TRAZODONE HYDROCHLORIDE- trazodone hydrochloride tablet, film coated
Antidepressants increased the risk compared to placebo of suicidal thinking and behavior (suicidality) in children, adolescents, and young adults in short-term studies of major depressive disorder (MDD) and other psychiatric disorders. Anyone considering the use of trazodone hydrochloride tablets or any other antidepressant in a child, adolescent, or young adult must balance this risk with the clinical need. 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 in risk with antidepressants compared to placebo in adults aged 65 and older. Depression and certain other psychiatric disorders are themselves associated with increases in the risk of suicide. Patients of all ages who are started on antidepressant therapy should be monitored appropriately and observed closely for clinical worsening, suicidality, or unusual changes in behavior. Families and caregivers should be advised of the need for close observation and communication with the prescriber. Trazodone hydrochloride tablets are not approved for use in pediatric patients [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1) and Patient Counseling Information (17.1)].
Trazodone hydrochloride tablets are indicated for the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD) in adults. The efficacy of trazodone hydrochloride tablets has been established in trials with the immediate release formulation of trazodone [see Clinical Studies (14)].
The dosage should be initiated at a low-dose and increased gradually, noting the clinical response and any evidence of intolerance. Occurrence of drowsiness may require the administration of a major portion of the daily dose at bedtime or a reduction of dosage. Trazodone hydrochloride tablets should be taken shortly after a meal or light snack.
An initial dose of 150 mg/day in divided doses is suggested. The dose may be increased by 50 mg/day every 3 to 4 days. The maximum dose for outpatients usually should not exceed 400 mg/day in divided doses. Inpatients (i.e., more severely depressed patients) may be given up to but not in excess of 600 mg/day in divided doses.
- Once an adequate response has been achieved, dosage may be gradually reduced, with subsequent adjustment depending on therapeutic response.
- Patients should be monitored for withdrawal symptoms when discontinuing treatment with trazodone hydrochloride. The dose should be gradually reduced whenever possible [see Warnings and Precautions (5.12)].
The efficacy of trazodone hydrochloride tablets for the maintenance treatment of MDD has not been evaluated. While there is no body of evidence available to answer the question of how long a patient treated with trazodone hydrochloride tablets should continue the drug, it is generally recommended that treatment be continued for several months after an initial response. Patients should be maintained on the lowest effective dose and be periodically reassessed to determine the continued need for maintenance treatment.
Important Administration Instructions
Trazodone hydrochloride tablets are scored to provide flexibility in dosing.
Trazodone hydrochloride tablets can be swallowed whole or administered by breaking the tablet along the score lines.
Trazodone hydrochloride tablets are available in the following strengths:
- Trazodone hydrochloride tablets 50 mg are scored, white, film coated, round, debossed MP 118.
- Trazodone hydrochloride tablets 100 mg are scored, white, film coated, round, debossed MP 114.
- Trazodone hydrochloride tablets 150 mg are scored in the divided dose design, white, round, debossed on one side and MP 168 on the reverse side.
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 – 24) with 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 4,400 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 vs. 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 1,000 patients treated) are provided in Table 1.
|Age Range|| Drug-Placebo Difference in Number of Cases of |
Suicidality per 1,000 Patients Treated
Increases Compared to Placebo
14 additional cases
18 – 24
5 additional cases
Decreases Compared to Placebo
25 – 64
1 fewer case
6 fewer cases
No suicides occurred in any of the pediatric trials. There were suicides in the adult trials, but the number was not sufficient to reach any conclusion about drug effect on suicide.
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.
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 trazodone should be written for the smallest quantity of tablets consistent with good patient management, in order to reduce the risk of overdose.
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