Fluoxetine

FLUOXETINE- fluoxetine hydrochloride tablet
Torrent Pharmaceuticals Limited

WARNING: SUICIDALITY AND ANTIDEPRESSANT DRUGS

Antidepressants increased the risk compared to placebo of suicidal thinking and behavior (suicidality) in children, adolescents, and young adults in short-term studies of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and other psychiatric disorders. Anyone considering the use of fluoxetine tablet or any other antidepressant in a child, adolescent, or young adult must balance this risk with the clinical need. Short-term studies did not show an increase in the risk of suicidality with antidepressants compared to placebo in adults beyond age 24; there was a reduction in risk with antidepressants compared to placebo in adults aged 65 and older. Depression and certain other psychiatric disorders are themselves associated with increases in the risk of suicide. Patients of all ages who are started on antidepressant therapy should be monitored appropriately and observed closely for clinical worsening, suicidality, or unusual changes in behavior. Families and caregivers should be advised of the need for close observation and communication with the prescriber. Fluoxetine tablet is not approved for use in pediatric patients [ s ee Warnings and Precautions (5.1) and Use in Specific Populations (8.4)].

1 INDICATIONS AND USAGE

1.1 Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)

Fluoxetine tablets, USP are indicated for the treatment of premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) [see Clinical Studies (14.1)].

The effectiveness of fluoxetine tablets, USP in long-term use (that is, for more than 6 months) has not been systematically evaluated in placebo-controlled trials. The use of fluoxetine tablets, USP for extended periods should be periodically re-evaluated for the individual patient [ see Dosage and Administration (2.1)].

2 DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION

2.1 Treatment

The recommended dose of fluoxetine tablets for the treatment of PMDD is 20 mg/day given continuously (every day of the menstrual cycle) or intermittently (defined as starting a daily dose 14 days prior to the anticipated onset of menstruation through the first full day of menses and repeating with each new cycle). The dosing regimen should be based on individual patient characteristics. In a study comparing continuous dosing of fluoxetine 20 and 60 mg/day to placebo, both doses were proven to be effective, but there was no statistically significant added benefit for the 60 mg/day compared with the 20 mg/day dose. Fluoxetine doses above 60 mg/day have not been systematically studied in patients with PMDD. The maximum fluoxetine dose should not exceed 80 mg/day [see Clinical Studies (14.1)].

Systematic evaluation of fluoxetine tablets has shown that its efficacy in PMDD is maintained for periods of up to 6 months at a dose of 20 mg/day given continuously and up to 3 months at a dose of 20 mg/day given intermittently [see Clinical Studies (14.1)]. Patients should be periodically re-assessed to determine the need for continued treatment.

2.2 Dosing in Specific Populations

Treatment of Pregnant Women — PMDD does not exist in pregnancy. However, if there is a need to treat pregnant women with fluoxetine, the physician should carefully consider the potential risks and potential benefits of treatment. Neonates exposed to SSRIs or SNRIs late in the third trimester have developed complications requiring prolonged hospitalization, respiratory support, and tube feeding [see Use in Specific Populations (8.1)].

Hepatic Impairment — A lower or less frequent dosage should be used in patients with hepatic impairment [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3) and Use in Specific Populations (8.6)].

Concomitant Illness — Patients with concurrent disease or on multiple concomitant medications may require dosage adjustments [see Warnings and Precautions (5.11) and Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].

2.3 Discontinuation of Treatment

Symptoms associated with discontinuation of fluoxetine, SNRIs, and SSRIs, have been reported [see Warnings and Precautions (5.14)].

2.4 Switching a Patient To or From a Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitor (MAOI) Intended to Treat Psychiatric Disorders

At least 14 days should elapse between discontinuation of an MAOI intended to treat psychiatric disorders and initiation of therapy with fluoxetine tablets. Conversely, at least 5 weeks should be allowed after stopping fluoxetine tablets before starting an MAOI intended to treat psychiatric disorders [ see Contraindications (4.1)].

2.5 Use of Fluoxetine Tablets with Other MAOIs such as Linezolid or Methylene Blue

Do not start fluoxetine tablets in a patient who is being treated with 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, other interventions, including hospitalization, should be considered [ see Contraindications (4.1)].

In some cases, a patient already receiving fluoxetine tablets therapy 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, fluoxetine 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 five weeks or until 24 hours after the last dose of linezolid or intravenous methylene blue, whichever comes first. Therapy with fluoxetine tablets may be resumed 24 hours after the last dose of linezolid or intravenous methylene blue [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)].

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/kg with fluoxetine tablets is unclear. The clinician should, nevertheless, be aware of the possibility of emergent symptoms of serotonin syndrome with such use [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)].

3 DOSAGE FORMS AND STRENGTHS

  • 10 mg tablet is a light cream to cream colored, flat round, uncoated tablets with beveled edges, debossed with “43” on one side and plain on other side.
  • 20 mg tablet is a light yellow to yellow colored, flat round, uncoated tablets with beveled edges, debossed with “73” on one side and plain on other side.

