Prescription Drug Information: Olanzapine

OLANZAPINE- olanzapine tablet, film coated
Aphena Pharma Solutions — Tennessee, LLC

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WARNING: INCREASED MORTALITY IN ELDERLY PATIENTS WITH DEMENTIA-RELATED PSYCHOSIS

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. Olanzapine tablets are not approved for the treatment of patients with dementia-related psychosis [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1, 5.14) and Patient Counseling Information (17.2)].

When using olanzapine tablets and fluoxetine in combination, also refer to the Boxed Warning section of the package insert for Symbyax.

1 INDICATIONS AND USAGE

1.1 Schizophrenia

Oral olanzapine tablets are indicated for the treatment of schizophrenia. Efficacy was established in three clinical trials in adult patients with schizophrenia: two 6-week trials and one maintenance trial. In adolescent patients with schizophrenia (ages 13 to 17), efficacy was established in one 6-week trial [see Clinical Studies (14.1)].

When deciding among the alternative treatments available for adolescents, clinicians should consider the increased potential (in adolescents as compared with adults) for weight gain and dyslipidemia. Clinicians should consider the potential long-term risks when prescribing to adolescents, and in many cases this may lead them to consider prescribing other drugs first in adolescents [see Warnings and Precautions (5.5)].

1.2 Bipolar I Disorder (Manic or Mixed Episodes)

Monotherapy — Oral olanzapine tablets are indicated for the acute treatment of manic or mixed episodes associated with bipolar I disorder and maintenance treatment of bipolar I disorder. Efficacy was established in three clinical trials in adult patients with manic or mixed episodes of bipolar I disorder: two 3- to 4-week trials and one monotherapy maintenance trial. In adolescent patients with manic or mixed episodes associated with bipolar I disorder (ages 13 to 17), efficacy was established in one 3-week trial [see Clinical Studies (14.2)].

When deciding among the alternative treatments available for adolescents, clinicians should consider the increased potential (in adolescents as compared with adults) for weight gain and dyslipidemia. Clinicians should consider the potential long-term risks when prescribing to adolescents, and in many cases this may lead them to consider prescribing other drugs first in adolescents [see Warnings and Precautions (5.5)].

Adjunctive Therapy to Lithium or Valproate — Oral olanzapine tablets are indicated for the treatment of manic or mixed episodes associated with bipolar I disorder as an adjunct to lithium or valproate. Efficacy was established in two 6-week clinical trials in adults. The effectiveness of adjunctive therapy for longer-term use has not been systematically evaluated in controlled trials [see Clinical Studies (14.2)].

1.3 Special Considerations in Treating Pediatric Schizophrenia and Bipolar I Disorder

Pediatric schizophrenia and bipolar I disorder are serious mental disorders; however, diagnosis can be challenging. For pediatric schizophrenia, symptom profiles can be variable, and for bipolar I disorder, pediatric patients may have variable patterns of periodicity of manic or mixed symptoms. It is recommended that medication therapy for pediatric schizophrenia and bipolar I disorder be initiated only after a thorough diagnostic evaluation has been performed and careful consideration given to the risks associated with medication treatment. Medication treatment for both pediatric schizophrenia and bipolar I disorder should be part of a total treatment program that often includes psychological, educational and social interventions.

1.5 Olanzapine tablets and Fluoxetine in Combination: Depressive Episodes Associated with Bipolar I Disorder

Oral olanzapine tablets and fluoxetine in combination is indicated for the treatment of depressive episodes associated with bipolar I disorder, based on clinical studies. When using olanzapine tablets and fluoxetine in combination, refer to the Clinical Studies section of the package insert for Symbyax.

Olanzapine tablets monotherapy is not indicated for the treatment of depressive episodes associated with bipolar I disorder.

1.6 Olanzapine tablets and Fluoxetine in Combination: Treatment Resistant Depression

Oral olanzapine and fluoxetine in combination is indicated for the treatment of treatment resistant depression (major depressive disorder in patients who do not respond to 2 separate trials of different antidepressants of adequate dose and duration in the current episode), based on clinical studies in adult patients. When using olanzapine and fluoxetine in combination, refer to the Clinical Studies section of the package insert for Symbyax.

Olanzapine monotherapy is not indicated for the treatment of treatment resistant depression.

