Fluoxetine (Page 2 of 14)

2.4 Panic Disorder

Ini t i a l Treatment — Initiate treatment with fluoxetine 10 mg/day. After one week, increase the dose to 20 mg/day. Consider a dose increase after several weeks if no clinical improvement is observed. Fluoxetine doses above 60 mg/day have not been systematically evaluated in patients with Panic Disorder. In the controlled clinical trials of fluoxetine supporting its effectiveness in the treatment of Panic Disorder, patients were administered fluoxetine doses in the range of 10 to 60 mg/day [see Clinical Studies (14.4)] . The most frequently administered dose in the 2 flexible-dose clinical trials was 20 mg/day.

Periodically reassess to determine the need for continued treatment.

2.7 Dosing in Specific Populations

G e riatric — 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)] .

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 FORM AND STRENGTH

  • 20 mg per 5 mL Liquid, Oral Solution with spearmint flavor

4 CONTRAINDICATIONS

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 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

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 4,400 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, 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 liquid consistent with good patient management, in order to reduce the risk of overdose.

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