SEROQUEL (Page 5 of 12)

5.9 Increases in Blood Pressure in Children and Adolescents

In placebo-controlled trials in children and adolescents with schizophrenia (6-week duration) or bipolar mania (3-week duration), the incidence of increases at any time in systolic blood pressure (≥20 mmHg) was 15.2% (51/335) for SEROQUEL and 5.5% (9/163) for placebo; the incidence of increases at any time in diastolic blood pressure (≥10 mmHg) was 40.6% (136/335) for SEROQUEL and 24.5% (40/163) for placebo. In the 26-week open-label clinical trial, one child with a reported history of hypertension experienced a hypertensive crisis. Blood pressure in children and adolescents should be measured at the beginning of, and periodically during treatment.

5.10 Leukopenia, Neutropenia and Agranulocytosis

In clinical trial and postmarketing experience, events of leukopenia/neutropenia have been reported temporally related to atypical antipsychotic agents, including SEROQUEL. Agranulocytosis (including fatal cases) has also been reported.

Possible risk factors for leukopenia/neutropenia include pre-existing low white cell count (WBC) and history of drug induced leukopenia/neutropenia. Patients with a pre-existing low WBC or a history of drug induced leukopenia/neutropenia should have their complete blood count (CBC) monitored frequently during the first few months of therapy and should discontinue SEROQUEL at the first sign of a decline in WBC in absence of other causative factors.

Patients with neutropenia should be carefully monitored for fever or other symptoms or signs of infection and treated promptly if such symptoms or signs occur. Patients with severe neutropenia (absolute neutrophil count <1000/mm3) should discontinue SEROQUEL and have their WBC followed until recovery [see Adverse Reactions (6.2)].

5.11 Cataracts

The development of cataracts was observed in association with quetiapine treatment in chronic dog studies [see Nonclinical Toxicology, Animal Toxicology (13.2)]. Lens changes have also been observed in adults, children and adolescents during long-term SEROQUEL treatment, but a causal relationship to SEROQUEL use has not been established. Nevertheless, the possibility of lenticular changes cannot be excluded at this time. Therefore, examination of the lens by methods adequate to detect cataract formation, such as slit lamp exam or other appropriately sensitive methods, is recommended at initiation of treatment or shortly thereafter, and at 6-month intervals during chronic treatment.

5.12 Seizures

During clinical trials, seizures occurred in 0.5% (20/3490) of patients treated with SEROQUEL compared to 0.2% (2/954) on placebo and 0.7% (4/527) on active control drugs. As with other antipsychotics, SEROQUEL should be used cautiously in patients with a history of seizures or with conditions that potentially lower the seizure threshold, e.g., Alzheimer’s dementia. Conditions that lower the seizure threshold may be more prevalent in a population of 65 years or older.

5.13 Hypothyroidism

Adults: Clinical trials with quetiapine demonstrated dose-related decreases in thyroid hormone levels. The reduction in total and free thyroxine (T4) of approximately 20% at the higher end of the therapeutic dose range was maximal in the first six weeks of treatment and maintained without adaptation or progression during more chronic therapy. In nearly all cases, cessation of quetiapine treatment was associated with a reversal of the effects on total and free T4, irrespective of the duration of treatment. About 0.7% (26/3489) of SEROQUEL patients did experience TSH increases in monotherapy studies. Some patients with TSH increases needed replacement thyroid treatment. In the mania adjunct studies, where SEROQUEL was added to lithium or divalproex, 12% (24/196) of SEROQUEL treated patients compared to 7% (15/203) of placebo-treated patients had elevated TSH levels. Of the SEROQUEL treated patients with elevated TSH levels, 3 had simultaneous low free T4 levels.

In all quetiapine trials, the incidence of potentially clinically significant shifts in thyroid hormones and TSH were*: decrease in free T4, 2.0% (357/17513); decrease in total T4, 4.0% (75/1861); decrease in free T3, 0.4% (53/13766); decrease in total T3, 2.0% (26/1312), and increase in TSH, 4.9% (956/19412). In eight patients, where TBG was measured, levels of TBG were unchanged.

Table 7 shows the incidence of these shifts in short-term placebo-controlled clinical trials.

Table 7: Incidence of potentially clinically significant shifts in thyroid hormone levels and TSH in short term placebo-controlled clinical trials

Total T4

Free T4

Total T3

Free T3

TSH

Quetiapine

Placebo

Quetiapine

Placebo

Quetiapine

Placebo

Quetiapine

Placebo

Quetiapine

Placebo

3.4 %

(37/1097)

0.6%

(4/651)

0.7%

(52/7218)

0.1%

(4/3668)

0.5%

(2/369)

0.0%

(0/113)

0.2%

(11/5673)

0.0%

(1/2679)

3.2%

(240/7587)

2.7%

(105/3912)

In short-term placebo-controlled monotherapy trials, the incidence of reciprocal, potentially clinically significant shifts in T3 and TSH was 0.0 % for both quetiapine (1/4800) and placebo (0/2190) and for T4 and TSH the shifts were 0.1% (7/6154) for quetiapine versus 0.0% (1/3007) for placebo.

Generally, these changes in thyroid hormone levels were of no clinical significance.

Children and Adolescents: In acute placebo-controlled trials in children and adolescent patients with schizophrenia (6-week duration) or bipolar mania (3-week duration), the incidence of shifts to potentially clinically important thyroid function values at any time for SEROQUEL treated patients and placebo-treated patients for elevated TSH was 2.9% (8/280) vs. 0.7% (1/138), respectively and for decreased total thyroxine was 2.8% (8/289) vs. 0% (0/145, respectively). Of the SEROQUEL treated patients with elevated TSH levels, 1 had simultaneous low free T4 level at end of treatment.

5.14 Hyperprolactinemia

Adults: During clinical trials with quetiapine, the incidence of shifts in prolactin levels to a clinically significant value occurred in 3.6% (158/4416) of patients treated with quetiapine compared to 2.6% (51/1968) on placebo.

Children and Adolescents: In acute placebo-controlled trials in children and adolescent patients with bipolar mania (3-week duration) or schizophrenia (6-week duration), the incidence of shifts in prolactin levels to a clinically significant value (>20 µg/L males; > 26 µg/L females at any time) was 13.4% (18/134) for SEROQUEL compared to 4% (3/75) for placebo in males and 8.7% (9/104) for SEROQUEL compared to 0% (0/39) for placebo in females.

Like other drugs that antagonize dopamine D2 receptors, SEROQUEL elevates prolactin levels in some patients and the elevation may persist during chronic administration. Hyperprolactinemia, regardless of etiology, may suppress hypothalamic GnRH, resulting in reduced pituitary gonadotrophin secretion. This, in turn, may inhibit reproductive function by impairing gonadal steroidogenesis in both female and male patients. Galactorrhea, amenorrhea, gynecomastia, and impotence have been reported in patients receiving prolactin-elevating compounds. Long-standing hyperprolactinemia when associated with hypogonadism may lead to decreased bone density in both female and male subjects.

Tissue culture experiments indicate that approximately one-third of human breast cancers are prolactin dependent in vitro , a factor of potential importance if the prescription of these drugs is considered in a patient with previously detected breast cancer. As is common with compounds which increase prolactin release, mammary gland, and pancreatic islet cell neoplasia (mammary adenocarcinomas, pituitary and pancreatic adenomas) was observed in carcinogenicity studies conducted in mice and rats. Neither clinical studies nor epidemiologic studies conducted to date have shown an association between chronic administration of this class of drugs and tumorigenesis in humans, but the available evidence is too limited to be conclusive [see Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility (13.1)].

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