Escitalopram Oxalate (Page 3 of 10)

5.2 Serotonin Syndrome

The development of a potentially life-threatening serotonin syndrome has been reported with SNRIs and SSRIs, including escitalopram, alone but particularly with concomitant use of other serotonergic drugs (including triptans, tricyclic antidepressants, fentanyl, lithium, tramadol, tryptophan, buspirone, amphetamines, and St. John’s Wort) and with drugs that impair metabolism of serotonin (in particular, MAOIs, both those intended to treat psychiatric disorders and also others, such as linezolid and intravenous methylene blue).

Serotonin syndrome symptoms may include mental status changes (e.g., agitation, hallucinations, delirium, and coma), autonomic instability (e.g., tachycardia, labile blood pressure, dizziness, diaphoresis, flushing, hyperthermia), neuromuscular symptoms (e.g., tremor, rigidity, myoclonus, hyperreflexia, incoordination) seizures, and/or gastrointestinal symptoms (e.g., nausea, vomiting, diarrhea). Patients should be monitored for the emergence of serotonin syndrome.

The concomitant use of escitalopram with MAOIs intended to treat psychiatric disorders is contraindicated. Escitalopram should also not be started in a patient who is being treated with MAOIs such as linezolid or intravenous methylene blue. All reports with methylene blue that provided information on the route of administration involved intravenous administration in the dose range of 1 mg/kg to 8 mg/kg. No reports involved the administration of methylene blue by other routes (such as oral tablets or local tissue injection) or at lower doses. There may be circumstances when it is necessary to initiate treatment with an MAOI such as linezolid or intravenous methylene blue in a patient taking escitalopram. Escitalopram should be discontinued before initiating treatment with the MAOI [ see Contraindications ( 4.1) and Dosage and Administration ( 2.5 and 2.6) ].

If concomitant use of escitalopram with other serotonergic drugs including, triptans, tricyclic antidepressants, fentanyl, lithium, tramadol, buspirone, tryptophan, amphetamine and St. John’s Wort is clinically warranted, patients should be made aware of a potential increased risk for serotonin syndrome, particularly during treatment initiation and dose increases.

Treatment with escitalopram and any concomitant serotonergic agents, should be discontinued immediately if the above events occur and supportive symptomatic treatment should be initiated.

5.3 Discontinuation of Treatment with Escitalopram Tablets

During marketing of escitalopram tablets and other SSRIs and SNRIs (serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors), there have been spontaneous reports of adverse events occurring upon discontinuation of these drugs, particularly when abrupt, including the following: dysphoric mood, irritability, agitation, dizziness, sensory disturbances (e.g., paresthesias such as electric shock sensations), anxiety, confusion, headache, lethargy, emotional lability, insomnia, and hypomania. While these events are generally self-limiting, there have been reports of serious discontinuation symptoms.

Patients should be monitored for these symptoms when discontinuing treatment with escitalopram. A gradual reduction in the dose rather than abrupt cessation is recommended whenever possible. If intolerable symptoms occur following a decrease in the dose or upon discontinuation of treatment, then resuming the previously prescribed dose may be considered. Subsequently, the physician may continue decreasing the dose but at a more gradual rate [ see Dosage and Administration ( 2.4) ].

5.4 Seizures

Although anticonvulsant effects of racemic citalopram have been observed in animal studies, escitalopram has not been systematically evaluated in patients with a seizure disorder. These patients were excluded from clinical studies during the product’s premarketing testing. In clinical trials of escitalopram, cases of convulsion have been reported in association with escitalopram treatment. Like other drugs effective in the treatment of major depressive disorder, escitalopram tablets should be introduced with care in patients with a history of seizure disorder.

5.5 Activation of Mania/Hypomania

In placebo-controlled trials of escitalopram in major depressive disorder, activation of mania/hypomania was reported in one (0.1%) of 715 patients treated with escitalopram and in none of the 592 patients treated with placebo. One additional case of hypomania has been reported in association with escitalopram treatment. Activation of mania/hypomania has also been reported in a small proportion of patients with major affective disorders treated with racemic citalopram and other marketed drugs effective in the treatment of major depressive disorder. As with all drugs effective in the treatment of major depressive disorder, escitalopram tablets should be used cautiously in patients with a history of mania.

5.6 Hyponatremia

Hyponatremia may occur as a result of treatment with SSRIs and SNRIs, including escitalopram. In many cases, this hyponatremia appears to be the result of the syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion (SIADH), and was reversible when escitalopram was discontinued. Cases with serum sodium lower than 110 mmol/L have been reported. Elderly patients may be at greater risk of developing hyponatremia with SSRIs and SNRIs. Also, patients taking diuretics or who are otherwise volume depleted may be at greater risk [ see Geriatric Use ( 8.5)]. Discontinuation of escitalopram should be considered in patients with symptomatic hyponatremia and appropriate medical intervention should be instituted.

