Prescription Drug Information: Clonazepam (Page 3 of 5)

Effect of Other Drugs on the Pharmacokinetics of Clonazepam:

Literature reports suggest that ranitidine, an agent that decreases stomach acidity, does not greatly alter clonazepam pharmacokinetics.

In a study in which the 2 mg clonazepam orally disintegrating tablet was administered with and without propantheline (an anticholinergic agent with multiple effects on the GI tract) to healthy volunteers, the AUC of clonazepam was 10% lower and the C max of clonazepam was 20% lower when the orally disintegrating tablet was given with propantheline compared to when it was given alone.

Fluoxetine does not affect the pharmacokinetics of clonazepam. Cytochrome P-450 inducers, such as phenytoin, carbamazepine and phenobarbital, induce clonazepam metabolism, causing an approximately 30% decrease in plasma clonazepam levels. Although clinical studies have not been performed, based on the involvement of the cytochrome P-450 3A family in clonazepam metabolism, inhibitors of this enzyme system, notably oral antifungal agents, should be used cautiously in patients receiving clonazepam.

Pharmacodynamic Interactions:

The CNS-depressant action of the benzodiazepine class of drugs may be potentiated by alcohol, narcotics, barbiturates, nonbarbiturate hypnotics, antianxiety agents, the phenothiazines, thioxanthene and butyrophenone classes of antipsychotic agents, monoamine oxidase inhibitors and the tricyclic antidepressants, and by other anticonvulsant drugs.

Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility:

Carcinogenicity studies have not been conducted with clonazepam.

The data currently available are not sufficient to determine the genotoxic potential of clonazepam.

In a two-generation fertility study in which clonazepam was given orally to rats at 10 and 100 mg/kg/day (low dose approximately 5 times and 24 times the maximum recommended human dose of 20 mg/day for seizure disorder and 4 mg/day for panic disorder, respectively, on a mg/m 2 basis), there was a decrease in the number of pregnancies and in the number of offspring surviving until weaning.

Pregnancy:

Teratogenic Effects:

Pregnancy Category D (see WARNINGS:Pregnancy Risks).

To provide information regarding the effects of in utero exposure to clonazepam, physicians are advised to recommend that pregnant patients taking clonazepam enroll in the NAAED Pregnancy Registry. This can be done by calling the toll free number 1-888-233-2334, and must be done by patients themselves. Information on this registry can also be found at the website http://www.aedpregnancyregistry.org/.

Labor and Delivery:

The effect of clonazepam on labor and delivery in humans has not been specifically studied; however, perinatal complications have been reported in children born to mothers who have been receiving benzodiazepines late in pregnancy, including findings suggestive of either excess benzodiazepine exposure or of withdrawal phenomena (see WARNINGS:Pregnancy Risks).

Nursing Mothers:

Mothers receiving clonazepam should not breastfeed their infants.

Pediatric Use:

Because of the possibility that adverse effects on physical or mental development could become apparent only after many years, a benefit-risk consideration of the long-term use of clonazepam is important in pediatric patients being treated for seizure disorder (see INDICATIONS AND USAGE and DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION).

Safety and effectiveness in pediatric patients with panic disorder below the age of 18 have not been established.

Geriatric Use:

Clinical studies of clonazepam did not include sufficient numbers of subjects aged 65 and over to determine whether they respond differently from younger subjects. Other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger patients. In general, dose selection for an elderly patient should be cautious, usually starting at the low end of the dosing range, reflecting the greater frequency of decreased hepatic, renal, or cardiac function, and of concomitant disease or other drug therapy.

Because clonazepam undergoes hepatic metabolism, it is possible that liver disease will impair clonazepam elimination. Metabolites of clonazepam are excreted by the kidneys; to avoid their excess accumulation, caution should be exercised in the administration of the drug to patients with impaired renal function. Because elderly patients are more likely to have decreased hepatic and/or renal function, care should be taken in dose selection, and it may be useful to assess hepatic and/or renal function at the time of dose selection.

Sedating drugs may cause confusion and over-sedation in the elderly; elderly patients generally should be started on low doses of clonazepam and observed closely.

ADVERSE REACTIONS

The adverse experiences for clonazepam are provided separately for patients with seizure disorders and with panic disorder.

Seizure Disorders: The most frequently occurring side effects of clonazepam are referable to CNS depression. Experience in treatment of seizures has shown that drowsiness has occurred in approximately 50% of patients and ataxia in approximately 30%. In some cases, these may diminish with time; behavior problems have been noted in approximately 25% of patients. Others, listed by system, including those identified during postapproval use of clonazepam are:

Cardiovascular: Palpitations

Dermatologic: Hair loss, hirsutism, skin rash, ankle and facial edema

Gastrointestinal: Anorexia, coated tongue, constipation, diarrhea, dry mouth, encopresis, gastritis, increased appetite, nausea, sore gums

Genitourinary: Dysuria, enuresis, nocturia, urinary retention

Hematopoietic: Anemia, leukopenia, thrombocytopenia, eosinophilia

Hepatic: Hepatomegaly, transient elevations of serum transaminases and alkaline phosphatase

