Ziprasidone Hydrochloride (Page 3 of 9)

5.7 Rash

In premarketing trials with ziprasidone, about 5% of patients developed rash and/or urticaria, with discontinuation of treatment in about one-sixth of these cases. The occurrence of rash was related to dose of ziprasidone, although the finding might also be explained by the longer exposure time in the higher dose patients. Several patients with rash had signs and symptoms of associated systemic illness, e.g., elevated WBCs. Most patients improved promptly with adjunctive treatment with antihistamines or steroids and/or upon discontinuation of ziprasidone, and all patients experiencing these reactions were reported to recover completely. Upon appearance of rash for which an alternative etiology cannot be identified, ziprasidone should be discontinued.

5.8 Orthostatic Hypotension

Ziprasidone may induce orthostatic hypotension associated with dizziness, tachycardia, and, in some patients, syncope, especially during the initial dose-titration period, probably reflecting its α1 -adrenergic antagonist properties. Syncope was reported in 0.6% of the patients treated with ziprasidone.

Ziprasidone should be used with particular caution in patients with known cardiovascular disease (history of myocardial infarction or ischemic heart disease, heart failure or conduction abnormalities), cerebrovascular disease, or conditions which would predispose patients to hypotension (dehydration, hypovolemia, and treatment with antihypertensive medications).

5.9 Leukopenia, Neutropenia, and Agranulocytosis

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

Possible risk factors for leukopenia/neutropenia include pre-existing low white blood 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 ziprasidone hydrochloride at the first sign of decline in WBC in the 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 ziprasidone hydrochloride and have their WBC followed until recovery.

5.10 Seizures

During clinical trials, seizures occurred in 0.4% of patients treated with ziprasidone. There were confounding factors that may have contributed to the occurrence of seizures in many of these cases. As with other antipsychotic drugs, ziprasidone 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.

5.11 Dysphagia

Esophageal dysmotility and aspiration have been associated with antipsychotic drug use. Aspiration pneumonia is a common cause of morbidity and mortality in elderly patients, in particular those with advanced Alzheimer’s dementia. Ziprasidone and other antipsychotic drugs should be used cautiously in patients at risk for aspiration pneumonia [see Boxed Warning ].

5.12 Hyperprolactinemia

As with other drugs that antagonize dopamine D2 receptors, ziprasidone elevates prolactin levels in humans. Increased prolactin levels were also observed in animal studies with this compound, and were associated with an increase in mammary gland neoplasia in mice; a similar effect was not observed in rats [see Nonclinical Toxicology (13.1) ]. 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 contemplated in a patient with previously detected breast cancer. 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; the available evidence is considered too limited to be conclusive at this time.

Although disturbances such as galactorrhea, amenorrhea, gynecomastia, and impotence have been reported with prolactin-elevating compounds, the clinical significance of elevated serum prolactin levels is unknown for most patients. Long-standing hyperprolactinemia when associated with hypogonadism may lead to decreased bone density.

5.13 Potential for Cognitive and Motor Impairment

Somnolence was a commonly reported adverse reaction in patients treated with ziprasidone. In the 4- and 6-week placebo-controlled trials, somnolence was reported in 14% of patients on ziprasidone compared to 7% of placebo patients. Somnolence led to discontinuation in 0.3% of patients in short-term clinical trials. Since ziprasidone has the potential to impair judgment, thinking, or motor skills, patients should be cautioned about performing activities requiring mental alertness, such as operating a motor vehicle (including automobiles) or operating hazardous machinery until they are reasonably certain that ziprasidone therapy does not affect them adversely.

5.14 Priapism

One case of priapism was reported in the premarketing database. While the relationship of the reaction to ziprasidone use has not been established, other drugs with alpha-adrenergic blocking effects have been reported to induce priapism, and it is possible that ziprasidone may share this capacity. Severe priapism may require surgical intervention.

