US fluoxetine clinical trials included 687 patients ≥65 years of age and 93 patients ≥75 years of age. The efficacy in geriatric patients has been established [see Clinical Studies (14.1)]. For pharmacokinetic information in geriatric patients, [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.4)]. No overall differences in safety or effectiveness were observed between these subjects and younger subjects, and other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger patients, but greater sensitivity of some older individuals cannot be ruled out. SNRIs and SSRIs, including fluoxetine, have been associated with cases of clinically significant hyponatremia in elderly patients, who may be at greater risk for this adverse reaction [see Warnings and Precautions (5.9)].
In subjects with cirrhosis of the liver, the clearances of fluoxetine and its active metabolite, norfluoxetine, were decreased, thus increasing the elimination half-lives of these substances. A lower or less frequent dose of fluoxetine should be used in patients with cirrhosis. Caution is advised when using fluoxetine in patients with diseases or conditions that could affect its metabolism [see Dosage and Administration (2.7) and Clinical Pharmacology (12.4)].
Fluoxetine has not been systematically studied, in animals or humans, for its potential for abuse, tolerance, or physical dependence. While the premarketing clinical experience with fluoxetine did not reveal any tendency for a withdrawal syndrome or any drug seeking behavior, these observations were not systematic and it is not possible to predict on the basis of this limited experience the extent to which a CNS active drug will be misused, diverted, and/or abused once marketed. Consequently, physicians should carefully evaluate patients for history of drug abuse and follow such patients closely, observing them for signs of misuse or abuse of fluoxetine (e.g., development of tolerance, incrementation of dose, drug-seeking behavior).
Worldwide exposure to fluoxetine hydrochloride is estimated to be over 38 million patients (circa 1999). Of the 1,578 cases of overdose involving fluoxetine hydrochloride, alone or with other drugs, reported from this population, there were 195 deaths.
Among 633 adult patients who overdosed on fluoxetine hydrochloride alone, 34 resulted in a fatal outcome, 378 completely recovered, and 15 patients experienced sequelae after overdosage, including abnormal accommodation, abnormal gait, confusion, unresponsiveness, nervousness, pulmonary dysfunction, vertigo, tremor, elevated blood pressure, impotence, movement disorder, and hypomania. The remaining 206 patients had an unknown outcome. The most common signs and symptoms associated with non-fatal overdosage were seizures, somnolence, nausea, tachycardia, and vomiting. The largest known ingestion of fluoxetine hydrochloride in adult patients was 8 grams in a patient who took fluoxetine alone and who subsequently recovered. However, in an adult patient who took fluoxetine alone, an ingestion as low as 520 mg has been associated with lethal outcome, but causality has not been established.
Among pediatric patients (ages 3 months to 17 years), there were 156 cases of overdose involving fluoxetine alone or in combination with other drugs. Six patients died, 127 patients completely recovered, 1 patient experienced renal failure, and 22 patients had an unknown outcome. One of the six fatalities was a 9-year-old boy who had a history of OCD, Tourette’s syndrome with tics, attention deficit disorder, and fetal alcohol syndrome. He had been receiving 100 mg of fluoxetine daily for 6 months in addition to clonidine, methylphenidate, and promethazine. Mixed-drug ingestion or other methods of suicide complicated all 6 overdoses in children that resulted in fatalities. The largest ingestion in pediatric patients was 3 grams which was nonlethal.
Other important adverse reactions reported with fluoxetine overdose (single or multiple drugs) include coma, delirium, ECG abnormalities (such as nodal rhythm QT interval prolongation and ventricular arrhythmias, including Torsades de Pointes-type arrhythmias), hypotension, mania, neuroleptic malignant syndrome-like reactions, pyrexia, stupor, and syncope.
Studies in animals do not provide precise or necessarily valid information about the treatment of human overdose. However, animal experiments can provide useful insights into possible treatment strategies.
The oral median lethal dose in rats and mice was found to be 452 and 248 mg/kg, respectively. Acute high oral doses produced hyperirritability and convulsions in several animal species.
Among 6 dogs purposely overdosed with oral fluoxetine, 5 experienced grand mal seizures. Seizures stopped immediately upon the bolus intravenous administration of a standard veterinary dose of diazepam. In this short-term study, the lowest plasma concentration at which a seizure occurred was only twice the maximum plasma concentration seen in humans taking 80 mg/day, chronically.
In a separate single-dose study, the ECG of dogs given high doses did not reveal prolongation of the PR, QRS, or QT intervals. Tachycardia and an increase in blood pressure were observed. Consequently, the value of the ECG in predicting cardiac toxicity is unknown. Nonetheless, the ECG should ordinarily be monitored in cases of human overdose [see Overdosage (10.3)].
For current information on the management of fluoxetine overdose, contact a certified poison control center (1-800-222-1222 or www.poison.org). Treatment should consist of those general measures employed in the management of overdosage with any drug. Consider the possibility of multi-drug overdose.
Ensure an adequate airway, oxygenation, and ventilation. Monitor cardiac rhythm and vital signs. Use general supportive and symptomatic measures. Induction of emesis is not recommended.
Activated charcoal should be administered. Due to the large volume of distribution of this drug, forced diuresis, dialysis, hemoperfusion, and exchange transfusion are unlikely to be of benefit. No specific antidotes for fluoxetine are known.
A specific caution involves patients who are taking or have recently taken fluoxetine and might ingest excessive quantities of a TCA. In such a case, accumulation of the parent tricyclic and/or an active metabolite may increase the possibility of clinically significant sequelae and extend the time needed for close medical observation [see Drug Interactions (7.7)].
Fluoxetine Oral Solution USP is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor for oral administration. It is also marketed for the treatment of premenstrual dysphoric disorder (Sarafem®, fluoxetine hydrochloride). It is designated (±)-N-methyl-3-phenyl-3-[(α,α,α-trifluoro- p-tolyl)oxy]propylamine hydrochloride and has the empirical formula of C 17 H 18 F 3 NO∙HCl. Its molecular weight is 345.79. The structural formula is:
Fluoxetine hydrochloride is a white to off-white crystalline solid with a solubility of 14 mg/mL in water. The oral solution contains fluoxetine hydrochloride equivalent to 20 mg per 5 mL (64.7 µmol) of fluoxetine. It also contains the following inactive ingredients: glycerin, purified water, sodium benzoate, spearmint flavoring agent, and sucrose, and may contain hydrochloric acid and/or sodium hydroxide to adjust the pH.
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