Signs and symptoms of hyponatremia include headache, difficulty concentrating, memory impairment, confusion, weakness, and unsteadiness, which may lead to falls. Signs and symptoms associated with more severe and/or acute cases have included hallucination, syncope, seizure, coma, respiratory arrest, and death.

5.7 Abnormal Bleeding

SSRIs and SNRIs, including escitalopram, may increase the risk of bleeding events. Concomitant use of aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, warfarin, and other anticoagulants may add to the risk. Case reports and epidemiological studies (case-control and cohort design) have demonstrated an association between use of drugs that interfere with serotonin reuptake and the occurrence of gastrointestinal bleeding. Bleeding events related to SSRIs and SNRIs use have ranged from ecchymoses, hematomas, epistaxis, and petechiae to life-threatening hemorrhages.

Patients should be cautioned about the risk of bleeding associated with the concomitant use of escitalopram and NSAIDs, aspirin, or other drugs that affect coagulation.

5.8 Interference with Cognitive and Motor Performance

In a study in normal volunteers, escitalopram 10 mg/day did not produce impairment of intellectual function or psychomotor performance. Because any psychoactive drug may impair judgment, thinking, or motor skills, however, patients should be cautioned about operating hazardous machinery, including automobiles, until they are reasonably certain that escitalopram tablets therapy does not affect their ability to engage in such activities.

5.9 Angle Closure Glaucoma

Angle Closure Glaucoma: The pupillary dilation that occurs following use of many antidepressant drugs including escitalopram may trigger an angle closure attack in a patient with anatomically narrow angles who does not have a patent iridectomy.

5.10 Use in Patients with Concomitant Illness

Clinical experience with escitalopram in patients with certain concomitant systemic illnesses is limited. Caution is advisable in using escitalopram tablets in patients with diseases or conditions that produce altered metabolism or hemodynamic responses.

Escitalopram has not been systematically evaluated in patients with a recent history of myocardial infarction or unstable heart disease. Patients with these diagnoses were generally excluded from clinical studies during the product’s premarketing testing.

In subjects with hepatic impairment, clearance of racemic citalopram was decreased and plasma concentrations were increased. The recommended dose of escitalopram tablets in hepatically impaired patients is 10 mg/day [ see Dosage and Administration ( 2.3) ].

Because escitalopram is extensively metabolized, excretion of unchanged drug in urine is a minor route of elimination. Until adequate numbers of patients with severe renal impairment have been evaluated during chronic treatment with escitalopram tablets, however, it should be used with caution in such patients [ see Dosage and Administration ( 2.3) ].

6 ADVERSE REACTIONS

6.1 Clinical Trials Experience

Because clinical studies are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical studies of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical studies of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice.

Clinical Trial Data Sources

Pediatrics (6 to 17 years)

Adverse events were collected in 576 pediatric patients (286 escitalopram, 290 placebo) with major depressive disorder in double-blind placebo-controlled studies. Safety and effectiveness of escitalopram in pediatric patients less than 12 years of age has not been established.

Adults

Adverse events information for escitalopram was collected from 715 patients with major depressive disorder who were exposed to escitalopram and from 592 patients who were exposed to placebo in double-blind, placebo-controlled trials. An additional 284 patients with major depressive disorder were newly exposed to escitalopram in open-label trials. The adverse event information for escitalopram in patients with GAD was collected from 429 patients exposed to escitalopram and from 427 patients exposed to placebo in double-blind, placebo-controlled trials.

Adverse events during exposure were obtained primarily by general inquiry and recorded by clinical investigators using terminology of their own choosing. Consequently, it is not possible to provide a meaningful estimate of the proportion of individuals experiencing adverse events without first grouping similar types of events into a smaller number of standardized event categories. In the tables and tabulations that follow, standard World Health Organization (WHO) terminology has been used to classify reported adverse events.

The stated frequencies of adverse reactions represent the proportion of individuals who experienced, at least once, a treatment-emergent adverse event of the type listed. An event was considered treatment emergent if it occurred for the first time or worsened while receiving therapy following baseline evaluation.

Adverse Events Associated with Discontinuation of Treatment

Major Depressive Disorder

Pediatrics (6 to 17 years)

Adverse events were associated with discontinuation of 3.5% of 286 patients receiving escitalopram and 1% of 290 patients receiving placebo. The most common adverse event (incidence at least 1% for escitalopram and greater than placebo) associated with discontinuation was insomnia (1% escitalopram, 0% placebo).

Adults

Among the 715 depressed patients who received escitalopram in placebo-controlled trials, 6% discontinued treatment due to an adverse event, as compared to 2% of 592 patients receiving placebo. In two fixed-dose studies, the rate of discontinuation for adverse events in patients receiving 10 mg/day escitalopram was not significantly different from the rate of discontinuation for adverse events in patients receiving placebo. The rate of discontinuation for adverse events in patients assigned to a fixed dose of 20 mg/day escitalopram was 10%, which was significantly different from the rate of discontinuation for adverse events in patients receiving 10 mg/day escitalopram (4%) and placebo (3%). Adverse events that were associated with the discontinuation of at least 1% of patients treated with escitalopram tablets, and for which the rate was at least twice that of placebo, were nausea (2%) and ejaculation disorder (2% of male patients).