5.15 Body Temperature Regulation

Although not reported with ziprasidone in premarketing trials, disruption of the body’s ability to reduce core body temperature has been attributed to antipsychotic agents. Appropriate care is advised when prescribing ziprasidone for patients who will be experiencing conditions which may contribute to an elevation in core body temperature, e.g., exercising strenuously, exposure to extreme heat, receiving concomitant medication with anticholinergic activity, or being subject to dehydration.

5.16 Suicide

The possibility of a suicide attempt is inherent in psychotic illness, and close supervision of high-risk patients should accompany drug therapy. Prescriptions for ziprasidone should be written for the smallest quantity of capsules consistent with good patient management in order to reduce the risk of overdose.

5.17 Patients with concomitant illnesses

Clinical experience with ziprasidone in patients with certain concomitant systemic illnesses is limited [see Use in Specific Populations (8.6),(8.7)] Ziprasidone 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 excluded from premarketing clinical studies. Because of the risk of QTc prolongation and orthostatic hypotension with ziprasidone, caution should be observed in cardiac patients [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2), (5.8)]

5.18 Laboratory Tests

Patients being considered for ziprasidone treatment that are at risk of significant electrolyte disturbances should have baseline serum potassium and magnesium measurements. Low serum potassium and magnesium should be replaced before proceeding with treatment. Patients who are started on diuretics during Ziprasidone therapy need periodic monitoring of serum potassium and magnesium. Ziprasidone should be discontinued in patients who are found to have persistent QTc measurements >500 msec. [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2) ]


6.1 Clinical Trials Experience

Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice.

Clinical trials for oral ziprasidone included approximately 5700 patients and/or normal subjects exposed to one or more doses of ziprasidone. Of these 5700, over 4800 were patients who participated in multiple-dose effectiveness trials, and their experience corresponded to approximately 1831 patient-years. These patients include: (1) 4331 patients who participated in multiple-dose trials, predominantly in schizophrenia, representing approximately 1698 patient-years of exposure. The conditions and duration of treatment with ziprasidone included open-label and double-blind studies, inpatient and outpatient studies, and short-term and longer-term exposure.

Adverse reactions during exposure were obtained by collecting voluntarily reported adverse experiences, as well as results of physical examinations, vital signs, weights, laboratory analyses, ECGs, and results of ophthalmologic examinations.

The stated frequencies of adverse reactions represent the proportion of individuals who experienced, at least once, a treatment-emergent adverse reaction of the type listed. A reaction was considered treatment emergent if it occurred for the first time or worsened while receiving therapy following baseline evaluation.

Adverse Findings Observed in Short-Term, Placebo-Controlled Trials with Oral Ziprasidone

The following findings are based on the short-term placebo-controlled premarketing trials for schizophrenia (a pool of two 6-week, and two 4-week fixed-dose trials) in which ziprasidone was administered in doses ranging from 10 to 200 mg/day.

Commonly Observed Adverse Reactions in Short Term-Placebo-Controlled Trials

The following adverse reactions were the most commonly observed adverse reactions associated with the use of ziprasidone (incidence of 5% or greater) and not observed at an equivalent incidence among placebo-treated patients (ziprasidone incidence at least twice that for placebo):

Schizophrenia trials (see Table 11)

● Somnolence

● Respiratory Tract Infection


Adverse Reactions Associated with Discontinuation of Treatment in Short-Term, Placebo-Controlled Trials of Oral Ziprasidone

Approximately 4.1% (29/702) of ziprasidone-treated patients in short-term, placebo-controlled studies discontinued treatment due to an adverse reaction, compared with about 2.2% (6/273) on placebo. The most common reaction associated with dropout was rash, including 7 dropouts for rash among ziprasidone patients (1%) compared to no placebo patients [see Warnings and Precautions (5.6) ].

Adverse Reactions Occurring at an Incidence of 2% or More Among Ziprasidone-Treated Patients in Short-Term, Oral, Placebo-Controlled Trials

Table 11 enumerates the incidence, rounded to the nearest percent, of treatment-emergent adverse reactions that occurred during acute therapy (up to 6 weeks) in predominantly patients with schizophrenia, including only those reactions that occurred in 2% or more of patients treated with ziprasidone and for which the incidence in patients treated with ziprasidone was greater than the incidence in placebo-treated patients.

