest dose effective for the patient, as important adverse effects of DORAL are dose related. The recommended initial dose is 7.5 mg. The 7.5 mg dose can be increased to 15 mg if necessary for efficacy. The 7.5 mg dose can be achieved by splitting the 15 mg tablet along the score line.

2.1 Special Populations

Elderly and debilitated patients may be more sensitive to benzodiazepines.

3 DOSAGE FORMS AND STRENGTHS

Tablets, 15 mg, functionally scored, capsule-shaped, light orange, slightly white speckled tablets, impressed with the product identification number 15 on one side of the tablet, and the product name (DORAL) on the other.

4 CONTRAINDICATIONS

DORAL is contraindicated in patients with known hypersensitivity to DORAL or other benzodiazepines. Rare cases of angioedema involving the tongue, glottis or larynx have been reported in patients after taking the first or subsequent doses of DORAL. Some patients have had additional symptoms such as dyspnea, throat closing, or nausea and vomiting that suggest anaphylaxis. Patients who develop such reactions should not be rechallenged with DORAL.

Contraindicated in patients with established or suspected sleep apnea, or with pulmonary insufficiency.

5 WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS

5.1 Risks from Concomitant Use with Opioids

Concomitant use of benzodiazepines, including DORAL, and opioids may result in profound sedation, respiratory depression, coma, and death. Because of these risks, reserve concomitant prescribing of these drugs for use in patients for whom alternative treatment options are inadequate.

Observational studies have demonstrated that concomitant use of opioid analgesics and benzodiazepines increases the risk of drug-related mortality compared to use of opioids alone. If a decision is made to prescribe DORAL concomitantly with opioids, prescribe the lowest effective dosages and minimum durations of concomitant use, and follow patients closely for signs and symptoms of respiratory depression and sedation. In patients already receiving an opioid analgesic, prescribe a lower initial dose of DORAL than indicated in the absence of an opioid and titrate based on clinical response. If an opioid is initiated in a patient already taking DORAL, prescribe a lower initial dose of the opioid and titrate based upon clinical response.

Advise both patients and caregivers about the risks of respiratory depression and sedation when DORAL is used with opioids. Advise patients not to drive or operate heavy machinery until the effects of concomitant use with the opioid have been determined. [see Drug Interactions (7), Patient Counseling (17)].

5.2 CNS-Depressant Effects and Daytime Impairment

DORAL is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant and can impair daytime function in some patients even when used as prescribed. Prescribers should monitor for excess depressant effects, but impairment can occur in the absence of subjective symptoms, and may not be reliably detected by ordinary clinical exam (i.e. less than formal psychomotor testing). While pharmacodynamics tolerance or adaptation to some adverse depressant effects of DORAL may develop, patients using DORAL should be cautioned against driving or engaging in other hazardous activities or activities requiring complete mental alertness.

Additive effects occur with concomitant use of other CNS depressants (e.g., other benzodiazepines, opioids, tricyclic antidepressants, alcohol), including daytime use. Downward dose adjustment of DORAL and concomitant CNS depressants should be considered. The potential for adverse drug interactions continues for several days following discontinuation of DORAL, until serum levels of both active parent drug and psychoactive metabolites decline.

Use of DORAL with other sedative-hypnotics is not recommended. Alcohol generally should not be used during treatment with DORAL. The risk of next-day psychomotor impairment is increased if DORAL is taken with less than a full night of sleep remaining (7 to 8 hours); if higher than the recommended dose is taken; if co-administered with other CNS depressants [see Dosage and Administration (2)].

Because DORAL can cause drowsiness and a decreased level of consciousness, patients particularly the elderly, are at higher risk of falls.

5.3 Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Syndrome

A withdrawal syndrome similar to that from alcohol (e.g., convulsions, tremor, abdominal and muscle cramps, vomiting, and sweating) can occur following abrupt discontinuation of DORAL. The more severe withdrawal effects are usually limited to patients taking higher than recommended doses over an extended time. Abrupt discontinuation should be avoided in such patients, and the dose gradually tapered. Prescribers should monitor patients for tolerance, abuse, and dependence.

Milder withdrawal symptoms (e.g., dysphoria and insomnia) can occur following abrupt discontinuation of benzodiazepines taken at therapeutic levels for short periods [See Drug Abuse and Dependence (9)].

5.4 Need to Evaluate for Co-morbid Diagnoses

Because sleep disturbances may be the presenting manifestation of a physical and/or psychiatric disorder, symptomatic treatment of insomnia should be initiated only after a careful evaluation of the patient. The failure of insomnia to remit after 7 to 10 days of treatment may indicate the presence of a primary psychiatric and/or medical illness that should be evaluated. Worsening of insomnia or the emergence of new thinking or behavior abnormalities may be the consequence of an unrecognized psychiatric or physical disorder. Such findings have emerged during the course of treatment with sedative-hypnotic drugs.

5.5 Severe Anaphylactic and Anaphylactoid Reactions

Rare cases of angioedema involving the tongue, glottis or larynx have been reported in patients after taking the first or subsequent doses of sedative-hypnotics, including DORAL. Some patients have had additional symptoms such as dyspnea, throat closing, or nausea and vomiting that suggest anaphylaxis.

Some patients have required medical therapy in the emergency department. If angioedema involves the tongue, glottis or larynx, airway obstruction may occur and be fatal. Patients who develop angioedema after treatment with DORAL should not be rechallenged with the drug.

5.6 Abnormal Thinking and Behavior Changes

Abnormal thinking and behavior changes have been reported in patients treated with sedative-hypnotics including DORAL. Some of these changes include decreased inhibition (e.g., aggressiveness and extroversion that seemed out of character), bizarre behavior, and depersonalization. Visual and auditory hallucinations have also been reported. Amnesia, and other neuro-psychiatric symptoms may occur.

Paradoxical reactions such as stimulation, agitation, increased muscle spasticity, and sleep disturbances may occur unpredictably.

Complex behaviors such as “sleep-driving” (i.e., driving while not fully awake, with amnesia for the event) have been reported with use of sedative-hypnotics. These behaviors can occur with initial treatment or in patients previously tolerant of DORAL or other sedative-hypnotics. Although these behaviors can occur with use at therapeutic doses, risk is increased by higher doses or concomitant use of alcohol or other CNS depressants. Due to risk to the patient and community, DORAL should be discontinued if “sleep-driving” occurs.

Other complex behaviors (e.g., preparing and eating food, making phone calls, or having sex) have been reported in patients who are not fully awake after taking a sedative-hypnotic. As with sleep-driving, patients usually do not remember these events.

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