VENLAFAXINE HYDROCHLORIDE- venlafaxine hydrochloride tablet, extended release
WARNING: SUICIDALITY AND ANTIDEPRESSANT DRUGS
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 Venlafaxine Extended Release 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. Venlafaxine Extended Release Tablets are not approved for use in pediatric patients. [
Warnings and Precautions (5.1) and
Patient Counseling Information (17.1]
Venlafaxine Extended Release Tablets (venlafaxine hydrochloride) are indicated for the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD).
Efficacy of venlafaxine in MDD was shown in both short-term trials and a longer-term trial in MDD [ see Clinical Studies ( 14.1) ].
A major depressive episode (DSM-IV) implies a prominent and relatively persistent (nearly every day for at least 2 weeks) depressed mood or the loss of interest or pleasure in nearly all activities, representing a change from previous functioning, and includes the presence of at least five of the following nine symptoms during the same two-week period: depressed mood, markedly diminished interest or pleasure in usual activities, significant change in weight and/or appetite, insomnia or hypersomnia, psychomotor agitation or retardation, increased fatigue, feelings of guilt or worthlessness, slowed thinking or impaired concentration, a suicide attempt or suicidal ideation.
Venlafaxine Extended Release Tablets are indicated for the treatment of Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD), also known as Social Phobia, as defined in DSM-IV.
Social Anxiety Disorder (DSM-IV) is characterized by a marked and persistent fear of 1 or more social or performance situations in which the person is exposed to unfamiliar people or to possible scrutiny by others. Exposure to the feared situation almost invariably provokes anxiety, which may approach the intensity of a panic attack. The feared situations are avoided or endured with intense anxiety or distress. The avoidance, anxious anticipation, or distress in the feared situation(s) interferes significantly with the person’s normal routine, occupational or academic functioning, or social activities or relationships, or there is a marked distress about having the phobias. Lesser degrees of performance anxiety or shyness generally do not require psychopharmacological treatment.
Efficacy of venlafaxine extended release in the treatment of SAD was established in short-term SAD trials [ see Clinical Studies ( 14.2) ].
Venlafaxine Extended Release Tablets should be administered in a single dose with food either in the morning or in the evening at approximately the same time each day. Each tablet should be swallowed whole with fluid and not divided, crushed, chewed, or placed in water.
Major Depressive Disorder
For most patients, the recommended starting dose for Venlafaxine Extended Release Tablets is 75 mg/day, administered in a single dose. In the clinical trials establishing the efficacy of venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules in moderately depressed outpatients, the initial dose of venlafaxine was 75 mg/day. For some patients, it may be desirable to start at 37.5 mg/day for 4 to 7 days, to allow new patients to adjust to the medication before increasing to 75 mg/day. While the relationship between dose and antidepressant response for venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules has not been adequately explored, patients not responding to the initial 75 mg/day dose may benefit from dose increases to a maximum of approximately 225 mg/day. Dose increases should be in increments of up to 75 mg/day, as needed, and should be made at intervals of not less than 4 days, since steady state plasma levels of venlafaxine and its major metabolites are achieved in most patients by day 4. In the clinical trials establishing efficacy, upward titration was permitted at intervals of 2 weeks or more; the average doses were about 140 to 180 mg/day [ see Clinical Studies ( 14) ].
It should be noted that, while the maximum recommended dose for moderately depressed outpatients is also 225 mg/day for venlafaxine hydrochloride immediate-release tablets, more severely depressed inpatients in one study of the development program for that product responded to a mean dose of 350 mg/day (range of 150 to 375 mg/day). Whether or not higher doses of Venlafaxine Extended Release Tablets are needed for more severely depressed patients is unknown; however, the experience with venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsule doses higher than 225 mg/day is very limited. [ See Warnings and Precautions ( 5.17) ]
Social Anxiety Disorder (Social Phobia)
The recommended dose is 75 mg/day, administered in a single dose. There was no evidence that higher doses confer any additional benefit. [ See Warnings and Precautions ( 5.17) ]
There is no body of evidence available from controlled trials to indicate how long patients with major depressive disorder should be treated with Venlafaxine Extended Release Tablets.
It is generally agreed that acute episodes of major depressive disorder require several months or longer of sustained pharmacological therapy beyond response to the acute episode. In one study, in which patients responding during 8 weeks of acute treatment with venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules were assigned randomly to placebo or to the same dose of venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules (75, 150, or 225 mg/day, qAM) during 26 weeks of maintenance treatment as they had received during the acute stabilization phase, longer-term efficacy was demonstrated. A second longer-term study has demonstrated the efficacy of venlafaxine hydrochloride immediate-release tablets in maintaining a response in patients with recurrent major depressive disorder who had responded and continued to be improved during an initial 26 weeks of treatment and were then randomly assigned to placebo or venlafaxine hydrochloride immediate-release tablets for periods of up to 52 weeks on the same dose (100 to 200 mg/day, on a b.i.d. schedule)[ see Clinical Studies ( 14) ]. Based on these limited data, it is not known whether or not the dose of Venlafaxine Extended Release Tablets needed for maintenance treatment is identical to the dose needed to achieve an initial response. Patients should be periodically reassessed to determine the need for maintenance treatment and the appropriate dose for such treatment.
Treatment of Pregnant Women During the Third Trimester
Neonates exposed to venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules, other SNRIs, or SSRIs, late in the third trimester have developed complications requiring prolonged hospitalization, respiratory support, and tube feeding [ see Use in Specific Populations ( 8.1) ]. When treating pregnant women with Venlafaxine Extended Release Tablets during the third trimester, the physician should carefully consider the potential risks and benefits of treatment.
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