Like many other drugs, paroxetine is secreted in human milk. Because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants from paroxetine, a decision should be made whether to discontinue nursing infants or to discontinue the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother.
The safety and effectiveness of paroxetine in pediatric patients have not been established [see Box Warning]. Effectiveness was not demonstrated in three placebo-controlled trials in 752 paroxetine-treated pediatric patients with MDD.
Antidepressants increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors in pediatric patients [see Boxed Warning, Warnings and Precautions ( 5.1)]. Decreased appetite and weight loss have been observed in association with the use of SSRIs.
In placebo-controlled clinical trials conducted with pediatric patients, the following adverse reactions were reported in at least 2% of pediatric patients treated with paroxetine and occurred at a rate at least twice that for pediatric patients receiving placebo: emotional lability (including self-harm, suicidal thoughts, attempted suicide, crying, and mood fluctuations), hostility, decreased appetite, tremor, sweating, hyperkinesia, and agitation.
Adverse reactions upon discontinuation of treatment with paroxetine in the pediatric clinical trials that included a taper phase regimen, which occurred in at least 2% of patients and at a rate at least twice that of placebo, were: emotional lability (including suicidal ideation, suicide attempt, mood changes, and tearfulness), nervousness, dizziness, nausea, and abdominal pain.
In premarketing clinical trials with paroxetine, 17% of patients treated with paroxetine (approximately 700) were 65 years of age or older. Pharmacokinetic studies revealed a decreased clearance in the elderly, and a lower starting dose is recommended;, however, no overall differences in safety or effectiveness were observed between elderly and younger patients [see Dosage and Administration ( 2.4) , Clinical Pharmacology ( 12.3)].
SSRIs including paroxetine, 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 ( 5.7)].
Increased plasma concentrations of paroxetine occur in patients with renal and hepatic impairment. The initial dosage of paroxetine should be reduced in patients with severe renal impairment and in patients with severe hepatic impairment [see Dosage and Administration ( 2.4), Clinical Pharmacology ( 12.3)].
The following have been reported with paroxetine tablet overdosage:
- Seizures, which may be delayed, and altered mental status including coma.
- Cardiovascular toxicity, which may be delayed, including QRS and QTc interval prolongation. 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 proserotonergic drugs may have a higher risk).
Gastrointestinal decontamination with activated charcoal should be considered in patients who present early after a paroxetine overdose.
Consider contacting a Poison Center (1-800-222-1222) or a medical toxicologist for additional overdosage management recommendations.
Paroxetine tablets, USP contains paroxetine hydrochloride, an SSRI. It is the hydrochloride salt of a phenylpiperidine compound identified chemically as (-)- trans -4 R -(4′-fluorophenyl)-3 S -[(3′,4′- methylenedioxyphenoxy) methyl] piperidine hydrochloride anhydrous and has the empirical formula of C 19 H 20 FNO 3 ·HCl. The molecular weight is 365.8 (329.4 as free base). The structural formula of paroxetine hydrochloride is:
Paroxetine hydrochloride is an odorless, off-white powder, having a melting point range of 116°C to 120°C and a solubility of 5.4 mg/mL in water.
Each film-coated tablet, for oral administration, contains paroxetine hydrochloride equivalent to paroxetine as follows: 10 mg; 20 mg; 30 mg; 40 mg. Inactive ingredients consist of anhydrous lactose, hydroxypropyl cellulose, hypromellose, magnesium stearate, polyethylene glycol, sodium starch glycolate and titanium dioxide. Paroxetine tablets comply with USP Related Impurities Test 1.
The mechanism of action of paroxetine in the treatment of MDD, SAD, OCD, PD, GAD, and PTSD is unknown, but is presumed to be linked to potentiation of serotonergic activity in the central nervous system resulting from inhibition of neuronal reuptake of serotonin (5-hydroxy-tryptamine, 5-HT).
Studies at clinically relevant doses in humans have demonstrated that paroxetine blocks the uptake of serotonin into human platelets. In vitro studies in animals also suggest that paroxetine is a potent and highly selective inhibitor of neuronal serotonin reuptake (SSRI) and has only very weak effects on norepinephrine and dopamine neuronal reuptake.
Nonlinearity in pharmacokinetics is observed with increasing doses of paroxetine.
In a meta-analysis of paroxetine from 4 studies done in healthy volunteers following multiple dosing of 20 mg/day to 40 mg/day, males did not exhibit a significantly lower C max or AUC than females.
