3 DOSAGE FORMS AND STRENGTHS
Fluoxetine Capsules USP, 10 mg contain fluoxetine hydrochloride, equivalent to 10 mg fluoxetine, and are available as white, opaque capsules printed with PLIVA 647 in green band on cap and body.
Fluoxetine Capsules USP, 20 mg contain fluoxetine hydrochloride, equivalent to 20 mg fluoxetine, and are available as white, opaque capsules printed with PLIVA 648 in green band on cap only.
The use of fluoxetine is contraindicated with the following:
– Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors [see Drug Interactions (7.1)]
– Pimozide [see Drug Interactions (7.9)]
– Thioridazine [see Drug Interactions (7.9)]
5.1 Clinical Worsening and Suicide Risk 5.2 Serotonin Syndrome or Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS)-Like Reactions 5.3 Allergic Reactions and Rash 5.4 Screening Patients for Bipolar Disorder and Monitoring for Mania/Hypomania 5.5 Seizures 5.6 Altered Appetite and Weight 5.7 Abnormal Bleeding 5.8 Hyponatremia 5.9 Anxiety and Insomnia 5.10 Use in Patients With Concomitant Illness 5.11 Potential for Cognitive and Motor Impairment 5.12 Long Elimination Half-Life 5.13 Discontinuation of Treatment
5 WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS5.1 Clinical Worsening and Suicide Risk
Patients with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), both adult and pediatric, may experience worsening of their depression and/or the emergence of suicidal ideation and behavior (suicidality) or unusual changes in behavior, whether or not they are taking antidepressant medications, and this risk may persist until significant remission occurs. Suicide is a known risk of depression and certain other psychiatric disorders, and these disorders themselves are the strongest predictors of suicide. There has been a long-standing concern, however, that antidepressants may have a role in inducing worsening of depression and the emergence of suicidality in certain patients during the early phases of treatment. Pooled analyses of short-term placebo-controlled trials of antidepressant drugs (SSRIs and others) showed that these drugs increase the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior (suicidality) in children, adolescents, and young adults (ages 18 to 24) with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and other psychiatric disorders. Short-term studies did not show an increase in the risk of suicidality with antidepressants compared to placebo in adults beyond age 24; there was a reduction with antidepressants compared to placebo in adults aged 65 and older. The pooled analyses of placebo-controlled trials in children and adolescents with MDD, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), or other psychiatric disorders included a total of 24 short-term trials of 9 antidepressant drugs in over 4400 patients.
The pooled analyses of placebo-controlled trials in adults with MDD or other psychiatric disorders included a total of 295 short-term trials (median duration of 2 months) of 11 antidepressant drugs in over 77,000 patients. There was considerable variation in risk of suicidality among drugs, but a tendency toward an increase in the younger patients for almost all drugs studied. There were differences in absolute risk of suicidality across the different indications, with the highest incidence in MDD. The risk differences (drug versus placebo), however, were relatively stable within age strata and across indications. These risk differences (drug-placebo difference in the number of cases of suicidality per 1000 patients treated) are provided in Table 2.
|Age Range||Drug-Placebo Difference in Number of Cases of Suicidality per 1000 Patients Treated|
|Increases Compared to Placebo|
|less than 18||14 additional cases|
|18 to 24||5 additional cases|
|Decreases Compared to Placebo|
|25 to 64||1 fewer case|
|greater than or equal to 65||6 fewer cases|
It is unknown whether the suicidality risk extends to longer-term use, i.e., beyond several months. However, there is substantial evidence from placebo-controlled maintenance trials in adults with depression that the use of antidepressants can delay the recurrence of depression.
All patients being treated with antidepressants for any indication should be monitored appropriately and observed closely for clinical worsening, suicidality, and unusual changes in behavior, especially during the initial few months of a course of drug therapy, or at times of dose changes, either increases or decreases.
The following symptoms, anxiety, agitation, panic attacks, insomnia, irritability, hostility, aggressiveness, impulsivity, akathisia (psychomotor restlessness), hypomania, and mania, have been reported in adult and pediatric patients being treated with antidepressants for Major Depressive Disorder as well as for other indications, both psychiatric and nonpsychiatric. Although a causal link between the emergence of such symptoms and either the worsening of depression and/or the emergence of suicidal impulses has not been established, there is concern that such symptoms may represent precursors to emerging suicidality.
Consideration should be given to changing the therapeutic regimen, including possibly discontinuing the medication, in patients whose depression is persistently worse, or who are experiencing emergent suicidality or symptoms that might be precursors to worsening depression or suicidality, especially if these symptoms are severe, abrupt in onset, or were not part of the patient’s presenting symptoms.