2 DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION

2.1 Schizophrenia

Adults

Dose Selection — Oral olanzapine should be administered on a once-a-day schedule without regard to meals, generally beginning with 5 to 10 mg initially, with a target dose of 10 mg/day within several days. Further dosage adjustments, if indicated, should generally occur at intervals of not less than 1 week, since steady state for olanzapine would not be achieved for approximately 1 week in the typical patient. When dosage adjustments are necessary, dose increments/decrements of 5 mg QD are recommended.

Efficacy in schizophrenia was demonstrated in a dose range of 10 to 15 mg/day in clinical trials. However, doses above 10 mg/day were not demonstrated to be more efficacious than the 10 mg/day dose. An increase to a dose greater than the target dose of 10 mg/day (i.e., to a dose of 15 mg/day or greater) is recommended only after clinical assessment. Olanzapine is not indicated for use in doses above 20 mg/day.

Dosing in Special Populations — The recommended starting dose is 5 mg in patients who are debilitated, who have a predisposition to hypotensive reactions, who otherwise exhibit a combination of factors that may result in slower metabolism of olanzapine (e.g., nonsmoking female patients ≥65 years of age), or who may be more pharmacodynamically sensitive to olanzapine [see Warnings and Precautions (5.14), Drug Interactions (7), and Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)]. When indicated, dose escalation should be performed with caution in these patients.

Maintenance Treatment — The effectiveness of oral olanzapine, 10 mg/day to 20 mg/day, in maintaining treatment response in schizophrenic patients who had been stable on olanzapine for approximately 8 weeks and were then followed for relapse has been demonstrated in a placebo-controlled trial [see Clinical Studies (14.1)]. The physician who elects to use olanzapine tablets for extended periods should periodically reevaluate the long-term usefulness of the drug for the individual patient.

Adolescents

Dose Selection — Oral olanzapine should be administered on a once-a-day schedule without regard to meals with a recommended starting dose of 2.5 or 5 mg, with a target dose of 10 mg/day. Efficacy in adolescents with schizophrenia was demonstrated based on a flexible dose range of 2.5 to 20 mg/day in clinical trials, with a mean modal dose of 12.5 mg/day (mean dose of 11.1 mg/day). When dosage adjustments are necessary, dose increments/decrements of 2.5 or 5 mg are recommended.

The safety and effectiveness of doses above 20 mg/day have not been evaluated in clinical trials [see Clinical Studies (14.1)].

Maintenance Treatment — The efficacy of olanzapine tablets for the maintenance treatment of schizophrenia in the adolescent population has not been systematically evaluated; however, maintenance efficacy can be extrapolated from adult data along with comparisons of olanzapine pharmacokinetic parameters in adult and adolescent patients. Thus, it is generally recommended that responding patients be continued beyond the acute response, but at the lowest dose needed to maintain remission. Patients should be periodically reassessed to determine the need for maintenance treatment.

2.2 Bipolar I Disorder (Manic or Mixed Episodes)

Adults

Dose Selection for Monotherapy — Oral olanzapine should be administered on a once-a-day schedule without regard to meals, generally beginning with 10 or 15 mg. Dosage adjustments, if indicated, should generally occur at intervals of not less than 24 hours, reflecting the procedures in the placebo-controlled trials. When dosage adjustments are necessary, dose increments/decrements of 5 mg QD are recommended.

Short-term (3 to 4 weeks) antimanic efficacy was demonstrated in a dose range of 5 mg to 20 mg/day in clinical trials. The safety of doses above 20 mg/day has not been evaluated in clinical trials [see Clinical Studies (14.2)].

Maintenance Monotherapy — The benefit of maintaining bipolar I patients on monotherapy with oral olanzapine at a dose of 5 to 20 mg/day, after achieving a responder status for an average duration of 2 weeks, was demonstrated in a controlled trial [see Clinical Studies (14.2)]. The physician who elects to use olanzapine tablets for extended periods should periodically reevaluate the long-term usefulness of the drug for the individual patient.

Dose Selection for Adjunctive Treatment — When administered as adjunctive treatment to lithium or valproate, oral olanzapine dosing should generally begin with 10 mg once-a-day without regard to meals.