Table 11: Treatment-Emergent Adverse Reaction Incidence In Short-Term Oral Placebo-Controlled Trials — Schizophrenia

* Extrapyramidal Symptoms includes the following adverse reaction terms: extrapyramidal syndrome, hypertonia, dystonia, dyskinesia, hypokinesia, tremor, paralysis and twitching. None of these adverse reactions occurred individually at an incidence greater than 5% in schizophrenia trials.

** Dizziness includes the adverse reaction terms dizziness and lightheadedness.

Percentage of Patients Reporting Reaction
Body System/Adverse Reaction Ziprasidone (N=702) Placebo (N=273)
Body as a Whole
Asthenia 5 3
Accidental Injury 4 2
Chest Pain 3 2
Tachycardia 2 1
Nausea 10 7
Constipation 9 8
Dyspepsia 8 7
Diarrhea 5 4
Dry Mouth 4 2
Anorexia 2 1
Extrapyramidal Symptoms* 14 8
Somnolence 14 7
Akathisia 8 7
Dizziness** 8 6
Respiratory Tract Infection 8 3
Rhinitis 4 2
Cough Increased 3 1
Skin and Appendages
Rash 4 3
Fungal Dermatitis 2 1
Special Senses
Abnormal Vision 3 2

Dose Dependency of Adverse Reactions in Short-Term, Fixed-Dose, Placebo-Controlled Trials

An analysis for dose response in the schizophrenia 4-study pool revealed an apparent relation of adverse reaction to dose for the following reactions: asthenia, postural hypotension, anorexia, dry mouth, increased salivation, arthralgia, anxiety, dizziness, dystonia, hypertonia, somnolence, tremor, rhinitis, rash, and abnormal vision.

Extrapyramidal Symptoms (EPS) — The incidence of reported EPS (which included the adverse reaction terms extrapyramidal syndrome, hypertonia, dystonia, dyskinesia, hypokinesia, tremor, paralysis and twitching) for ziprasidone-treated patients in the short-term, placebo-controlled schizophrenia trials was 14% vs. 8% for placebo. Objectively collected data from those trials on the Simpson-Angus Rating Scale (for EPS) and the Barnes Akathisia Scale (for akathisia) did not generally show a difference between ziprasidone and placebo.

DystoniaClass Effect: Symptoms of dystonia, prolonged abnormal contractions of muscle groups, may occur in susceptible individuals during the first few days of treatment. Dystonic symptoms include: spasm of the neck muscles, sometimes progressing to tightness of the throat, swallowing difficulty, difficulty breathing, and/or protrusion of the tongue. While these symptoms can occur at low doses, they occur more frequently and with greater severity with high potency and at higher doses of first generation antipsychotic drugs. An elevated risk of acute dystonia is observed in males and younger age groups.

Vital Sign Changes — Ziprasidone is associated with orthostatic hypotension [see Warnings and Precautions (5.8) ]

ECG Changes — Ziprasidone is associated with an increase in the QTc interval [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2) ]. In the schizophrenia trials, ziprasidone was associated with a mean increase in heart rate of 1.4 beats per minute compared to a 0.2 beats per minute decrease among placebo patients.

Other Adverse Reactions Observed During the Premarketing Evaluation of Oral Ziprasidone

Following is a list of COSTART terms that reflect treatment-emergent adverse reactions as defined in the introduction to the ADVERSE REACTIONS section reported by patients treated with ziprasidone in schizophrenia trials at multiple doses >4 mg/day within the database of 3834 patients. All reported reactions are included except those already listed in Table 11 or elsewhere in labeling, those reaction terms that were so general as to be uninformative, reactions reported only once and that did not have a substantial probability of being acutely life-threatening, reactions that are part of the illness being treated or are otherwise common as background reactions, and reactions considered unlikely to be drug-related. It is important to emphasize that, although the reactions reported occurred during treatment with ziprasidone, they were not necessarily caused by it.