If the decision has been made to discontinue treatment, medication should be tapered, as rapidly as is feasible, but with recognition that abrupt discontinuation can be associated with certain symptoms [see Warnings and Precautions ( 5.13)].
Families and caregivers of patients being treated with antidepressants for Major Depressive Disorder or other indications, both psychiatric and nonpsychiatric, should be alerted about the need to monitor patients for the emergence of agitation, irritability, unusual changes in behavior, and the other symptoms described above, as well as the emergence of suicidality, and to report such symptoms immediately to health care providers. Such monitoring should include daily observation by families and caregivers. Prescriptions for fluoxetine capsules should be written for the smallest quantity of capsules consistent with good patient management, in order to reduce the risk of overdose.
It should be noted that fluoxetine is approved in the pediatric population only for Major Depressive Disorder and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
5.2 Serotonin Syndrome or Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS)-Like Reactions
The development of a potentially life-threatening serotonin syndrome or neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS)-like reactions have been reported with SNRIs and SSRIs alone, including fluoxetine treatment, but particularly with concomitant use of serotonergic drugs (including triptans) with drugs which impair metabolism of serotonin (including MAOIs), or with antipsychotics or other dopamine antagonists. Serotonin syndrome symptoms may include mental status changes (e.g., agitation, hallucinations, coma), autonomic instability (e.g., tachycardia, labile blood pressure, hyperthermia), neuromuscular aberrations (e.g., hyperreflexia, incoordination) and/or gastrointestinal symptoms (e.g., nausea, vomiting, diarrhea). Serotonin syndrome, in its most severe form can resemble neuroleptic malignant syndrome, which includes hyperthermia, muscle rigidity, autonomic instability with possible rapid fluctuation of vital signs, and mental status changes. Patients should be monitored for the emergence of serotonin syndrome or NMSlike signs and symptoms.
The concomitant use of fluoxetine with MAOIs intended to treat depression is contraindicated [see Contraindications ( 4) and Drug Interactions ( 7.1)].
If concomitant treatment of fluoxetine with a 5-hydroxytryptamine receptor agonist (triptan) is clinically warranted, careful observation of the patient is advised, particularly during treatment initiation and dose increases [see Drug Interactions ( 7.4)].
The concomitant use of fluoxetine with serotonin precursors (such as tryptophan) is not recommended [see Drug Interactions ( 7.3)].
Treatment with fluoxetine and any concomitant serotonergic or antidopaminergic agents, including antipsychotics, should be discontinued immediately if the above reactions occur, and supportive symptomatic treatment should be initiated.
5.3 Allergic Reactions and Rash
In U.S. fluoxetine clinical trials as of May 8, 1995, 7% of 10,782 patients developed various types of rashes and/or urticaria. Among the cases of rash and/or urticaria reported in premarketing clinical trials, almost a third were withdrawn from treatment because of the rash and/or systemic signs or symptoms associated with the rash. Clinical findings reported in association with rash include fever, leukocytosis, arthralgias, edema, carpal tunnel syndrome, respiratory distress, lymphadenopathy, proteinuria, and mild transaminase elevation. Most patients improved promptly with discontinuation of fluoxetine and/or adjunctive treatment with antihistamines or steroids, and all patients experiencing these reactions were reported to recover completely.
In premarketing clinical trials, 2 patients are known to have developed a serious cutaneous systemic illness. In neither patient was there an unequivocal diagnosis, but one was considered to have a leukocytoclastic vasculitis, and the other, a severe desquamating syndrome that was considered variously to be a vasculitis or erythema multiforme. Other patients have had systemic syndromes suggestive of serum sickness.
Since the introduction of fluoxetine, systemic reactions, possibly related to vasculitis and including lupus-like syndrome, have developed in patients with rash. Although these reactions are rare, they may be serious, involving the lung, kidney, or liver. Death has been reported to occur in association with these systemic reactions. page 7 of 27
Anaphylactoid reactions, including bronchospasm, angioedema, laryngospasm, and urticaria alone and in combination, have been reported.
Pulmonary reactions, including inflammatory processes of varying histopathology and/or fibrosis, have been reported rarely. These reactions have occurred with dyspnea as the only preceding symptom.
Whether these systemic reactions and rash have a common underlying cause or are due to different etiologies or pathogenic processes is not known. Furthermore, a specific underlying immunologic basis for these reactions has not been identified. Upon the appearance of rash or of other possibly allergic phenomena for which an alternative etiology cannot be identified, fluoxetine should be discontinued.
