Fluoxetine (Page 9 of 13)

12.4 Specific Populations

Liver Disease — As might be predicted from its primary site of metabolism, liver impairment can affect the elimination of fluoxetine. The elimination half-life of fluoxetine was prolonged in a study of cirrhotic patients, with a mean of 7.6 days compared with the range of 2 to 3 days seen in subjects without liver disease; norfluoxetine elimination was also delayed, with a mean duration of 12 days for cirrhotic patients compared with the range of 7 to 9 days in normal subjects. This suggests that the use of fluoxetine in patients with liver disease must be approached with caution. If fluoxetine is administered to patients with liver disease, a lower or less frequent dose should be used [see Dosage and Administration (2.7) and Use in Specific Populations (8.6)].

Renal Disease — In depressed patients on dialysis (N = 12), fluoxetine administered as 20 mg once daily for 2 months produced steady-state fluoxetine and norfluoxetine plasma concentrations comparable with those seen in patients with normal renal function. While the possibility exists that renally excreted metabolites of fluoxetine may accumulate to higher levels in patients with severe renal dysfunction, use of a lower or less frequent dose is not routinely necessary in renally impaired patients.

Geriatric Pharmacokinetics — The disposition of single doses of fluoxetine in healthy elderly subjects (> 65 years of age) did not differ significantly from that in younger normal subjects. However, given the long half-life and nonlinear disposition of the drug, a single-dose study is not adequate to rule out the possibility of altered pharmacokinetics in the elderly, particularly if they have systemic illness or are receiving multiple drugs for concomitant diseases. The effects of age upon the metabolism of fluoxetine have been investigated in 260 elderly but otherwise healthy depressed patients (≥ 60 years of age) who received 20 mg fluoxetine for 6 weeks. Combined fluoxetine plus norfluoxetine plasma concentrations were 209.3 ng/mL ± 85.7 ng/mL at the end of 6 weeks. No unusual age-associated pattern of adverse reactions was observed in those elderly patients.

Pediatric Pharmacokinetics (children and adolescents) — Fluoxetine pharmacokinetics were evaluated in 21 pediatric patients (10 children ages 6 to < 13, 11 adolescents ages 13 to < 18) diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Fluoxetine 20 mg/day was administered for up to 62 days. The average steady-state concentrations of fluoxetine in these children were 2-fold higher than in adolescents (171 ng/mL and 86 ng/mL, respectively). The average norfluoxetine steady-state concentrations in these children were 1.5-fold higher than in adolescents (195 ng/mL and 113 ng/mL, respectively). These differences can be almost entirely explained by differences in weight. No gender-associated difference in fluoxetine pharmacokinetics was observed. Similar ranges of fluoxetine and norfluoxetine plasma concentrations were observed in another study in 94 pediatric patients (ages 8 to < 18) diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder.

Higher average steady-state fluoxetine and norfluoxetine concentrations were observed in children relative to adults; however, these concentrations were within the range of concentrations observed in the adult population. As in adults, fluoxetine and norfluoxetine accumulated extensively following multiple oral dosing; steady-state concentrations were achieved within 3 to 4 weeks of daily dosing.


13.1 Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility

Carcinogenicity — The dietary administration of fluoxetine to rats and mice for 2 years at doses of up to 10 mg/kg/day and 12 mg/kg/day, respectively [approximately 2.4 and 1.44 times, respectively, the maximum recommended human dose (MRHD) of 20 mg given to children on a mg/m2 basis], produced no evidence of carcinogenicity.

Mutagenicity — Fluoxetine and norfluoxetine have been shown to have no genotoxic effects based on the following assays: bacterial mutation assay, DNA repair assay in cultured rat hepatocytes, mouse lymphoma assay, and in vivo sister chromatid exchange assay in Chinese hamster bone marrow cells.

Impairment of Fertility — Two fertility studies conducted in adult rats at doses of up to 7.5 mg/kg/day and 12.5 mg/kg/day (approximately 0.97 and 1.6 times, respectively, the MRHD of 60 mg given to adolescents on a mg/m2 basis) indicated that fluoxetine had no adverse effects on fertility. However, adverse effects on fertility were seen when juvenile rats were treated with fluoxetine [see Use in Specific Populations (8.4)].

13.2 Animal Toxicology and/or Pharmacology

Phospholipids are increased in some tissues of mice, rats, and dogs given fluoxetine chronically. This effect is reversible after cessation of fluoxetine treatment. Phospholipid accumulation in animals has been observed with many cationic amphiphilic drugs, including fenfluramine, imipramine, and ranitidine. The significance of this effect in humans is unknown.


