Fluoxetine (Page 2 of 13)

2.6 Fluoxetine and Olanzapine in Combination: Treatment Resistant Depression

When using fluoxetine and olanzapine in combination, also refer to the Clinical Studies section of the package insert for Symbyax.
Administer fluoxetine in combination with oral olanzapine once daily in the evening, without regard to meals, generally beginning with 5 mg of oral olanzapine and 20 mg of fluoxetine. Adjust dosage, if indicated, according to efficacy and tolerability within dose ranges of fluoxetine 20 to 50 mg and oral olanzapine 5 to 20 mg. Antidepressant efficacy was demonstrated with olanzapine and fluoxetine in combination with a dose range of olanzapine 6 to 18 mg and fluoxetine 25 to 50 mg.
Safety and efficacy of fluoxetine in combination with olanzapine was determined in clinical trials supporting approval of Symbyax (fixed dose combination of olanzapine and fluoxetine). Symbyax is dosed between 3 mg/25 mg (olanzapine/fluoxetine) per day and 12 mg/50 mg (olanzapine/fluoxetine) per day. Table 1 demonstrates the appropriate individual component doses of fluoxetine and olanzapine versus Symbyax. Adjust dosage, if indicated, with the individual components according to efficacy and tolerability.
Periodically re-examine the need for continued pharmacotherapy.
Safety of coadministration of doses above 18 mg olanzapine with 75 mg fluoxetine has not been evaluated in clinical studies.
Fluoxetine monotherapy is not indicated for the treatment of treatment resistant depression (Major Depressive Disorder in patients who do not respond to 2 antidepressants of adequate dose and duration in the current episode).

2.7 Dosing in Specific Populations

Geriatric — Consider a lower or less frequent dosage for the elderly [see Use in Specific Populations (8.5)].
Hepatic Impairment — As with many other medications, use a lower or less frequent dosage in patients with hepatic impairment [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.4) and Use in Specific Populations (8.6)].
Concomitant Illness — Patients with concurrent disease or on multiple concomitant medications may require dosage adjustments [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.4) and Warnings and Precautions (5.12)].
Fluoxetine and Olanzapine in Combination — Use a starting dose of oral olanzapine 2.5 to 5 mg with fluoxetine
20 mg for patients with a predisposition to hypotensive reactions, patients with hepatic impairment, or patients who exhibit a combination of factors that may slow the metabolism of olanzapine or fluoxetine in combination (female gender, geriatric age, non-smoking status), or those patients who may be pharmacodynamically sensitive to olanzapine. Titrate slowly and adjust dosage as needed in patients who exhibit a combination of factors that may slow metabolism.

Fluoxetine and olanzapine in combination have not been systematically studied in patients over 65 years of age or in patients less than 10 years of age [see Warnings and Precautions (5.16) and Drug Interactions (7.7)].

2.8 Discontinuation of Treatment

Symptoms associated with discontinuation of fluoxetine, SNRIs, and SSRIs, have been reported [see Warnings and Precautions (5.15)].

2.9 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. Conversely, at least 5 weeks should be allowed after stopping fluoxetine before starting an MAOI intended to treat psychiatric disorders [see Contraindications (4.1)].

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

Do not start fluoxetine 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 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 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 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 is unclear. The healthcare provider 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

• Fluoxetine capsules, USP 10 mg* are white to off-white powder filled in size ‘2’ hard gelatin capsules with opaque light blue cap and opaque light blue body, imprinted “FLUOXETINE 10 mg” on cap and “R147” on body with white ink.
• Fluoxetine capsules, USP 20 mg* are white to off-white powder filled in size ‘2’ hard gelatin capsules with opaque light blue cap and opaque light turquoise blue body, imprinted “FLUOXETINE 20 mg” on cap and “R148” on body with black ink.
• Fluoxetine capsules, USP 40 mg* are white to off-white powder filled in size ‘0’ hard gelatin capsules with opaque light blue cap and opaque white body, imprinted “FLUOXETINE 40 mg” on cap and “R149” on body with black ink.

* Fluoxetine base equivalent

4 CONTRAINDICATIONS

When using fluoxetine and olanzapine in combination, also refer to the Contraindications section of the package insert for Symbyax.

4.1 Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs)

The use of MAOIs intended to treat psychiatric disorders with fluoxetine or within 5 weeks of stopping treatment with fluoxetine is contraindicated because of an increased risk of serotonin syndrome. The use of fluoxetine within 14 days of stopping an MAOI intended to treat psychiatric disorders is also contraindicated [see Dosage and Administration (2.9) and Warnings and Precautions (5.2)].
Starting fluoxetine 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 (2.10) and Warnings and Precautions (5.2)].

4.2 Other Contraindications

The use of fluoxetine is contraindicated with the following:
• Pimozide [see Warnings and Precautions (5.11) and Drug Interactions (7.7, 7.8)]
• Thioridazine [see Warnings and Precautions (5.11) and Drug Interactions (7.7, 7.8)]
Pimozide and thioridazine prolong the QT interval. Fluoxetine can increase the levels of pimozide and thioridazine through inhibition of CYP2D6. Fluoxetine can also prolong the QT interval.

5 WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS

When using fluoxetine and olanzapine in combination, also refer to the Warnings and Precautions section of the package insert for Symbyax.

5.1 Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors in Children, Adolescents, and Young Adults

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 18-24) 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 2.

Table 2: 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 to 24 5 additional cases
Decreases Compared to Placebo
25 to 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, i.e., 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 (5.15)].
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 should be written for the smallest quantity of capsules consistent with good patient management, in order to reduce the risk of overdose.
It should be noted that fluoxetine is approved in the pediatric population for Major Depressive Disorder and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder; and fluoxetine in combination with olanzapine for the acute treatment of depressive episodes associated with Bipolar I Disorder.

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