5.4 Screening Patients for Bipolar Disorder and Monitoring for Mania/Hypomania
A major depressive episode may be the initial presentation of Bipolar Disorder. It is generally believed (though not established in controlled trials) that treating such an episode with an antidepressant alone may increase the likelihood of precipitation of a mixed/ manic episode in patients at risk for Bipolar Disorder. Whether any of the symptoms described for clinical worsening and suicide risk represent such a conversion is unknown. However, prior to initiating treatment with an antidepressant, patients with depressive symptoms should be adequately screened to determine if they are at risk for Bipolar Disorder; such screening should include a detailed psychiatric history, including a family history of suicide, Bipolar Disorder, and depression. It should be noted that fluoxetine capsules are not indicated for use in treating bipolar depression.
In U.S. placebo-controlled clinical trials for Major Depressive Disorder, mania/hypomania was reported in 0.1% of patients treated with fluoxetine and 0.1% of patients treated with placebo. Activation of mania/hypomania has also been reported in a small proportion of patients with Major Affective Disorder treated with other marketed drugs effective in the treatment of Major Depressive Disorder [see Use in Specific Populations ( 8.4)].
In U.S. placebo-controlled clinical trials for OCD, mania/hypomania was reported in 0.8% of patients treated with fluoxetine and no patients treated with placebo. No patients reported mania/hypomania in U.S. placebo-controlled clinical trials for bulimia. In all U.S. fluoxetine clinical trials as of May 8, 1995, 0.7% of 10,782 patients reported mania/hypomania [see Use in Specific Populations ( 8.4)].
In U.S. placebo-controlled clinical trials for Major Depressive Disorder, convulsions (or reactions described as possibly having been seizures) were reported in 0.1% of patients treated with fluoxetine and 0.2% of patients treated with placebo. No patients reported convulsions in U.S. placebo-controlled clinical trials for either OCD or bulimia. In all U.S. fluoxetine clinical trials as of May 8, 1995, 0.2% of 10,782 patients reported convulsions. The percentage appears to be similar to that associated with other marketed drugs effective in the treatment of Major Depressive Disorder. Fluoxetine should be introduced with care in patients with a history of seizures.
5.6 Altered Appetite and Weight
Significant weight loss, especially in underweight depressed or bulimic patients, may be an undesirable result of treatment with fluoxetine.
In U.S. placebo-controlled clinical trials for Major Depressive Disorder, 11% of patients treated with fluoxetine and 2% of patients treated with placebo reported anorexia (decreased appetite). Weight loss was reported in 1.4% of patients treated with fluoxetine and in 0.5% of patients treated with placebo. However, only rarely have patients discontinued treatment with fluoxetine because of anorexia or weight loss [see Use in Specific Populations ( 8.4)].
In U.S. placebo-controlled clinical trials for OCD, 17% of patients treated with fluoxetine and 10% of patients treated with placebo reported anorexia (decreased appetite). One patient discontinued treatment with fluoxetine because of anorexia [see Use in Specific Populations ( 8.4)].
In U.S. placebo-controlled clinical trials for Bulimia Nervosa, 8% of patients treated with fluoxetine 60 mg and 4% of patients treated with placebo reported anorexia (decreased appetite). Patients treated with fluoxetine 60 mg on average lost 0.45 kg compared with a gain of 0.16 kg by patients treated with placebo in the 16 week double-blind trial. Weight change should be monitored during therapy.
5.7 Abnormal Bleeding
SNRIs and SSRIs, including fluoxetine, may increase the risk of bleeding reactions. Concomitant use of aspirin, nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs, warfarin, and other anti-coagulants may add to this risk. Case reports and epidemiological studies (case-control and cohort design) have demonstrated an association between use of drugs that interfere with serotonin reuptake and the occurrence of gastrointestinal bleeding. Bleeding reactions related to SNRIs and SSRIs use have ranged from ecchymoses, hematomas, epistaxis, and petechiae to life-threatening hemorrhages. Patients should be cautioned about the risk of bleeding associated with the concomitant use of fluoxetine and NSAIDs, aspirin, warfarin, or other drugs that affect coagulation [see Drug Interactions ( 7.6)].
