Prescription Drug Information: Asenapine (Page 4 of 7)

6.2 Postmarketing Experience

The following adverse reactions have been identified during post-approval use of asenapine. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to establish a causal relationship to drug exposure. In many cases, the occurrence of these adverse reactions led to discontinuation of therapy.

  • Application site reactions, primarily in the sublingual area, have been reported. These application site reactions included oral ulcers, blisters, peeling/sloughing, and inflammation.
  • Choking has been reported by patients, some of whom may have also experienced oropharyngeal muscular dysfunction or hypoesthesia.


7.1 Drugs Having Clinically Important Drug Interactions with Asenapine

Table 12: Clinically Important Drug Interactions with Asenapine

Concomitant Drug Name or Drug Class Clinical Rationale Clinical Recommendation
Antihypertensive Drugs Because of its α1 -adrenergic antagonism with potential for inducing hypotension, asenapine may enhance the effects of certain antihypertensive agents [see Warnings and Precautions (5.7)]. Monitor blood pressure and adjust dosage of antihypertensive drug accordingly.
Strong CYP1A2 Inhibitors (e.g., Fluvoxamine) Asenapine is metabolized by CYP1A2. Marginal increase of asenapine exposure was observed when asenapine is used with fluvoxamine at 25 mg administered twice daily [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)]. However, the tested fluvoxamine dose was suboptimal. Full therapeutic dose of fluvoxamine is expected to cause a greater increase in asenapine exposure. Dosage reduction for asenapine based on clinical response may be necessary.
CYP2D6 substrates and inhibitors (e.g., paroxetine) Asenapine may enhance the inhibitory effects of paroxetine on its own metabolism. Concomitant use of paroxetine with asenapine increased the paroxetine exposure by 2-fold as compared to use paroxetine alone [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)]. Reduce paroxetine dose by half when paroxetine is used in combination with asenapine.

7.2 Drugs Having No Clinically Important Interactions with Asenapine

No dosage adjustment of asenapine is necessary when administered concomitantly with paroxetine (see Table 12 in Drug Interactions (7.1) for paroxetine dosage adjustment), imipramine, cimetidine, valproate, lithium, or a CYP3A4 inducer (e.g., carbamazepine, phenytoin, rifampin).

In addition, valproic acid and lithium pre-dose serum concentrations collected from an adjunctive therapy study were comparable between asenapine-treated patients and placebo-treated patients indicating a lack of effect of asenapine on valproic and lithium plasma levels.


8.1 Pregnancy

Pregnancy Exposure Registry
There is a pregnancy exposure registry that monitors pregnancy outcomes in women exposed to asenapine during pregnancy. For more information contact the National Pregnancy Registry for Atypical Antipsychotics at 1-866-961-2388 or visit
Risk Summary
Neonates exposed to antipsychotic drugs during the third trimester of pregnancy are at risk for extrapyramidal and/or withdrawal symptoms. Studies have not been conducted with asenapine in pregnant women. There are no available human data informing the drug-associated risk. The background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage for the indicated populations are unknown. However, the background risk in the U.S. general population of major birth defects is 2 to 4% and of miscarriage is 15 to 20% of clinically recognized pregnancies. No teratogenicity was observed in animal reproduction studies with intravenous administration of asenapine to rats and rabbits during organogenesis at doses 0.7 and 0.4 times, respectively, the maximum recommended human dose (MRHD) of 10 mg sublingually twice daily. In a pre-and post-natal study in rats, intravenous administration of asenapine at doses up to 0.7 times the MRHD produced increases in post-implantation loss and early pup deaths, and decreases in subsequent pup survival and weight gain [see Data]. Advise pregnant women of the potential risk to a fetus.
Clinical Considerations
Fetal/Neonatal Adverse Reactions
Extrapyramidal and/or withdrawal symptoms, including agitation, hypertonia, hypotonia, tremor, somnolence, respiratory distress and feeding disorder have been reported in neonates who were exposed to antipsychotic drugs during the third trimester of pregnancy. These symptoms have varied in severity. Some neonates recovered within hours or days without specific treatment; others required prolonged hospitalization. Monitor neonates for extrapyramidal and/or withdrawal symptoms and manage symptoms appropriately.
Animal Data
In animal studies, asenapine increased post-implantation loss and decreased pup weight and survival at doses similar to or less than recommended clinical doses. In these studies there was no increase in the incidence of structural abnormalities caused by asenapine.
Asenapine was not teratogenic in reproduction studies in rats and rabbits at intravenous doses up to 1.5 mg/kg in rats and 0.44 mg/kg in rabbits administered during organogenesis. These doses are 0.7 and 0.4 times, respectively, the maximum recommended human dose (MRHD) of 10 mg twice daily given sublingually on a mg/m2 basis. Plasma levels of asenapine were measured in the rabbit study, and the area under the curve (AUC) at the highest dose tested was 2 times that in humans receiving the MRHD.In a study in which rats were treated from day 6 of gestation through day 21 postpartum with intravenous doses of asenapine of 0.3, 0.9, and 1.5 mg/kg/day (0.15, 0.4, and 0.7 times the MRHD of 10 mg twice daily given sublingually on a mg/m2 basis), increases in post-implantation loss and early pup deaths were seen at all doses, and decreases in subsequent pup survival and weight gain were seen at the two higher doses. A cross-fostering study indicated that the decreases in pup survival were largely due to prenatal drug effects. Increases in post-implantation loss and decreases in pup weight and survival were also seen when pregnant rats were dosed orally with asenapine.

