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)].
Clinical studies of olanzapine and fluoxetine in combination did not include sufficient numbers of patients ≥ 65 years of age to determine whether they respond differently from younger patients.
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, healthcare providers 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).
The following have been reported with fluoxetine overdosage:
- Seizures, which may be delayed, and altered mental status including coma.
- Cardiovascular toxicity, which may be delayed, including QRS and QTc interval prolongation, wide complex tachyarrhythmias, torsade de pointes, and cardiac arrest. Hypertension most commonly seen, but rarely can see hypotension alone or with co-ingestants including alcohol.
- Serotonin syndrome (patients with a multiple drug overdosage with other pro-serotonergic drugs may have a higher risk).
Gastrointestinal decontamination with activated charcoal should be considered in patients who present early after a fluoxetine overdose.
Consider contacting a Poison Center (1-800-221-2222) or a medical toxicologist for additional overdosage management recommendations.
Fluoxetine capsules, USP are a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor for oral administration. 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, USP is a white to off-white crystalline powder with a solubility of 14 mg/mL in water.
Each capsule contains fluoxetine hydrochloride equivalent to 10 mg (32.3 μmol), 20 mg (64.7 μmol), or 40 mg (129.3 μmol) of fluoxetine. The capsules also contain the following inactive ingredients: pregelatinized starch (maize [corn]), colloidal silicon dioxide, gelatin, sodium lauryl sulphate, FD&C Blue #1, FD&C Red #3, and titanium dioxide. In addition 20 mg capsules also contains D&C Yellow #10 and 10 mg capsules also contains FD&C Yellow #6. The capsules are printed with edible ink containing black iron oxide, potassium hydroxide, propylene glycol, shellac and strong ammonia solution.
Although the exact mechanism of fluoxetine is unknown, it is presumed to be linked to its inhibition of CNS neuronal uptake of serotonin.
Studies at clinically relevant doses in man have demonstrated that fluoxetine blocks the uptake of serotonin into human platelets. Studies in animals also suggest that fluoxetine is a much more potent uptake inhibitor of serotonin than of norepinephrine.
Antagonism of muscarinic, histaminergic, and α 1 -adrenergic receptors has been hypothesized to be associated with various anticholinergic, sedative, and cardiovascular effects of classical tricyclic antidepressant (TCA) drugs. Fluoxetine binds to these and other membrane receptors from brain tissue much less potently in vitro than do the tricyclic drugs.
Systemic Bioavailability — In man, following a single oral 40 mg dose, peak plasma concentrations of fluoxetine from 15 ng/mL to 55 ng/mL are observed after 6 to 8 hours.
Food does not appear to affect the systemic bioavailability of fluoxetine, although it may delay its absorption by 1 to 2 hours, which is probably not clinically significant. Thus, fluoxetine may be administered with or without food.
Protein Binding — Over the concentration range from 200 ng/mL to 1,000 ng/mL, approximately 94.5% of fluoxetine is bound in vitro to human serum proteins, including albumin and α1-glycoprotein. The interaction between fluoxetine and other highly protein-bound drugs has not been fully evaluated, but may be important.
Enantiomers — Fluoxetine is a racemic mixture (50/50) of R- fluoxetine and S- fluoxetine enantiomers. In animal models, both enantiomers are specific and potent serotonin uptake inhibitors with essentially equivalent pharmacologic activity. The S- fluoxetine enantiomer is eliminated more slowly and is the predominant enantiomer present in plasma at steady state.
Metabolism — Fluoxetine is extensively metabolized in the liver to norfluoxetine and a number of other unidentified metabolites. The only identified active metabolite, norfluoxetine, is formed by demethylation of fluoxetine. In animal models, S- norfluoxetine is a potent and selective inhibitor of serotonin uptake and has activity essentially equivalent to R- or S- fluoxetine. R- norfluoxetine is significantly less potent than the parent drug in the inhibition of serotonin uptake. The primary route of elimination appears to be hepatic metabolism to inactive metabolites excreted by the kidney.
Variability in Metabolism — A subset (about 7%) of the population has reduced activity of the drug metabolizing enzyme cytochrome P450 2D6 (CYP2D6). Such individuals are referred to as “poor metabolizers” of drugs such as debrisoquin, dextromethorphan, and the TCAs. In a study involving labeled and unlabeled enantiomers administered as a racemate, these individuals metabolized S- fluoxetine at a slower rate and thus achieved higher concentrations of S- fluoxetine. Consequently, concentrations of S- norfluoxetine at steady state were lower. The metabolism of R- fluoxetine in these poor metabolizers appears normal. When compared with normal metabolizers, the total sum at steady state of the plasma concentrations of the 4 active enantiomers was not significantly greater among poor metabolizers. Thus, the net pharmacodynamic activities were essentially the same. Alternative, nonsaturable pathways (non-2D6) also contribute to the metabolism of fluoxetine. This explains how fluoxetine achieves a steady-state concentration rather than increasing without limit.
Because fluoxetine’s metabolism, like that of a number of other compounds including TCAs and other selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), involves the CYP2D6 system, concomitant therapy with drugs also metabolized by this enzyme system (such as the TCAs) may lead to drug interactions [see Drug Interactions (7.7)].
Accumulation and Slow Elimination — The relatively slow elimination of fluoxetine (elimination half-life of 1 to 3 days after acute administration and 4 to 6 days after chronic administration) and its active metabolite, norfluoxetine (elimination half-life of 4 to 16 days after acute and chronic administration), leads to significant accumulation of these active species in chronic use and delayed attainment of steady state, even when a fixed dose is used [see Warnings and Precautions (5.14)]. After 30 days of dosing at 40 mg/day, plasma concentrations of fluoxetine in the range of 91 ng/mL to 302 ng/mL and norfluoxetine in the range of 72 ng/mL to 258 ng/mL have been observed. Plasma concentrations of fluoxetine were higher than those predicted by single-dose studies, because fluoxetine’s metabolism is not proportional to dose. Norfluoxetine, however, appears to have linear pharmacokinetics. Its mean terminal half-life after a single dose was 8.6 days and after multiple dosing was 9.3 days. Steady-state levels after prolonged dosing are similar to levels seen at 4 to 5 weeks.
The long elimination half-lives of fluoxetine and norfluoxetine assure that, even when dosing is stopped, active drug substance will persist in the body for weeks (primarily depending on individual patient characteristics, previous dosing regimen, and length of previous therapy at discontinuation). This is of potential consequence when drug discontinuation is required or when drugs are prescribed that might interact with fluoxetine and norfluoxetine following the discontinuation of fluoxetine.
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