MIRTAZAPINE- mirtazapine tablet
Antidepressants increased the risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors in pediatric and young adult patients in short-term studies. Closely monitor all antidepressant-treated patients for clinical worsening, and for emergence of suicidal thoughts and behaviors [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)]. Mirtazapine tablets are not approved for use in pediatric patients [see Use in Specific Populations (8.4)].
Mirtazapine tablets are indicated for the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD) in adults [see Clinical Studies (14)].
The recommended starting dose of mirtazapine tablets is 15 mg once daily, administered orally, preferably in the evening prior to sleep. If patients do not have an adequate response to the initial 15 mg dose, increase the dose up to a maximum of 45 mg per day. Dose changes should not be made in intervals of less than 1 to 2 weeks to allow sufficient time for evaluation of response to a given dose [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].
Prior to initiating treatment with mirtazapine tablets or another antidepressant, screen patients for a personal or family history of bipolar disorder, mania, or hypomania [see Warnings and Precautions (5.9)].
At least 14 days must elapse between discontinuation of a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) antidepressant and initiation of mirtazapine tablets. In addition, at least 14 days must elapse after stopping mirtazapine tablets before starting an MAOI antidepressant [see Contraindications (4) and Warnings and Precautions (5.3)].
Strong CYP3A Inducers
An increase in dosage of mirtazapine tablets may be needed with concomitant strong CYP3A inducer (e.g., carbamazepine, phenytoin, rifampin) use. Conversely, a decrease in dosage of mirtazapine tablets may be needed if the CYP3A inducer is discontinued [see Drug Interactions (7)].
Strong CYP3A Inhibitors
A decrease in dosage of mirtazapine tablets may be needed with concomitant use of strong CYP3A4 inhibitors (e.g., ketoconazole, clarithromycin). Conversely, an increase in dosage of mirtazapine tablets may be needed if the CYP3A4 inhibitor is discontinued [see Drug Interactions (7)].
A decrease in dosage of mirtazapine tablets may be needed with concomitant use of cimetidine. Conversely, an increase in dosage of mirtazapine tablets may be needed if cimetidine is discontinued [see Drug Interactions (7)].
Adverse reactions may occur upon discontinuation or dose reduction of mirtazapine tablets [see Warnings and Precautions (5.14)]. Gradually reduce the dosage of mirtazapine tablets rather than stopping abruptly whenever possible.
Mirtazapine tablets, USP are supplied as:
- 7.5 mg tablets: Yellow colored, circular, biconvex, film coated tablets with “C” debossed on one side and plain on the other side.
- 15 mg tablets: Yellow colored, oval, biconvex, film coated tablets with “499” debossed on one side and scored on the other side.
- 30 mg tablets: Reddish-brown colored, oval, biconvex, film coated tablets with “500” debossed on one side and scored on the other side.
- 45 mg tablets: White to off-white colored, oval, biconvex, film coated tablets with “501” debossed on one side and plain on the other side.
Mirtazapine tablets are contraindicated in patients:
- Taking, or within 14 days of stopping, MAOIs (including the MAOIs linezolid and intravenous methylene blue) because of an increased risk of serotonin syndrome [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3), Drug Interactions (7)].
- With a known hypersensitivity to mirtazapine or to any of the excipients in mirtazapine tablets. Severe skin reactions, including drug reaction with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms (DRESS), Stevens-Johnson syndrome, bullous dermatitis, erythema multiforme and toxic epidermal necrolysis have been reported following the use of mirtazapine tablets [see Warnings and Precautions (5.6), Adverse Reactions (6.2)].
In pooled analyses of placebo-controlled trials of antidepressant drugs (SSRIs and other antidepressant classes) that included approximately 77,000 adult patients and 4,500 pediatric patients, the incidence of suicidal thoughts and behaviors in antidepressant-treated patients age 24 years and younger was greater than in placebo-treated patients. There was considerable variation in risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors among drugs, but there was an increased risk identified in young patients for most drugs studied. There were differences in absolute risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors across the different indications, with the highest incidence in patients with MDD. The drug-placebo differences in the number of cases of suicidal thoughts and behaviors per 1000 patients treated are provided in Table 1.
Table 1: Risk Differences of the Number of Patients with Suicidal Thoughts and Behavior in the Pooled Placebo-Controlled Trials of Antidepressants in Pediatric and Adult Patients
Drug-Placebo Difference in Number of Patients with Suicidal Thoughts or Behaviors per 1000 Patients Treated
Increases Compared to Placebo
<18 years old
14 additional patients
18–24 years old
5 additional patients
Decreases Compared to Placebo
25–64 years old
1 fewer patient
≥65 years old
6 fewer patients
It is unknown whether the risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors in children, adolescents, and young adults extends to longer-term use, i.e., beyond four months. However, there is substantial evidence from placebo-controlled maintenance trials in adults with MDD that antidepressants delay the recurrence of depression and that depression itself is a risk factor for suicidal thoughts and behaviors.
Monitor all antidepressant-treated patients for any indication of clinical worsening and emergence of suicidal thoughts and behaviors, especially during the initial few months of drug therapy, and at times of dosage changes. Counsel family members or caregivers of patients to monitor for changes in behavior and to alert the healthcare provider. Consider changing the therapeutic regimen, including possibly discontinuing mirtazapine tablets, in patients whose depression is persistently worse, or who are experiencing emergent suicidal thoughts or behaviors.
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