Prescription Drug Information: Duloxetine

DULOXETINE- duloxetine hydrochloride capsule, delayed release
REMEDYREPACK INC.

WARNING: SUICIDAL THOUGHTS AND BEHAVIORS

Antidepressants increased the risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior in children, adolescents, and young adults in short-term studies. These studies did not show an increase in the risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior with antidepressant use in patients over age 24; there was a reduction in risk with antidepressant use in patients aged 65 and older [see Warnings and Precautions ( 5.1)].
In patients of all ages who are started on antidepressant therapy, monitor closely for worsening, and for emergence of suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Advise families and caregivers of the need for close observation and communication with the prescriber [see Warnings and Precautions ( 5.1)].

1 INDICATIONS AND USAGE

Duloxetine delayed-release capsules are indicated for the treatment of:Duloxetine delayed-release capsules are indicated for the treatment of:

  • Major depressive disorder in adults
  • Generalized anxiety disorder in adults and pediatric patients 7 years of age and older
  • Diabetic peripheral neuropathic pain in adults
  • Fibromyalgia in adults in
  • Chronic musculoskeletal pain in adults

2 DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION

2.1 Important Administration Instructions

Administer duloxetine delayed-release capsules orally (with or without meals) and swallow whole. Do not chew or crush, and do not open the delayed-release capsule and sprinkle its contents on food or mix with liquids because these actions might affect the enteric coating. If a dose of duloxetine delayed-release capsules are missed, take the missed dose as soon as it is remembered. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and take the next dose at the regular time. Do not take two doses of duloxetine delayed-release capsules at the same time.

2.2 Dosage for Treatment of Major Depressive Disorder in Adults

The recommended starting dosage in adults with MDD is 40 mg/day (given as 20 mg twice daily) to 60 mg/day (given either once daily or as 30 mg twice daily). For some patients, it may be desirable to start at 30 mg once daily for 1 week, to allow patients to adjust to duloxetine delayed-release capsules before increasing to 60 mg once daily. While a 120 mg/day dose was shown to be effective, there is no evidence that doses greater than 60 mg/day confer any additional benefits. Periodically reassess to determine the need for maintenance treatment and the appropriate dosage for such treatment.

2.3 Dosage for Treatment of Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Recommended Dosage in Adults Less than 65 Years of Age

For most adults less than 65 years of age with GAD, initiate duloxetine delayed-release capsules 60 mg once daily. For some patients, it may be desirable to start at 30 mg once daily for 1 week, to allow patients to adjust to duloxetine delayed-release capsules before increasing to 60 mg once daily. While a 120 mg once daily dosage was shown to be effective, there is no evidence that doses greater than 60 mg/day confer additional benefit. Nevertheless, if a decision is made to increase the dosage beyond 60 mg once daily, increase dosage in increments of 30 mg once daily. Periodically reassess to determine the continued need for maintenance treatment and the appropriate dosage for such treatment.

Recommended Dosage in Geriatric Patients

In geriatric patients with GAD, initiate duloxetine delayed-release capsules at a dosage of 30 mg once daily for 2 weeks before considering an increase to the target dose of 60 mg/day. Thereafter, patients may benefit from doses above 60 mg once daily. If a decision is made to increase the dose beyond 60 mg once daily, increase dose in increments of 30 mg once daily. The maximum dose studied was 120 mg per day.

Recommended Dosage in Pediatric Patients 7 to 17 Years of Age

Initiate duloxetine delayed-release capsules in pediatric patients 7 to 17 years of age with GAD at a dosage of 30 mg once daily for 2 weeks before considering an increase to 60 mg once daily. The recommended dosage range is 30 to 60 mg once daily. Some patients may benefit from dosage above 60 mg once daily. If a decision is made to increase the dose beyond 60 mg once daily, increase dosage in increments of 30 mg once daily. The maximum dose studied was 120 mg per day.

2.4 Dosage for Treatment of Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathic Pain in Adults

Administer 60 mg once daily in adults with diabetic peripheral neuropathic pain. There is no evidence that doses higher than 60 mg once daily confer additional significant benefit and the higher dosage is clearly less well tolerated . For patients for whom tolerability is a concern, a lower starting dose may be considered.

Since diabetes is frequently complicated by renal disease, consider a lower starting dosage and gradual increase in dosage for patients with renal impairment [ see Dosage and Administration ( 2.7) and Use in Specific Populations ( 8.10)].

2.5 Dosage for Treatment of Fibromyalgia

Recommended Dosage in Adults

The recommended duloxetine delayed-release capsule dosage is 60 mg once daily in adults with fibromyalgia. Begin treatment at 30 mg once daily for 1 week, to allow patients to adjust to duloxetine delayed-release capsules before increasing to 60 mg once daily. Some patients may respond to the starting dosage. There is no evidence that dosages greater than 60 mg/day confer additional benefit, even in patients who do not respond to a 60 mg/day dosage, and higher dosages were associated with a higher rate of adverse reactions.