Paroxetine hydrochloride is completely absorbed after oral dosing of a solution of the hydrochloride salt. In a study in which normal male subjects (n = 15) received 30 mg tablets daily for 30 days, steady-state paroxetine concentrations were achieved by approximately 10 days for most subjects, although it may take substantially longer in an occasional patient. At steady state, mean values of C max , T max , C min , and T ½ were 61.7 ng/mL (CV 45%), 5.2 hr. (CV 10%), 30.7 ng/mL (CV 67%), and 21 hours (CV 32%), respectively. The steady-state Cmax and Cmin values were about 6 and 14 times what would be predicted from single-dose studies. Steady-state drug exposure based on AUC 0-24 was about 8 times greater than would have been predicted from single-dose data in these subjects. The excess accumulation is a consequence of the fact that 1 of the enzymes that metabolizes paroxetine is readily saturable.
Paroxetine is equally bioavailable from the tablet.
Effect of Food
The effects of food on the bioavailability of paroxetine were studied in subjects administered a single dose with and without food. AUC was only slightly increased (6%) when drug was administered with food but the C max was 29% greater, while the time to reach peak plasma concentration decreased from 6.4 hours post-dosing to 4.9 hours.
Paroxetine distributes throughout the body, including the CNS, with only 1% remaining in the plasma.
Approximately 95% and 93% of paroxetine is bound to plasma protein at 100 ng/mL and 400 ng/mL, respectively. Under clinical conditions, paroxetine concentrations would normally be less than 400 ng/mL. Paroxetine does not alter the in vitro protein binding of phenytoin or warfarin.
The mean elimination half-life is approximately 21 hours (CV 32%) after oral dosing of 30 mg tablets daily for 30 days of paroxetine. In steady-state dose proportionality studies involving elderly and nonelderly patients, at doses of 20 mg to 40 mg daily for the elderly and 20 mg to 50 mg daily for the nonelderly, some nonlinearity was observed in both populations, again reflecting a saturable metabolic pathway. In comparison to Cmin values after 20 mg daily, values after 40 mg daily were only about 2 to 3 times greater than doubled.
Paroxetine is extensively metabolized after oral administration. The principal metabolites are polar and conjugated products of oxidation and methylation, which are readily cleared. Conjugates with glucuronic acid and sulfate predominate, and major metabolites have been isolated and identified. Data indicate that the metabolites have no more than 1/50 the potency of the parent compound at inhibiting serotonin uptake. The metabolism of paroxetine is accomplished in part by CYP2D6. Saturation of this enzyme at clinical doses appears to account for the nonlinearity of paroxetine kinetics with increasing dose and increasing duration of treatment. The role of this enzyme in paroxetine metabolism also suggests potential drug-drug interactions [see Drug Interactions ( 7)]. Pharmacokinetic behavior of paroxetine has not been evaluated in subjects who are deficient in CYP2D6 (poor metabolizers).
Approximately 64% of a 30-mg oral solution dose of paroxetine was excreted in the urine with 2% as the parent compound and 62% as metabolites over a 10-day post-dosing period. About 36% was excreted in the feces (probably via the bile), mostly as metabolites and less than 1% as the parent compound over the 10-day post-dosing period.
Drug Interaction Studies
There are clinically significant, known drug interactions between paroxetine and other drugs [see Drug Interactions ( 7)].
Figure 1. Impact of Paroxetine on the Pharmacokinetics of Co-Administered Drugs (log scale)
Figure 2. Impact of Co-Administered Drugs on the Pharmacokinetics of Paroxetine
Theophylline: Reports of elevated theophylline levels associated with paroxetine treatment have been reported. While this interaction has not been formally studied, it is recommended that theophylline levels be monitored when these drugs are concurrently administered.
Drugs Metabolized by Cytochrome CYP3A4
in vivo interaction study involving the coadministration under steady-state conditions of paroxetine and terfenadine, a substrate for CYP3A4, revealed no effect of paroxetine on terfenadine pharmacokinetics. In addition,
in vitro studies have shown ketoconazole, a potent inhibitor of CYP3A4 activity, to be at least 100 times more potent than paroxetine as an inhibitor of the metabolism of several substrates for this enzyme, including terfenadine, astemizole, cisapride, triazolam, and cyclosporine. Paroxetine’s extent of inhibition of CYP3A4 activity is not expected to be of clinical
The impact of specific populations on the pharmacokinetics of paroxetine are shown in Figure 3.
The recommended starting dosage and maximum dosage of paroxetine is reduced in elderly patients, patients with severe renal impairment, and patients with severe hepatic impairment [see Dosage and Administration ( 2.4) .
Figure 3. Impact of Specific Population on the Pharmacokinetics of Paroxetine (log scale)
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