In a carcinogenicity study in rats, oral administration of eszopiclone for 97 (males) or 104 (females) weeks resulted in no increases in tumors; plasma levels (AUC) of eszopiclone at the highest dose tested (16 mg/kg/day) are approximately 80 (females) and 20 (males) times those in humans at the MRHD of 3 mg/day. However, in a 2-year carcinogenicity study in rats, oral administration of racemic zopiclone (1, 10, or 100 mg/kg/day) resulted in increases in mammary gland adenocarcinomas (females) and thyroid gland follicular cell adenomas and carcinomas (males) at the highest dose tested. Plasma levels of eszopiclone at this dose are approximately 150 (females) and 70 (males) times those in humans at the MRHD of eszopiclone. The mechanism for the increase in mammary adenocarcinomas is unknown. The increase in thyroid tumors is thought to be due to increased levels of TSH secondary to increased metabolism of circulating thyroid hormones, a mechanism not considered relevant to humans.
In a 2-year carcinogenicity study in mice, oral administration of racemic zopiclone (1, 10, or 100 mg/kg/day) produced increases in pulmonary carcinomas and carcinomas plus adenomas (females) and skin fibromas and sarcomas (males) at the highest dose tested. The skin tumors were due to skin lesions induced by aggressive behavior, a mechanism not relevant to humans. A carcinogenicity study of eszopiclone was conducted in mice at oral doses up to 100 mg/kg/day. Although this study did not reach a maximum tolerated dose, and was thus inadequate for overall assessment of carcinogenic potential, no increases in either pulmonary or skin tumors were seen at doses producing plasma levels of eszopiclone approximately 90 times those in humans at the MRHD of eszopiclone (and 12 times the exposure in the racemate study).
Eszopiclone did not increase tumors in a p53 transgenic mouse bioassay at oral doses up to 300 mg/kg/day.
Eszopiclone was clastogenic in in vitro (mouse lymphoma and chromosomal aberration) assays in mammalian cells. Eszopiclone was negative in the in vitro bacterial gene mutation (Ames) assay and in an in vivo micronucleus assay.
(S)-N-desmethyl zopiclone, a metabolite of eszopiclone, was positive in in vitro chromosomal aberration assays in mammalian cells. (S)-N-desmethyl zopiclone was negative in the in vitro bacterial gene mutation (Ames) assay and in an in vivo chromosomal aberration and micronucleus assay.
Impairment of Fertility
Oral administration of eszopiclone to rats prior to and during mating, and continuing in females to day 7 of gestation (doses up to 45 mg/kg/day to males and females or up to 180 mg/kg/day to females only) resulted in decreased fertility, with no pregnancy at the highest dose tested when both males and females were treated. In females, there was an increase in abnormal estrus cycles at the highest dose tested. In males, decreases in sperm number and motility and increases in morphologically abnormal sperm were observed at the mid and high doses. The no-effect dose for adverse effects on fertility (5 mg/kg/day) is 16 times the MRHD on a mg/m2 basis.
The effect of LUNESTA on reducing sleep latency and improving sleep maintenance was established in studies with 2100 subjects (ages 18-86) with chronic and transient insomnia in six placebo-controlled trials of up to 6 months’ duration. Two of these trials were in elderly patients (n=523). Overall, at the recommended adult dose (2-3 mg) and elderly dose (1-2 mg), LUNESTA significantly decreased sleep latency and improved measures of sleep maintenance (objectively measured as WASO and subjectively measured as total sleep time).
Healthy adults were evaluated in a model of transient insomnia (n=436) in a sleep laboratory in a double-blind, parallel-group, single-night trial comparing two doses of eszopiclone and placebo. LUNESTA 3 mg was superior to placebo on measures of sleep latency and sleep maintenance, including polysomnographic (PSG) parameters of latency to persistent sleep (LPS) and WASO.
The effectiveness of LUNESTA was established in five controlled studies in chronic insomnia. Three controlled studies were in adult subjects, and two controlled studies were in elderly subjects with chronic insomnia.
In the first study, adults with chronic insomnia (n=308) were evaluated in a double-blind, parallel-group trial of 6 weeks’ duration comparing LUNESTA 2 mg and 3 mg with placebo. Objective endpoints were measured for 4 weeks. Both 2 mg and 3 mg were superior to placebo on LPS at 4 weeks. The 3 mg dose was superior to placebo on WASO.
In the second study, adults with chronic insomnia (n=788) were evaluated using subjective measures in a double-blind, parallel-group trial comparing the safety and efficacy of LUNESTA 3 mg with placebo administered nightly for 6 months. LUNESTA was superior to placebo on subjective measures of sleep latency, total sleep time, and WASO.
In addition, a 6-period crossover PSG study evaluating eszopiclone doses of 1 to 3 mg, each given over a 2-day period, demonstrated effectiveness of all doses on LPS, and of 3 mg on WASO. In this trial, the response was dose related.