2.6 Dosage for Treatment of Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain in Adults

The recommended duloxetine delayed-release capsules dosage is 60 mg once daily in adults with chronic musculoskeletal pain. Begin treatment at 30 mg once daily for one week, to allow patients to adjust to duloxetine delayed-release capsules before increasing to 60 mg once daily. There is no evidence that higher dosages confer additional benefit, even in patients who do not respond to a 60 mg once daily dosage, and higher dosages are associated with a higher rate of adverse reactions [see Clinical Studies ( 14.6)].

2.7 Dosage in Patients with Hepatic Impairment or Severe Renal Impairment

Avoid use in patients with chronic liver disease or cirrhosis [see Warnings and Precautions ( 5.14) and Use in Specific Populations ( 8.9)].

Avoid use in patients with severe renal impairment, GFR <30 mL/minute [see Warnings and Precautions ( 5.14) and Use in Specific Populations ( 8.10)] .

2.8 Discontinuing Duloxetine Delayed-Release Capsules

Adverse reactions after discontinuation of duloxetine delayed-release capsules, after abrupt or tapered discontinuation, include: dizziness, headache, nausea, diarrhea, paresthesia, irritability, vomiting, insomnia, anxiety, hyperhidrosis, and fatigue. A gradual reduction in dosage rather than abrupt cessation is recommended whenever possible [see Warnings and Precautions ( 5.7)].

2.9 Switching a Patient to or from a Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitor (MAOI) Intended to Treat Psychiatric Disorders

At least 14 days should elapse between discontinuation of an MAOI intended to treat psychiatric disorders and initiation of therapy with duloxetine delayed-release capsules. Conversely, at least 5 days should be allowed after stopping duloxetine delayed-release capsules before starting an MAOI intended to treat psychiatric disorders [see Contraindications ( 4)].

2.10 Use of Duloxetine Delayed-Release Capsules with Other MAOIs such as Linezolid or Methylene Blue

Do not start duloxetine delayed-release capsules in a patient who is being treated with linezolid or intravenous methylene blue because there is an increased risk of serotonin syndrome. In a patient who requires more urgent treatment of a psychiatric condition, other interventions, including hospitalization, should be considered [see Contraindications ( 4)].

In some cases, a patient already receiving duloxetine delayed-release capsules therapy may require urgent treatment with linezolid or intravenous methylene blue. If acceptable alternatives to linezolid or intravenous methylene blue treatment are not available and the potential benefits of linezolid or intravenous methylene blue treatment are judged to outweigh the risks of serotonin syndrome in a particular patient, duloxetine delayed-release capsules should be stopped promptly, and linezolid or intravenous methylene blue can be administered. The patient should be monitored for symptoms of serotonin syndrome for 5 days or until 24 hours after the last dose of linezolid or intravenous methylene blue, whichever comes first. Therapy with duloxetine delayed-release capsules may be resumed 24 hours after the last dose of linezolid or intravenous methylene blue [see Warnings and Precautions ( 5.4)].

The risk of administering methylene blue by non-intravenous routes (such as oral tablets or by local injection) or in intravenous doses much lower than 1 mg/kg with duloxetine delayed-release capsules is unclear. The clinician should, nevertheless, be aware of the possibility of emergent symptoms of serotonin syndrome with such use [see Warnings and Precautions ( 5.4)].

3 DOSAGE FORMS AND STRENGTHS

Duloxetine delayed-release capsules are available as:

  • 20 mg white and blue capsules imprinted with “ap DLX20”
  • 30 mg blue and blue capsules imprinted with “ap DLX30”
  • 40 mg pink and blue capsules imprinted with “ap DLX40”
  • 60 mg white and blue capsules imprinted with “ap DLX60”

4 CONTRAINDICATIONS

The use of MAOIs intended to treat psychiatric disorders with duloxetine or within 5 days of stopping treatment with duloxetine is contraindicated because of an increased risk of serotonin syndrome. The use of duloxetine within 14 days of stopping an MAOI intended to treat psychiatric disorders is contraindicated [see Dosage and Administration ( 2.8) and Warnings and Precautions ( 5.4)].

Starting duloxetine in a patient who is being treated with MAOIs such as linezolid or intravenous methylene blue is also contraindicated because of an increased risk of serotonin syndrome [see Dosage and Administration ( 2.9) and Warnings and Precautions ( 5.4)].

