The clinical trial experience with eszopiclone revealed no evidence of a serious withdrawal syndrome. Nevertheless, the following adverse events included in DSM-IV criteria for uncomplicated sedative/hypnotic withdrawal were reported during clinical trials following placebo substitution occurring within 48 hours following the last eszopiclone treatment: anxiety, abnormal dreams, nausea, and upset stomach. These reported adverse events occurred at an incidence of 2% or less. Use of benzodiazepines and similar agents may lead to physical and psychological dependence. The risk of abuse and dependence increases with the dose and duration of treatment and concomitant use of other psychoactive drugs. The risk is also greater for patients who have a history of alcohol or drug abuse or history of psychiatric disorders. These patients should be under careful surveillance when receiving eszopiclone or any other hypnotic.
Some loss of efficacy to the hypnotic effect of benzodiazepines and benzodiazepine-like agents may develop after repeated use of these drugs for a few weeks.
No development of tolerance to any parameter of sleep measurement was observed over six months. Tolerance to the efficacy of eszopiclone 3 mg was assessed by 4-week objective and 6-week subjective measurements of time to sleep onset and sleep maintenance for eszopiclone in a placebo-controlled 44-day study, and by subjective assessments of time to sleep onset and wake time after sleep onset (WASO) in a placebo-controlled study for 6 months.
In clinical trials with eszopiclone, one case of overdose with up to 36 mg of eszopiclone was reported in which the subject fully recovered. Since commercial marketing began, spontaneous cases of eszopiclone overdoses up to 270 mg (90 times the maximum recommended dose of eszopiclone) have been reported, in which patients have recovered. Fatalities related to eszopiclone overdoses were reported only in combination with other CNS drugs or alcohol.
Signs and symptoms of overdose effects of CNS depressants can be expected to present as exaggerations of the pharmacological effects noted in preclinical testing. Impairment of consciousness ranging from somnolence to coma has been described. Rare individual instances of fatal outcomes following overdose with racemic zopiclone have been reported in European postmarketing reports, most often associated with overdose with other CNS-depressant agents. Methemoglobinemia in association with overdoses of racemic zopiclone has been reported.
General symptomatic and supportive measures should be used along with immediate gastric lavage where appropriate. Intravenous fluids should be administered as needed. Flumazenil may be useful. As in all cases of drug overdose, respiration, pulse, blood pressure, and other appropriate signs should be monitored and general supportive measures employed. Hypotension and CNS depression should be monitored and treated by appropriate medical intervention. Consider monitoring methemoglobin in the setting of high-dose overdosage. The value of dialysis in the treatment of overdosage has not been determined.
As with the management of all overdosage, the possibility of multiple drug ingestion should be considered. The physician may wish to consider contacting a poison control center for up-to-date information on the management of hypnotic drug product overdosage.
Eszopiclone is a nonbenzodiazepine hypnotic agent that is a pyrrolopyrazine derivative of the cyclopyrrolone class. The chemical name of eszopiclone is (+)-(5S)-6-(5-chloropyridin-2-yl)-7-oxo-6,7-dihydro-5H-pyrrolo[3,4-b] pyrazin-5-yl 4-methylpiperazine-1-carboxylate. Its molecular weight is 388.81, and its molecular formula is C17 H17 ClN6 O3 . Eszopiclone has a single chiral center with an (S)-configuration. It has the following chemical structure:
Eszopiclone USP is a white to light yellow powder. Eszopiclone is very slightly soluble in ethanol.
Eszopiclone is formulated as film-coated tablets for oral administration. Eszopiclone tablets contain 1 mg, 2 mg, or 3 mg eszopiclone USP and the following inactive ingredients: croscarmellose sodium, hypromellose, lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate, microcelac 100 (lactose monohydrate and cellulose, microcrystalline), polyethylene glycol, titanium dioxide, and triacetin. In addition, both the 1 mg and 3 mg tablets contain FD&C Blue #2.
Meets USP Dissolution Test 2
The mechanism of action of eszopiclone as a hypnotic is unclear; however, its effect could be related to its interaction with GABA-receptor complexes at binding domains located close to or allosterically coupled to benzodiazepine receptors.
The pharmacokinetics of eszopiclone have been investigated in healthy subjects (adult and elderly) and in patients with hepatic disease or renal disease. In healthy subjects, the pharmacokinetic profile was examined after single doses of up to 7.5 mg and after once-daily administration of 1, 3, and 6 mg for 7 days. Eszopiclone is rapidly absorbed, with a time to peak concentration (tmax ) of approximately 1 hour and a terminal-phase elimination half-life (t1/2 ) of approximately 6 hours. In healthy adults, eszopiclone does not accumulate with once-daily administration, and its exposure is dose-proportional over the range of 1 to 6 mg.
Absorption and Distribution
Eszopiclone is rapidly absorbed following oral administration. Peak plasma concentrations are achieved within approximately 1 hour after oral administration. Eszopiclone is weakly bound to plasma protein (52 to 59%). The large free fraction suggests that eszopiclone disposition should not be affected by drug-drug interactions caused by protein binding. The blood-to-plasma ratio for eszopiclone is less than one, indicating no selective uptake by red blood cells.