Antimanic efficacy was demonstrated in a dose range of 5 mg to 20 mg/day in clinical trials [see Clinical Studies (14.2)]. The safety of doses above 20 mg/day has not been evaluated in clinical trials.

Adolescents

Dose Selection — Oral olanzapine should be administered on a once-a-day schedule without regard to meals with a recommended starting dose of 2.5 or 5 mg, with a target dose of 10 mg/day. Efficacy in adolescents with bipolar I disorder (manic or mixed episodes) was demonstrated based on a flexible dose range of 2.5 to 20 mg/day in clinical trials, with a mean modal dose of 10.7 mg/day (mean dose of 8.9 mg/day). When dosage adjustments are necessary, dose increments/decrements of 2.5 or 5 mg are recommended.

The safety and effectiveness of doses above 20 mg/day have not been evaluated in clinical trials [see Clinical Studies (14.2)].

Maintenance Treatment — The efficacy of olanzapine tablets for the maintenance treatment of bipolar I disorder in the adolescent population has not been evaluated; however, maintenance efficacy can be extrapolated from adult data along with comparisons of olanzapine pharmacokinetic parameters in adult and adolescent patients. Thus, it is generally recommended that responding patients be continued beyond the acute response, but at the lowest dose needed to maintain remission. Patients should be periodically reassessed to determine the need for maintenance treatment.

2.5 Olanzapine tablets and Fluoxetine in Combination: Depressive Episodes Associated with Bipolar I Disorder

When using olanzapine tablets and fluoxetine in combination, also refer to the Clinical Studies section of the package insert for Symbyax.

Adults
Oral olanzapine should be administered in combination with fluoxetine once daily in the evening, without regard to meals, generally beginning with 5 mg of oral olanzapine and 20 mg of fluoxetine. Dosage adjustments, if indicated, can be made according to efficacy and tolerability within dose ranges of oral olanzapine 5 to 12.5 mg and fluoxetine 20 to 50 mg. Antidepressant efficacy was demonstrated with olanzapine and fluoxetine in combination in adult patients with a dose range of olanzapine 6 to 12 mg and fluoxetine 25 to 50 mg. Safety of co-administration of doses above 18 mg olanzapine with 75 mg fluoxetine has not been evaluated in clinical studies.

Children and Adolescents (10 to 17 years of age) Oral olanzapine should be administered in combination with fluoxetine once daily in the evening, without regard to meals, generally beginning with 2.5 mg of oral olanzapine and 20 mg of fluoxetine. Dosage adjustments, if indicated, can be made according to efficacy and tolerability. Safety of co-administration of doses above 12 mg olanzapine with 50 mg fluoxetine has not been evaluated in pediatric clinical studies.

Safety and efficacy of olanzapine and fluoxetine in combination was determined in clinical trials supporting approval of Symbyax (fixed dose combination of olanzapine and fluoxetine). Symbyax is dosed between 3 mg/25 mg (olanzapine/fluoxetine) per day and 12 mg/50 mg (olanzapine/fluoxetine) per day. The following table demonstrates the appropriate individual component doses of olanzapine and fluoxetine versus Symbyax. Dosage adjustments, if indicated, should be made with the individual components according to efficacy and tolerability.

Table 1: Approximate Dose Correspondence Between Symbyaxa and the Combination of Olanzapine and Fluoxetine
For Symbyax (mg/day) Use in Combination
Olanzapine (mg/day) Fluoxetine (mg/day)
3 mg olanzapine/25 mg fluoxetine 2.5 20
6 mg olanzapine/25 mg fluoxetine 5 20
12 mg olanzapine/25 mg fluoxetine 10+2.5 20
6 mg olanzapine/50 mg fluoxetine 5 40+10
12 mg olanzapine/50 mg fluoxetine 10+2.5 40+10

a Symbyax (olanzapine/fluoxetine HCl) is a fixed-dose combination of olanzapine and fluoxetine.

While there is no body of evidence to answer the question of how long a patient treated with olanzapine tablets and fluoxetine in combination should remain on it, it is generally accepted that bipolar I disorder, including the depressive episodes associated with bipolar I disorder, is a chronic illness requiring chronic treatment. The physician should periodically reexamine the need for continued pharmacotherapy.

Olanzapine tablets monotherapy is not indicated for the treatment of depressive episodes associated with bipolar I disorder.

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