Venlafaxine Hydrochloride (Page 5 of 12)

5.9 Changes in Appetite

Adult Patients: Treatment-emergent anorexia was more commonly reported for patients treated with venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules (8%) than for placebo-treated patients (4%) in the pool of short-term, double-blind, placebo-controlled major depressive disorder studies. The discontinuation rate for anorexia associated with venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules was 1% in major depressive disorder studies. Treatment-emergent anorexia was more commonly reported for patients treated with venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules (20%) than for placebo-treated patients (2%) in the pool of short-term, double-blind, placebo-controlled Social Anxiety Disorder studies. The discontinuation rate for anorexia was 0.4% for patients receiving venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules for up to 12 weeks in Social Anxiety Disorder studies.
Pediatric Patients: Decreased appetite has been observed in pediatric patients receiving venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules. In placebo-controlled trials in MDD and another disorder, 10% ofpatients aged 6 to 17 treated with venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules for up to eight weeks and 3% of patients treated with placebo reported treatment-emergent anorexia (decreased appetite). None of the patients receiving venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules discontinued for anorexia or weight loss. In a placebo-controlled non-MDD trial, 22% and 3% of patients aged 8 to 17 treated for up to 16 weeks with venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules and placebo, respectively, reported treatment-emergent anorexia (decreased appetite). The discontinuation rates for anorexia were 0.7% and 0.0% for patients receiving venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules and placebo, respectively; the discontinuation rates for weight loss were 0.7% for patients receiving either venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules or placebo.

5.10 Activation of Mania/Hypomania

During premarketing major depressive disorder studies, mania or hypomania occurred in 0.3% of patients treated with venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules and 0% placebo patients. In premarketing Social Anxiety Disorder studies, no patients treated with venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules and no placebo-treated patients experienced mania or hypomania. In all premarketing major depressive disorder trials with venlafaxine hydrochloride immediate-release tablets, mania or hypomania occurred in 0.5% of venlafaxine-treated patients compared with 0% of placebo patients. Mania/hypomania has also been reported in a small proportion of patients with mood disorders who were treated with other marketed drugs to treat major depressive disorder. As with all drugs effective in the treatment of major depressive disorder, venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release tablets should be used cautiously in patients with a history of mania.

5.11 Hyponatremia

Hyponatremia may occur as a result of treatment with SSRI’s and SNRI’s, including venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release tablets. 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 SSRIs and SNRIs. Also, patients taking diuretics or who are otherwise volume depleted may be at greater risk [see Use in Specific Populations (8.5) ]. Discontinuation of venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release 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 may lead to falls. Signs and symptoms associated with more severe and/or acute cases have included hallucination, syncope, seizure, coma, respiratory arrest, and death.

5.12 Seizures

During premarketing experience, no seizures occurred among 705 patients treated with venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules in the major depressive disorder studies or among 277 patients treated

with venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules in Social Anxiety Disorder studies. In all premarketing major depressive disorder trials with venlafaxine hydrochloride immediate-release tablets, seizures were reported at various doses in 0.3% (8/3,082) of venlafaxine-treated patients. Venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release tablets, like many antidepressants, should be used cautiously in patients with a history of seizures and should be discontinued in any patient who develops seizures.

5.13 Abnormal Bleeding


SSRIs and SNRIs, including venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release tablets, may increase the risk of bleeding events. Concomitant use of aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, warfarin, and other anticoagulants 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 events related to SSRIs and SNRIs 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 venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release tablets and NSAIDs, aspirin, or other drugs that affect coagulation.

5.14 Serum Cholesterol Elevation

Clinically relevant increases in serum cholesterol were recorded in 5.3% of venlafaxine-treated patients and 0% of placebo-treated patients treated for at least 3 months in placebo-controlled trials [see Adverse Reactions (6.1) ]. Measurement of serum cholesterol levels should be considered during long-term treatment.

5.15 Interstitial Lung Disease and Eosinophilic Pneumonia

Interstitial lung disease and eosinophilic pneumonia associated with venlafaxine therapy have been rarely reported. The possibility of these adverse reactions should be considered in venlafaxine-treated patients who present with progressive dyspnea, cough or chest discomfort. Such patients should undergo a prompt medical evaluation, and discontinuation of venlafaxine therapy should be considered.

5.16 Use in Patients With Heart Disease

Premarketing experience with venlafaxine in patients with concomitant systemic illness is limited. Caution is advised in administering venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release tablets to patients with diseases or conditions that could affect hemodynamic responses.
Venlafaxine 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 many clinical studies during venlafaxine’s premarketing testing. The electrocardiograms were analyzed for 275 patients who received venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules and 220 patients who received placebo in 8 to 12 week double-blind, placebo-controlled trials in major depressive disorder as well as for 195 patients who received venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules and 228 patients who received placebo in 12-week double-blind, placebo-controlled trials in Social Anxiety Disorder. The mean change from baseline in corrected QT interval (QTc) for patients treated with venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules in major depressive disorder studies was increased relative to that for placebo-treated patients (increase of 4.7 msec for venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules and decrease of 1.9 msec for placebo). The mean change from baseline in QTc for patients treated with venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules in the Social Anxiety Disorder studies was increased relative to that for placebo-treated patients (increase of 2.8 msec for venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules and decrease of 2.0 msec for placebo).
In these same trials, the mean change from baseline in heart rate for patients treated with venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules in the major depressive disorder studies was significantly higher than
that for placebo (a mean increase of 4 beats per minute for venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules and 1 beat per minute for placebo). The mean change from baseline in heart rate for patients treated with
venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules in the Social Anxiety Disorder studies was significantly higher than that for placebo (a mean increase of 5 beats per minute for venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules and no change for placebo).
In a flexible-dose study, with doses of venlafaxine hydrochloride immediate-release tablets in the range of 200 to 375 mg/day and mean dose greater than 300 mg/day, patients treated with venlafaxine hydrochloride immediate-release tablets had a mean increase in heart rate of 8.5 beats per minute compared with 1.7 beats per minute in the placebo group.
As increases in heart rate were observed, caution should be exercised in patients whose underlying medical conditions might be compromised by increases in heart rate (e.g., patients with hyperthyroidism, heart failure, or recent myocardial infarction).Evaluation of the electrocardiograms for 769 patients who received venlafaxine hydrochloride immediate-release tablets in 4 to 6 week double-blind, placebo-controlled trials showed that the incidence of trial-emergent conduction abnormalities did not differ from that with placebo.

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