8.2 Lactation

Risk Summary

Lactation studies have not been conducted to assess the presence of asenapine in human milk, the effects of asenapine on the breastfed infant, or the effects of asenapine on milk production. Asenapine is excreted in rat milk. The development and health benefits of breastfeeding should be considered along with the mother’s clinical need for asenapine and any potential adverse effects on the breastfed infant from asenapine or from the underlying maternal condition.

8.4 Pediatric Use

Safety and efficacy of asenapine in pediatric patients below the age of 10 years of age have not been evaluated.

Bipolar I Disorder

The safety and efficacy of asenapine as monotherapy in the treatment of bipolar I disorder were established in a 3week, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial of 403 pediatric patients 10 to 17 years of age, of whom 302 patients received asenapine at fixed doses ranging from 2.5 mg to 10 mg twice daily [see Dosage and Administration (2.3), Adverse Reactions (6.1), Clinical Pharmacology (12.3), and Clinical Studies (14.2)]. In a Phase 1 study, pediatric patients aged 10 to 17 years appeared to be more sensitive to dystonia with initial dosing with asenapine when the recommended dose escalation schedule was not followed. Similar safety findings were reported from a 50-week, open-label, uncontrolled safety trial in pediatric patients with bipolar I disorder treated with asenapine monotherapy. The safety and efficacy of asenapine as adjunctive therapy in the treatment of bipolar I disorder have not been established in the pediatric population. In general, the pharmacokinetics of asenapine in pediatric patients (10 to 17 years) and adults are similar [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].

Juvenile Animal Data

Subcutaneous administration of asenapine to juvenile rats for 56 days from day 14 of age to day 69 of age at 0.4, 1.2, and 3.2 mg/kg/day (0.2, 0.6 and 1.5 times the maximum recommended human dose of 10 mg twice daily given sublingually on a mg/m2 basis) resulted in significant reduction in body weight gain in animals of both sexes at all dose levels from the start of dosing until weaning. Body weight gain remained reduced in males to the end of treatment, however, recovery was observed once treatment ended. Neurobehavioral assessment indicated increased motor activity in animals at all dose levels following the completion of treatment, with the evidence of recovery in males. There was no recovery after the end of treatment in female activity pattern as late as day 30 following the completion of treatment (last retesting). Therefore, a No Observed Adverse Effect Level (NOAEL) for the juvenile animal toxicity of asenapine could not be determined. There were no treatment-related effects on the startle response, learning/memory, organ weights, microscopic evaluations of the brain and, reproductive performance (except for minimally reduced conception rate and fertility index in males and females administered 1.2 and 3.2 mg/kg/day).

8.5 Geriatric Use

Clinical studies of asenapine in the treatment of bipolar mania and another indication did not include sufficient numbers of patients aged 65 and over to determine whether or not they respond differently than younger patients. Of the approximately 2250 patients in pre-marketing clinical studies of asenapine, 1.1% (25) were 65 years of age or over. Multiple factors that might increase the pharmacodynamic response to asenapine, causing poorer tolerance or orthostasis, could be present in elderly patients, and these patients should be monitored carefully. Based on a pharmacokinetic study in elderly patients, dosage adjustments are not recommended based on age alone [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].

Elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis treated with asenapine are at an increased risk of death compared to placebo. Asenapine is not approved for the treatment of patients with dementia-related psychosis [see Boxed Warning].

8.6 Renal Impairment

No dosage adjustment for asenapine is required on the basis of a patient’s renal function (mild to severe renal impairment, glomerular filtration rate between 15 and 90 mL/minute). The exposure of asenapine was similar among subjects with varying degrees of renal impairment and subjects with normal renal function [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)]. The effect of renal function on the excretion of other metabolites and the effect of dialysis on the pharmacokinetics of asenapine has not been studied.

8.7 Hepatic Impairment

Asenapine is contraindicated in patients with severe hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh C) because asenapine exposure is 7-fold higher in subjects with severe hepatic impairment than the exposure observed in subjects with normal hepatic function.

No dosage adjustment for asenapine is required in patients with mild to moderate hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh A and B) because asenapine exposure is similar to that in subjects with normal hepatic function [see Contraindications (4) and Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].

8.8 Other Specific Populations

No dosage adjustment for asenapine is required on the basis of a patient’s sex, race (Caucasian and Japanese), or smoking status [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].


9.1 Controlled Substance

Asenapine is not a controlled substance.

9.2 Abuse

Asenapine has not been systematically studied in animals or humans for its abuse potential or its ability to induce tolerance or physical dependence. Thus, it is not possible to predict the extent to which a CNS-active drug will be misused, diverted and/or abused once it is marketed. Patients should be evaluated carefully for a history of drug abuse, and such patients should be observed carefully for signs that they are misusing or abusing asenapine (e.g., drug-seeking behavior, increases in dose). provides trustworthy package insert and label information about marketed prescription drugs as submitted by manufacturers to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Package information is not reviewed or updated separately by Every individual prescription drug label and package insert entry contains a unique identifier which can be used to secure further details directly from the U.S. National Institutes of Health and/or the FDA.

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