Elderly subjects (ages 65-86 years) with chronic insomnia were evaluated in two double-blind, parallel-group trials of 2 weeks duration. One study (n=231) compared the effects of LUNESTA with placebo on subjective outcome measures, and the other (n=292) on objective and subjective outcome measures. The first study compared 1 mg and 2 mg of LUNESTA with placebo, while the second study compared 2 mg of LUNESTA with placebo. All doses were superior to placebo on measures of sleep latency. In both studies, 2 mg of LUNESTA was superior to placebo on measures of sleep maintenance.
Next-Day Residual Effects
In a double-blind study of 91 healthy adults age 25- to 40 years, the effects of LUNESTA 3 mg on psychomotor function were assessed between 7.5 and 11.5 hours the morning after dosing. Measures included tests of psychomotor coordination that are correlated with ability to maintain a motor vehicle in the driving lane, tests of working memory, and subjective perception of sedation and coordination. Compared with placebo, LUNESTA 3 mg was associated with next- morning psychomotor and memory impairment that was most severe at 7.5 hours, but still present and potentially clinically meaningful at 11.5 hours. Subjective perception of sedation and coordination from LUNESTA 3 mg was not consistently different from placebo, even though subjects were objectively impaired.
In a 6-month double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of nightly administered LUNESTA 3 mg, memory impairment was reported by 1.3% (8/593) of subjects treated with LUNESTA 3 mg compared to 0% (0/195) of subjects treated with placebo. In a 6-week adult study of nightly administered LUNESTA confusion was reported by 3.0% of patients treated with LUNESTA 3 mg, compared to 0% of subjects treated with placebo. In the same study, memory impairment was reported by 1% of patients treated with either 2 mg or 3 mg LUNESTA, compared to 0% treated with placebo.
In a 2-week study of 264 elderly insomniacs, 1.5% of patients treated with LUNESTA 2 mg reported memory impairment compared to 0% treated with placebo. In another 2-week study of 231 elderly insomniacs, 2.5% of patients treated with LUNESTA 2 mg reported confusion compared to 0% treated with placebo.
Withdrawal-Emergent Anxiety and Insomnia
During nightly use for an extended period, pharmacodynamic tolerance or adaptation has been observed with other hypnotics. If a drug has a short elimination half-life, it is possible that a relative deficiency of the drug or its active metabolites (i.e., in relationship to the receptor site) may occur at some point in the interval between each night’s use. This is believed to be responsible for two clinical findings reported to occur after several weeks of nightly use of other rapidly eliminated hypnotics: increased wakefulness during the last quarter of the night and the appearance of increased signs of daytime anxiety.
In a 6-month double-blind, placebo-controlled study of nightly administration of LUNESTA 3 mg, rates of anxiety reported as an adverse event were 2.1% in the placebo arm and 3.7% in the LUNESTA arm. In a 6-week adult study of nightly administration, anxiety was reported as an adverse event in 0%, 2.9%, and 1.0% of the placebo, 2 mg, and 3 mg treatment arms, respectively. In this study, single-blind placebo was administered on nights 45 and 46, the first and second days of withdrawal from study drug. New adverse events were recorded during the withdrawal period, beginning with day 45, up to 14 days after discontinuation. During this withdrawal period, 105 subjects previously taking nightly LUNESTA 3 mg for 44 nights spontaneously reported anxiety (1%), abnormal dreams (1.9%), hyperesthesia (1%), and neurosis (1%), while none of 99 subjects previously taking placebo reported any of these adverse events during the withdrawal period.
Rebound insomnia, defined as a dose-dependent temporary worsening in sleep parameters (latency, sleep efficiency, and number of awakenings) compared with baseline following discontinuation of treatment, is observed with short- and intermediate-acting hypnotics. Rebound insomnia following discontinuation of LUNESTA relative to placebo and baseline was examined objectively in a 6-week adult study on the first 2 nights of discontinuation (nights 45 and 46) following 44 nights of active treatment with 2 mg or 3 mg. In the LUNESTA 2 mg group, compared with baseline, there was a significant increase in WASO and a decrease in sleep efficiency, both occurring only on the first night after discontinuation of treatment. No changes from baseline were noted in the LUNESTA 3 mg group on the first night after discontinuation, and there was a significant improvement in LPS and sleep efficiency compared with baseline following the second night of discontinuation. Comparisons of changes from baseline between LUNESTA and placebo were also performed. On the first night after discontinuation of LUNESTA 2 mg, LPS and WASO were significantly increased and sleep efficiency was reduced; there were no significant differences on the second night. On the first night following discontinuation of LUNESTA 3 mg, sleep efficiency was significantly reduced. No other differences from placebo were noted in any other sleep parameter on either the first or second night following discontinuation. For both doses, the discontinuation-emergent effect was mild, had the characteristics of the return of the symptoms of chronic insomnia, and appeared to resolve by the second night after LUNESTA discontinuation.
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