Adverse reactions are further categorized by body system and listed in order of decreasing frequency according to the following definitions:

Frequent — adverse reactions occurring in at least 1/100 patients (≥1% of patients) (only those not already listed in the tabulated results from placebo-controlled trials appear in this listing);

Infrequent — adverse reactions occurring in 1/100 to 1/1000 patients (in 0.1 to 1% of patients)

Rare — adverse reactions occurring in fewer than 1/1000 patients (<0.1% of patients).

Body as a Whole

Frequent — abdominal pain, flu syndrome, fever, accidental fall, face edema, chills, photosensitivity reaction, flank pain, hypothermia, motor vehicle accident

Cardiovascular System

Frequent — tachycardia, hypertension, postural hypotension

Infrequent — bradycardia, angina pectoris, atrial fibrillation

Rare — first degree AV block, bundle branch block, phlebitis, pulmonary embolus, cardiomegaly, cerebral infarct, cerebrovascular accident, deep thrombophlebitis, myocarditis, thrombophlebitis

Digestive System

Frequent — anorexia, vomiting

Infrequent — rectal hemorrhage, dysphagia, tongue edema

Rare — gum hemorrhage, jaundice, fecal impaction, gamma glutamyl transpeptidase increased, hematemesis, cholestatic jaundice, hepatitis, hepatomegaly, leukoplakia of mouth, fatty liver deposit, melena


Rare — hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, thyroiditis

Hemic and Lymphatic System

Infrequent — anemia, ecchymosis, leukocytosis, leukopenia, eosinophilia, lymphadenopathy

Rare — thrombocytopenia, hypochromic anemia, lymphocytosis, monocytosis, basophilia, lymphedema, polycythemia, thrombocythemia

Metabolic and Nutritional Disorders

Infrequent — thirst, transaminase increased, peripheral edema, hyperglycemia, creatine phosphokinase increased, alkaline phosphatase increased, hypercholesteremia, dehydration, lactic dehydrogenase increased, albuminuria, hypokalemia

Rare — BUN increased, creatinine increased, hyperlipemia, hypocholesteremia, hyperkalemia, hypochloremia, hypoglycemia, hyponatremia, hypoproteinemia, glucose tolerance decreased, gout, hyperchloremia, hyperuricemia, hypocalcemia, hypoglycemicreaction, hypomagnesemia, ketosis, respiratory alkalosis

Musculoskeletal System

Frequent — myalgia

Infrequent — tenosynovitis

Rare — myopathy

Nervous System

Frequent — agitation, extrapyramidal syndrome, tremor, dystonia, hypertonia, dyskinesia, hostility, twitching, paresthesia, confusion, vertigo, hypokinesia, hyperkinesia, abnormal gait, oculogyric crisis, hypesthesia, ataxia, amnesia, cogwheel rigidity, delirium, hypotonia, akinesia, dysarthria, withdrawal syndrome, buccoglossal syndrome, choreoathetosis, diplopia, incoordination, neuropathy

Infrequent — paralysis

Rare — myoclonus, nystagmus, torticollis, circumoral paresthesia, opisthotonos, reflexes increased, trismus

Respiratory System

Frequent — dyspnea

Infrequent — pneumonia, epistaxis

Rare — hemoptysis, laryngismus

Skin and Appendages

Infrequent — maculopapular rash, urticaria, alopecia, eczema, exfoliative dermatitis, contact dermatitis, vesiculobullous rash

Special Senses

Frequent — fungal dermatitis

Infrequent — conjunctivitis, dry eyes, tinnitus, blepharitis, cataract, photophobia

Rare — eye hemorrhage, visual field defect, keratitis, keratoconjunctivitis

Urogenital System

Infrequent — impotence, abnormal ejaculation, amenorrhea, hematuria, menorrhagia, female lactation, polyuria, urinary retention metrorrhagia, male sexual dysfunction, anorgasmia, glycosuria

Rare — gynecomastia, vaginal hemorrhage, nocturia, oliguria, female sexual dysfunction, uterine hemorrhage

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