Trazodone Hydrochloride (Page 2 of 6)

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 antidepressants alone and may occur with trazodone treatment, but particularly with concomitant use of other serotoninergic drugs (including SSRIs, SNRIs and triptans) and with drugs that impair metabolism of serotonin (including monoamine oxidase inhibitors [MAOIs]), or with antipsychotics or other dopamine antagonists. Serotonin syndrome symptoms may include mental status changes (e.g., agitation, hallucinations, and coma), autonomic instability (e.g., tachycardia, labile blood pressure, and hyperthermia), neuromuscular aberrations (e.g., hyperreflexia, incoordination) and/or gastrointestinal symptoms (e.g., nausea, vomiting, and 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.

Treatment with trazodone hydrochloride tablets 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.

Trazodone hydrochloride tablets should not be used within 14 days of an MAOI [see Warnings and Precautions (5.8) and Drug Interactions (7)].

If concomitant treatment with trazodone hydrochloride tablets and an SSRI, SNRI or a 5-hydroxytryptamine receptor agonist (triptan) is clinically warranted, careful observation of the patient is advised, particularly during treatment initiation and dose increases.

The concomitant use of trazodone hydrochloride tablets with serotonin precursors (such as tryptophan) is not recommended.

5.3 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 trazodone hydrochloride tablets are not approved for use in treating bipolar depression.

5.4 QT Prolongation and Risk of Sudden Death

Trazodone is known to prolong the QT/QTc interval. Some drugs that prolong the QT/QTc interval can cause Torsades de Pointes with sudden, unexplained death. The relationship of QT prolongation is clearest for larger increases (20 msec and greater), but it is possible that smaller QT/QTc prolongations may also increase risk, especially in susceptible individuals, such as those with hypokalemia, hypomagnesemia, or a genetic predisposition to prolonged QT/QTc.

Although Torsades de Pointes has not been observed with the use of trazodone hydrochloride tablets at recommended doses in premarketing trials, experience is too limited to rule out an increased risk. However, there have been postmarketing reports of Torsades de Pointes with the immediate-release form of trazodone (in the presence of multiple confounding factors), even at doses of 100 mg per day or less.

5.5 Use in Patients with Heart Disease

Trazodone hydrochloride is not recommended for use during the initial recovery phase of myocardial infarction.

Caution should be used when administering trazodone hydrochloride tablets to patients with cardiac disease and such patients should be closely monitored, since antidepressant drugs (including trazodone hydrochloride) may cause cardiac arrhythmias.

QT prolongation has been reported with trazodone therapy [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4)]. Clinical studies in patients with pre-existing cardiac disease indicate that trazodone hydrochloride may be arrhythmogenic in some patients in that population. Arrhythmias identified include isolated PVCs, ventricular couplets, tachycardia with syncope, and Torsades de Pointes. Postmarketing events have been reported at doses of 100 mg or less with the immediate-release form of trazodone.

Concomitant administration of drugs that prolong the QT interval or that are inhibitors of CYP3A4 may increase the risk of cardiac arrhythmia.

5.6 Orthostatic Hypotension and Syncope

Hypotension, including orthostatic hypotension and syncope has been reported in patients receiving trazodone hydrochloride. Concomitant use with an antihypertensive may require a reduction in the dose of the antihypertensive drug.

5.7 Abnormal Bleeding

Postmarketing data have shown an association between use of drugs that interfere with serotonin reuptake and the occurrence of gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding. While no association between trazodone and bleeding events, in particular GI bleeding, was shown, patients should be cautioned about potential risk of bleeding associated with the concomitant use of trazodone and NSAIDs, aspirin, or other drugs that affect coagulation or bleeding. Other bleeding events related to SSRIs and SNRIs have ranged from ecchymosis, hematoma, epistaxis, and petechiae to life-threatening hemorrhages.

5.8 Interaction with MAOIs

In patients receiving serotonergic drugs in combination with a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI), there have been reports of serious, sometimes fatal reactions including hyperthermia, rigidity, myoclonus, autonomic instability with rapid fluctuation in vital signs, and mental status changes that include extreme agitation progressing to delirium and coma. These reactions have also been reported in patients who have recently discontinued antidepressant treatment and have been started on an MAOI. Some cases presented with features resembling neuroleptic malignant syndrome. Furthermore, limited animal data on the effects of combined use of serotonergic antidepressants and MAOIs suggest that these drugs may act synergistically to elevate blood pressure and evoke behavioral excitation. Therefore, it is recommended that trazodone hydrochloride tablets should not be used in combination with an MAOI or within 14 days of discontinuing treatment with an MAOI. Similarly, at least 14 days should be allowed after stopping trazodone hydrochloride tablets before starting an MAOI.

5.9 Priapism

Rare cases of priapism (painful erections greater than 6 hours in duration) were reported in men receiving trazodone. Priapism, if not treated promptly, can result in irreversible damage to the erectile tissue. Men who have an erection lasting greater than 6 hours, whether painful or not, should immediately discontinue the drug and seek emergency medical attention [see Adverse Reactions (6.2) and Overdosage (10)].

Trazodone should be used with caution in men who have conditions that might predispose them to priapism (e.g., sickle cell anemia, multiple myeloma, or leukemia), or in men with anatomical deformation of the penis (e.g., angulation, cavernosal fibrosis, or Peyronie’s disease).

5.10 Hyponatremia

Hyponatremia may occur as a result of treatment with antidepressants. 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. Elderly patients may be at greater risk of developing hyponatremia with antidepressants. Also, patients taking diuretics or who are otherwise volume-depleted can be at greater risk. Discontinuation of trazodone hydrochloride tablets 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 can lead to falls. Signs and symptoms associated with more severe and/or acute cases have included hallucination, syncope, seizure, coma, respiratory arrest, and death.

5.11 Potential for Cognitive and Motor Impairment

Trazodone hydrochloride tablets may cause somnolence or sedation and may impair the mental and/or physical ability required for the performance of potentially hazardous tasks. 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 Discontinuation Symptoms

Withdrawal symptoms including anxiety, agitation and sleep disturbances, have been reported with trazodone. Clinical experience suggests that the dose should be gradually reduced before complete discontinuation of the treatment.

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