CNS stimulants, including Focalin XR, used to treat ADHD are associated with peripheral vasculopathy, including Raynaud’s phenomenon. Signs and symptoms are usually intermittent and mild; however, very rare sequelae include digital ulceration and/or soft tissue breakdown. Effects of peripheral vasculopathy, including Raynaud’s phenomenon, were observed in post-marketing reports at different times and at therapeutic doses in all age groups throughout the course of treatment. Signs and symptoms generally improve after reduction in dose or discontinuation of drug. Careful observation for digital changes is necessary during treatment with ADHD stimulants. Further clinical evaluation (e.g., rheumatology referral) may be appropriate for certain patients.
CNS stimulants have been associated with weight loss and slowing of growth rate in pediatric patients.
In a 7-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of Focalin XR, the mean weight gain was greater for pediatric patients (ages 6 to 17 years) receiving placebo (+0.4 kg) than for patients receiving Focalin XR (-0.5 kg).
Careful follow-up of weight and height in pediatric patients ages 7 to 10 years who were randomized to either methylphenidate or non-medication treatment groups over 14 months, as well as in naturalistic subgroups of newly methylphenidate-treated and non-medication treated patients over 36 months (to the ages of 10 to 13 years), suggests that consistently medicated pediatric patients (i.e., treatment for 7 days per week throughout the year) have a temporary slowing in growth rate (on average, a total of about 2 cm less growth in height and 2.7 kg less growth in weight over 3 years), without evidence of growth rebound during this period of development.
Closely monitor growth (weight and height) in pediatric patients treated with CNS stimulants, including Focalin XR, and patients who are not growing or gaining height or weight as expected may need to have their treatment interrupted.
The following are discussed in more detail in other sections of the labeling:
- Abuse and Dependence [see Boxed Warning, Warnings and Precautions (5.1), Drug Abuse and Dependence (9.2, 9.3)]
- Known hypersensitivity to methylphenidate or other ingredients of Focalin XR [see Contraindications (4)]
- Hypertensive Crisis with Concomitant Use of Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors [see Contraindications (4), Drug Interactions (7.1)]
- Serious Cardiovascular Reactions [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)]
- Blood Pressure and Heart Rate Increases [see Warnings and Precautions[(5.3)]
- Psychiatric Adverse Reactions [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4)]
- Priapism [see Warnings and Precautions (5.5)]
- Peripheral Vasculopathy, Including Raynaud’s Phenomenon [see Warnings and Precautions (5.6)]
- Long-Term Suppression of Growth [see Warnings and Precautions (5.7)]
Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in clinical practice.
Clinical Trials Experience with Focalin XR in Pediatric Patients with ADHD
The safety data in this section is based on data from a 7-week controlled clinical study of Focalin XR in 100 (103 randomized) pediatric patients with ADHD ages 6 to 17 years (ages 6 to 12, n = 86; ages 13 to 17, n = 17).
This study was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study to evaluate the time of onset, duration of efficacy, tolerability, safety of Focalin XR 5 mg to 30 mg/day who met DSM-IV criteria for ADHD [see Clinical Studies (14.1)].
Most Common Adverse Reactions (incidence of greater than or equal to 5% and at least twice placebo): dyspepsia, decreased appetite, headache, and anxiety.
Adverse Reactions Leading to Discontinuation: 50 of 684 (7.3%) pediatric patients treated with Focalin (dexmethylphenidate) immediate-release tablets experienced an adverse reaction that resulted in discontinuation. The most common reasons for discontinuation were twitching (described as motor or vocal tics), anorexia, insomnia, and tachycardia (approximately 1% each).
Table 1 enumerates adverse reactions for the placebo-controlled, parallel-group study in children and adolescents with ADHD at flexible Focalin XR doses of 5–30 mg/day. The table includes only those events that occurred in 5% or more of patients treated with Focalin XR and for which the incidence in patients treated with Focalin XR was at least twice the incidence in placebo-treated patients.
|Abbreviation: attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.|
|System Organ ClassAdverse Reaction||Focalin XR N = 53||Placebo N = 47|
|Metabolism and Nutrition Disorders||34%||11%|
|Nervous System Disorders||30%||13%|
Table 2 below enumerates the incidence of dose-related adverse reactions that occurred during a fixed-dose, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in pediatric patients with ADHD taking Focalin XR up to 30 mg daily versus placebo. The table includes only those reactions that occurred in patients treated with Focalin XR for which the incidence was at least 5% and greater than the incidence among placebo-treated patients.
|Abbreviation: attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.|
|System Organ ClassAdverse Reaction||Focalin XR 10 mg/dN = 64||Focalin XR 20 mg/dN = 60||Focalin XR 30 mg/dN = 58||Placebo N = 63|
|Metabolism and Nutritional Disorders||16%||17%||22%||5%|
|Other Adverse Reactions|
Clinical Trials Experience with Focalin XR in Adult Patients with ADHD
The safety data in this section is based on data from a 5-week controlled clinical study of Focalin XR in 218 adult patients (221 randomized) with ADHD ages 18 to 60 years. In this study, 101 adult patients were treated for at least 6 months.
This study was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study to evaluate the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of Focalin XR 20 mg, 30 mg, or 40 mg daily who met DSM-IV criteria for ADHD [see Clinical Studies (14.3)].
Most Common Adverse Reactions (incidence of greater than or equal to 5% and at least twice placebo): dry mouth, dyspepsia, headache, anxiety, and pharyngolaryngeal pain.
Adverse Reactions Leading to Discontinuation: During the double-blind phase of the study, 10.7% of the Focalin XR-treated patients and 7.5% of the placebo-treated patients discontinued due to adverse reactions. Three patients (1.8%) in the Focalin XR discontinued due to insomnia and jittery, respectively and two patients (1.2%) in the Focalin XR discontinued due to anorexia and anxiety, respectively.
Table 3 enumerates adverse reactions for the placebo-controlled, parallel-group study in adults with ADHD at fixed Focalin XR doses of 20, 30, and 40 mg/day. The table includes only those events that occurred in 5% or more of patients in a Focalin XR dose group and for which the incidences in patients treated with Focalin XR appeared to increase with dose.
|System Organ ClassAdverse Reaction||Focalin XR 20 mgN = 57||Focalin XR 30 mgN = 54||Focalin XR 40 mgN = 54||Placebo N = 53|
|Nervous System Disorders||37%||39%||50%||28%|
|Respiratory, Thoracic and Mediastinal Disorders||16%||9%||15%||8%|
Two other adverse reactions occurring in clinical trials with Focalin XR at a frequency greater than placebo, but which were not dose related were: feeling jittery (12% and 2%, respectively) and dizziness (6% and 2%, respectively).
Table 4 summarizes changes in vital signs and weight that were recorded in the adult study (N = 218) of Focalin XR in the treatment of ADHD.
|Focalin XR 20 mg(N = 57)||Focalin XR 30 mg(N = 54)||Focalin XR 40 mg(N = 54)||Placebo (N = 53)|
|Pulse (bpm)||3.1 ± 11.1||4.3 ± 11.7||6.0 ± 10.1||-1.4 ± 9.3|
|Diastolic BP (mmHg)||-0.2 ± 8.2||1.2 ± 8.9||2.1 ± 8.0||0.3 ± 7.8|
|Weight (kg)||-1.4 ± 2.0||-1.2 ± 1.9||-1.7 ± 2.3||-0.1 ± 3.9|
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