Efficacy for fluoxetine was established for the:

  • Acute and maintenance treatment of Major Depressive Disorder in adults, and children and adolescents (8 to 18 years) in 7 short-term and 2 long-term, placebo-controlled trials [see Clinical Studies (14.1)].
  • Acute treatment of obsessions and compulsions in adults, and children and adolescents (7 to 17 years) with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) in 3 short-term placebo-controlled trials [see Clinical Studies (14.2)].
  • Acute and maintenance treatment of binge-eating and vomiting behaviors in adult patients with moderate to severe Bulimia Nervosa in 3 short-term and 1 long-term, placebo-controlled trials [see Clinical Studies (14.3)].
  • Acute treatment of Panic Disorder, with or without agoraphobia, in adult patients in 2 short-term, placebo-controlled trials [see Clinical Studies (14.4)].

Efficacy for fluoxetine and olanzapine in combination was established for the:

  • Acute treatment of depressive episodes in Bipolar I Disorder in adults, and children and adolescents (10 to 17 years) in 3 short-term, placebo-controlled trials.
  • Acute and maintenance treatment of treatment resistant depression in adults (18 to 85 years) in 3 short-term, placebo-controlled trials and 1 randomized withdrawal study with an active control.

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

14.1 Major Depressive Disorder

Daily Dosing

Adult — The efficacy of fluoxetine was studied in 5- and 6-week placebo-controlled trials with depressed adult and geriatric outpatients (≥ 18 years of age) whose diagnoses corresponded most closely to the DSM-III (currently DSM-IV) category of Major Depressive Disorder. Fluoxetine was shown to be significantly more effective than placebo as measured by the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D). Fluoxetine was also significantly more effective than placebo on the HAM-D subscores for depressed mood, sleep disturbance, and the anxiety subfactor.

Two 6-week controlled studies (N = 671, randomized) comparing fluoxetine 20 mg and placebo have shown fluoxetine 20 mg daily to be effective in the treatment of elderly patients (≥ 60 years of age) with Major Depressive Disorder. In these studies, fluoxetine produced a significantly higher rate of response and remission as defined, respectively, by a 50% decrease in the HAM-D score and a total endpoint HAM-D score of ≤ 8. Fluoxetine was well tolerated and the rate of treatment discontinuations due to adverse reactions did not differ between fluoxetine (12%) and placebo (9%).

Pediatric (children and adolescents) — The efficacy of fluoxetine 20 mg/day in children and adolescents (N = 315 randomized; 170 children ages 8 to < 13, 145 adolescents ages 13 to ≤ 18) was studied in two 8- to 9-week placebo-controlled clinical trials in depressed outpatients whose diagnoses corresponded most closely to the DSM-III-R or DSM-IV category of Major Depressive Disorder.

In both studies independently, fluoxetine produced a statistically significantly greater mean change on the Childhood Depression Rating Scale-Revised (CDRS-R) total score from baseline to endpoint than did placebo.

Subgroup analyses on the CDRS-R total score did not suggest any differential responsiveness on the basis of age or gender.

Maintenance Treatment

A study was conducted involving depressed outpatients who had responded (modified HAMD-17 score of ≤ 7 during each of the last 3 weeks of open-label treatment and absence of Major Depressive Disorder by DSM-III-R criteria) by the end of an initial 12-week open-treatment phase on fluoxetine 20 mg/day. These patients (N=298) were randomized to continuation on double-blind fluoxetine 20 mg/day or placebo. At 38 weeks (50 weeks total), a statistically significantly lower relapse rate (defined as symptoms sufficient to meet a diagnosis of Major Depressive Disorder for 2 weeks or a modified HAMD-17 score of ≥14 for 3 weeks) was observed for patients taking fluoxetine compared with those on placebo.

An additional maintenance study was conducted involving adult outpatients meeting DSM-IV criteria for Major Depressive Disorder who had responded (defined as having a modified HAMD-17 score of ≤ 9, a CGI-Severity rating of ≤ 2, and no longer meeting criteria for Major Depressive Disorder) for 3 consecutive weeks at the end of 13 weeks of open-label treatment with fluoxetine 20 mg once daily. These patients were randomized to double-blind, once-weekly continuation treatment with fluoxetine delayed-release capsules 90 mg once weekly, fluoxetine 20 mg once daily, or placebo. Fluoxetine 20 mg once daily demonstrated superior efficacy (having a significantly longer time to relapse of depressive symptoms) compared with placebo for a period of 25 weeks.

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