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Adults

Among the 429 GAD patients who received escitalopram 10 to 20 mg/day in placebo-controlled trials, 8% discontinued treatment due to an adverse event, as compared to 4% of 427 patients receiving placebo. Adverse events that were associated with the discontinuation of at least 1% of patients treated with escitalopram, and for which the rate was at least twice the placebo rate, were nausea (2%), insomnia (1%), and fatigue (1%).

Incidence of Adverse Reactions in Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trials

Major Depressive Disorder

Pediatrics (6 to 17 years)

The overall profile of adverse reactions in pediatric patients was generally similar to that seen in adult studies, as shown in Table 2. However, the following adverse reactions (excluding those which appear in Table 2 and those for which the coded terms were uninformative or misleading) were reported at an incidence of at least 2% for escitalopram and greater than placebo: back pain, urinary tract infection, vomiting, and nasal congestion.

Adults

The most commonly observed adverse reactions in escitalopram patients (incidence of approximately 5% or greater and approximately twice the incidence in placebo patients) were insomnia, ejaculation disorder (primarily ejaculatory delay), nausea, sweating increased, fatigue, and somnolence.

Table 2 enumerates the incidence, rounded to the nearest percent, of treatment-emergent adverse events that occurred among 715 depressed patients who received escitalopram at doses ranging from 10 to 20 mg/day in placebo-controlled trials. Events included are those occurring in 2% or more of patients treated with escitalopram and for which the incidence in patients treated with escitalopram was greater than the incidence in placebo-treated patients.

1 Primarily ejaculatory delay.
2 Denominator used was for males only (N=225 escitalopram; N=188 placebo).
3 Denominator used was for females only (N=490 escitalopram; N=404 placebo).

TABLE 2

Treatment-Emergent Adverse Reactions observed with a frequency of 2% and greater than placebo for Major Depressive Disorder

Adverse Reaction

Escitalopram

Placebo

(N=715) %

(N=592) %

Autonomic Nervous System Disorders

Dry Mouth

6%

5%

Sweating Increased

5%

2%

Central & Peripheral Nervous System Disorders

Dizziness

5%

3%

Gastrointestinal Disorders

Nausea

15%

7%

Diarrhea

8%

5%

Constipation

3%

1%

Indigestion

3%

1%

Abdominal Pain

2%

1%

General

Influenza-like Symptoms

5%

4%

Fatigue

5%

2%

Psychiatric Disorders

Insomnia

9%

4%

Somnolence

6%

2%

Appetite Decreased

3%

1%

Libido Decreased

3%

1%

Respiratory System Disorders

Rhinitis

5%

4%

Sinusitis

3%

2%

Urogenital

Ejaculation Disorder 1,2

9%

<1%

Impotence 2

3%

<1%

Anorgasmia 3

2%

<1%

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Adults

The most commonly observed adverse reactions in escitalopram patients (incidence of approximately 5% or greater and approximately twice the incidence in placebo patients) were nausea, ejaculation disorder (primarily ejaculatory delay), insomnia, fatigue, decreased libido, and anorgasmia.

Table 3 enumerates the incidence, rounded to the nearest percent of treatment-emergent adverse events that occurred among 429 GAD patients who received escitalopram 10 to 20 mg/day in placebo-controlled trials. Events included are those occurring in 2% or more of patients treated with escitalopram and for which the incidence in patients treated with escitalopram was greater than the incidence in placebo-treated patients.

1 Primarily ejaculatory delay.
2 Denominator used was for males only (N=182 escitalopram; N=195 placebo).
3 Denominator used was for females only (N=247 escitalopram; N=232 placebo).

TABLE 3

Treatment-Emergent Adverse Reactions observed with a frequency of 2% and greater than placebo for Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Adverse Reactions

Escitalopram

Placebo

(N=429) %

(N=427) %

Autonomic Nervous System Disorders

Dry Mouth

9%

5%

Sweating Increased

4%

1%

Central & Peripheral Nervous System Disorders

Headache

24%

17%

Paresthesia

2%

1%

Gastrointestinal Disorders

Nausea

18%

8%

Diarrhea

8%

6%

Constipation

5%

4%

Indigestion

3%

2%

Vomiting

3%

1%

Abdominal Pain

2%

1%

Flatulence

2%

1%

Toothache

2%

0%

General

Fatigue

8%

2%

Influenza-like Symptoms

5%

4%

Musculoskeletal System Disorder

Neck/Shoulder Pain

3%

1%

Psychiatric Disorders

Somnolence

13%

7%

Insomnia

12%

6%

Libido Decreased

7%

2%

Dreaming Abnormal

3%

2%

Appetite Decreased

3%

1%

Lethargy

3%

1%

Respiratory System Disorders

Yawning

2%

1%

Urogenital

Ejaculation Disorder 1,2

14%

2%

Anorgasmia 3

6%

<1%

Menstrual Disorder

2%

1%

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