ZIPRASIDONE HYDROCHLORIDE — ziprasidone hydrochloride capsule
Elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis treated with antipsychotic drugs are at an increased risk of death. Analyses of seventeen placebo-controlled trials (modal duration of 10 weeks), largely in patients taking atypical antipsychotic drugs, revealed a risk of death in drug-treated patients of between 1.6 to 1.7 times the risk of death in placebo-treated patients. Over the course of a typical 10-week controlled trial, the rate of death in drug-treated patients was about 4.5%, compared to a rate of about 2.6% in the placebo group. Although the causes of death were varied, most of the deaths appeared to be either cardiovascular (e.g., heart failure, sudden death) or infectious (e.g., pneumonia) in nature. Observational studies suggest that, similar to atypical antipsychotic drugs, treatment with conventional antipsychotic drugs may increase mortality. The extent to which the findings of increased mortality in observational studies may be attributed to the antipsychotic drug as opposed to some characteristic(s) of the patients is not clear. Ziprasidone hydrochloride is not approved for the treatment of patients with Dementia-Related Psychosis [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)].
Ziprasidone hydrochloride capsule is indicated for the treatment of schizophrenia. When deciding among the alternative treatments available for the condition needing treatment, the prescriber should consider the finding of ziprasidone’s greater capacity to prolong the QT/QTc interval compared to several other antipsychotic drugs [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)]. Prolongation of the QTc interval is associated in some other drugs with the ability to cause torsade de pointes-type arrhythmia, a potentially fatal polymorphic ventricular tachycardia, and sudden death. In many cases this would lead to the conclusion that other drugs should be tried first. Whether ziprasidone will cause torsade de pointes or increase the rate of sudden death is not yet known [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)]
Ziprasidone hydrochloride capsule is indicated for the treatment of schizophrenia. The efficacy of oral ziprasidone was established in four short-term (4- and 6-week) controlled trials of adult schizophrenic inpatients and in one maintenance trial of stable adult schizophrenic inpatients [see Clinical Studies (14.1)].
Ziprasidone hydrochloride capsules should be administered at an initial daily dose of 20 mg twice daily with food. In some patients, daily dosage may subsequently be adjusted on the basis of individual clinical status up to 80 mg twice daily. Dosage adjustments, if indicated, should generally occur at intervals of not less than 2 days, as steady-state is achieved within 1 to 3 days. In order to ensure use of the lowest effective dose, patients should ordinarily be observed for improvement for several weeks before upward dosage adjustment.
Efficacy in schizophrenia was demonstrated in a dose range of 20 mg to 100 mg twice daily in short-term, placebo-controlled clinical trials. There were trends toward dose response within the range of 20 mg to 80 mg twice daily, but results were not consistent. An increase to a dose greater than 80 mg twice daily is not generally recommended. The safety of doses above 100 mg twice daily has not been systematically evaluated in clinical trials [see Clinical Studies (14.1)].
While there is no body of evidence available to answer the question of how long a patient treated with ziprasidone should remain on it, a maintenance study in patients who had been symptomatically stable and then randomized to continue ziprasidone or switch to placebo demonstrated a delay in time to relapse for patients receiving Ziprasidone hydrochloride. [see Clinical Studies (14.1)]. No additional benefit was demonstrated for doses above 20 mg twice daily. Patients should be periodically reassessed to determine the need for maintenance treatment.
Oral: Dosage adjustments are generally not required on the basis of age, gender, race, or renal or hepatic impairment. Ziprasidone hydrochloride is not approved for use in children or adolescents.
Ziprasidone HCl capsules are differentiated by capsule color/size and are imprinted in black ink. Ziprasidone hydrochloride capsules are supplied for oral administration in 20 mg (white/white), 40 mg (blue/white), 60 mg (pink/white), and 80 mg (blue/blue) capsules. They are supplied in the following strengths and package configurations:
|Ziprasidone Hydrochloride Capsules|
|Capsule Strength (mg)||Imprint|
Because of ziprasidone’s dose-related prolongation of the QT interval and the known association of fatal arrhythmias with QT prolongation by some other drugs, ziprasidone is contraindicated:
- in patients with a known history of QT prolongation (including congenital long QT syndrome)
- in patients with recent acute myocardial infarction
- in patients with uncompensated heart failure
Pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic studies between ziprasidone and other drugs that prolong the QT interval have not been performed. An additive effect of ziprasidone and other drugs that prolong the QT interval cannot be excluded. Therefore, ziprasidone should not be given with:
- dofetilide, sotalol, quinidine, other Class Ia and III anti-arrhythmics, mesoridazine, thioridazine, chlorpromazine, droperidol, pimozide, sparfloxacin, gatifloxacin, moxifloxacin, halofantrine, mefloquine, pentamidine, arsenic trioxide, levomethadyl acetate, dolasetron mesylate, probucol or tacrolimus.
- other drugs that have demonstrated QT prolongation as one of their pharmacodynamic effects and have this effect described in the full prescribing information as a contraindication or a boxed or bolded warning [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)].
Ziprasidone is contraindicated in individuals with a known hypersensitivity to the product.
Elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis treated with antipsychotic drugs are at an increased risk of death. Ziprasidone hydrochloride is not approved for the treatment of dementia-related psychosis. [see Boxed Warning]
Ziprasidone use should be avoided in combination with other drugs that are known to prolong the QTc interval [see Contraindications (4.1), Drug Interactions (7.4)]. Additionally, clinicians should be alert to the identification of other drugs that have been consistently observed to prolong the QTc interval. Such drugs should not be prescribed with ziprasidone. Ziprasidone should also be avoided in patients with congenital long QT syndrome and in patients with a history of cardiac arrhythmias [see Contraindications (4)].
A study directly comparing the QT/QTc prolonging effect of oral ziprasidone with several other drugs effective in the treatment of schizophrenia was conducted in patient volunteers. In the first phase of the trial, ECGs were obtained at the time of maximum plasma concentration when the drug was administered alone. In the second phase of the trial, ECGs were obtained at the time of maximum plasma concentration while the drug was co-administered with an inhibitor of the CYP4503A4 metabolism of the drug.
In the first phase of the study, the mean change in QTc from baseline was calculated for each drug, using a sample-based correction that removes the effect of heart rate on the QT interval. The mean increase in QTc from baseline for ziprasidone ranged from approximately 9 to 14 msec greater than for four of the comparator drugs (risperidone, olanzapine, quetiapine, and haloperidol), but was approximately 14 msec less than the prolongation observed for thioridazine.
In the second phase of the study, the effect of ziprasidone on QTc length was not augmented by the presence of a metabolic inhibitor (ketoconazole 200 mg twice daily).
In placebo-controlled trials, oral ziprasidone increased the QTc interval compared to placebo by approximately 10 msec at the highest recommended daily dose of 160 mg. In clinical trials with oral ziprasidone, the electrocardiograms of 2/2988 (0.06%) patients who received ziprasidone hydrochloride and 1/440 (0.23%) patients who received placebo revealed QTc intervals exceeding the potentially clinically relevant threshold of 500 msec. In the ziprasidone-treated patients, neither case suggested a role of ziprasidone. One patient had a history of prolonged QTc and a screening measurement of 489 msec; QTc was 503 msec during ziprasidone treatment. The other patient had a QTc of 391 msec at the end of treatment with ziprasidone and upon switching to thioridazine experienced QTc measurements of 518 and 593 msec.
Some drugs that prolong the QT/QTc interval have been associated with the occurrence of torsade de pointes and with sudden unexplained death. The relationship of QT prolongation to torsade de pointes is clearest for larger increases (20 msec and greater) but it is possible that smaller QT/QTc prolongations may also increase risk, or increase it in susceptible individuals. Although torsade de pointes has not been observed in association with the use of ziprasidone in premarketing studies and experience is too limited to rule out an increased risk, there have been rare post-marketing reports (in the presence of multiple confounding factors) [see Adverse Reactions (6.2)].
As with other antipsychotic drugs and placebo, sudden unexplained deaths have been reported in patients taking ziprasidone at recommended doses. The premarketing experience for ziprasidone did not reveal an excess risk of mortality for ziprasidone compared to other antipsychotic drugs or placebo, but the extent of exposure was limited, especially for the drugs used as active controls and placebo. Nevertheless, ziprasidone’s larger prolongation of QTc length compared to several other antipsychotic drugs raises the possibility that the risk of sudden death may be greater for ziprasidone than for other available drugs for treating schizophrenia. This possibility needs to be considered in deciding among alternative drug products [see Indications and Usage (1)].
Certain circumstances may increase the risk of the occurrence of torsade de pointes and/or sudden death in association with the use of drugs that prolong the QTc interval, including (1) bradycardia; (2) hypokalemia or hypomagnesemia; (3) concomitant use of other drugs that prolong the QTc interval; and (4) presence of congenital prolongation of the QT interval.
It is recommended that patients being considered for ziprasidone treatment who are at risk for significant electrolyte disturbances, hypokalemia in particular, have baseline serum potassium and magnesium measurements. Hypokalemia (and/or hypomagnesemia) may increase the risk of QT prolongation and arrhythmia. Hypokalemia may result from diuretic therapy, diarrhea, and other causes. Patients with low serum potassium and/or magnesium should be repleted with those electrolytes before proceeding with treatment. It is essential to periodically monitor serum electrolytes in patients for whom diuretic therapy is introduced during ziprasidone treatment. Persistently prolonged QTc intervals may also increase the risk of further prolongation and arrhythmia, but it is not clear that routine screening ECG measures are effective in detecting such patients. Rather, ziprasidone should be avoided in patients with histories of significant cardiovascular illness, e.g., QT prolongation, recent acute myocardial infarction, uncompensated heart failure, or cardiac arrhythmia. Ziprasidone should be discontinued in patients who are found to have persistent QTc measurements >500 msec.
For patients taking ziprasidone who experience symptoms that could indicate the occurrence of torsade de pointes, e.g., dizziness, palpitations, or syncope, the prescriber should initiate further evaluation, e.g., Holter monitoring may be useful.
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