Prescription Drug Information: Olanzapine (Page 2 of 10)

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 mg to 12.5 mg and fluoxetine 20 mg to 50 mg. Antidepressant efficacy was demonstrated with olanzapine tablets and fluoxetine in combination in adult patients with a dose range of olanzapine 6 mg to 12 mg and fluoxetine 25 mg 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 tablets and fluoxetine in combination was determined in clinical trials supporting approval of Symbyax (fixed dose combination of olanzapine tablets 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 tablets 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 Symbyax a and the Combination of Olanzapine Tablets and Fluoxetine

Use in Combination
For Symbyax (mg/day) Olanzapine Tablets (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 tablets 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 healthcare provider 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.

2.6 Olanzapine Tablets and Fluoxetine in Combination: Treatment Resistant Depression

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


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 mg to 20 mg and fluoxetine 20 mg to 50 mg. Antidepressant efficacy was demonstrated with olanzapine and fluoxetine in combination in adult patients with a dose range of olanzapine 6 mg to 18 mg and fluoxetine 25 mg to 50 mg.


Safety and efficacy of olanzapine in combination with fluoxetine 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. Table 1 above demonstrates the appropriate individual component doses of olanzapine tablets and fluoxetine versus Symbyax. Dosage adjustments, if indicated, should be made with the individual components according to efficacy and tolerability.


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 treatment resistant depression (major depressive disorder in adult patients who do not respond to 2 separate trials of different antidepressants of adequate dose and duration in the current episode) is a chronic illness requiring chronic treatment. The healthcare provider should periodically reexamine the need for continued pharmacotherapy.


Safety of co-administration of doses above 18 mg olanzapine with 75 mg fluoxetine has not been evaluated in clinical studies.

Olanzapine tablets monotherapy is not indicated for treatment of treatment resistant depression (major depressive disorder in patients who do not respond to 2 antidepressants of adequate dose and duration in the current episode).

2.7 Olanzapine Tablets and Fluoxetine in Combination: Dosing in Special Populations

The starting dose of oral olanzapine 2.5 mg to 5 mg with fluoxetine 20 mg should be used for patients with a predisposition to hypotensive reactions, patients with hepatic impairment, or patients who exhibit a combination of factors that may slow the metabolism of olanzapine or fluoxetine in combination (female gender, geriatric age, nonsmoking status), or those patients who may be pharmacodynamically sensitive to olanzapine. Dosing modification may be necessary in patients who exhibit a combination of factors that may slow metabolism. When indicated, dose escalation should be performed with caution in these patients. Olanzapine tablets and fluoxetine in combination have not been systematically studied in patients over 65 years of age or in patients under 10 years of age [see Warnings and Precautions (5.14), Drug Interactions (7), and Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].

3 DOSAGE FORMS AND STRENGTHS

Olanzapine tablets, USP, 2.5 mg, 5 mg and 10 mg tablets are white or off-white, film coated, round, and debossed with tablet numbers on one side. The tablets are available as follows:

TABLET STRENGTH
2.5mg 5 mg 10 mg
Tablet No. 2.5 5 10

4 CONTRAINDICATIONS

  • None with olanzapine monotherapy.
  • When using olanzapine and fluoxetine in combination, also refer to the Contraindications section of the package insert for Symbyax.
  • For specific information about the contraindications of lithium or valproate, refer to the Contraindications section of the package inserts for these other products.

5 WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS

When using olanzapine and fluoxetine in combination, also refer to the Warnings and Precautions section of the package insert for Symbyax.

5.1 Elderly Patients with Dementia-Related Psychosis

Increased Mortality

Elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis treated with antipsychotic drugs are at an increased risk of death. Olanzapine is not approved for the treatment of patients with dementia-related psychosis [see Boxed Warning, Warnings and Precautions (5.14), and Patient Counseling Information ( 17 ) ].

In placebo-controlled clinical trials of elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis, the incidence of death in olanzapine-treated patients was significantly greater than placebo-treated patients (3.5% vs 1.5%, respectively).

Cerebrovascular Adverse Events (CVAE), Including Stroke

Cerebrovascular adverse events (e.g., stroke, transient ischemic attack), including fatalities, were reported in patients in trials of olanzapine in elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis. In placebo-controlled trials, there was a significantly higher incidence of cerebrovascular adverse events in patients treated with olanzapine compared to patients treated with placebo. Olanzapine is not approved for the treatment of patients with dementia-related psychosis [see Boxed Warning and Patient Counseling Information (17) ].

5.2 Suicide

The possibility of a suicide attempt is inherent in schizophrenia and in bipolar I disorder, and close supervision of high-risk patients should accompany drug therapy. Prescriptions for olanzapine should be written for the smallest quantity of tablets consistent with good patient management, in order to reduce the risk of overdose.

5.3 Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS)

A potentially fatal symptom complex sometimes referred to as Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS) has been reported in association with administration of antipsychotic drugs, including olanzapine. Clinical manifestations of NMS are hyperpyrexia, muscle rigidity, altered mental status and evidence of autonomic instability (irregular pulse or blood pressure, tachycardia, diaphoresis and cardiac dysrhythmia). Additional signs may include elevated creatinine phosphokinase, myoglobinuria (rhabdomyolysis), and acute renal failure.

The diagnostic evaluation of patients with this syndrome is complicated. In arriving at a diagnosis, it is important to exclude cases where the clinical presentation includes both serious medical illness (e.g., pneumonia, systemic infection, etc.) and untreated or inadequately treated extrapyramidal signs and symptoms (EPS). Other important considerations in the differential diagnosis include central anticholinergic toxicity, heat stroke, drug fever, and primary central nervous system pathology.

The management of NMS should include: 1) immediate discontinuation of antipsychotic drugs and other drugs not essential to concurrent therapy; 2) intensive symptomatic treatment and medical monitoring; and 3) treatment of any concomitant serious medical problems for which specific treatments are available. There is no general agreement about specific pharmacological treatment regimens for NMS.

If a patient requires antipsychotic drug treatment after recovery from NMS, the potential reintroduction of drug therapy should be carefully considered. The patient should be carefully monitored, since recurrences of NMS have been reported. [see Patient Counseling Information (17)].

5.4 Drug Reaction with Eosinophilia and Systemic Symptoms (DRESS)

Drug Reaction with Eosinophilia and Systemic Symptoms (DRESS) has been reported with olanzapine exposure. DRESS may present with a cutaneous reaction (such as rash or exfoliative dermatitis), eosinophilia, fever, and/or lymphadenopathy with systemic complications such as hepatitis, nephritis, pneumonitis, myocarditis, and/or pericarditis. DRESS is sometimes fatal. Discontinue olanzapine if DRESS is suspected [ see Patient Counseling Information ( 17) ].

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