5 WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS

5.1 Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors in Children, Adolescents, and Young Adults

Patients with major depressive disorder (MDD), both adult and pediatric, may experience worsening of their depression and/or the emergence of suicidal ideation and behavior (suicidality) or unusual changes in behavior, whether or not they are taking antidepressant medications, and this risk may persist until significant remission occurs. Suicide is a known risk of depression and certain other psychiatric disorders, and these disorders themselves are the strongest predictors of suicide. There has been a long-standing concern, however, that antidepressants may have a role in inducing worsening of depression and the emergence of suicidality in certain patients during the early phases of treatment.

Pooled analyses of short-term placebo-controlled trials of antidepressant drugs (SSRIs and others) showed that these drugs increase the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior (suicidality) in children, adolescents, and young adults (ages 18 to 24) with major depressive disorder (MDD) and other psychiatric disorders. Short-term studies did not show an increase in the risk of suicidality with antidepressants compared to placebo in adults beyond age 24; there was a reduction with antidepressants compared to placebo in adults aged 65 and older.

The pooled analyses of placebo-controlled trials in children and adolescents with MDD, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), or other psychiatric disorders included a total of 24 short-term trials of 9 antidepressant drugs in over 4400 patients. The pooled analyses of placebo-controlled trials in adults with MDD or other psychiatric disorders included a total of 295 short-term trials (median duration of 2 months) of 11 antidepressant drugs in over 77,000 patients. There was considerable variation in risk of suicidality among drugs, but a tendency toward an increase in the younger patients for almost all drugs studied. There were differences in absolute risk of suicidality across the different indications, with the highest incidence in MDD. The risk of differences (drug vs placebo), however, were relatively stable within age strata and across indications. These risk differences (drug-placebo difference in the number of cases of suicidality per 1000 patients treated) are provided in Table 1.

Table 1

Age Range Drug-Placebo Difference in Number of Cases of Suicidality per 1000 Patients Treated
Increases Compared to Placebo
<18 14 additional cases
18-24 5 additional cases
Decreases Compared to Placebo
25-64 1 fewer case
≥65 6 fewer cases

No suicides occurred in any of the pediatric duloxetine trials. There were suicides in the adult duloxetine trials, but the number was not sufficient to reach any conclusion about duloxetine effect on suicide.

It is unknown whether the suicidality risk extends to longer-term use, i.e., beyond several months. However, there is substantial evidence from placebo-controlled maintenance trials in adults with depression that the use of antidepressants can delay the recurrence of depression.

All patients being treated with antidepressants for any indication should be monitored appropriately and observed closely for clinical worsening, suicidality, and unusual changes in behavior, especially during the initial few months of a course of drug therapy, or at times of dose changes, either increases or decreases.

The following symptoms, anxiety, agitation, panic attacks, insomnia, irritability, hostility, aggressiveness, impulsivity, akathisia (psychomotor restlessness), hypomania, and mania, have been reported in adult and pediatric patients being treated with antidepressants for major depressive disorder as well as for other indications, both psychiatric and nonpsychiatric. Although a causal link between the emergence of such symptoms and either the worsening of depression and/or the emergence of suicidal impulses has not been established, there is concern that such symptoms may represent precursors to emerging suicidality.

Consideration should be given to changing the therapeutic regimen, including possibly discontinuing the medication, in patients whose depression is persistently worse, or who are experiencing emergent suicidality or symptoms that might be precursors to worsening depression or suicidality, especially if these symptoms are severe, abrupt in onset, or were not part of the patient’s presenting symptoms.

If the decision has been made to discontinue treatment, medication should be tapered, as rapidly as is feasible, but with recognition that discontinuation can be associated with certain symptoms [see Dosage and Administration ( 2.8) and Warnings and Precautions ( 5.7)] for descriptions of the risks of discontinuation of duloxetine.

Families and caregivers of patients being treated with antidepressants for major depressive disorder or other indications, both psychiatric and nonpsychiatric, should be alerted about the need to monitor patients for the emergence of agitation, irritability, unusual changes in behavior, and the other symptoms described above, as well as the emergence of suicidality, and to report such symptoms immediately to health care providers. Such monitoring should include daily observation by families and caregivers. Prescriptions for duloxetine should be written for the smallest quantity of capsules consistent with good patient management, in order to reduce the risk of overdose.

Screening Patients for Bipolar Disorder

A major depressive episode may be the initial presentation of bipolar disorder. It is generally believed (though not established in controlled trials) that treating such an episode with an antidepressant alone may increase the likelihood of precipitation of a mixed/manic episode in patients at risk for bipolar disorder. Whether any of the symptoms described above represent such a conversion is unknown. However, prior to initiating treatment with an antidepressant, patients with depressive symptoms should be adequately screened to determine if they are at risk for bipolar disorder; such screening should include a detailed psychiatric history, including a family history of suicide, bipolar disorder, and depression. It should be noted that duloxetine is not approved for use in treating bipolar depression.

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