Musculoskeletal: Muscle weakness, pains

Miscellaneous: Dehydration, general deterioration, fever, lymphadenopathy, weight loss or gain

Neurologic: Abnormal eye movements, aphonia, choreiform movements, coma, diplopia, dysarthria, dysdiadochokinesis, “glassy-eyed” appearance, headache, hemiparesis, hypotonia, nystagmus, respiratory depression, slurred speech, tremor, vertigo

Psychiatric: Confusion, depression, amnesia, hallucinations, hysteria, increased libido, insomnia, psychosis (the behavior effects are more likely to occur in patients with a history of psychiatric disturbances). The following paradoxical reactions have been observed: excitability, irritability, aggressive behavior, agitation, nervousness, hostility, anxiety, sleep disturbances, nightmares and vivid dreams

Respiratory: Chest congestion, rhinorrhea, shortness of breath, hypersecretion in upper respiratory passages

Panic Disorder: Adverse events during exposure to clonazepam were obtained by spontaneous report and recorded by clinical investigators using terminology of their own choosing. Consequently, it is not possible to provide a meaningful estimate of the proportion of individuals experiencing adverse events without first grouping similar types of events into a smaller number of standardized event categories. In the tables and tabulations that follow, CIGY dictionary terminology has been used to classify reported adverse events, except in certain cases in which redundant terms were collapsed into more meaningful terms, as noted below.

The stated frequencies of adverse events represent the proportion of individuals who experienced, at least once, a treatment-emergent adverse event of the type listed. An event 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:

Adverse Events Associated With Discontinuation of Treatment:

Overall, the incidence of discontinuation due to adverse events was 17% in clonazepam compared to 9% for placebo in the combined data of two 6- to 9-week trials. The most common events (≥1%) associated with discontinuation and a dropout rate twice or greater for clonazepam than that of placebo included the following:

Table 2. Most Common Adverse Events (≥1%) Associated with Discontinuation of Treatment

Adverse Event

Clonazepam (N=574)

Placebo (N=294)

Somnolence

7%

1%

Depression

4%

1%

Dizziness

1%

<1%

Nervousness

1%

0%

Ataxia

1%

0%

Intellectual Ability Reduced

1%

0%

Adverse Events Occurring at an Incidence of 1% or More Among Clonazepam-Treated Patients:

Table 3 enumerates the incidence, rounded to the nearest percent, of treatment-emergent adverse events that occurred during acute therapy of panic disorder from a pool of two 6- to 9-week trials. Events reported in 1% or more of patients treated with clonazepam (doses ranging from 0.5 to 4 mg/day) and for which the incidence was greater than that in placebo-treated patients are included.

The prescriber should be aware that the figures in Table 3 cannot be used to predict the incidence of side effects in the course of usual medical practice where patient characteristics and other factors differ from those that prevailed in the clinical trials. Similarly, the cited frequencies cannot be compared with figures obtained from other clinical investigations involving different treatments, uses and investigators. The cited figures, however, do provide the prescribing physician with some basis for estimating the relative contribution of drug and nondrug factors to the side effect incidence in the population studied.

Table 3. Treatment-Emergent Adverse Event Incidence in 6- to 9-Week Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trials *
*
Events reported by at least 1% of patients treated with clonazepam and for which the incidence was greater than that for placebo.
Indicates that the p-value for the dose-trend test (Cochran-Mantel-Haenszel) for adverse event incidence was ≤0.10.
Denominators for events in gender-specific systems are: n=240 (clonazepam), 102 (placebo) for male, and 334 (clonazepam), 192 (placebo) for female.

Clonazepam Maximum Daily Dose

Adverse Event by Body System

<1mg n=96 %

1-<2mg n=129 %

2-<3mg n=113 %

≥3mg n=235 %

All Clonazepam Groups N=574 %

Placebo N=294 %

Central & Peripheral Nervous System

Somnolence

26

35

50

36

37

10

Dizziness

5

5

12

8

8

4

Coordination Abnormal

1

2

7

9

6

0

Ataxia

2

1

8

8

5

0

Dysarthria

0

0

4

3

2

0

Psychiatric

Depression

7

6

8

8

7

1

Memory Disturbance

2

5

2

5

4

2

Nervousness

1

4

3

4

3

2

Intellectual Ability Reduced

0

2

4

3

2

0

Emotional Lability

0

1

2

2

1

1

Libido Decreased

0

1

3

1

1

0

Confusion

0

2

2

1

1

0

Respiratory System

Upper Respiratory Tract Infection

10

10

7

6

8

4

Sinusitis

4

2

8

4

4

3

Rhinitis

3

2

4

2

2

1

Coughing

2

2

4

0

2

0

Pharyngitis

1

1

3

2

2

1

Bronchitis

1

0

2

2

1

1

Gastrointestinal System

Constipation

0

1

5

3

2

2

Appetite Decreased

1

1

0

3

1

1

Abdominal Pain

2

2

2

0

1

1

Body as a Whole

Fatigue

9

6

7

7

7

4

Allergic Reaction

3

1

4

2

2

1

Musculoskeletal

Myalgia

2

1

4

0

1

1

Resistance Mechanism Disorders

Influenza

3

2

5

5

4

3

Urinary System

Micturition Frequency

1

2

2

1

1

0

Urinary Tract Infection

0

0

2

2

1

0

Vision Disorders

Blurred Vision

1

2

3

0

1

1

Reproductive Disorders

Female

Dysmenorrhea

0

6

5

2

3

2

Colpitis

4

0

2

1

1

1

Male

Ejaculation Delayed

0

0

2

2

1

0

Impotence

3

0

2

1

1

0

Commonly Observed Adverse Events:

Table 4. Incidence of Most Commonly Observed Adverse Events *in Acute Therapy in Pool of 6- to 9-Week Trials
*
Treatment-emergent events for which the incidence in the clonazepam patients was ≥5% and at least twice that in the placebo patients.

Adverse Event

Clonazepam (N=574)

Placebo (N=294)

Somnolence

37%

10%

Depression

7%

1%

Coordination Abnormal

6%

0%

Ataxia

5%

0%

Treatment-Emergent Depressive Symptoms:

In the pool of two short-term placebo-controlled trials, adverse events classified under the preferred term “depression” were reported in 7% of clonazepam-treated patients compared to 1% of placebo-treated patients, without any clear pattern of dose relatedness. In these same trials, adverse events classified under the preferred term “depression” were reported as leading to discontinuation in 4% of clonazepam-treated patients compared to 1% of placebo-treated patients. While these findings are noteworthy, Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D) data collected in these trials revealed a larger decline in HAM-D scores in the clonazepam group than the placebo group suggesting that clonazepam-treated patients were not experiencing a worsening or emergence of clinical depression.

Other Adverse Events Observed During the Premarketing Evaluation of Clonazepam in Panic Disorder:

Following is a list of modified CIGY terms that reflect treatment-emergent adverse events reported by patients treated with clonazepam at multiple doses during clinical trials. All reported events are included except those already listed in Table 3 or elsewhere in labeling, those events for which a drug cause was remote, those event terms which were so general as to be uninformative, and events reported only once and which did not have a substantial probability of being acutely life-threatening. It is important to emphasize that, although the events occurred during treatment with clonazepam, they were not necessarily caused by it.

Events are further categorized by body system and listed in order of decreasing frequency. These adverse events were reported infrequently, which is defined as occurring in 1/100 to 1/1000 patients.

Body as a Whole: weight increase, accident, weight decrease, wound, edema, fever, shivering, abrasions, ankle edema, edema foot, edema periorbital, injury, malaise, pain, cellulitis, inflammation localized

Cardiovascular Disorders: chest pain, hypotension postural

Central and Peripheral Nervous System Disorders: migraine, paresthesia, drunkenness, feeling of enuresis, paresis, tremor, burning skin, falling, head fullness, hoarseness, hyperactivity, hypoesthesia, tongue thick, twitching

Gastrointestinal System Disorders: abdominal discomfort, gastrointestinal inflammation, stomach upset, toothache, flatulence, pyrosis, saliva increased, tooth disorder, bowel movements frequent, pain pelvic, dyspepsia, hemorrhoids

Hearing and Vestibular Disorders: vertigo, otitis, earache, motion sickness

Heart Rate and Rhythm Disorders: palpitation

Metabolic and Nutritional Disorders: thirst, gout

Musculoskeletal System Disorders: back pain, fracture traumatic, sprains and strains, pain leg, pain nape, cramps muscle, cramps leg, pain ankle, pain shoulder, tendinitis, arthralgia, hypertonia, lumbago, pain feet, pain jaw, pain knee, swelling knee

Platelet, Bleeding and Clotting Disorders: bleeding dermal

Psychiatric Disorders: insomnia, organic disinhibition, anxiety, depersonalization, dreaming excessive, libido loss, appetite increased, libido increased, reactions decreased, aggressive reaction, apathy, attention lack, excitement, feeling mad, hunger abnormal, illusion, nightmares, sleep disorder, suicide ideation, yawning

Reproductive Disorders, Female: breast pain, menstrual irregularity

Reproductive Disorders, Male: ejaculation decreased

Resistance Mechanism Disorders: infection mycotic, infection viral, infection streptococcal, herpes simplex infection, infectious mononucleosis, moniliasis

Respiratory System Disorders: sneezing excessive, asthmatic attack, dyspnea, nosebleed, pneumonia, pleurisy

Skin and Appendages Disorders: acne flare, alopecia, xeroderma, dermatitis contact, flushing, pruritus, pustular reaction, skin burns, skin disorder

Special Senses, Other Disorders: taste loss

Urinary System Disorders: dysuria, cystitis, polyuria, urinary incontinence, bladder dysfunction, urinary retention, urinary tract bleeding, urine discoloration

Vascular (Extracardiac) Disorders: thrombophlebitis leg

Vision Disorders: eye irritation, visual disturbance, diplopia, eye twitching, styes, visual field defect, xerophthalmia

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