Hyponatremia has been reported during treatment with SNRIs and SSRIs, including fluoxetine. In many cases, this hyponatremia appears to be the result of the syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion (SIADH). Cases with serum sodium lower than 110 mmol/L have been reported and appeared to be reversible when fluoxetine was discontinued. Elderly patients may be at greater risk of developing hyponatremia with SNRIs and SSRIs. Also, patients taking diuretics or who are otherwise volume depleted may be at greater risk [see Use in Specific Populations ( 8.5)]. Discontinuation of fluoxetine should be considered in patients with symptomatic hyponatremia and appropriate medical intervention should be instituted.
Signs and symptoms of hyponatremia include headache, difficulty concentrating, memory impairment, confusion, weakness, and unsteadiness, which may lead to falls. More severe and/or acute cases have been associated with hallucination, syncope, seizure, coma, respiratory arrest, and death.
5.9 Anxiety and Insomnia
In U.S. placebo-controlled clinical trials for Major Depressive Disorder, 12% to 16% of patients treated with fluoxetine and 7% to 9% of patients treated with placebo reported anxiety, nervousness, or insomnia.
In U.S. placebo-controlled clinical trials for OCD, insomnia was reported in 28% of patients treated with fluoxetine and in 22% of patients treated with placebo. Anxiety was reported in 14% of patients treated with fluoxetine and in 7% of patients treated with placebo.
In U.S. placebo-controlled clinical trials for Bulimia Nervosa, insomnia was reported in 33% of patients treated with fluoxetine 60 mg, and 13% of patients treated with placebo. Anxiety and nervousness were reported, respectively, in 15% and 11% of patients treated with fluoxetine 60 mg and in 9% and 5% of patients treated with placebo.
Among the most common adverse reactions associated with discontinuation (incidence at least twice that for placebo and at least 1% for fluoxetine in clinical trials collecting only a primary reaction associated with discontinuation) in U.S. placebo-controlled fluoxetine clinical trials were anxiety (2% in OCD), insomnia (2% in bulimia), and nervousness (1% in Major Depressive Disorder) [see Table 5:].
5.10 Use in Patients With Concomitant Illness
Clinical experience with fluoxetine in patients with concomitant systemic illness is limited. Caution is advisable in using fluoxetine in patients with diseases or conditions that could affect metabolism or hemodynamic responses.
Cardiovascular — Fluoxetine has not been evaluated or used to any appreciable extent in patients with a recent history of myocardial infarction or unstable heart disease. Patients with these diagnoses were systematically excluded from clinical studies during the product’s premarket testing. However, the electrocardiograms of 312 patients who received fluoxetine in double-blind trials were retrospectively evaluated; no conduction abnormalities that resulted in heart block were observed. The mean heart rate was reduced by approximately 3 beats/min.
Glycemic Control — In patients with diabetes, fluoxetine may alter glycemic control. Hypoglycemia has occurred during therapy with fluoxetine, and hyperglycemia has developed following discontinuation of the drug. As is true with many other types of medication when taken concurrently by patients with diabetes, insulin and/or oral hypoglycemic, dosage may need to be adjusted when therapy with fluoxetine is instituted or discontinued.
5.11 Potential for Cognitive and Motor Impairment
As with any CNS-active drug, fluoxetine has the potential to impair judgment, thinking, or motor skills. Patients should be cautioned about operating hazardous machinery, including automobiles, until they are reasonably certain that the drug treatment does not affect them adversely.
5.12 Long Elimination Half-Life
Because of the long elimination half-lives of the parent drug and its major active metabolite, changes in dose will not be fully reflected in plasma for several weeks, affecting both strategies for titration to final dose and withdrawal from treatment. 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 [see Clinical Pharmacology ( 12.3)].
5.13 Discontinuation of TreatmentDuring marketing of fluoxetine, SNRIs, and SSRIs, there have been spontaneous reports of adverse reactions occurring upon discontinuation of these drugs, particularly when abrupt, including the following: dysphoric mood, irritability, agitation, dizziness, sensory disturbances (e.g., paresthesias such as electric shock sensations), anxiety, confusion, headache, lethargy, emotional lability, insomnia, and hypomania. While these reactions are generally self-limiting, there have been reports of serious discontinuation symptoms. Patients should be monitored for these symptoms when discontinuing treatment with fluoxetine. A gradual reduction in the dose rather than abrupt cessation is recommended whenever possible. If intolerable symptoms occur following a decrease in the dose or upon discontinuation of treatment, then resuming the previously prescribed dose may be considered. Subsequently, the physician may continue decreasing the dose but at a more gradual rate. Plasma fluoxetine and norfluoxetine concentration decrease gradually at the conclusion of therapy which may minimize the risk of discontinuation symptoms with this drug.
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