Following oral administration, eszopiclone is extensively metabolized by oxidation and demethylation. The primary plasma metabolites are (S)-zopiclone-N-oxide and (S)-N-desmethyl zopiclone; the latter compound binds to GABA receptors with substantially lower potency than eszopiclone, and the former compound shows no significant binding to this receptor. In vitro studies have shown that CYP3A4 and CYP2E1 enzymes are involved in the metabolism of eszopiclone. Eszopiclone did not show any inhibitory potential on CYP450 1A2, 2A6, 2C9, 2C19, 2D6, 2E1, and 3A4 in cryopreserved human hepatocytes.
After oral administration, eszopiclone is eliminated with a mean t1/2 of approximately 6 hours. Up to 75% of an oral dose of racemic zopiclone is excreted in the urine, primarily as metabolites. A similar excretion profile would be expected for eszopiclone, the S-isomer of racemic zopiclone. Less than 10% of the orally administered eszopiclone dose is excreted in the urine as parent drug.
Effect of Food
In healthy adults, administration of a 3 mg dose of eszopiclone after a high-fat meal resulted in no change in AUC, a reduction in mean Cmax of 21%, and delayed tmax by approximately 1 hour. The half-life remained unchanged, approximately 6 hours. The effects of eszopiclone on sleep onset may be reduced if it is taken with or immediately after a high-fat/heavy meal.
Compared with nonelderly adults, subjects 65 years and older had an increase of 41% in total exposure (AUC) and a slightly prolonged elimination of eszopiclone (t1/2 approximately 9 hours). Cmax was unchanged. Therefore, in elderly patients the dose should not exceed 2 mg.
The pharmacokinetics of eszopiclone in men and women are similar.
In an analysis of data on all subjects participating in Phase 1 studies of eszopiclone, the pharmacokinetics for all races studied appeared similar.
Pharmacokinetics of a 2 mg eszopiclone dose were assessed in 16 healthy volunteers and in 8 subjects with mild, moderate, and severe liver disease. Exposure was increased 2-fold in severely impaired patients compared with the healthy volunteers. Cmax and tmax were unchanged. No dose adjustment is necessary for patients with mild-to-moderate hepatic impairment. Dose reduction is recommended for patients with severe hepatic impairment. Eszopiclone should be used with caution in patients with hepatic impairment [see Dosage and Administration (2.3)].
The pharmacokinetics of eszopiclone were studied in 24 patients with mild, moderate, or severe renal impairment. AUC and Cmax were similar in the patients compared with demographically matched healthy control subjects. No dose adjustment is necessary in patients with renal impairment, since less than 10% of the orally administered eszopiclone dose is excreted in the urine as parent drug.
Eszopiclone is metabolized by CYP3A4 and CYP2E1 via demethylation and oxidation. There were no pharmacokinetic or pharmacodynamic interactions between eszopiclone and paroxetine. When eszopiclone was coadministered with olanzapine, no pharmacokinetic interaction was detected in levels of eszopiclone or olanzapine, but a pharmacodynamic interaction was seen on a measure of psychomotor function. Eszopiclone and lorazepam decreased each other’s Cmax by 22%. Coadministration of eszopiclone 3 mg to subjects receiving ketoconazole, a potent inhibitor of CYP3A4, 400 mg daily for 5 days, resulted in a 2.2-fold increase in exposure to eszopiclone. Cmax and t1/2 were increased 1.4-fold and 1.3-fold, respectively. Eszopiclone would not be expected to alter the clearance of drugs metabolized by common CYP450 enzymes [see Warnings and Precautions (5.7), Dosage and Administration (2.3)].
Paroxetine: Coadministration of single dose of eszopiclone and paroxetine produced no pharmacokinetic or pharmacodynamic interaction. The lack of a drug interaction following single-dose administration does not predict the complete absence of a pharmacodynamic effect following chronic administration.
Lorazepam: Coadministration of single doses of eszopiclone and lorazepam did not have clinically relevant effects on the pharmacodynamics or pharmacokinetics of either drug. The lack of a drug interaction following single-dose administration does not predict the complete absence of a pharmacodynamic effect following chronic administration.
Drugs with a Narrow Therapeutic Index
Digoxin: A single dose of eszopiclone 3 mg did not affect the pharmacokinetics of digoxin measured at steady state following dosing of 0.5 mg twice daily for one day and 0.25 mg daily for the next 6 days.
Warfarin: Eszopiclone 3 mg administered daily for 5 days did not affect the pharmacokinetics of (R)- or (S)-warfarin, nor were there any changes in the pharmacodynamic profile (prothrombin time) following a single 25 mg oral dose of warfarin.
Drugs Highly Bound to Plasma Protein
Eszopiclone is not highly bound to plasma proteins (52 to 59% bound); therefore, the disposition of eszopiclone is not expected to be sensitive to alterations in protein binding. Administration of eszopiclone 3 mg to a patient taking another drug that is highly protein-bound would not be expected to cause an alteration in the free concentration of either drug.
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