4 CONTRAINDICATIONS

4.1 Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors

The use of MAOIs intended to treat psychiatric disorders with fluoxetine tablet or within 5 weeks of stopping treatment with fluoxetine tablet is contraindicated because of an increased risk of serotonin syndrome. The use of fluoxetine tablet within 14 days of stopping an MAOI intended to treat psychiatric disorders is also contraindicated [see Dosage and Administration (2.4) and Warnings and Precautions (5.2)].

Starting fluoxetine tablet in a patient who is being treated with MAOIs such as linezolid or intravenous methylene blue is also contraindicated because of an increased risk of serotonin syndrome [ see Dosage and Administration (2.5) and Warnings and Precautions (5.2)].

4.2 Other Contraindications

The use of fluoxetine hydrochloride is contraindicated with the following:

  • Pimozide [see Drug Interactions (7.9)]
  • Thioridazine [see Drug Interactions (7.9)]

5 WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS

5.1 Clinical Worsening and Suicide Risk

Patients with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), both adult and pediatric, may experience worsening of their depression and/or the emergence of suicidal ideation and behavior (suicidality) or unusual changes in behavior, whether or not they are taking antidepressant medications, and this risk may persist until significant remission occurs. Suicide is a known risk of depression and certain other psychiatric disorders, and these disorders themselves are the strongest predictors of suicide. There has been a long-standing concern, however, that antidepressants may have a role in inducing worsening of depression and the emergence of suicidality in certain patients during the early phases of treatment. Pooled analyses of short-term placebo-controlled trials of antidepressant drugs (SSRIs and others) showed that these drugs increase the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior (suicidality) in children, adolescents, and young adults (ages 18 to 24) with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and other psychiatric disorders. Short-term studies did not show an increase in the risk of suicidality with antidepressants compared to placebo in adults beyond age 24; there was a reduction with antidepressants compared to placebo in adults aged 65 and older.

The pooled analyses of placebo-controlled trials in children and adolescents with MDD, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), or other psychiatric disorders included a total of 24 short-term trials of 9 antidepressant drugs in over 4400 patients. The pooled analyses of placebo-controlled trials in adults with MDD or other psychiatric disorders included a total of 295 short-term trials (median duration of 2 months) of 11 antidepressant drugs in over 77,000 patients. There was considerable variation in risk of suicidality among drugs, but a tendency toward an increase in the younger patients for almost all drugs studied. There were differences in absolute risk of suicidality across the different indications, with the highest incidence in MDD. The risk differences (drug versus placebo), however, were relatively stable within age strata and across indications. These risk differences (drug-placebo difference in the number of cases of suicidality per 1000 patients treated) are provided in Table 1.

Table 1: Suicidality per 1000 Patients Treated
Age Range Drug-Placebo Difference in Number of Cases of Suicidality per 1000 Patients Treated
Increases Compared to Placebo
<18 14 additional cases
18-24 5 additional cases
Decreases Compared to Placebo
25-64 1 fewer case
≥65 6 fewer cases

No suicides occurred in any of the pediatric trials. There were suicides in the adult trials, but the number was not sufficient to reach any conclusion about drug effect on suicide.

It is unknown whether the suicidality risk extends to longer-term use, that is, beyond several months. However, there is substantial evidence from placebo-controlled maintenance trials in adults with depression that the use of antidepressants can delay the recurrence of depression.

All patients being treated with antidepressants for any indication should be monitored appropriately and observed closely for clinical worsening, suicidality, and unusual changes in behavior, especially during the initial few months of a course of drug therapy, or at times of dose changes, either increases or decreases.

The following symptoms, anxiety, agitation, panic attacks, insomnia, irritability, hostility, aggressiveness, impulsivity, akathisia (psychomotor restlessness), hypomania, and mania, have been reported in adult and pediatric patients being treated with antidepressants for Major Depressive Disorder as well as for other indications, both psychiatric and nonpsychiatric. Although a causal link between the emergence of such symptoms and either the worsening of depression and/or the emergence of suicidal impulses has not been established, there is concern that such symptoms may represent precursors to emerging suicidality.

Consideration should be given to changing the therapeutic regimen, including possibly discontinuing the medication, in patients whose depression is persistently worse, or who are experiencing emergent suicidality or symptoms that might be precursors to worsening depression or suicidality, especially if these symptoms are severe, abrupt in onset, or were not part of the patient’s presenting symptoms.

If the decision has been made to discontinue treatment, medication should be tapered, as rapidly as is feasible, but with recognition that abrupt discontinuation can be associated with certain symptoms [see Warnings and Precautions (5.14)].

Families and caregivers of patients being treated with antidepressants for Major Depressive Disorder or other indications, both psychiatric and nonpsychiatric, should be alerted about the need to monitor patients for the emergence of agitation, irritability, unusual changes in behavior, and the other symptoms described above, as well as the emergence of suicidality, and to report such symptoms immediately to health care providers. Such monitoring should include daily observation by families and caregivers. Prescriptions for fluoxetine tablet should be written for the smallest quantity of tablets consistent with good patient management, in order to reduce the risk of overdose.

It should be noted that fluoxetine tablet is not approved for treating any indication in the pediatric population.

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